As the brilliant Jack London once said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Thankfully, for us, fashion inspiration is pretty easily accessible. The list of fashionable women to emulate is constantly growing, and all it takes to find a perfect outfit is a trip to Instagram. These days, thanks to the likes of Kate Middleton, we don’t even have to look further than the front page of our news sites, where political icons and even royalty show us that there is no shame in the game of dressing as well as you speak. We rounded up a few of our all-time favorite fashion icons for you to emulate in your daily life — the First Ladies, the socialites and even the bloggers on your social media feed.
1. Kate Middleton: Princess-Perfect (Without the Pricetag)
While we can’t all be a princess (bummer), the Duchess of Cambridge has shown us that it’s surprisingly easy and affordable to dress like one. Looking flawlessly classic and fashionable at every life stage — from her days dating a prince and their royal wedding to her pregnancies and even global outings and events — Kate has utilized a wardrobe which perfectly blends custom couture and off-the-rack steals. Not only has Kate been seen re-wearing outfits, but those outfits can oftentimes be traced back to affordable stores such as Old Navy and J. Crew.
2. Jenna Lyons: Playful, Witty, & Whip-Smart
As the creative director and president of J.Crew, Lyons has been hailed as the woman solely responsible for the American woman’s closet. Her massive oversized glasses are often her best accessory, and they dress up her casual menswear-chic aesthetic. While her style is classic and simple, Lyons knows you don’t become the leader of a fashion empire by playing by the rules.
3. Beyonce: Authentically Casual
When she’s not stealing the show at the Met Gala or announcing a pregnancy while performing at the Grammys, Beyonce finds more subtle ways to lead fashion revolutions. Her sexy athleisure brand Ivy Park made a massive debut both online and in stores, and fans everywhere can purchase looks inspired by those she wore in her music videos (Kale, anyone?). Beyonce rocks her curves while embracing both modern trends and her southern and African-American heritage. All hail Queen Bey!
4. Olivia Palermo: Modern Tomboy Chic
The original street-style superstar, Olivia Palermo is no stranger to dressing like the city slicker she is. After getting her start in reality television, Palermo quickly proved she was more than a pretty face. She’s been called the Best Dressed New Yorker by the New York Post, she’s modeled for global magazines, and she owns her own lifestyle website detailing her travels and fashion experiences. The best part? Palermo became a global style ambassador for Banana Republic last year, further reinforcing the notion that street style doesn’t have to come at a steep price.
5. Lupita Nyong’o: Low-Maintenance Yet High-Fashionable
After making her breakout debut in 12 Years a Slave back in 2013, Nyong’o has been a staple on the world’s most famous red carpets. Growing up, she’s said she never felt comfortable in her own skin, fearing that it was too dark for her to ever feel beautiful. Now, however, Nyong’o has embraced her flawless skin and uses it as an opportunity to play with colors and textures. Nyong’o’s red carpet style manages to look effortless, as she often allows her gowns to speak for themselves without heavy makeup or accessories. This beauty shows that classic simplicity is key, and that there is no such thing as being too overdressed!
6. Jackie O: Old-School Preppy
As one of the OG First Lady fashion icons, Jackie O’s clothing choices may seem a bit old-fashioned to those of us in the 21st century. But fear not — her class and grace are never out of style. And that’s what we truly want to emulate.
7. Aimee Song: Simply Beach-Ready (No Beach Required)
As the creator of the Song of Style fashion and design blog, Aimee Song is no stranger to the ever-evolving world of style trends. Flawlessly incorporating the trendy with the classic, Aimee blends her love of design with her love of fashion by wearing artistic beauty in the forms of ruffles, sequins, and bold color. Dreaming of a life (and closet) this fabulous? Check out Aimee’s book, “Capture Your Style,” to see how she utilizes Instagram to create a life well-styled!
8. Garance Doré: European and Bold
While you’ll find any number of fashionable women walking around France, you don’t have to look further than the streets of NYC to find Parisian style inspiration. Thanks to blogger and artist Garance Doré, sassy is the new sexy when it comes to street style. She often pairs black and white stripes with streamlined black pants, or you can find her lounging in her studio in a crisp all-white ensemble.