Lucille Ball, along with her husband Desi Arnaz, were pioneers in the television industry. Ball is best known for her television show “I Love Lucy,” where she played a clumsy housewife with aspirations to join her husband’s band. Like most Hollywood starlets of the 1950s she had her own unique Ladylike style featuring dresses with peplums, pillbox hats and large belts that cinched the waist. Whether you are prepping for a dinner party or a costumed event, you add a little retro glamour to your wardrobe using a few expert tips.

Things You'll Need

Start from the top to bottom. The most distinct thing about Lucille Ball’s look was her hair. She was a bright redhead, with a crown full of tight curls. The hairstyle she was known for was called the poodle cut–designed after the coat of a poodle. There are wigs that come in this style. They are usually sold at vintage online stores and costume shops.

Pay close attention to makeup. Lucille was fairly pale, but she emphasized her porcelain skin with powder foundation. She also was known for her signature red lips and thin, rainbow-shaped eyebrows. Without altering your natural arch, eyebrows can be shaped and drawn on with an eyebrow pencil.

Wear a shirtdress. A shirtdress is a dress that buttons from collar to waist (like a shirt). It has sleeves and is usually cinched at the waist with a belt or stitching. Below the waistline, it flares outward into what looks similar to a poodle skirt. In the 1950s, the narrow waist and camouflaged hip was considered very flattering.

Pump it up! The most popular shoe that Lucille and many women of the 1950s wore was the pump. The pump is a high-heeled dress shoe, with a heel around 2- to 3-inches high. The toe of the shoe usually forms into a triangle, V shape at the top.


  • Add false eyelashes. Lucille Ball was known for her long lashes. You can achieve the look by applying a strip of false eyelashes and a coat of mascara.