Just like those weird celebrity crushes that you keep a secret (Gordon Ramsay, really?), there are certain celebs, whose style you may admire, but you don’t go shouting about how they can wear a peplum from the rooftops. It is a fascination you prefer to keep quiet. You may have them on your hidden Pinterest inspiration board, but just like the fact you find Chandler from Friends to be very attractive, you will never admit to either one openly. You’ll proudly say you love Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna and whoever is currently gracing the best-dressed lists, but your other celebrity style icons might be too young/wacky/avant-garde for the general public to appreciate their fabulousness.
Here are celebrities who’s style we quietly applaud when no one is looking:
1. Kim Kardashiandiaper look chic. Maybe the Vogue cover will help, but either way there’s no fooling us, that a heck of a lot of people think of her as style icon. The Kimye wedding photo didn’t break Instagram just through Kanye West‘s likes.
2. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
The consensus may be that Elizabeth Olsen is the best dressed Olsen sister, but Mary-Kate and Ashley still have a cult fashion following–and no, it’s not just from hermits–that joke is the reason why people don’t openly profess their love of the twins. Sure, they may dress like bag ladies on occasion, but their style is completely their own and they deserve props for not dressing like every other crop top-obsessed, 90s nostalgic celebrity. They also made people want a $16,000 backpack, so clearly they have some fashion clout.
3. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus‘s wardrobe has been the punchline of many jokes, even more so than her unsanitary tongue. While some of her NSFW nipple exposing outfits, might be a bit too out there for you to try at the office, you can still appreciate her risk-taking and high-low-mix. On occasion she does keep it classy and wearable for the masses, and if you admitted to her being your style icon then people would get it, but most of the time they would ask if you will be taking fashion advice from a nudist next.
4. Taylor Swift
Before the Swiftees (or whatever they are called) come after me, let me explain. I like Taylor Swift’s lady-like style and impeccable lipstick. She does the patriotic look brilliantly. (Go USA!) However, when you live in an area filled with hipsters with tragus piercings and full-length sleeve tattoos, who reference obscure art movements from the 1570s as their style inspiration, admitting that you like Taylor and her flippy skirts is a bit embarrassing–but we still love them and her oxford shoes.
5. Elle Fanning
It’s not the fact that Elle Fanning sometimes looks she was styled by a very discerning Disney princess, as the reason why I’m ashamed to admit I love her. It’s the fact that Elle never went through that awkward emo-quirky weird phase that most of us went through as teenagers. Plus Elle had already amassed a collection of designer clothes at an age when the only thing I was concerned about collecting was Barbies (why didn’t I ask my mom for a Chanel bag instead?) She is way younger than us and has way better style, therefore I’m too jealous and ashamed to openly admit my love for her.
6. Harry Styles
If you’re over the age of 17, it’s embarrassing enough to admit that you know who One Direction are. At least you draw the line at being inspired by the others who’s names you certainly don’t know, or admitting that you know all the words to “What Makes You Beautiful.” Excluding that furry animal he has on his head, Harry reminds me of a quasi-hipster, thrift-store loving friend who’s style I’d like to emulate–if he wasn’t in a boy band. Just look at the way he knows how to work an artfully draped scarf, skinny jeans and heeled boot. He did win a British Fashion Award for his style, so maybe, unless the awards jury is a bunch of sugar-loving 12-year-olds we’re alright to admit this one now? On second thought, maybe not.
7. Kylie Jenner
This list could have easily featured most of the Kardashian family, even Kanye West. (The guy did figure out a way to make matching leather jackets not look completely dorky) As they get enough media attention, I’ll keep the list to a two Kardashian limit. Besides Kim (see #1), Kylie is the one whose style interests me the most. Kendall may be the model, but Kylie has an edgier look. She has that glamorous punk I’m-rebelling-with-blue-hair-and-a-two-thousand-dollar-bag look that I can’t get enough of. The fact she is a Kardashian and only a teenager, means I will keep this style admiration on the down low. (Do people still say that?)
Let’s get one thing straight: The reason I like Lena Dunham is not because she is a “real girl” with a “real body.” And it’s certainly not why I’m embarrassed to admit she’s a style icon. I like her because she seems to actually pick out her playful outfits based on what she likes, and not in the hopes she’ll get a fashion campaign. She seems like a girl who genuinely has fun with fashion. (Just look at the grin!) She’s like a friend who experiments with their style, and sometimes she gets it totally right, and other times not so much, but Lena totally owns it and makes you want to dress like her any way. I don’t openly profess my style crush on her because I don’t want her to change. Never become jaded.
9. Katy Perry
Katy Perry may not be as wacky as Lady Gaga (there’s another one to add to the rivalry) but she has her fair share of zany looks. The fine line between her stage costumes, red carpet looks and off-duty wardrobe is a blurry one. It’s this sense of fantasy that I like about her, and the fact she isn’t afraid to experiment with fashion. In addition to the fact that she made matching your hair to your rainbow sequin dress look cool. I’ve discovered it’s best not to say she is your style icon otherwise people will think you want to dress up like a mermaid or human ice cream cone.
You have to be with a specific fashion-forward group for your declaration of love for Tilda Swinton to be met with nods of approval or a finger clap. If you’re in doubt, best keep this one quiet, otherwise the reaction you will probably get is, “is that the one who looks like an alien and wears ugly clothes?” People can be cruel, can’t they? First of all she’s ethereal, and it’s called avant-garde fashion, you uneducated style jerk. This is why I save myself the fights, and keep loving Tilda to myself.
So who’s your secret celebrity style icon? Let us know, or tell us your secret celebrity crush, if you dare (aliases are okay).
Photos: Getty Images, WENN, Pacific Coast News