Vintage Style Inspiration: Jean Patchett

This week we’re profiling an amazing model, Jean Patchett. She reached the height of her fame during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, meaning that she left us with some truly amazing pictures in fabulous vintage fashion! She was born in 1926, and lived until 2002, in many of her career descriptions she was summarized as an iconic figure, after all she appeared on over 50 magazine covers! But her life did not become so glitzy right away, like many models she had to start out by taking a leap of faith and moving to a big city to try to get a foot in the door. Patchett began by relocating from Maryland to Manhattan in 1948 and had to move into an affordable  rooming house for women. Although that may seem like an unlikely spot for one of the best known faces of the era to be living, that risk was well worth it as she landed her first cover for Vogue magazine a month later–and quickly moved into nicer living arrangements!

As a model, rather than an actress, she was most associated with the photographers that she worked with, rather than films she appeared in.  During her long and glamorous career, she was best known for her work with Irving Penn. A photo from 1949 which Penn shot of her would become one of the best know photos of her career.

Here she modeled again for Vogue, and the “Hats of Spring.” You can see here she is wearing a vintage style hat with netting, and her waist is cinched creating a significant hourglass figure. Wondering wear to find similar fashions? Check out our vintage accessories, and one of our steel boned corsets will certainly do the trick for creating a curvy shape.

Patchett’s catalogue of photos from a long and successful career would certainly stack up to a large and fabulous book, but certain shots just seem to stand out.

Aside from the amazing looks she was able to model, Patchett was known for her cool and calm manner. While it was common for many high end models from that time period to become “snooty” or pretentious, Patchett was remembered for staying sophisticated and classy, whether she was at an event filled with socialites, or enjoying a relaxing weekend at home.

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