STYLE EVOLUTION

At 84, Jane Fonda Is the Ultimate Effortless Style Icon

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Whether or not she wants to admit it, Jane Fonda has always been a style icon. (She once remarked that she considers the mere notion to be “a hoot.”) The actor, who turns 84 on Tuesday, has decades of sartorial influence under her belt, going back to her 1968 film Barbarella. (The costumes influenced Jean-Paul Gaultier’s seminal designs for the 1997 film The Fifth Element. Her red carpet prowess has only gotten better with age—all the more impressive these days, seeing as she’s three years into her eco-conscious decision to never purchase new clothes again. “I’m best when I’m wearing something structured, with no frills or bows,” she told W in 2015, around the time she started gravitating towards fitted blazers and suits. “Something that will show my waist and bum, because I’ve always had a good bum.” In celebration of her latest milestone, take a look back at some of her most memorable looks over the years.

1968
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Has anyone ever looked as chic leaving the hospital after giving birth as Fonda did with her newborn daughter Vanessa? We’re going to go out on a limb and say not once, not ever.

1979
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Fonda added a feminine edge to one of her more masculine looks at the 1979 Golden Globe Awards by accessorizing with jewels.

1980
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In a move that pretty much embodies her whole persona, the activist added a touch of Hollywood glamour to her “Raises Not Roses” t-shirt when urging female office workers to organize by accessorizing with a silk scarf.

1987
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Leave it to Fonda to wear nighttime sunglasses and boot-cut Levi’s to a film premiere.

1989
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Fonda’s fucshia blazer, floral bustier, and super-high-waisted trousers made for a quintessentially ‘80s ensemble at the American Film Institute’s celebration of Gregory Peck.

1990
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Fonda embraced the early ‘90s in the decade’s best trends—a windbreaker, red turtleneck, and voluminous curls—at the activist Stanley Sheinbaum’s 70th birthday party.

1993
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As again evidenced at the 1993 Academy Awards, evening gloves were once a wardrobe staple for Fonda (who is seen here with then-husband Ted Turner).

1995
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Fonda took an entirely different approach to Oscars attire two years later.

1995
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Clearly, Fonda has the range: She epitomized Beverly Hills-chic at a Television Critics Association Awards dinner with a white high-necked dress, beige pumps, and brown sunglasses that same year.

2000
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Fonda partied after the 2000 Oscars in a shimmery ballgown paired with fingerless gloves that stretched all the way up her arms.

2004
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Easing back into the spotlight after a nearly 10-year hiatus from acting, Fonda played it safe with a black dress at the 2004 Golden Globe Awards, topped off with a touch of personality in the form of evening gloves.

2011
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Believe it or not, Fonda was in her mid-seventies when she wore this form-fitting rocker ensemble.

2011
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Later that year, she offered a more sophisticated take on monochrome in a zebra-printed blazer and flares.

2013
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A sequin-covered Fonda gave the young-ins stunting on the red carpet a run for their money—and then some—at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.

2015
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Fonda’s straight-from-the-runway—it was even sample-size—emerald green Balmain jumpsuit at the 2015 Grammy Awards got the ultimate seal of approval: “Ohmigod! I want to be you when I grow up!,” Rihanna told her backstage.

2017
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Fonda’s bra was fully visible at the New York premiere of her film Our Souls at Night. Believe it or not, this was the second daringly sheer dress Fonda wore in a single month.

2018
Jane Fonda wearing a bold red suit

Fonda mastered the tricky red-pink combo at her film Book Club’s Los Angeles premiere.

2018

Fonda stole the show at the Cannes Film Festival’s BlacKkKlansman premiere in an ethereal beaded Valentino couture cape.

Jane Fonda wearing a Valentino couture cape and dressPhoto by George Pimentel/WireImage via Getty Images

2019
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Talk about iconic: Fonda was arrested at the first of her Fire Drill Friday climate change protests wearing a red coat that she’d just informed the crowd was the last clothing item she’d ever purchase.

2020
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True to her word, Fonda attended the 2020 Academy Awards in the same red beaded Elie Saab couture gown she wore to the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

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