Jane Fonda has been a style icon for more than half a century. She made athletic attire look chic long before the term “athleisure” even existed. She bestowed an unprecedented stamp of cool upon turtlenecks and high-waist pedal pushers. She escorted head scarves, newsboy caps, beanies and cowboy hats into a new realm of wearability. She proved that the right to have fun with your clothes is not revoked after you turn 45, a truth obvious enough in theory, but all too frequently lost in the wake of abundant misconceptions around “dressing your age.”
Given how many wonderful things get better over time (wine, cheese, cast iron skillets, jeans), it shouldn’t surprise that style might as well. Fonda has always been “stylish,” but she’s having a style moment right now. It hit me when images of her walking the L’Oreal Paris Fashion Week runway in a tiger print Balmain gown went viral over the weekend. That, plus the social media’s outpouring of affection for her hot pink number at the Emmy’s leads me to believe she’s just starting to scratch the surface of her break-the-internet potential.
Like a goody-two-shoes hummingbird seeking drops of nectar in the form of outfit inspiration, I reviewed her best outfits from the past couple of years and distilled the following commandments so that I might absorb as much knowledge as possible from this style moment in the making:
1. Thou shalt never utter the words “too much animal print” ever, ever again.
2. Thou shalt accessorize with a dog instead of a bag whenever the fancy strikes.
3. Thou shalt embrace belts of every size.
4. Thou shalt dress all in one color if it pleases you.
5. Thou shalt wear silly hats and make them look like the least silly thing in the world.
6. Thou shalt frost yourself with ruffles like a gingerbread house roof.
7. Thou shalt indulge in the occasional caftan.
8. Thou shalt wear pantsuits that shout instead of whisper.
9. Thou shalt coin the term “black-tie turtleneck” without even saying it.
10. Thou shalt dabble in scarves not for warmth, but for kicks.
I’m getting them inscribed on stone tablets to hang above my bed, but apparently that takes a few weeks. In the meantime, I’m in the market for a well-behaved dog that looks like a purse and loves to be held.
Feature photo by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage.