STYLE & BEAUTY
08/06/2018 05:45 am ET Updated Aug 06, 2018

Vintage Photos Show Lucille Ball's Unmatched Style Through The Years

I love Lucy, you love Lucy, we all love Lucy.

Lucille Ball was a star in more ways than one. She was a television pioneer, a trailblazing feminist and a style icon. 

During her long career in the entertainment industry, Ball, whose 107th birthday would have been Monday, appeared in over 70 films. But it was her role as Lucy Ricardo in the classic “I Love Lucy” that left the biggest mark on TV. Not only was Ball one of the first female comedic leads on TV, she was the first woman to own her own production company, Desilu Productions. (She co-owned it with her then-husband of 20 years, Desi Arnaz, but she bought him out when they divorced.)

Before all that, Ball got her start as a model in the 1930s and, according to Vogue, she worked for New York designer Hattie Carnegie. In those days, Ball’s signature red locks were bleached blond (she was actually a brunette). 

Her time in the fashion industry likely had some influence on the star’s style, which Vogue described as the “casual American look.” She often wore the popular fit-and-flare silhouette in the ’50s, reminiscent of Dior’s New Look, but looked just as stylish in jeans or tailored separates. Ball embraced the glamour of the ’70s and ’80s, incorporating sparkles, feathers and other embellishments into her wardrobe for public events. 

Below, take a look back at some of the icon’s best style moments through the years: 

  • Undated
    An early portrait of a blonde Ball.
    George Rinhart via Getty Images
    An early portrait of a blonde Ball.
  • 1936
    A blonde Ball displays the latest in spring fashion in Hollywood.
    Underwood Archives via Getty Images
    A blonde Ball displays the latest in spring fashion in Hollywood.
  • 1936
    Here, Ball wears a two-piece ensemble with a black dress and printed jacket. 
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Here, Ball wears a two-piece ensemble with a black dress and printed jacket. 
  • 1938
    Ball posing for a color portrait. 
    CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images
    Ball posing for a color portrait. 
  • 1938
    Ball wearing a floral bonnet in a fashion image. 
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Ball wearing a floral bonnet in a fashion image. 
  • 1939
    The TV icon is photographed with her pet dog.
    George Rinhart via Getty Images
    The TV icon is photographed with her pet dog.
  • Early 1940s
    Ball is shown here posing in casual attire at her San Fernando Valley ranch home. 
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Ball is shown here posing in casual attire at her San Fernando Valley ranch home. 
  • Undated
    The actress is pictured wearing a gingham dress and carrying egg baskets. 
    John Springer Collection via Getty Images
    The actress is pictured wearing a gingham dress and carrying egg baskets. 
  • Sometime in the 1940s
    Ball posing in a swimsuit.
    Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
    Ball posing in a swimsuit.
  • 1941
    Ball vacationing at the Roney Plaza Cabana Club.
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Ball vacationing at the Roney Plaza Cabana Club.
  • 1942
    Ball in a publicity photo. 
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Ball in a publicity photo. 
  • 1945
    Ball wearing an evening gown.
    Clarence Sinclair Bull via Getty Images
    Ball wearing an evening gown.
  • 1947
    Ball at a torch parade in New York to raise funds for the New York Infirmary. 
    Keystone via Getty Images
    Ball at a torch parade in New York to raise funds for the New York Infirmary. 
  • In the 1950s
    Ball on the set of "I Love Lucy," which aired from 1951-1957. 
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Ball on the set of "I Love Lucy," which aired from 1951-1957. 
  • 1953
    Ball with her then-husband, Desi Arnaz.
    FPG via Getty Images
    Ball with her then-husband, Desi Arnaz.
  • 1954
    A publicity portrait of the actress. 
    Archive Photos via Getty Images
    A publicity portrait of the actress. 
  • 1955
    Ball wearing cuffed jeans and a white headpiece. 
    ullstein bild Dtl. via Getty Images
    Ball wearing cuffed jeans and a white headpiece. 
  • 1955
    Ball wearing a lace wedding dress.
    Silver Screen Collection via Getty Images
    Ball wearing a lace wedding dress.
  • 1959
    The Desilu Productions co-founder standing by office door to Desilu Studios in Hollywood.
    Leonard McCombe via Getty Images
    The Desilu Productions co-founder standing by office door to Desilu Studios in Hollywood.
  • 1962
    Ball photographed in Los Angeles. 
    CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images
    Ball photographed in Los Angeles. 
  • 1965
    A portrait of Ball under an umbrella. 
    CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images
    A portrait of Ball under an umbrella. 
  • 1972
    Ball, with then-husband Gary Morton, during the "Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" 10th anniversary party.
    NBC via Getty Images
    Ball, with then-husband Gary Morton, during the "Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" 10th anniversary party.
  • 1974
    Ball at a party in honor of her starring role in the film version of the Broadway musical "Mame" in New York City. &nbsp
    Tim Boxer via Getty Images
    Ball at a party in honor of her starring role in the film version of the Broadway musical "Mame" in New York City.  
  • 1974
    Ball at the "Mame" film premiere after-party in Los Angeles.
    Ron Galella via Getty Images
    Ball at the "Mame" film premiere after-party in Los Angeles.
  • 1975
    The star at a <a href="http://www.thalians.org/" target="_blank">Thalians Ball</a>.
    Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
    The star at a Thalians Ball.
  • 1979
    Ball at the The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
    Ron Galella via Getty Images
    Ball at the The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
  • 1980
    Ball photographed in 1980.&nbsp;
    Barry King via Getty Images
    Ball photographed in 1980. 
  • 1981
    A photo of Ball at the Share Boomtown annual charity event.
    Barry King via Getty Images
    A photo of Ball at the Share Boomtown annual charity event.
  • 1982
    The star during the taping of Bob Hope's special "The Women I Love: Beautiful, But Funny" at NBC Studios in Burbank, Californ
    Ron Galella via Getty Images
    The star during the taping of Bob Hope's special "The Women I Love: Beautiful, But Funny" at NBC Studios in Burbank, California.
  • 1982
    Ball with then-husband Morton.
    Time & Life Pictures via Getty Images
    Ball with then-husband Morton.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this story, a photo caption misstated the date of a photo of Ball as 1940 instead of 1954.

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