What makes someone classify as ‘best’ or ‘worst’ dressed? Ultimately, of course, it’s subjective, but the internet is chock full of lists of the best and worst dressed celebrities – lists that often change on a weekly basis. There’s intense scrutiny around awards season, of course, reaching a crescendo each February at the Oscars and then again each May at Cannes.
I have my own list of those celebrities, male and female, that I think tick the sartorial boxes. So here is my list of the ten best dressed of the past half century. Now you may disagree with some of these – in fact, I hope you do – and I’d love to hear your comments. You’ll see that some of these people (my top five, in fact) are no longer with us. As you have probably gathered by now, my taste is skewed towards classic style found in the mid to late twentieth century.
My ten best dressed
- Cary Grant: as I’ve written previously in this column, Mr Archibald Leach was often cited as one of Hollywood’s best dressed men. No-one wore a suit quite like him. Watch North by Northwest if you don’t believe me
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: whether posing in pillbox hats in the White House days or rocking white jeans on Capri, the late great Jackie O always wore it well
- David Bowie: do I have to explain?
- Diana, Princess of Wales: as many others before me have said, it was fascinating watching her evolve from a gawky Laura Ashley-wearing Sloane into an international style icon
- Steve McQueen: the ‘King of Cool’, equally at home in a t-shirt and leather bomber, a polo neck and jacket, or ultra-sharp tailoring
- Queen Letizia of Spain: from newsreader to queen consort, this woman never puts a foot wrong. She’s often seen in Hugo Boss, but also in high street pieces, particularly Zara (obviously). She’s a fan of Adolfo Dominguez, too (one of my favourite Spanish labels)
- Roger Federer: I love the fact that he’s created his own elegant post-match look by donning a crisp white monogrammed blazer.
- Sophia Loren: epitomises timeless Italian style. At age 81, she still gets it right. But then, she is Italian. They are born with an innate sense of elegance, knowing that simplicity is key and less is more.
- Bill Nighy: evidently his favourite article of clothing is his light blue Margaret Howell shirt, and his favourite accessory is his dark blue polka dotted scarf (also Margaret Howell). But I loved him best in the white and black splattered suit in Love, Actually
- Helena Bonham Carter: yes, really. Stick with me on this one. She often looks outrageous and quirky – but that’s the point – she has her own look and she is true to it. And somehow she always manages to pull it off, due to her fabulous English eccentricity.
So there you have it, my ten best-dressed. I’d love to hear who yours are. Happy New Year !