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Wallis Simpson - the look

Updated on May 30, 2015

The style of Wallis Simpson

The name of Wallis Simpson was on everyone's lips in the nineteen thirties but it wasn't just because of her style. She created a scandal.

Wallis, who had been married twice, was the companion of Prince Edward, the heir to the British throne. The relationship began in 1934 and was immediately frowned upon. She was certainly causing a scandal among the aristocracy.

She was still married to her second husband and, much to the horror of many at the Royal Court, she was American. Speculation was rife. Would the king-to-be marry her? There was no doubt that their affair was serious; the Prince's staff were aware that the two were sleeping together. How on earth could this happen?

Constitutionally, this was a disaster. In the days of Queen Victoria, members of the royal family were expected to marry others of a similar background. Although Victoria said that she wanted all her children to marry for love, they all made excellent marriages to members of royal houses.

Although this was no longer the Victorian era, the idea of the future king marrying an American woman - who had been married twice before - was astonishing. Edward was fully aware of this but felt that he had his royal duties to perform. When his father died, Edward duly became king. Wallis fled to the South of France as the public scandal grew and the government of the day threatened to resign. This was a crisis.

The king abdicated on December 10th, 1936 so that he could remain with her and make her his wife.


I have always loved her style and the clothes she wore. She had a wonderful and elegant simplicity in her clothing preferences but they always were in great taste as befitting a member of the royal family, albeit a 'black sheep'. Her elegance was her hallmark. She knew she wasn't beautiful so made up with it using her flair for clothing and creating her own striking style.

  • She favored a tailored look. A typical look would be a dress with a muted print worn with a tailored jacket. She also wore classic cardigans and she preferred tight pencil skirts.
  • She was a slim woman so would wear clothes that hugged the figure. Dresses usually had belts to accentuate her waistline.
  • Her jewelry was usually discreet but she also liked to wear one very noticeable piece, often an elaborate bracelet or brooch.
  • Her accessories were perfect and of good quality. In common with many women today, she loved shoes!
  • She preferred solid colored clothes but also favored striped and spotted fabrics. Traditional weaves, like a hounds-tooth check were other favorites. So very classic.

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Get the Simpson look

I've always been fascinated by the woman who captivated a man so much that he decided to give up the throne for her. I've also been intrigued by her style.

It's said that she knew that she wasn't classically beautiful so she used her fashion sense to make sure that she always looked striking. What has been described as her 'mannish figure' she used to her advantage.Of course, the fashions of the time were particularly stunning and Wallis certainly made the most of them.Stylish and sophisticated clothes and accessories.


Pearls have always been a favorite of royal women.

Even though she wasn't born to royalty, her title was the Duchess of Windsor and her fondness for pearls showed that she was like her royal contemporaries in this regard.

Pearls always look so stylish - and understated.


The styles of the 'Wallis Simpson days' included smart tailored suits, pencil skirts and below-the-knee day dresses.

This was an extremely flattering look and is very feminine, even today. Fashions from this era have had several revivals on the catwalks but in reality, they are timeless and never go out of style.


The best dressed women throughout the ages have always known how to make the most of accessories. They are the mainstay of every woman's wardrobe.

We all know how useful they are when it comes to transforming the wardrobe.

To emulate the Wallis Simpson style, choose classic pieces that won't date.

Quality bags and hats will never date and these accessories add pizzazz to basic outfits. These never become out of style.


Over the years, Wallis Simpson amassed a fabulous collection of almost priceless jewelry. It's often said that Edward loved to give his wife jewelry, almost to 'compensate' her for his not being on the throne. She particularly favored animal themed jewelry such as the ones you see below.

Photo credit

All images from Wikipedia Commons. The photos below are still from videos.

Wallis Simpson style gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size

More photographs of the stylish Wallis Simpson throughout the years. You can see how her style evolved. Her fashion look is still relevant today, She is an excellent example of flair overcoming less than beautiful looks. Wallis knew that she couldn't compete with the beauties of the world so she made up for it with her style.

She was also a woman of mystery and intrigue - don't miss the links above for more details. There is more intrigue than meets the eye. It's even suspected that she was a Nazi spy. Whatever the truth, 'that woman', as the then Queen Elizabeth called her, was not to be ignored. There is still a lot to learn about Wallis Simpson.

Style is nebulous - it's hard to define. But Wallis Simpson certainly possessed it in abundance

Thanks for reading - say hi!

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    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @changrcoacher: So true!

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      changrcoacher 3 years ago

      She was an elegant clothes horse. And evidently much loved. 2 0ut of 3 ain't bad!

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Donna Cook: Very true!

    • profile image

      Donna Cook 4 years ago

      What in the world did she have that would make a king abdicate? Thank heavens he did given his actions during WWII.

    • profile image

      masunyoananda 4 years ago

      Very interesting. Thanks a lot...:)

    • cutethings profile image

      cutethings 5 years ago

      She was really stylish.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      When I was very small too I can remember certain Flags that were hidden away and were not allowed to be waved in public. But to me that did not mean a thing at all. Great lens.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      How interesting!!!

    • HalloweenRecipes profile image

      HalloweenRecipes 5 years ago

      Love those spectator shoes!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 5 years ago

      I enjoyed learning about Wallis Simpson, many thanks :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this info! Nicely done...

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      Wallis Simpson always looked so neat and well-groomed. She kept things simple and elegant. Loved her style!

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @atomicgirl24: Thank you so much! Wallis knew that she wasn't beautiful so decided that being fashionable ans well-groomed was very important to her.

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      atomicgirl24 5 years ago

      What an interesting lens! I remember learning about Wallis Simpson in elementary school, but had no idea that she was a fashion icon. Very cool!

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @srsddn lm: Thank you so much for visiting.

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing an unknown part of the history to me.