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The 50 Best-Dressed Women of 2019

FashionThe 50 Best-Dressed Women of 2019

We’ve walked the red carpets, scrolled through the feeds, and scored the street style shots, and the verdict is finally in: this year in fashion was all about individuality.

Lady Gaga went both movie star glam at the Oscars and full-on fashion transformer at the Met Gala. Brie Larson channeled her superhero alter ego throughout her entire Captain Marvel press tour. And Zoë Kravitz showed us that, yes, an 18-karat gold bra can look just as chic as a ballgown on the step-and-repeat.

For fashion lover Tracee Ellis Ross, the fashion process was actually pretty simple this year. “The secret is to embrace your own style and try not to follow trends,” she says. That style M.O. was on display at the Met Gala’s celebration of camp fashion when she wore a black Moschino dress, complete with a gold picture frame around her face, paying tribute to black art. “The gold frame I wore was to open everyone’s eyes to the contributions that black men and women have had on camp fashion. It was an ode to the artist Lorraine O’Grady.”

Elle Fanning, who fronts InStyle’s November “Best Dressed” issue, also lands on our list for her love of fashion fantasy. “I love feeling confident in what I’m wearing,” says Fanning, who had a near constant rotation of frothy, fabulous princess dresses this year by Kimhekim, Rodarte, and Vivienne Westwood Couture, among others.

Tessa Thompson followed one major piece of fashion advice when she was getting ready for the red carpet this year. “Dress how you want to feel, not for how you want to look,” she says. “It makes getting dressed up an absolute dream, and also a party, a celebration, an adventure, a risk — all the good things in life.”

Keep scrolling to see our complete list of the 50 best dressed stars of 2019.

For more stories like this, pick up the November issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download Oct. 18.

1. Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett

Her go-to look may be “a well-pressed suit,” but even when she opts for something wildly glamorous, Blanchett (in Fendi Couture) keeps it real—fashion critics be damned. “True chic is effortless, and it’s got to come from you,” she says. “It’s not about what gets likes and views.”


2. Kate Bosworth

50 Best Dressed

In Chloé at Build Studio in N.Y.C.


3. Zoë Kravitz

50 Best Dressed

“At first I was like, ‘There’s no way in hell I’m wearing that.’ Then I sent my mom [Lisa Bonet] a picture of it as kind of a joke. And she said, ‘Honestly, you can only wear that for a few more years, so if you’re going to do it, you should do it now,’” says Kravitz of her statement-making Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti bra and Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello skirt at the Vanity Fair Oscar party.


4. Nico Parker & Thandie Newton

50 Best Dressed - Embed - Nico Parker and Thandie Newton

Not only did Thandie Newton (in Oscar de la Renta) pass along her passion for acting to her 14-year-old mini-me (and breakout star of Dumbo), Nico Parker (in Gucci), she also showed her the red-carpet ropes this year. Turns out, artful draping, playful patterns, and feminine flourishes are winning at any age.


5. Issa Rae

50 Best Dressed

“I’m not the biggest fan of red carpets, so when I do go, I like to have fun,” says Rae (in Peter Pilotto), who has been turning heads with her punchy color combos. “Bold colors match my personality, and, quite frankly, they look best on my skin tone.”


6. Julianne Moore

50 Best Dressed

Ever wonder how Moore always looks camera ready? She checks her angles long before she leaves the house. “The best thing that’s happened to me regarding fashion is the iPhone,” she jokes. No doubt this gleaming Valentino creation earned its spot on her camera roll.


7. Lupita Nyong’o

50 Best Dressed

In Honayda at the Us premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin.


8.Michelle Pfeiffer

50 Best Dressed

In The Row at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif.


9. Saoirse Ronan

50 Best Dressed

In Gucci at the Golden Globes in L.A.


10. Elle Fanning

50 Best Dressed

It’s safe to say Fanning (in Rodarte) has a thing for pink. But no matter what color she’s wearing, the 21-year-old star shines brightest in looks that play up her love of fashion fantasy — the more bows, beading, and ball gowns, the better.


11. Tracee Ellis Ross

50 Best Dressed

If you follow Ross (in Rodarte) on Instagram, you already know the Black-ish star likes to keep things playful (can you say bathtub chic?). Thankfully, she brings that same joie de vivre to the red carpet. “The secret is to embrace your own style and try not to follow trends,” she says. “I feel an immense sense of freedom when I express myself through fashion.”


12. Naomi Watts

50 Best Dressed

In Nina Ricci at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards.


13. Jennifer Aniston

50 Best Dressed

In Celine by Hedi Slimane at the L.A. premiere of Murder Mystery.


14. Adwoa Aboah

50 Best Dressed

In Diane von Furstenberg at the Met Gala in N.Y.C. 


15. Brie Larson

50 Best Dressed

“Captain Marvel is a force who owns her power, so we wanted Brie’s red-carpet looks to reflect that,” says stylist Samantha McMillen. This year, Larson (in Celine by Hedi Slimane) gravitated toward sleek lines, sequins, and accessories that pack a punch.


16. Lucy Boynton

50 Best Dressed

During her awards-season sweep for Bohemian Rhapsody, Boynton leveled up her style game. “I loved this Gucci look because it was the peak of my experimentation,” she says. “You would’ve never caught me in that a year ago.”


17. Céline Dion

50 Best Dressed

No one does cheeky street style quite like Dion. This summer she turned the City of Light into her personal runway, giving everything from a Vetements “I Love Paris Hilton” T-shirt to Chanel spandex a moment in the sun (above).


18. Tessa Thompson

50 Best Dressed

“My best piece of style advice? Dress for how you want to feel, not for how you want to look,” she says. “My favorite look this year was the custom dress that Rodarte made for my Men in Black: International premiere. They dressed me for my first big premiere, so this felt like a full circle moment.”


19. Nicole Kidman

50 Best Dressed

The best part about Kidman’s style? You can never quite predict what she’ll step out in next. Whether she chooses an architectural sheath or a sequined turtleneck gown (in Michael Kors Collection), the red-carpet pro still manages to surprise us year after year.


20. Chloë Sevigny

50 Best Dressed

In Miu Miu at the Cannes Film Festival.


21.Megan Rapinoe

50 Best Dressed

In Coach 1941 shorts at the ESPY Awards in L.A.


22. Ruth Negga

Ruth Negga

Daniele Venturelli/Wire Image

In Louis Vuitton at the Venice Film Festival.


23. Laura Harrier

50 Best Dressed

“I got to play dress-up all year!” says Harrier (in custom Louis Vuitton), who calls her first awards season [for BlacKkKlansman] a total whirlwind. “I’m a ‘T-shirt and jeans’ girl most of the time, so it was definitely a step outside my normal life.”


24. Yara Shahidi

50 Best Dressed

“I’ve had so much sartorial fun this year,” says Shahidi, who lists the Monse look she wore to the CFDA Awards among her most memorable. To find her groove, Shahidi keeps a “growing album of inspirational images” that ranges from street murals to protests to iconic shots of Naomi Campbell. “My stylist Jason [Bolden] and I use every moment to explore a new aspect of my fashion sensibilities.”


25. Janelle Monáe

50 Best Dressed

In Marc Jacobs at Instagram’s “Fem the Future” brunch in L.A.


26. Gemma Chan

50 Best Dressed

In Miu Miu at the InStyle and Warner Bros. Golden Globes after party in L.A.


27. Danai Gurira

50 Best Dressed

In Thom Browne at the brand’s fall show in Paris.


28. Elizabeth Debicki

50 Best Dressed

With her relaxed way of styling (she wears suits with a silk blouse or, you know, nothing at all), she’d top our list even if she simply stuck to separates. But when she does go off script — like in her maximalist floral Armani Privé number (above) — it’s pure fashion magic.


29. Kiki Layne

50 Best Dressed

Though Layne is relatively new on the scene, she has quickly made her mark. “This year has been filled with so many fashion firsts, including my first Met Gala and the first time I had a gown custom-made for me [at the Golden Globes, above],” says Layne. “I’m excited to keep surprising people.”


30. Sarah Paulson

50 Best Dressed

“Sarah’s style is the perfect mix of femininity, strength, and full-on fashion,” says stylist Karla Welch of the star (in Prada).


31. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

Whether she’s channeling Old Hollywood with an Oscar in hand or going full-fashion transformer with four Met Gala looks, one thing remains constant: her go-to designer and longtime pal Brandon Maxwell. “The world sees the moments on a carpet, the moments on stage,” said Maxwell on Instagram. “But I’ve been fortunate enough to see the moments behind the curtain that truly define what makes a star, a star.”


32. Kerry Washington

50 Best Dressed

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

“Kerry likes to balance femininity with edge,” says Washington’s stylist Joseph Cassell, citing the star’s Tory Burch Met Gala gown as one of her most avant-garde looks. “She isn’t afraid to take a risk.”


33. Rowan Blanchard

50 Best Dressed - Embed - Rowan Blanchard

When Blanchard (in Marc Jacobs) isn’t killing it on the step and repeat, she’s the queen of the high-fashion selfie, thrilling her 5.1 million followers with every creative #LOTD. As for the feedback? “I really like how I dress,” she says, “So if somebody says something [rude], I don’t care.”


34. Sienna Miller

50 Best Dressed

In Louis Vuitton at the brand’s fall show in Paris.


35. Patricia Clarkson

50 Best Dressed

In Michael Kors Collection at the InStyle Badass Woman Dinner in L.A.


36. Hunter Schafer

50 Best Dressed

Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

In Thom Browne at the Build Speaker Series in N.Y.C.


37. Margot Robbie

50 Best Dressed

Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Throughout her entire Once Upon a Time in Hollywood press tour, Robbie’s ethereal gowns (including this Chanel Haute Couture number) and smoldering beauty looks stole the show. Movie-star glam at its finest.


38. Lena Waithe

50 Best Dressed

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

“This is what a CEO looks like now,” says Waithe (in Pyer Moss, right). “I’m not always in a suit, but I always want to look cool and be comfortable.”


39. Allison Janney

50 Best Dressed

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Film Magic

Dramatic silhouettes, sophisticated color palettes, and a whole lot of bling — over the years Janney (in Alberta Ferretti) has found a red-carpet strategy that only gets better with time. “I call it classic with a flair for the theatrical,” she says.


40. Gwendoline Christie

50 Best Dressed

In Iris van Herpen at the Game of Thrones premiere in N.Y.C.


41. Michelle Dockery

50 Best Dressed

At the London premiere of the long-awaited Downton Abbey movie, Dockery delivered one sexy return to the red carpet in this gilded Galvan creation, Cartier hoops, and a slicked-back do. Lady Mary would certainly be proud.


42. Yalitza Aparicio

50 Best Dressed

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

In The Vampire’s Wife at Vanity Fair‘s New Hollywood party in L.A.


43. Rihanna

50 Best Dressed

In Alexandre Vauthier Couture at the Savage x Fenty show in N.Y.C.


44. Gwyneth Paltrow

50 Best Dressed

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Film Magic

In G. Label by Goop at the Avengers: Endgame premiere in L.A.


45. Zendaya

50 Best Dressed

Besides earning her street-style cred and a prime spot in the New York Fashion Week lineup (her second collection with Tommy Hilfiger launched this fall), Zendaya’s statement-making looks have helped her overcome personal obstacles as well. “I allow fashion to be an outlet and a way to experience different sides of who I am,” says the star (in David Koma). “It’s given me a lot of confidence.”


46. Sophie Turner

50 Best Dressed

In Louis Vuitton at the Deauville American Film Festival in Deauville, France.


47. Michelle Yeoh

50 Best Dressed

Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images

In an Elie Saab dress at the Charles Finch and Chanel pre-Oscar dinner in L.A.


48. Millie Bobby Brown

50 Best Dressed

In a Maje jacket in London.


49. Taraji P. Henson

50 Best Dressed - Embed - Taraji Henson

“My favorite fashion moment this year was at the BET Awards,” she says. “I changed three times and then instantly fell in love with my spiked Balmain dress.”


50. Judith Light

50 Best Dressed

“When I get dressed, I think, ‘Who do I want to be in this moment?’” says Light (in Christian Siriano). “The answer is usually someone bold and elegant.”

For more stories like this, pick up the November issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download Oct. 18.

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