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Rudolph Valentino – Style icon

July 17, 2015

For those of you who’ve heard of Rudolph Valentino, you may only know of him because of his reputation as a bit of a Lothario, laying claim to many lovers. His life was cut short early and his acting career was plagued by financial problems for most of his life.

Rudolph Valentino – 20s Style icon

However, one thing that Rudolph Valentino did have, was lashings of style, something you may find tempting enough to want to emulate.

From Italy to America

Rudolph Valentino was born in Italy and came to America at the tender age of 18. Starting out as an extra he worked his way up to be a leading star of silent films. With his dark looks and innate sense of style, Valentino was a screen hit, enjoying 5 years of screen success. His carefully honed romantic image made women fall in love with and men want to be him.

Rudolph Valentino, 1920s sex symbol

Rudolph Valentino was known as the Latin Lover and was perhaps one of the first sex symbols of the 1920s. However, shortly after applying for American citizenship he was to die early at the age of 31 due to complications after developing peritonitis. His funeral caused mass hysteria which resulted in his iconic status.

Rudolph Valentino, Stylish man, stylish clothes

Of course Valentino was a stylish man and even before his success in the movies he would rather dress well than dress at all, in fact dressing well was so important to Rudolph Valentino, that every detail was catered to in order to appear immaculately dressed. However, his style was criticized by many Americans as being too effeminate or “dandy.”

European style

Rudolph Valentino preferred a European style of dress and bought European clothing with all his suits, coats and shoes made in London. He wore double breasted suits and enjoyed wearing sport clothes due to his love of outdoor pursuits. When he died he left over 30 suits, 10 coats, 60 pairs of gloves, and over 100 shirt collars.


Rudolph Valentino also had a love of jewellery with cuff-links, rings and watches making up an impressive collection of pieces. Hats were an important part of everyday wear in the 20s and Valentino enjoyed wearing Homburgs, adding to his dark and handsome silhouette. Cigarette cases and embroidered handkerchiefs added to his love of accessories.

Accessorize darling

If you fancy a bit of Rudolph Valentino style then we’re talking accessories, flamboyance and a dedication to detail. Overcoats are a must with fur collars (preferably faux fur), thrown over a double breasted suit and only close the last 2 buttons (A Valentino quirk). Shoes must be polished with either well-made lace up brogues, boat shoes or loafers.


There’s no room for jeans or ripped tees here, Rudolph Valentino took pride in how he dressed right down to the minutest of details. A crisp white shirt should be worn with good quality cuff-links and if you’re unsure how to wear them, then ask your father or someone you know who does. Add a tie pin and some gold rings to finish off. Homburgs or any hat with a brim, and a pocket watch or scarf finish it off. V neck sweaters over a white shirt and bow tie is as casual as it gets, with golf pants and golf shoes.


If you’re really daring you could also try a little black eyeliner and comb your hair back off your face. And there you have it, the dandy Italian in a nutshell, the very beautiful, tantalizing Rudolph Valentino.