After a trying 2020, nothing turned the lights back on like celebrities stepping out in stylish takes following a year of virtual ceremonies and canceled events. Truly, 2021 witnessed it all with fashion that it was almost impossible to keep up, but we did! (Duh, fashion is what we do.) There was bright playful numbers, sheer looks, show-stopping monochromatic moments, oversized, exaggerated coordinates, revamped loungewear, and numerous others. It comes at no surprise that the best dressed Black women of 2021 so rightly embodied this.
When it comes to style, Black women have been breaking the mold for centuries. As a result, narrowing down this list of the best dressed women was quite the feat. That is to say, Black women kept the style-ball rolling so fast we really did have our hands full. In this best-dressed list, we’ve rounded up the top 10 Black women that have pushed boundaries, started trends, and consistently slayed. However, if you don’t see your fave fashionista on this list, that doesn’t mean she didn’t slay. By all means no! It simply means that when it came down to 10, these were the women who claimed the spot, howbeit with a lot of competition.
From Regina King to Tracee Ellis Ross, here are our best dressed women of 2021…
#10. Regina King
While Regina King has always been praised for her relatable, down-to-earth charm, the multi-hyphenate star’s red carpet looks evolved this year. This evolution proves two things: her style has become increasingly avant-garde (favoring sharp silhouettes and bright colors), and she can’t resist a good form-fitting dress. The “One Night In Miami” director did no wrong — especially on a red carpet — and her Oscar 2021 outfit is proof. Styled by styling duo Wayman Bannerman and Micah McDonald, her preferred stylists, she strutted to open the show in a custom, pale blue Louis Vuitton number by Nicolas Ghesquière.
After her stunning look at her Verzuz event which sent social media into a frenzy in August 2020, eyes have been on veteran R&B singer, Monica Denise Arnold. The star came into 2021 blazing hot and now, as the year wraps up, Monica, with the help of stylist Kollin Carter, has served looks that have landed her on our best-dressed list. Her style is hip, classy, and edgy with a spark brought about by her eye for luxury and designer wears, has been praised as practical and inspiring by many.
#8. Cynthia Erivo
It’s not easy to always achieve a red carpet moment, but Cynthia Erivo is one of those few celebrities that tend to slay every single time. She and stylist Jason Bolden have been taking risks with each red carpet appearance in 2021 and it is definitely paying off. Cynthia’s style choices have helped her become more of a household name, and we are looking forward to what she brings in 2022. Our favorite red carpet moments include her custom-made Vera Wang gown for the 2021 Critic’s Choice Awards, her bold neon green Valentino dress for the Golden Globes, and her purple oversized Balenciaga knit-wear two-piece for the House of Gucci premiere. Erivo certainly knows how to serve it hot!
Not only is award-winning and multi-platinum artist Ashanti a great singer, but the 41-year-old has a penchant for style. Throughout this year, the multi-hyphenate has graced red carpets, stages, and the streets in jaw-dropping numbers, including high-slit dresses, floor-sweeping gowns, daring necklines, and racy cutouts. Never afraid to push boundaries with her fashion choices, her outfits this year solidify the singer’s status as one of the most stylish celebrities to hit our screens.
#6. Lori Harvey
Steve Harvey might have gotten a lot of attention this year for his style, but he’s not the only Harvey whose style sparked conversations at different points this year. From modeling for some of fashion’s biggest brands to posting candid snapshots with actor-boyfriend, Michael B. Jordan on her carefully curated Instagram page, Lori Harvey undoubtedly put a glam twist on everything. As expected, fashion was no exception. Lori is no stranger to serving looks and recently trended on social media after she stole the show as one of the judges at the 2021 Miss Universe pageant where she wore a stunning, sparkling gown and rocked her hair in Hollywood glam curls. We can’t wait to see what she does in 2022.
It’s not just Ciara’s prayer that we want to know more about, but her closet too. The songstress didn’t have just one or two fashionable moments this year, but several. 2021 has been that year for CiCi fashion-wise since she changed her stylist from Jason Rembert to Kollin Carter. Known for wearing silhouettes that compliment her figure, Ciara took risks with green sequins like her Met Gala look, higher-than-thigh high splits, and see-through cut-outs and fabrics. Her hair and beauty looks – in addition to her fashion choices – also made us adore her style more.
#4. Tracee Ellis Ross
There are those who dress to impress only on certain occasions and then there are those who live and breathe fashion every day. A prime example for the latter is the beloved “Blackish” actress, Tracee Ellis Ross. These days, some may say that the term fashion icon is thrown around loosely, but I think we can all agree that Ross is a true embodiment of a modern fashion icon. Tracee’s style has earned her an abundance of magazine covers, the title of Global House Ambassador for Tiffany & Co, and of course, a spot on our best-dressed list of the year 2021. One of our favorite looks from her this year was her look at the Met gala. Courtesy of stylist Karla Welch, Ross arrived in a deep blueberry silk Balenciaga couture ensemble accessorized with Tiffany jewels. Just like every other day this year, Tracee surely gave us a reason to stay glued to her Instagram page. Best dressed women 2021
Beyoncé has always been a trendsetter, but this year we’ve seen more of her style in real-time. The Queen Bee has posted more on Instagram in 2021 than in years past and we are here for it. Posts have featured her in several designers including Gucci x Balenciaga, Alexandre Vauthier, Dolce and Gabbana, and her fashion line, IVY PARK, all courtesy of her personal shopper and stylist Zerina Akers. All in all, her style has evolved into a sexy sophistication that we love. Beyoncé continues to be diverse in her choices while keeping us interested and waiting for every new post.
#2. Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union’s 2021 Fashion Awards red carpet look – alone – earned her a spot on this year’s most stylish list. Her jaw-dropping, neon yellow Valentino gown and sky-high hair didn’t just nearly break the internet, but the look is indicative of how Gabrielle’s style has evolved thanks to her long-time stylist and best friend, Jason Bolden. While traveling with her husband, Dwyane Wade, and promoting her new book, Gabrielle took advantage of every moment to show her personal style. In fact, during 2021, she’s been seen donning several designers. This includes both up-and-coming Black designers like Samantha Black, Prabal Gurung, and established names such as Giorgio Armani, Prada, and Bulgari.
Zendaya has been writing her own unique fashion story for years – and 2021 has been a very defining moment. With each red carpet look and media appearance, Zendaya and stylist Law Roach took risks. And each part of her looks is well-thought-out. She wore many of the world’s most famous designers and fashion houses this year including Vera Wang, Vivienne Westwood, Valentino, Balmain, Dion Lee, and Moschino. At such a young age, Zendaya is well on her way to becoming one of the most iconic fashionistas of our time.
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