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Signature style: As years go by, some celebs' looks never change
From Diane Keaton's gloves to Mark Zuckerberg's hoodies, many celebrities and newsmakers blaze fashion trails with trademark items.
Steve Jobs: Turtleneck
If clothes make the man, then in some sense a black mock-turtleneck helped change the world. This was the simple item of clothing that the late Apple CEO and visionary Steve Jobs wore for nearly every keynote speech, from the announcement of the iPod to his final public appearance in 2011. Jobs would buy about two dozen of the $175 shirts each year from Minnesota company St. Croix and wear them nearly every day. Shortly after his death on Oct. 5, 2011, St. Croix said sales of the popular shirt doubled, with some stores are even selling out. No doubt scores of would-be innovators and visionaries bought the shirt in tribute to the man who showed that even someone in the most basic, unadorned uniform can make history. Here’s a look at more celebrities and newsmakers who have become as well-known for their distinctive looks as they are for their accomplishments.
Diane Keaton: Gloves
Diane Keaton first entered the style canon in 1977 for her role as Annie Hall, but the 68-year-old actress has an equally famous look off-camera. Whether attending a red-carpet event or appearing on TODAY, Keaton’s conservative wardrobe is almost always a combination of simple slacks (in white, black, or khaki), a belt and a pair of gloves. Contrary to what some have wondered, Keaton’s penchant for gloves is not to cover up a nail-biting habit or a skin disease: it’s simply a love for the style accessory that has now become a signature part of her look.
Hillary Clinton: Pantsuits
When one thinks of fun fashion, the pantsuit is generally not the first article of clothing that comes to mind. Yet Hillary Clinton, whose love for the comfortable business outfit has become famous, has certainly proved she knows how to have fun with what was once considered to be a masculine and business-like staple. Clinton owns a rainbow of pantsuits in nearly every conceivable color, from shocking pink to canary yellow to bright blue. In fact, the former Secretary of State’s name has become so synonymous with pantsuits that she once referred to her staff as “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits.”
Madeleine Albright: Pins
Madeleine Albright’s signature style wasn’t just a fashion choice: The former Secretary of State has said that she used her famous love of pins and brooches as a diplomatic tool, and as a subtle signal to foreign leaders. If Albright was feeling optimistic about a meeting, she might wear a pin with a butterfly or a flower; if she was feeling frustrated with proceedings, she’d wear crabs or turtles. On days when Albright had to deliver an especially tough message, she’d wear a wasp pin, as a visual clue to the diplomatic stinging that lay ahead. Albright’s jewelry has become so famous that her collection of more than 200 pins has been on tour at museums across the country.
Katharine Hepburn: Trousers
In an age when women were still confined to skirts and pantyhose, silver screen actress Katharine Hepburn became famous for her signature wide-legged pants, a look that was both elegant and comfortable. Because of her non-traditional choice of clothing, the fiery star was able to keep up with her male co-stars in both banter and broad physical comedy. As a result of Hepburn’s influence, wide-legged pants found their way into fashion magazines and the closets of American women: a chic symbol of style and independence.
Mark Zuckerberg: Hoodies
Mark Zuckerberg first started working on Facebook as a college sophomore, so it makes sense that his signature style is one that’s familiar to college students everywhere: sweatshirt, Adidas sandals and a hoodie. From making a keynote speech to appearing on "SNL," the young tech genius can’t seem to be coaxed out of his super-casual, just-rolled-in-from-class look. He might be a billionaire, but Zuckerberg is clearly intent on showing that, at least outwardly, he hasn’t changed much over the past decade.
Simon Cowell: Tight T-shirts
TV personality and talent competition judge Simon Cowell cares about his physique, and his trademark tight T-shirts are clearly selected to show his muscles to their best advantage. Cowell’s uniform doesn’t change much from daytime to showtime: monochromatic Armani shirts, sometimes black, sometimes white, sometimes V-neck, sometimes not — but always, always tight.
Michael Kors: All black
Michael Kors has designed glamorous looks that have been worn by Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez and Michelle Obama, but when it comes to his personal clothing choices, his style is much simpler. The designer is rarely seen wearing anything other than dark wash jeans, a black T-shirt and a black blazer. This look lets him look put-together for everything from fashion shows to TV shows without distracting from what’s really important: the runway fashion.
Warren Buffett: Glasses
Some people wear glasses to appear smarter. Warren Buffett certainly doesn’t need to rely on a fashion accessory for credibility, but the financial analyst is nonetheless rarely seen without his thick-framed specs. The billionaire can certainly afford to buy the latest in eyewear fashion, or even get corrective surgery, but his penchant for thick glasses is consistent with his personal frugality. He may be one of the richest people in the world, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be frivolous.
Karl Lagerfeld: Signature look
Even amidst the avant-garde looks of Paris Fashion Week, Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld is instantly recognizable with his white ponytail, tuxedo, dark glasses and gloves. The often-mimicked but always admired German designer has even inspired a teddy bear, who wears a miniature replica of Lagerfeld’s daily ensemble.
Tom Wolfe: White suit
"Bonfire of the Vanities" author Tom Wolfe first bought a white suit in 1962, with the intention of wearing it in the summer. However, the suit he purchased was too heavy for summer, so he wore it in winter instead, causing such a sensation that the author quickly adopted the look as his signature style. Since then, Wolfe has been rarely seen in anything other than a crisp white suit with white tie, even donning the outfit when he appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1998.
Janelle Monáe: Black and white
R&B and soul musician Janelle Monáe Robinson — widely known as Janelle Monáe — has sported a signature style ever since she released her debut album in 2010: a classic black and white ensemble that often includes neckties and tuxedos. Monáe has credited Grace Jones and Josephine Baker as inspirations for her look, and she’s also attributed it to the time she spent working as a maid early in her career. "I feel like I have a responsibility to my community and other young girls to help redefine what it looks like to be a woman," she once said. "I don't believe in men's wear or women's wear. I just like what I like."
Duchess Kate: Hats and fascinators
As we’ve seen time and time again, Prince William’s wife Duchess Kate looks good in anything — including an assortment of colorful hats and fascinators. While the look is popular among British royalty, Kate carries it off better than most, garnering frequent headlines for her always-fashionable and often-frugal wardrobe choices.