When the lovely Sarah Von from Yes and Yes asked if I was interested in doing a post swap, I was beyond flattered. I mean, swapping posts is pretty serious. It’s kind of like spitting on your palms and swearing an oath like two kids on a baseball field.  We are basically sisters now, Sarah.  I hope you are okay with that. I admire what Sarah does on Yes and Yes so how can I have said no to her charm? Today she gives us the style lowdown on one of the most vivacious and inspiration women of all time, Dolly Parton!


Say what you will about her propensity for boobage and big hair, we can all admit that Dolly Parton is a total firecracker and a wicked talented songwriter. And I, for one, could stand to add some boobage and fire-cracking to my wardrobe.

So what lessons can a B-cup like me learn from Ms. Parton? Let’s take a gander at some of her signature looks.

Lesson 1: Work with what you have, fake what you don’t

Well, if you aren’t the cutest thing I have ever seen! Look at that sex kitten hair! And those Cleopatra eyes! And that wee nipped-in waist!

Here Dolly showcases her (at that time) natural assets: a tiny waist and some significant boobage. Does she have saddle bags or bingo wings? We’ll never know, thanks to those coyly sheer sleeves and cut of her skirt. Bravo for working what you’ve got!

I think it’s a fair bet that Dolly wasn’t born with hair that big and blond or eyes that defined. But who among us was? Girlfriend is oft quoted as saying “If you don’t like the road you’re walking on, start paving a new one.” And I’m going to choose to interpret that as “If I don’t like my paltry blond eyelashes, I’m going to glue some new ones on” and “If I’m feeling a bit short, I’m going to rat my hair up a few more inches.”

A modern take on Dolly’s vintage look you say?

Lesson 2: Sexy and casual are not mutually exclusive

I don’t know about you, but my casual looks are usually a deeply sexy combination of sweatpants and cardigans, coupled with a kicky pair of L.L. Bean slippers. Hot, no? But here, The Dollster makes the excellent argument that it is actually possible to rock demin and bandanas in a sexy, sophisticated way.

I think the trick here is a slim fit and pairing these casual offerings with a few bright, sophisticated items – a great pair of earrings, a sweet little pencil skirt and some trendy little bootlets will prevent you from looking like a farm hand.

The chicken cutlets might help as well.

Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid of a little sparkle

Dolly, what are you doing inside of my head?! Get out of there! I love me some sparkle, toooooo! While I don’t think that I can encourage replicating this look verbatim (cough matching eyeshadow to accessories to
dress cough) we can certainly learn from it. Dolly illustrates the importance of dressing to suit your coloring (blond + pink = awesome), she rocks some well-thought out accessories (well, they match at least) and, most importantly, she says “I don’t care what y’all say. I’m going to wear wear 8 pounds of sequins. At 10 a.m. On a Tuesday.”

Or, more famously, she says ” It’s a good thing I was born a girl, otherwise I’d be a drag queen.”

If I was to embrace the sequins, it would probably look something like this:

Honestly, I think the best lesson that Dolly has to offer, in style and in life, is how important it is to be true to ourselves.

Particularly if that self is a sequin-loving, big hair-having, boob stick.

Who’s your favorite non-traditional style icon?

– Sarah Von of