As a country, we often look to the Europeans to find style ideas and laud them for their innovative fashion sense. This Fourth of July, we at stylehaus invite you to look for inspiration closer to home. Here, a look at some Americans whose sense of style, paired with their unforgettable personalities, rocked the fashion world and will remain forever iconic.
Known for her independent and headstrong personality, the American actress refused to conform to the standards set for starlets of that era by publicly denouncing the superficiality of Hollywood and favoring masculine clothing and simplicity over dresses and flashiness. Hepburn frequently wore trousers and suits before it was fashionable to do so, and famously remarked she owned only one skirt that she would wear “to your funeral,” in a 1981 interview with Barbara Walters.
Diana Ross has been stylish since the start of her career—in the 1960s, she rocked beehive hair and mod sheath dresses as the lead singer of The Supremes. However, it was her solo career that marked her turn as an American style icon. Ross’ success in the 1970s and 80s saw her transformation from Motown into full-fledged diva with a head of hair as big as her voice. Today at 69 years old, Ross still isn’t shy about her clothing choices, favoring sparkling dresses and bold colors. Her unapologetic attitude and confidence is a timeless source of inspiration for all.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis is perhaps one of the first people to come to mind when discussing American style icons, but her daughter-in-law was a fashion standout on her own terms. Bessette-Kennedy was working PR for Calvin Klein when she met John Kennedy Jr., so she was no stranger to the minimalistic movement that was sweeping the fashion industry in the 1990s. She favored clean silhouettes and a neutral color palette along with classic staples like blue jeans, pearls, tortoiseshell accessories, and button-downs. However, Bessette-Kennedy was well-versed beyond the usual WASP-y uniform and frequently wore pieces by more avant-garde designers, including Yohji Yamamoto and Jean Paul Gaultier.
The hair, the chest, the makeup and the voice—everything about Dolly is unabashedly in-your-face, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. The American singer and actress has spoken out numerous times about taking pride in her sugary sweet, over-the-top aesthetic and plastic surgery, and once famously described her look as “a blend of Mother Goose, Cinderella, and the local hooker “. Parton’s biggest belief, however, lies in aiding the underprivileged. Her philanthropic work and kindly demeanor has earned her even more adoration in addition to that of her unique sound and look.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of my favorite American Icons tomorrow!