While pop music stars seem to get the most attention when it comes to their fashion, country artists are often pushing style limits. Take Dolly Parton, for instance. The “9 to 5” singer has made a statement with her aesthetic through the years and brands are still looking towards the 74-year-old for inspiration.
Known for her over-the-top hair, glitz and glamorous take on Western trends and bedazzeld treatments, designers have been taking from her signature look for years. (And this was before Madonna and Lady Gaga came around.) Just look at Gucci’s spring ’19 show, which featured a sleeveless denim jacket with Parton’s image on the back, or Jeremy Scott’s fall ’16 show, titled, “Cowboys and Poodles.”
Fast-forward to the ’90s, when another country artist exploded onto the scene and used her platform to create and further the fashion trends of the moment. It’s Shania Twain. The “That Don’t Impress Me Much” singer wasn’t afraid to go for it in terms of her wardrobe. She could be seen in monochromatic hot pink cowgirl looks, embellished bras, chokers and, of course, her go-to leopard print.
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Today’s country music female stars are still making waves for their looks, too, and leading that pack is Carrie Underwood. She first entered our lives in 2005 when she won singing competition show “American Idol.” Fifteen years later, her style has certainly evolved and she’s always one-to-watch on the red carpet, wearing Jimmy Choo, Giuseppe Zanotti and Rene Caovilla shoes with designer gowns.
Jennifer Nettles is another artist whose strong sense of style flies under the radar in some cases. “I love using fashion to make statements, literally,” Nettles told FN at Rolling Stone’s Women Shaping the Future event in New York in March. “It’s important. And as women, it’s such a beautiful usage of fashion to turn the weapon on its head in the sense that, oftentimes, we are valued most or valued only for what is on the outside. This is a way to take not only art, but to take what can sometimes be used against us and use it as a tool for our own empowerment and expression.”
Late last year, Nettles walked on the red carpet for the 2019 Country Music Awards, wearing a Christian Siriano pantsuit with the words “Play our f*@#in records please and thank you.” The saying couldn’t be missed as it was written by artist Alice Mizrachi in bold black letters on the inside of a hot pink cape in order to bring attention to a purported lack of support for female artists on country radio.
More of the most-fashionable female country stars of all time include Kacey Musgraves and Kelsea Ballerini. Click through the gallery to see the rest of the list.