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A History of Style: Fashion Inspired by Debbie Harry



When you think of a fashion icon from the past, who is the first person that comes to mind? Marilyn MonroeAudrey HepburnEdie Sedgwick, perhaps? While all three of those women have enviable styles that we absolutely love, there are so many other fashionable women that have graced the history pages. This biweekly column focuses on just that: unexpected and out-of-the-box fashion icons from the past. We feature women who have not only made an impact, but also have distinct signature styles that we can still draw inspiration from today.

If you haven’t seen them already, be sure to check out our other “A History of Style” posts on Amelia EarhartBillie HolidayJoan JettLouise BrooksDorothy DandridgeElizabeth TaylorEdith HeadMary Tyler MooreSylvia PlathEdith Bouvier BealeMarlene DietrichFrida KahloCyndi LauperIsadora DuncanPam Grier and C. Z. Guest.

This week, we’ll be taking a closer look at musician Debbie Harry‘s rocker chic sense of style. Read on to learn more about Debbie’s life and unique style, then check out some outfit ideas to help you channel her look for yourself:


5 Facts About Debbie Harry

  • Deborah Ann “Debbie” Harry was born on July 1, 1945 in Miami, Florida. However, she spent her life up north, growing up in New Jersey and deciding to relocate to New York City after finishing school.
  • Before she had her big break in music, Debbie worked as a secretary, a waitress, a go-go dancer and even a Playboy Bunny.
  • She gained popularity as the front-woman of the highly successful punk/new wave band, Blondie, which has produced numerous hit songs including “One Way or Another“, “Heart of Glass” and “Call Me“.
  • Throughout the ’70s, Debbie was a regular fixture at Studio 54 and was also good friends with Andy Warhol. In fact, Debbie was even the subject of one of Warhol’s famous paintings.
  • Aside from her musical career, Debbie is also an actress and has appeared in more than thirty films. One of her most well-known roles was as Velma Von Tussle in the original Hairspray film.


Debbie’s Style 101

  • Mix and Match. Just like the new wave music Debbie performs, her personal style is a mix of several different ‘genres’ of fashion. Her style choices tend to be a mix of punk rock and glam with a distinct ’60s mod influence. Of course, like a true style icon, Debbie expertly knows how to blend all of those elements into a single aesthetic that is uniquely hers.
  • Graphic Design. Despite her eclectic sense of style, one type of clothing always makes repeat appearances in Debbie’s wardrobe — graphic tees. Dressed up or dressed down, Debbie’s quirky t-shirts are part of her signature look, so pull on one of your old graphic tees and style it in a new way for an authentic Debbie Harry-inspired ensemble.
  • Pattern Play. Debbie was a fan of mixing prints long before it became trendy. She experimented with lots of different combinations back in the day, and whether she mixed stripes with polka dots or florals with camouflage, Debbie always rocked her bold and brazen looks with confidence. Mimic this look for yourself by mixing several different prints (we’re fans of pairing stripes with floral prints) to create a stylish and trendsetting outfit.

Outfits for Inspiration

Outfit #1: Heart of Glass

Debbie Harry Inspired Outfit 1
Product Info: Tee- Karmaloop, Sunglasses- Urban Outfitters, Ring- Macy’s, Headwrap- ModCloth, Belt- Forever 21, Shorts- H&M, Boots- Nasty Gal, Tights- Free People

Outfit #2: Blondie

Debbie Harry Inspired Outfit 2
Product Info: Jacket- Forever 21, Dress- Dorothy Perkins, Earrings- ASOS, Bracelet/Ring Combo- ASOS, Sandals- Zara, Clutch- Warehouse

Outfit #3: New Wave

Debbie Harry Inspired Outfit 3
Product Info: Dress- Dorothy Perkins, Belt- Zara, Ear Cuff- TopShop, Clutch- Alloy, Pumps- Forever 21, Lipstick- MAC’s Viva Glam Nicki

What do you think?

Do you find Debbie’s style inspiring? What do you think of her look? Would you wear any of these outfits? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!

Posted on on May 13, 2012 / Filed Under: Inspiration / Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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12 Responses to “A History of Style: Fashion Inspired by Debbie Harry”

  1. 1
    May 13th, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Debbie is my hero (I have a pet named after her) and definitely my biggest fashion inspiration! Love it =)

  2. 2
    May 13th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Her looks are definitely bold and fabulous :) Great post!

  3. 3
    May 13th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    awesome this is the real musicians i am taking about!

  4. 4
    May 13th, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I absolutely love Debbie Harry! I am so glad that you posted this. All the outfits are fantastic.

  5. 5
    May 13th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    LOVE this post- especially all the funky jewelry!

  6. 6
    May 13th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    This is amazing, one of my favourite posts on this site. I love Debbie Harry. She’s such a unique woman, love her!

  7. 7
    May 13th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE DEBBIE! this was my favorite post yet.

  8. 8
    May 13th, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    I think I will consider her from now on as one of my fashion icons. I really like her style.

  9. 9
    May 14th, 2012 at 12:53 am

    I am in love with College Fashion right now…amazing post. o.O

  10. 10
    May 14th, 2012 at 1:58 am

    I like her outfits. I’m not familiar with her music, though …

  11. 11
    May 16th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Love her!
    would you guys ever consider doing joan jett??

  12. 12

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