As the first African-American actress to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, Dorothy Dandridge hardly needed to prove herself in other fields. True to her legendary presence, however, she left an unmistakable mark in the field of fashion. Her knack to nail both classy and sexy at the same time cemented her ability to remain a sultry star of the Hollywood lights- an impact that is lasting long into 2012.
A Pop of Red Flavor
A trendsetter in every way, Dandridge was ahead of the curve on the floppy hat trend. To make it every day-wear friendly, we passed on the sparkles and chose a versatile felt material instead. The black skirt with a demure cut is given a pop of color and sass with a kimono style red tunic with breezy cutouts. Tucking the top into the skirt leaves room also draw attention to a pair of stunning suede lace-up wedges- and you’re set!
Southern Sunday Brunch Sweetness
This outfit is the epitome of a classic southern belle stepping out on a lazy afternoon. With a few updates, it becomes modern enough for us collegiettes to wear as well. The classic sundress and belt are mainstays for the base of the outfit, but add a pop of color with a sheer scarf that you can tie on your purse or charmingly around your head if you’d like to imitate Dorothy! More color incorporated with a pair of zig-zag colorblocked wedges amps up the fun on this classic look.
Colorblocking: The Prepster Edition
Colorblocking is hands down my favorite trend for the spring season, so I added it to this simple and chic outfit to give it some spice. Keeping the same cropped pant and puffed sleeve silhouette, just add your favorite color blocking hues. Here we used coral and sunshine-bright yellow. Other options could be turquoise and hot pink or deep violet and light mint. A gold bib necklace adds a touch of vintage, while studded flats and cuff will balance it all out with some edge. No one wants to be too preppy!
Playing With Rompers
As far as trendy pieces go, rompers are often a piece that elicits the greatest shudders from girls everywhere. I’ve found that a pantsuit (the cousin of the romper, except with longer legs) is usually a much more figure-friendly and safe option if you’re worried about looking like a little kid in a romper. Dorothy was genius to use a belt to cinch in her waist. This is the oldest trick in the book, but it’s undeniably a miracle worker to give the illusion of the perfect hourglass “Coca-Cola bottle” shape. The arm cuff is all kinds of fun and there are so many options to consider. This turquoise accented one adds a great punch of color.
Channeling Carmen Jones
While this outfit isn’t specifically something that Dorothy picked out herself, her Oscar-winning Carmen Jones character is basically embedded next to her name for eternity. This outfit combines elegance and seduction in one piece so well; it’s like business on the bottom and a party on top. The demure, work-friendly cherry peplum skirt is met with a wild and outrageous lace off-the-shoulder blouse that garners all the attention of the room. And we can’t forget the cheeky vintage red flower- the kindest and most notable nod to Dorothy herself.