Since Katy Perry came on the scene in 2008, she has been quite a conversation piece in the fashion world. Her signature style borders on outrageous, but she can also dial it down to demure and wear couture well for red carpet events. Whether you love her or leave her, you've got to admit that the girl's got gumption. Anyone whose wardrobe can go from glam to garish in the click of a stiletto is someone worth watching. Here are 10 fashion lessons we can learn from Katy Perry.
Have Some Fun
If we can learn any single lesson from Katy Perry, it's that we can have fun with our clothes and not take the whole fashion thing too seriously. In fact, many of her wardrobe choices laugh in the faces of fashionistas everywhere. Who else would show up to an MTV Video Music Awards show dressed in half a man's suit and half a woman's dress? With makeup and a hat to match, natch.
Find Your Own Style
Katy Perry's fashion choices are unique and very much a statement of her own individuality. A great lesson here is to find your own style that suits your body as well as your personality. Before Katy became best known for her over-the-top costumes, her wardrobe choices leaned toward vintage, often stepping into pin-up girl territory. She wore these looks well because the clothes suited her hourglass figure and her pale skin. So, while it's tempting to hop on the latest fashion trend, sometimes it's better to stick to what we look best in.
Katy Perry is known for her colorful costumes and she really doesn't seem to have any rules for what goes together and what doesn't. Her wardrobe color palette seems to live in the spirit of a lollipop, favoring a mix of bright colors as well as pastels. In Katy's world, bright green, bold blue and hot pink live together beautifully in a single outfit, and it's not uncommon for her hair to match. While making such a bold statement probably isn't in the cards for most of us in our day-to-day wardrobe, she's definitely shown us that pop of color lends some fun to an outfit.
Accessorize -- With Humor
Katy Perry has definitely shown us how fun it is to accessorize; the girl loves the opportunity to embellish an outfit. From flowery hats to heart-shaped sunglasses, rarely does Katy sport an ensemble that doesn't have some sort of fun flourish. She's even been known to rock a parasol now and again. Even if you're relegated to boring old monochromatic pantsuits for your work wear, don't be afraid to dial it up a notch with a fun belt or purse.
Limit the Outrageous Outfits
From her snowman dress to her nutcracker outfit, Katy is often straddling the line between amusing and absurd. It's not uncommon to find her in pink leopard from head to toe or wearing a hair bow that's twice as big as her head. She once attended a Teen's Choice Awards in nerd glasses, head gear and a washed out denim jumpsuit and even showed up at her 24th birthday party dressed as Freddie Mercury, moustache and all.
Katy's outfits typically serve to pack a punch, but the danger with being outrageous all the time is that the wow factor wears off and you end up always trying to outdo yourself. We have to admit, though, we do love the costumes she wears during her stage act.
If You've Got It, Flaunt It
Even if you don't love her style, you've got to admit that Katy Perry has a killer body. She was particularly blessed in the bust department and she isn't afraid to show it. What can we learn from this? Dare to make some fashion choices that show off your best assets.
If you're finally benefitting from years of crunches, find a fun shirt that bares a little midriff. Were you graced with gorgeous gams? Allow your hemlines to get a little shorter. Sculpted arms and shoulders deserve a racer-back style sundress. And so on.
But Don't Show Too Much
Yes, we just encouraged you to show a little more skin when the occasion is appropriate. But baring too much skin can take you from slick to sleazy, and fast. Some ways to achieve this are to offset the more naked end of your outfit. For example, if you're going tight on top, consider lowering the hemline a little more than usual. Short skirts are nicely paired with long sleeves, or a shirt that's a bit more blouse-y. No matter how hot your bod is, it's never a bad idea to leave something to the imagination -- a choice that Katy doesn't always make.
Mix Highs and Lows
Katy Perry obviously has a much larger wardrobe budget than the average Josephine, but many of her looks could be achieved for a lot less money. The way to do this is to mix a few high-end pieces with much more affordable basics. Splurge on that designer dress that you can't live without, then accessorize with costume jewelry or a fun belt from Target. Or, buy the cute but inexpensive shift dress from Old Navy and rock it with your best Louboutins.
Even someone who's known for her outrageous style appreciates the opportunity to dial it down on occasion. Katy Perry has proven that she can wear red carpet couture just as readily as confection-colored frocks. She's been dressed by some of fashion's best, such as Christian Dior, Elie Saab and Alexis Mobille. This means ditching the neon blue wigs and dyed pink locks in favor of monochromatic up-dos. Take note and don't be afraid to switch up the jeans and T-shirts for a fancy dress occasionally.
Katy Perry's natural hair color is blonde, but you'd never know it from the rainbow of colors she has sported on her head. Though she seems to always go back to black, more recently she's been wearing bright blue and hot pink do's, which we feel are best left to experimental teens. But she's also been a blonde, a redhead and everything in between, and she's worn them all quite well. The key to changing up your hair color is to make sure you choose the right tone for your skin color and then change your makeup colors to match.
Where do those red carpet dresses go after their big debuts? HowStuffWorks follows the trail.
- Lipshutz, Jason. "Katy Perry's 30 Most Outrageous Outfits." July 26, 2010. http://www.billboard.com/features/katy-perry-s-21-most-outrageous-outfits-1004106139.story#/features/katy-perry-s-21-most-outrageous-outfits-1004106139.story
- Phelan, Hayley and Adeeyo, Dara. "Fashion Crush: Katy Perry." Teenvogue.com. March 18, 2012. http://www.teenvogue.com/style/2010/06/katy-perry-fashion-timeline#slide=1
- "Photos: Katy Perry's Fashion Timeline." Vh1.com. March 18, 2012. http://www.vh1.com/photos/gallery/?fid=1656714&pid=5635636