Style & Substance Hall of Fame

These stylish ladies have all graced our pages as a More-anointed Woman of Style and Substance. We've combed through their words of wisdom to find the best tips and style ethos from each.

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Donna Karan, Designer

“A structured, hard dress is not very flattering because it doesn’t allow for movement. It ages you, for one, and I don’t think you feel alive when you can’t move. Don’t be afraid to show your hips!”


Donna Karan Collection twisted jersey dress, $1,295;

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Vivienne Tam, Designer

“Women don’t always have time to think about how to put things together. Color combination can be a challenge.” Solution? Choose separates that use black and white in varying textures and designs to make the look more appealing.


MICHAEL Michael Kors shirt, $70;

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Diane Sawyer, Reporter/News Anchor

“The classic cuts always look polished. They’re perfect on her, and they never go out of style,” said the woman who dressed her on Good Morning America for more than 7 years, Evelyn Mason.


Elie Tahari “Blaine” stretch poplin shirt, $198;

Photo courtesy of Bloomingdale's

Jennifer Aniston, Actress

“She’s all about clean lines, minimal jewelry, natural hair. She never makes a fuss,” said What Not To Wear‘s Stacy London when asked about the actress’s much-imitated style.


Helmut Lang dress, $380;

Photo courtesy of Tobi

Anya Hindmarch, Designer

“I go out about three times a year and gather up a season’s worth all at once. [I’m] a sucker for a good coat. I grab one and feel fabulous.”


Club Monaco Lola coat, $289;

Photo courtesy of ShopBop

Miuccia Prada, Designer

“I love skirts. They’re like my T-shirts.” She chooses cuts that are feminine and flattering (A-line, often pleated), falling just below the knee, and pairs them with understated tops.


Talbots skirt skirt, $134;

Photo courtesy of Talbots

Nicole Miller, Designer

When it comes to dresses (her speciality), “pay attention to the neckline. When you put on a dress, it should speak to you, and the element that frames your face should be magical.”


Nicole Miller stretch linen and cotton dress, $320;

Photo courtesy of Nicole Miller

Josie Natori, Designer

When it comes to accessorizing, designer Josie Natori has easy-to-follow rules. “One big piece is great, maybe a big ring and earrings, but nothing else. If you look like a Christmas tree, you’ve gone too far.”


Amrita Singh Dune necklace, $125;

Photo courtesy of Style Tryst

Michelle Obama, First Lady

“First, you have to strip down and assess yourself. If you’ve got a great back, show it. If you don’t have great arms, cover them,” said Chicago-based designer Maria Pinto who knows a thing or two about the first lady’s style. She’s a big advocate of the sheath dress, which works “from the morning until you’re done at the end of the day.”


Ann Taylor tweed sheath dress, $148;

Photo courtesy of Ann Taylor

Vera Wang, Designer

“I encourage a bit of shine for every day. It creates a certain amount of perceived value, even if it’s just on a T-shirt.”


Eight Sixty knit top with beading, $77;

Photo courtesy of Piperlime

Tory Burch, Designer

The designer calls the tunic “just the perfect quick way to look pulled together. It works no matter your shape and size.” What to wear down below to temper its boxy fit? “Skinnier pants to accentuate the proportionality,” says the pro.


Tory Burch Stephanie tunic, $295;

Photo courtesy of Tory Burch

Tracy Reese, Designer

“Be careful where your waistband hits. If the band hits too low and creates a rollover, then avoid something fitted on top.” With high-waisted pants, shown here, “you can hide a tummy, create a slimmer middle and really lengthen the look of your frame.”


Joseph feline twill wide-leg pants, $425;

Photo courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Tracey Gardner, former J.Crew President

“I love color! You need to try something new and see how you feel. You may find it speaks to you more than you thought it would.”


LOFT sequined boatneck top, $55;

Photo courtesy of LOFT

Norma Kamali, Designer

Speaking about the jumpsuit she first designed in the 60s, the designer explained, “once you find one you like, you understand the efficiency of having a one-piece item that you can accessorize or wear as is.”


French Connection Tunic Twilight all-in-one, $198;

Photo courtesy of French Connection

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, French First Lady

“I admire elegance over ultraflashiness. I don’t go for heels; I never wear makeup. It only seems to enhance age,” the former French model has said.


Salvatore Ferragamo Varina flats, $420;




Want more expert advice? See the best collected tips from fashion sage (and Project Runway star) Tim Gunn.


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Photo courtesy of Zappos

First Published Wed, 2011-02-02 13:56

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