Details About Dolly Parton’s Most Memorable Outfits

Dolly Rebecca Parton started her life out in Tennessee as one of 12 siblings. Money was always tight, but she still managed to show off her passion for anything music related as a child (via Britannica). From day one, fans have adored for being an innovator by blending pop and country music styles, all with a wide smile on her face and some Southern hospitality. According to Britannica, Parton soon signed with music label RCA, and before the ink even dried, she was looking toward the future.

Parton has been showing off her iconic figure for over 45 years. Vogue took her down memory lane as she was walked through some of her wildest looks from 1975 all the way up to now (via YouTube). While she is most widely known for her big blonde hair, tiny waist, and large chest, Parton also has been seen in outfits that will blind you with bling, just like her bubbly personality. During her interview with Vogue, the always-humble singer revealed that she “never thought of herself as fashionable.”

Let's start at the very beginning

At the beginning of her career in the music industry, Parton stepped onto the scene as a fresh-faced 28-year-old who started pumping out hits like “I Will Always Love You” and “Here You Come Again” (via AllMusic). In her Vogue interview, the icon pointed out that in 1974 when she was coming out with her album, Jolene, she asked a seamstress who sewed her clothes in Tennessee to make her the comfy blue jumpsuit that was worn for the cover photo. The blue and white jumpsuit was one of her favorites because it has puffy sleeves. “I always loved puffy sleeves and I kind of felt comfortable in this whole little outfit,” Parton revealed to Vogue.

The star’s 1974 casual look for “Here You Come Again” came all wrapped in a red shirt, which was tied around her stomach, and her favorite pair of blue jeans. She told Vogue readers that she “put it together myself.” But the big hair, according Vogue, was a nod to Marilyn Monroe. Parton has always taken immense pride in her look, even if some outfits came across as over the top. 

Working 9-5

1980 was the start of a new decade for most and a whole new year for Parton, thanks to the release of 9 to 5, which also starred Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda (per IMDb). The singer walked down the red carpet in a pink gown with her famous bosom showing. In the interview with Vogue, Parton also revealed that when she walked red carpets, she got to dress up like she was a city girl saying, “I never even thought about being fashionable. I just always wore things that fit me.”

The story goes that Parton asked her friend and head costume designer for 9 to 5, Ann Roth, to design a gown for her to wear on the red carpet. The long pink gown is still considered a statement piece today (via People). The country singer told Vogue that she thought the dress was beautiful, saying, “I remember feeling really pretty, and I felt like I was well-dressed and not half-assed like sometimes you are.” The dress showed just enough cleavage, and she made sure to accessorize it with a long pink fur jacket, which helped tie the look together.

Dolly Parton meets Oprah Winfrey and they match

It is safe to assume you’ve made it big if you get a chance to host your own variety show with Oprah Winfrey (via Vogue). In the late ’80s, Dolly was a hit, and Parton got to interview the popular journalist. One of Parton’s guadier outfits was a sparkling gold sequined gown with numerous rhinestones and a gaudy matching headband. Winfrey, for her part, was wearing a matching black gown with silver details. But Dolly dubbed the costume “one of my favorite little dresses,” proving that no one could divert her from what she enjoyed wearing. 

In a YouTube clip from the show, the two pals looked genuinely happy to be supporting one another. Winfrey had her hair done up big like Parton’s while the host had a Greek goddess look going on to match her gold dress. While Parton asked if it was “dueling dresses,” Oprah wittily replied that it was a “chest competition.” The two ended their segment singing “This Little Light of Mine,” as their matching dresses sparkled in all their glory.

Dolly struts her stuff in leather on SNL

Toward the end of the decade, in 1989, Parton hosted Saturday Night Live, where she wore a black leather catsuit that left little to the imagination but still showed off her sassy and playful attitude. The icon was said to be extremely nervous about all the quick costume changes. But on April 15, 1989, she rocked as the musical guest and slayed it as the host (via Taste Of Country). The look that won the night was a bedazzled leather jumpsuit with a red lip.

Even this outfit was worn tastefully, unlike today’s performers who tend to show everything, the singer left a lot to the imagination. Dolly Parton has been a wholesome image since she first belted out a song, and the 73-year-old hardly ever has a bad word said about her. But there is no denying that the country singer is eye-catching when it comes to her fashion choices.

More is more for Dolly especially if Santa is involved

Parton admitted to embracing her own style philosophy when she told Vogue, “I know that I always like to wear a lot of makeup. More than probably I should wear, but I think more is more, and whoever made up that ‘less is more’ is full of it!” What better proof of this than her love of everything Christmas? I think it’s safe to say Parton made the “nice” list.

Parton is fond of performing in white, “When I wear white, I always feel like I’m singing to God. I always dress in the season. I have all my sweaters with the bells and the holly and the Christmas trees, so every day from Christmas Eve ’til New Year’s, I’ll wear my Christmas clothes” (via Vogue). In Style shared that if it were up to Parton, she would wear white all year long to stay in the festive spirit. So while her outfits may be fitted and skin-tight, they are typical Dolly, and nothing is going to change how she presents herself. Parton has always been unapologetically herself, which has resonated with her adoring fans. Don’t change, Dolly!

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