Katherine Ross costars in two of the greatest movies of my parent’s generation: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Graduate. She just seems to embody something about the late 60’s and early 70’s as I understand them. I love looking at my parents’ yearbooks and checking out what they wore. I love the long hair, and the bell bottoms, and the quirky ringer tees, and wooden platforms, and floaty tops. Katherine Ross sort of represents that to me. Her style is outdoorsy, natural, and sexy. She was born in California and just seems to exude a sense of the American West both in style and presence. Even her husband, Sam Elliot (another future Movie Hero of the Week), fits into this idiom.
Katherine Ross belongs to a group of actresses I like to call The Grand Brunettes because I believe they exude what is an inherent brunette-ness. Katherine Ross, Barbara Hershey, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Vergara (actually a natural blonde, but she has taken brunette as her own), Anne Bancroft, Vivien Leigh, Sophia Loren, Lena Olin, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Jane Russell seem to say “brunette” the way Marilyn says “blonde.”
Perhaps someday I will post about The Great Blondes…but I doubt it. That’s played, y’all.
There isn’t one hairstyle that says “Katharine Ross” in particular. She wears it up, down, half up, in braids. The key is a loose and slightly messy take with face framing layers. The key would be shine serum and a teasing comb.
Her makeup rarely changes. She always has a softly smudged lined eye in a deep brown or black with thick lashes. Everything else is light and neutral. Nude lips, with maybe a dusting of color on the cheeks or a bit of bronzer for that tawny look.
When I’m going for a Katharine Ross look, I use the following:
- MAC lip pencil in “Spice” applied over a little chapstickOr, for a slightly more 60’s nude lip, try a Clinique nude lipstick. I think Clinique nails nude and beige shades really well. For a truly 60’s look, try to keep the shade a true beige with little to no pink.
- I like MAC eye pencil in “Buried Treasure” for eyes. It’s a very dark brown with little gold flecks. It’s pretty soft in texture so it blends well. L’oreal’s Le Kohl eye pencil in Onyx is a highly pigmented and blendable black. I like true pencils and not automatic liners for this look. To intensify and add a 60’s vibe, use liquid eyeliner on top of the pencil and wing at the ends.
- I go with a matte face, with a very slight dusting of a tawny blush or bronzer where the sun would naturally hit. Cheekbones, bridge of nose, a little on the forehead.
One of my favorite movies of all time is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In fact, that very film was the first time I saw Katharine Ross. I loved her style and I liked how she held her own with Robert Redford and Paul Newman. Having had many odd bondings with friend-boys over the years, I particularly loved her scenes with Butch.
Other films that should be included in a Katharine Ross movie marathon:
Of all my favorite style icons, Ms. Ross is probably the most casual. Fabrics and textures included in a Katharine-themed wardrobe are cognac and lighter brown leathers, cotton eyelet, gingham, wood, denim, all-season tropical wool, prints – liberty and mod florals.
She often wears simple countrified styles, equestrian wear with a slight Victorian feel. California cool bell bottoms and shirts tied at the waist with clunky platforms or riding boots would be an easy-breezy way to invoke some comfy late sixties style.
Check out this Polyvore set I created using Katharine Ross as inspiration:
$80 – ae.com
Floral tops »
50 GBP – feverdesigns.co.uk
Lace tops »
$450 – net-a-porter.com
Leather jackets »
$198 – revolveclothing.com
Back pockets jeans »
135 GBP – net-a-porter.com
$180 – amazon.com
Cami top »
I hope you enjoyed this trip through the work and style of Katharine Ross. If nothing else, watch Butch Cassidy. It’s divine.
*What is a movie hero? An un or under-sung member of the film making community who deserves more of the spotlight. And yet lack of such a spotlight often adds to their charm.