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  • Maggie Stuhrenberg

The Queen of Country: Dolly Parton

“I would never stoop so low as to be fashionable”

“It takes a lot of time and money to look this cheap, honey.”

During a career than has spanned over six decades, Parton’s “rags to riches story” has made an impact in country music as both a fashion icon and artist. Known for quite a few things such as her theme park, her early days on Nashville’s The Porter Wagoner Show,and all her hit songs. Dolly’s take on fashion is very different than any other country celebrity. Dolly has always had a very individualistic fashion taste.

When asked about her early life, Dolly always mentions how she never felt pretty growing up. This heavily impacted her taste in fashion. The big hair and flashy outfits helped mask what she didn’t like. Growing up Dolly was inventive by using Mercurochrome from the medicine cabinet for red lipstick and teasing her hair as high as she could get it. As soon as Dolly graduated high school she was knocking on the doors in Nashville and beginning to transform into the Dolly we know and love. Even though the outfits might have been considered outrageous in that day, her sense of style comes from a real place. She began to dress in a way that made her feel comfortable and she had always been impressed with the kings and queens in velvet and lots of jewelry when she was young.

The more unusual and flashy the outfit the more it feels like second nature to Parton. It’s amazing that Dolly can get stage ready in about 30 minutes, but it helps that she doesn’t have to be there to get her hair done since she wears wigs. Dolly has been known for sticking out in the crowd. Long before Madonna and Lady Gaga, Dolly had long been proclaiming that the biggest freaks in the world are her favorite people.

In the past few years of high fashion runway, we have seen a few shows who took a country inspiration. From Balmain’s 2012 spring line (second row) which is a futuristic look of past Nashville infamous sequin suits. Isabel Marant fall 2012 you can see clear country tops and belt buckles intermixed with modern fashion (first row). Dolly Parton’s uniqueness allows her to transcend all generations due to her captivating story and fashion.

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