American Style Icon: Dorothy Dandridge

Heeeyyy Guys & Dolls!

I'm baaaccckkkk! I hope you guys have been doing well. This week I'm going to be talking about American Style Icon: Dorothy Dandridge.

The first African-American to be nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award, Dandridge starred in movies alongside Hollywood leading men like John Wayne and Harry Belefonte. Over the years, her fashion choices evolved from off-the-shoulder tops and strapless dresses to cropped pants and blouses, worn with the collar up for a dashing, confident effect. (photo & caption credit: here)

I've always wondered why most women idolize Marilyn Monroe when there were SO MANY style icons in that same period. Now don't get me wrong, I love Marilyn. As a woman of color, you never really see women of color from that time period loved or talked about as much as Marilyn. So I decided to peruse the net (google of course) and decided on Dorothy Dandridge. I loved her anyway so it was an easy choice.

Dorothy’s Style
  • Keepin’ It Classy. Dorothy’s style was filled with lots of well-tailored shapes and silhouettes, which created a classic, yet unfussy look. She wore clean-cut blouses, dresses and trousers for a timeless look — most of her outfits would still be considered super-stylish today!
  • Prim & Proper. To complement her classic look, Dorothy also chose pieces with a distinct feminine flair. She accessorized with gorgeous jewelry, sleek handbags and ladylike footwear, which added the finishing touches to her timeless outfits.
  • Figure-Hugging Pieces. Dorothy always wore outfits that accentuated her amazing figure. She chose pieces that were body-skimming (but never vulgar!) and used belts and scarves to show off her hourglass shape.
  • Shoulder to Shoulder. Dorothy was often photographed wearing clothes that showed off her gorgeous shoulders. Mimic her look for yourself by wearing strapless or off-the-shoulder tops and dresses. (via
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Many years passed before the entertainment industry acknowledged Dandridge's legacy. Starting in the 1980s, stars such as Cicely Tyson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Halle Berry, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Kimberly Elise, Loretta Devine, Tasha Smith, and Angela Bassett acknowledged Dandridge's contributions to the role of black Americans in film.

In 1999, Halle Berry took the lead role of Dandridge in the HBO Movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, which she also produced and for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award. When Berry won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Monster's Ball, she dedicated the "moment [to] Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll." Both Dandridge and Berry were from Cleveland, Ohio.

For her contributions to the motion picture industry, she was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 671 Hollywood Boulevard. Dorothy Dandridge is also the most prominent figure of a huge mural of celebrities painted on an exterior wall of Hollywood High School.

Dorothy Dandridge has a statue at Hollywood-La Brea Boulevard in Los Angeles, designed by Catherine Hardwicke, built to honor multi-ethnic leading ladies of the cinema, including Mae West, Dolores del Rio and Anna May Wong.

Recording artist Janelle MonĂ¡e performs a song entitled "Dorothy Dandridge Eyes" on her album The Electric Lady, with Esperanza Spalding. (credit here)

Dorothy Dandridge: 
Not ONLY an African American Style Icon but an 
(Photo credit: here)

So what do you guys think? Too much? Not enough?  Any additional questions? Let me know in the comments below! If you have a style post that you would like to see, email! Thanks for tuning in!! See you next time!!!

Satisfying Your Fashion Addiction!

~B. Ayesha
Beauty | Style | Fashion