Style Icon: Dorothy Dandridge

When we think of Black Hollywood of old, Dorothy Dandridge stands out as one of its brightest shining stars. She was style personified.

She had an air of glamour in every outfit. Known for her signature off of the shoulder ensembles, she made everything look glam with the addition of the right accessories, a belt, a scarf or jewelry. She always had a tailored look, form fitting to show off her hour glass figure with just the right amount of sexy. Her look always came off simultaneously simple yet sophisticated, sexy yet classy.

The Style of Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge had elegance about her that shone through in all of her pictures, a natural beauty with features that she played up with vivid red lipsticks and dark lashes- never over done.

No matter if she was draped in diamonds or captured in a more natural state with very little make up or accessories she exuded confidence and virtue. Her star was extinguished too soon as she was taken at the young age of 42 by an accidental overdose of the antidepressant drug Imipramine. But her pictures tell the story; there is a dichotomy at work as she is seemingly strong and vulnerable all at once.

Hair

Hair

Another signature look for Dorothy was her short curly hair that acted like a frame for her face. It did so by accentuating her high cheek bones, her slender face and neck. She was gorgeous with it long or short but she knew what hairstyle really captured her at her best.

Pop Your Collar

Pop Your Collar

Ms Dandridge had several signature elements to her look and while it seems that “popping your collar” has just been popularized in recent years, Dorothy was “poppin’” her collar back in the 50s’. Dorothy often went with a strong collar that would stand stark against her neck and again provide a kind of frame for her face.

All Dressed Up

All Dressed Up

Dorothy was a Hollywood siren in a minority class of women that set the big screen on fire and lit up any venue that they played. She was a triple threat, actress, singer and dancer and the camera loved her. As the first black woman to be nominated for an academy award she is an inspiration and has been cited by many artists after her as one of their style icons, including Halle Berry, Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston. When she dressed up it was a photographer’s dream always pristine in silhouette dresses and furs, each article of clothing appearing custom made and tailored just for her.

How to Get Dorothy Dandridge’s Look!

Add some Dorothy Dandridge glam to your wardrobe with accessories, belts, scarves, bracelets and earrings. Also include an array of collared shirts, jackets and even dresses that will give you an air of confidence and cause your face to stand out. If you are comfortable with showing more skin, choose off the shoulder options to add an elegant feminine touch.

Dresses that show off your best assets are another must have, look for dresses that compliment your shape and give you that just for you tailored look. Finally choose a hair style and make up regimen that accentuates your best features, Dorothy opted for minimalist glam with short curly locks, bold lips, enhanced eye lashes and flawless foundation.

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Catherine Brock

Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on DrLaura.com, Wellness.com and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. Learn more about Catherine.
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