Our series on past and present style icons and what we can garner from them begins with the ivy league beauty, Mrs. C.Z. Guest.
Born on this day, February 19, 1920 in Boston, Massachusetts, Lucille Douglas Cochrane or C.Z Guest as she was better known, was most notably a socialite, author and gardener extraordinaire, who personified the clean-cut and unadorned American style.

One of the most photographed woman in 20th century America, long considered one of the "beautiful people", she exuded an air of indifference when it came to her status as a chic and stylish icon.

This nonchalance to her iconic label and her down to earth sensibilities were never more apparent than when she was discussing her love of gardening. A talented author, she penned a series of books about gardening, the first one titled 'First Garden', which was reported as one of her proudest accomplishments.

The epitome of aristocratic prep, she chose simple lines, soft colors and sporty pieces that highlighted her patrician beauty. She favored designers who worked the suble everyday glamour that categorized classic American dressing like Mainbocher and could always be found on best dressed lists everywhere.

Often compared to Grace Kelly due to their pale skin and hair, blue eyes, and coolish beauty, she embodied a look reminiscent of Palm Beach dwellers and residents of the Hamptons.

She chose to forego heavy makeup and trendiness and illustrated old guard chic when not on show, embracing starched white shirts, riding pants and boots, cashmere sweaters and minimal jewelry.

C.Z. Guest died on November 8, 2003 in Old Westbury (Long Island), New York.

We have a full list of ladies and gentlemen who will be spotlighted in this series but there is always room for more, who do you consider to be an icon of style??


  1. Great post! I had often wondered about C.Z. Guest's upbringing and career. Thanks for enlighten me! Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. The epitome of classic beauty! She defined style and grace. Some of the Hollywood starlets of today could definitely take a few pointers from Mrs. Guest.

    Have a great weekend darling!

  3. Oh this was so lovely! Her style is still refreshing, even today.

  4. She was oh so elegant, and sometimes less is definitely more. I'll never know how she managed to stay so cool and chic! xx

  5. C.Z. had such style, poise and grace. Last yar I blogged about her and other icons in a tribute to Truman Copote's swans: C.Z. Babe Paley, Lee Radizwill, Jackie Kennedy, etc. Classic, elegant women. Great post!

  6. Aloha,
    I love classic timeless style,
    It is a lovely post
    Aloha wishes from across the sea

  7. It's just wonderful to look at photo's of women with so much inner style it appears totally effortless.

    C.Z. Guest is certainly one of them,

  8. How comes I had never heard of her before?
    I'd definitely say Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant would deserve a place in this series.
    Looking forward to read more!

  9. Too bad Mrs. Guest's daughter didn't follow in her footsteps...

    As for Kristen Davis, she grew up one neighborhood over from me in Columbia, SC. She was as lovely a person then as she is now.

  10. It seems those like CZ took more care with less effort. Something worth considering.

  11. Love that effortless look, some people just have it don't they? Enjoyed the B & W photos.

  12. love the pics, Meryl Strep is a fav of mine. Popping over from Jessica's site after your fab manners post. Will be back for more.

  13. Great pictures! She's on my list of post ideas too. CZ was such a cool classic. Love your blog by the way!
    XO Piper

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