Wallis Simpson’s Most Memorable Fashion Moments Through the Years
Even before she married King Edward VIII, Wallis Simpson was a total “it” girl. She grew up in a well-to-do family in Maryland and was known to be impeccably well dressed and always at the best parties. Oh, she was also twice married and divorced by the time she met the then Duke of Windsor in 1931 (a total taboo at the time). Eventually, she and King Edward fell in love and he abdicated the throne to marry her. Although the marriage caused major controversy at the time—not to mention she also held quite a few contentious opinions that were rightly scrutinized—Simpson’s sense of style has continued to stand the test of time. Here, ten of Simpson’s greatest looks.
1. Lounging at a Hotel in Berlin in 1936
Simpson exuded elegant glamour in a low-cut black velvet evening gown during a trip to Berlin.
2. Posing for a ‘Vogue’ Photo shoot in 1937
Simpson posed for a Cecil Beaton Vogue story at Château de Candé in Monts, France. For the occasion she wore a stunning white painted Elsa Schiaparelli gown that she casually created with the help of acclaimed artist Salvador Dalí.
3. The Newly Minted Duchess of Windsor at Her Wedding in 1937
Simpson and the Duke of Windsor officially tied the knot at Château de Candé on June 3, 1937. Their wedding took place about six months after Edward abdicated the throne, as giving up his title was the only way he would be allowed to marry his twice-divorced love who hailed from the U.S. The bride, looking chic as ever, wore a “Wallis blue” Mainbocher dress, which she later donated to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
4. Sitting for a Royal Portrait in 1940
The then 47-year-old duchess paid homage to her wedding day and selected a blue striped and sequined Mainbocher jacket and a white gown to have her portrait taken.
5. Enjoying Her Garden in Paris in 1941
Simpson posed alongside her dapper husband wearing a blue split-neck skirt suit that she accessorized with a yellow belt, a royal blue headscarf and what appears to be the Duchess of Windsor Ostrich Plume Brooch, which Edward gave her on their wedding day.
6. Vacationing in the Bahamas in 1942
The Duchess of Windsor sported a blue and red printed dress outside the Government House in Nassau, Bahamas. While the designer of the dress is unknown, we can all agree the figure-flattering number is divine.
7. Posing for ‘Vogue’ Yet Again at Home in 1944
The duchess donned a black high-neck Vionnet dress and jacket with her signature waist-defining belt. Those pearl chokers, though.
8. On Set in 1951
Simpson looked resplendent in a strapless floral Dior gown with a beaded detail and a diamond choker during another Vogue photoshoot.
9. Sitting Pretty at Home in 1960
Simpson sought the help of Givenchy to create a one-of-a-kind gown embroidered with monkeys.
10. Welcoming Queen Elizabeth to Paris in 1972
At the end of the Duke of Windsor’s life, he and the duchess hosted Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles at their home in Paris. Simpson donned a blue fit-and-flare shift dress with an ornate brooch and hoop earrings for the regal visit.
Talk about an incredible closet.