Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Barbra Streisand's Fashion Evolution

Today is Barbra Streisand's 70th birthday.

I'm lucky enough to have her #1 fan as my bff. Of course, I'm talking about Jonny. Seven years ago, he introduced me to Barbra's beautiful voice and extravagant style.

He used to sing me her songs and we would have Barbra movie nights, snuggling on the couch and drinking red wine.

I miss Jonny terribly. He's currently in New York City, chasing his dream. Right now, he's in production for an off-Broadway musical and he starts graduate school at NYU this August.

I've decided to show the evolution of Barbra's style over the past 50 years.

This post is dedicated to my sweet Jonny.



Barbra Streisand was raised in Brooklyn.

After graduating high school in 1959, Barbra immediately moved to Manhattan to pursue acting.

During these days, Barbra was like a teenage gypsy, traveling around with a cot, sleeping on the floors of friends' apartments, while she pursued her dream of being a star.

The oddly beautiful girl began singing eccentric arrangements of jazz hits in hole-in-the-wall night clubs, dim-lit gay bars, and underground cabaret hot spots in Greenwich Village.

Most people snickered when they caught a sight of Barbra back in the early 1960s. During a time when most girls her age were dolled up in Betty Draper sundresses, Barbra strutted the streets in thrift store chic, and even a few handmade gems. Ironically, today, Barbra's ragtag hipster style would be considered quite cool.

Here she is in 1963, wearing a gown she made out of a cotton gingham tablecloth. Years later, Barbra admitted everyone told her to wear cocktail dresses to her gigs but she ignored them all, preferring to wear her beloved vintage clothes and creative designs.

By the mid-1960s, Barbra's fame had exploded. She was the new Hollywood "it girl" and received a glamorous makeover, while staying true to her style.

Now a pop star and a movie star, she made headlines for sitting front row at a Chanel runway show, wearing a custom-made jaw-droppingly chic leopard skin suit. She hobnobbed with designers like YSL. Women around the globe scrambled to copy her outfits.


In 1970, Barbra starred in my favorite movie The Owl and the Pussycat and went through a sexy, long-haired hippie transformation.

This is my favorite Barbra era. She was sexy, vivacious, and carefree. She infused boho chic with old-school glam. In a recent interview with Instyle magazine, Barbra said this was her favorite fashion period as well.

By 1976, Barbra had succumbed to the poodle perm popular among American women.

Despite being a global superstar, however, she still held on to her love for ecclectic fashion.

In this famous publicity photo from A Star is Born, Barbra is wearing a gown she designed herself, by draping her silver and black shawls together.


Barbra grew out her perm throughout this decade. She also sported a lot of pink pastel sweaters and comfortable slacks.


By 1991, Barbra was a triple threat: singer, actor, and director. Her style was sleek and modern. Black started to become her trademark.

Check out that gorgeous necklace! It is actually a vintage piece from Tiffany & Co.


Barbra's style in the past decade can only be described as one word: majestic. Her look is graceful, elegant, and classy. She always looks like a queen, whether she's draped in sparkly antique jewels or wearing a powerhouse suit.

What do you think of Barbra's style throughout the years?


French Girl in Seattle said...

Cool post, Jenny. I bet your friend is smiling, in New York City. I have always liked Barbra but only started listening to her music in the late 1970s. I think my favorite "fashion period" is the same as yours. I do not care for the poodle hair or pink sweaters much and I definitely CAN'T believe she has just turned 70. She looks amazing! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Josie said...

7 decades of fabulosity. And good to hear that Jonny is doing well! I miss your adventures with him!
xo Josie

just me said...

she is simply amazing. A real star !!!

Sherin said...

Streisand has always been one style woman! She looks amazing in all eras.

Sarah said...

Love her in Funny Girl!

Shannon said...

I still watch her as Dolly in Hello Dolly. She's amazing.

And she made me want a "bumpy" nose when I was a kid. Ha.

Great post!

The Dainty Dolls House said...

I just love her, I think she's marvelous!! That voice and I appreciate that she never got a nose job despite the bullying to get her to change her nose so she would fit in with other women of her era, she's marvelous & I wouldn't change anything about her :) xx

Tights Lover said...

I can't believe she's 70, I know she's been around for a long time, but she still looks great! Great bio...I love her style through the years...except maybe the perm...not a huge fan...hahaha!

Couture Carrie said...

Amazing pics and bio!
Loving her early style.
Happy bday, Babs!


David Macaulay said...

this is actually most interesting because I never thought of BS as a style icon before; just the actress with a whiny voice who was in Meet the Fockers

Fashion art and other fancies said...

Streisand - the America dream!
Adore her musical talent.

Oh to Be a Muse said...

I was actually watching parts of Funny Girl last night. I think she aged gracefully and really doesn't look like she's 70 at all.

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

It is definitely eclectic! I didn't know she made her own clothing previously! No matter what, she has stayed true to her own sense of style and that is always awesome!
Snow leopard print clothing - insane!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Betina said...

She is a jewel!

Travel à la Mode

Bonnie said...

I have always loved her style. It's super structured but fun at the same time. I just really like her. She seems like a cool person.
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Theonlyfashionprincess said...

stunning post. nice to see! X

Tanvi said...

That's the way to age to gracefully. She is FANTASTIC!

∞ © ∞

Meri said...

I do not love the perm at all, but other than that she's pretty fabulous! I especially love when she wears the droopy hipster hats!

Cafe Fashionista said...

Barbra is always fabulous! Though I always think of the show The Nanny when I see her...remember Fran Drescher's obsession with her? Haha! :P

P.S. J.K. Rowling's new book is adult fiction. :)

FashionJazz said...

She is such a amazing actress! I am so happy you like the styling I did in my last post babe, thank you :)

Anonymous said...

she's quite stylish

amy b.s. said...

can you believe she is 70! i was just watching the way we were the other night. i forget how fantastic she is.

Movies on my Mind said...

Really weird thing I have to tell you:

I was sat at my computer with the radio on in the background and The Smith's "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" came on the BBC and it made me think of you. Hence, why I came on to your blog. I now equate The Smith's and Morrissey with you. That's pretty cool, huh J-Fab?

I have a hard time concentrating on Barbara's stylish clothes because I can't take my eyes off her nose.

Kashaya said...

I really enjoyed this blog post.=)

Oh to Be a Muse said...

BTW - Giveaway on my blog to win your own customized blog shirt!

The Closet Shopper said...

Just like your friend, Johnny, I have a very special relationship with Babs (we're so close that i call her Babs). I can safely say that she saved my life when I was a very angst ridden teen. I would lock myself in my room and sing with her until I cried myself to sleep. This happened so often, I can't count the times. If I ever met her, I would fall into a heap and cry all over her fabulous frock.

The song I sang the most that pulled me out of a serious depression: Song Bird.


Always Maylee said...

A classic. Amazing and fabulous, then and now!

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

Floortje said...

Really love your blog dear!
Keep posting!

Gayatri said...

She's like good wine. Gets better with age. I somehow like her best now (2005 onwards)

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