04 Aug

What’s Your Signature Style? Vanity Fair’s Best-Dressed List Style Icons Revealed

Vanityfair This week when Vanity Fair came out with the International Best-Dressed List for 2010, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I’ve always loved to see how different women express who they are through their dress for business and social occasions, especially when they fully understand their signature style. 

As I perused the online article, I kept thinking back to a time when I was voted the “best-dressed” female in my senior class.  No, it wasn’t as prestigious as the Vanity Fair list – but I still accepted the recognition from my peers as a great honor. Even as a senior in high school I was using my sense of fashion and dress to communicate messages about my goals and aspirations. I expected to go far, and each and every morning I would spend time making sure that I looked my very best. I always felt comfortable with my personal style and although it has evolved over the years from dramatic to more elegant-classy, I still value the experience of feeling comfortable in my own skin regardless of what the occasion calls for in terms of dress and wardrobe. 

Believe it or not, my favorite style icons were my mom and dad. My mother always dressed very elegantly, even though she was a stay-at-home mom. Although my father was the one who was in the public eye, my mother always exhibited great style whenever she accompanied him for some business occasion. Every day my father dressed in the traditional business uniform of a suit and tie – but he always wore high-quality suits, French cuff shirts, and dress shoes with a high shine. 

As I read the article I loved hearing about how these female top leaders described their style icons. I believe that all women have a signature style inside of them that is totally unique. So although we all may identify with some style icons that we admire, real style depends upon always being true to yourself. 

In this article three First Ladies were selected for the first time – with one from the USA, one from the UK and one from France. Since their husbands are political leaders their public images are on display everyday!  Every woman selected this year – whether she is the wife of a politician, a designer, an actress, or the owner of a company – has an important brand to uphold and represent through her visual presence. But each of them also seems to be completely at ease in her individual and authentic personally-branded style. They are comfortable and confident about who they are, as all of us should be. These are trendsetting women of all ages and ethnicities, with high-powered careers. Because they are real leaders they create fashion trends instead of merely following them.

Let’s look at some of the ways they described the style icons they admire.  Maybe you will find a style icon that works for you and really resonates with what you want to express through your own authentic visual packaging. 

Personal Style Words Expressed by Best-Dressed Woman Leaders:

Because every woman has a unique style it is only natural that you will see a wide variety of different style icons. As I reviewed this list of famous style icons I saw that flavors of all different styles were represented. Some are elegant and sophisticated while others like Lady Gaga are dramatic and shocking! Some dress playfully and others are downright sexy. This is a fun list to contemplate as you try to find a signature style and explore which icon you would most like to mirror. But remember that although you may take tips from others or be influenced by a fashion icon, the goal is to keep it all within the creative boundaries of your own one-of-a-kind style.

Now let’s review the style role models with whom they feel synchronicity when creating a “look” that can be powerful and commanding, yet feminine.     

Favorite Style Icons of Women Leaders:  

  • Cate Blanchett
  • Catherine Deneuve
  • Jacqueline Kennedy
  • Cleopatra
  • Gypsy Rose (Lady Gaga – of course!)
  • Balenciaga
  • Carolina Herrera
  • Dior
  • Katherine Hepburn
  • Vivienne Westwood
  • Marie Antionette
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Julie Christie
  • Bridgette Bardot
  • Coco Chanel
  • Diane Sawyer
  • Jane Burkin

One icon also listed her great-great Aunt Ruthie, while another listed her Swedish grandmother, who had fantastic taste and an amazing style for her time. 

This article is a fun read and it explores in greater detail their personal desires, fashion favorites purchases of 2010, and more. You can read more of it here:  Vanity Fair 2010 Best Dressed List

Every woman has it in her to explore and unearth her own signature style. What style is inside of you – just bursting to express itself and assist you in creating a professional presence that’s unique, memorable, and truly authentic?

I’d love it if you would read the Vanity Fair excerpt and then leave your comments here about the personal styles of these women leaders, their style icons, and anything else that comes to mind.  

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Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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