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Beth Ditto: Celebrity Style Deconstructed

Beth Ditto is a bona fide rock star, a feminist activist, a cover girl and style icon (she had a clothing line with UK plus size fashion store Evans ). Not bad for a poor girl from the Deep South who grew up eating squirrels. In fact, her humble beginnings might just be the reason for her killer style.

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The Rules of Beth Ditto Style

My number-one theory in life is that style is proportional to your lack of resources — the less you have, the more stylish you’re likely to be.

Beth Ditto, on style

We totally agree. Beth Ditto isn’t just another perfectly proportioned celebrity with a great stylist. She’s a genuinely real woman, and also a genuine fashion genius. Even if her style is a little over-the-top for you, there are still some valuable lessons to be learned from the punk fashionista.

1. Wear Lycra

Beth Ditto wearing Lycra
Beth Ditto wearing Lycra.

“The tighter, the better,” the Gossip singer says. And that applies even if the tag says it’s two sizes too small. Normally, we wouldn’t suggest this, but maybe she’s on to something. Lycra blends have their advantages — they will show off your curves and they’re super comfortable. Try these body-hugging, lycra-blend picks on for size.

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2. Go Designer (on a Budget of Course)

Beth Ditto wearing purple dress
Beth Ditto wearing Miu Miu.

Fat people look good in Miu Miu. They just do.

Beth Ditto

Ditto doesn’t rock a tight mini dress all the time. She loves to mix it up with something loose fitting and flowing, and when she’s in the mood for loose, she turns to Miu Miu. Try ThredUP and Poshmark for Miu Miu on the cheap.

beth ditto 1

3. Wear Black Eyeliner

Beth Ditto wearing green wrap dress

“Just ask Amy Winehouse,” Beth says when describing eye liner’s ability to instantly transform your look. Try turning up the drama with fierce eyes and no one will notice you’re only wearing jeans and a solid-colored tee.

beth ditto 1

4. Break all the rules

Rules are for people with no personal style, believes the daring celeb. Horizontal stripes, bizarre color coordination (or lack thereof), dresses that don’t fit — she’s done it all, and somehow made it work pretty much every time.

At the end of the day, it’s about what makes you feel fabulous, not what the magazines advise. So if you want to wear white after labor day or sport a “fattening” nautical top, go for it. The confidence you’ll exude from wearing what makes you happy will more than make up breaking some silly old rule.

5. Dress for comfort

Beth Ditto isn’t the only celebrity rocking out-of-this-world outfits, but unlike Lady Gaga and other fashion-forward stars, she looks totally natural doing it. Beth wears what she actually feels good in, and that often means pairing flats with her signature Lycra. Maybe that’s where her permanent smile comes from. She looks good and feels great — why not smile?

beth ditto 1


Thursday 24th of November 2011

I don't think she's obese - Big, not skinny, but not obese. We have to be careful what terms we throw around about people.


Tuesday 12th of July 2011

@Kady: The only sentence in the article in which the phrase "perfectly proportioned" is used includes a negative... "Beth Ditto isn’t just another perfectly proportioned celebrity with a great stylist." I think the point is that she is NOT perfectly proportioned.

Edith Scheie

Friday 17th of June 2011

Thanks for posting about Beth Ditto. She really is a unique style icon ... I hope she writes a book about how she makes it work, with lots of pictures of herself in all her different outfits!


Friday 17th of June 2011

I love you guys but I have to question calling her "perfectly proportioned." From the pictures you posted she is clearly overweight. I don't buy into the fact that overweight is normal-sized, and no, I don't think absurdly skinny is normal-sized either. I appreciate that you guys are showing us someone with a non-cookie cutter style, but I don't think touting someone who is obese as "real" is a great message.


Saturday 18th of June 2011

Hey kady- What is normal? Throughout history the concept of normal has changed significantly. The fact is more women look like Beth than look like "normal-sized"- in fact plus size is "normal-sized". Also there's this assumption that if you're overweight you're not healthy- which simply isn't always the case. The point is, here at TBF we're about all women feeling good about who they are at this moment in their lives. It is my hope that you can move past this and admire her style and her confidence.

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