Beth Ditto: Celebrity Style Deconstructed

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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.

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 once said, and we totally agree. Beth Ditto isn’t just another perfectly proportioned celebrity with a great stylist. She’s a genuinely real woman, and 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. The “L” Word

No, not that word. We’re talking about Lycra. “The tighter, the better,” the Gossip singer says, even if the tag says its two sizes too small. Normally, we wouldn’t suggest this, but we think she’s on to something. Lycra is great for hugging certain curves and hiding others. Plus, it’s super comfortable.

1. Guess? Bandage Dress, $89, Macy’s

2. Navy Drape Dress, $58.50, Torrid

2. Go Designer (on a Budget of Course)

“Fat people look good in Mui Mui. They just do,” says the style star, who often wears the label. 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 Mui Mui. If you can’t afford the designer duds, you can find imitations at lots of retailers.

3. Flutter Sleeve Dress, $69, Jessica Simpson

4. DKNYC Tank Top, $69, Zappos

3. Black Eyeliner

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

5. Endless Silky Eye Pen, $14, Pixi Beauty

6. Black Radiance Cream Eyeliner, $5, Walgreens

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. Lycra is comfy enough to sleep in and she can party all night in those flats she often wears. Instead of stuffing herself into Spanx and stilettos, Beth just puts on what feels good, which is probably where her permanent smile comes from. She looks good, she feels great– why not smile?

7. Miss Me Flat, $25, Endless

8. Calvin Klein Sheath Dress, $138, Nordstrom

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  • 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.

  • Heather

    @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.

  • 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!

  • Kady

    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.

    • TBF

      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.