When it occurred to me to write about Gloria Steinem’s style, which I have always admired, I wondered if it was somehow politically incorrect. After all the serious things she has fought for over the last 50 plus years on behalf of women, would it seem reductive and superficial to talk about her clothes and appearance?
I am guessing that she wouldn’t mind. After all, what you wear is an expression of who you are and how you feel about yourself—and Steinem was undoubtably aware of her physical attractiveness. She famously went undercover as a Playboy bunny back in the '60s and she didn’t hesitate to wear miniskirts. In the '70s, she often chose a uniform of hip-huggers jeans and “poorboys” (tigh-tfitting ribbed knit turtlenecks and polo shirts) that were sexy in their own countercultural way. When you add in the honeystreaked long hair, chunky leather belts, and signature aviators, she was something like the thinking woman’s sex symbol—who managed to be taken seriously despite her beauty. No small feat in that day and age.
The 81-year-old feminist icon has a new book entitled My Life On the Road, which I have just ordered, and she still looks fantastic. Her personal style appears to be the same as it was in her youth. (If you missed the story about her and her old friend, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, in The New York Times this week, click here) Still blondish, still rocking a fitted “poorboy,” still incredibly gorgeous, and still strong and outspoken. An inspiration, indeed!