Female musicians are some of the most confident and best dressed women out there. Many musicians, male and female alike, are admired for the way they dress. Some women not only captivate their audience with their music, but with their stage presence and choice of clothing. Others just have a great sense of style, regardless of whether or not they’re performing or just showing up for an interview. Some also bring their eccentric stage style to the street. (Lady Gaga, I’m talking about you.) For this list, I’ve picked my ten favorite women based on the way they dress while performing.
I’m gonna start off with #10, if you like what you see, click the link for the rest!
#10 Lady Gaga
I debated whether or not to include Lady Gaga in this list. Her style is pretty controversial. One minute she’s being applauded for her avant garde, eccentric style, the next she’s being called crazy and tacky. It’s definitely love/hate with Lady Gaga, but she keeps it interesting. I like that she’s out there, it only adds to her performance. I would prefer if her street style were a bit different. It’s becoming almost predictable, we know when she leaves the house a leotard and glitter will most likely be involved. But, for the sake of an awesome live performance and something unique on stage, she makes my list.
#9 Katy Perry
Quite a few people find Katy Perry’s style to be kind of tacky. She’s dressed as everything from a Christmas tree, to a football player, to every fruit imaginable. I really like the way she dresses on tour better than she does for public appearances. It’s more laid back and cute. It’s not screaming for attention, it shows that behind the glitter and the fun (and the fruit!) that she actually has a pretty good sense of style.
#8 Debbie Harry
Debbie Harry’s fashion is no doubt iconic. For decades she’s been known for her blonde hair, red lipstick and punky style. (we see where Gwen gets it from…) On stage she often donned awesome t-shirts or straight up awesome 70’s punk style. Her signature style hasn’t changed, the woman is in her sixties and still looks great, but she keeps it age appropriate (most of the time) which is a plus
#7 Joanna Newsom
My friend got me into Joanna Newsom a while back, and I absolutely love her music. I’ve also been very intrigued by her style, in her early days she dressed almost like fairy, or some medieval character. Now her style is very “folky pretty.” I’ve bet you’ve never heard that one before. She’s no stranger to designer fashion either, she attended a Rodarte party in a gorgeous blue Rodarte dress, and was seen performing in sky high Chanel booties.
#6 Kim Gordon
Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth has a style that I think is worth mentioning. She is no stranger to fashion shows and she also has her own line: Mirror/Dash (and X-Girl from the early ’90s.) Something she said in an interview with NY Mag’s “the Cut” fashion blog sums her style up quite nicely: “I like to wear a dress because it’s against type. And it can’t be black. People think of extreme music as black leather. There are certain ideas of what you’re supposed to look like if you rock. I like the contrast between something that looks vulnerable and this hard music.”
Rihanna’s style is edgy both on and off the stage. Her style has evolved in recent years, it’s actually done a total 180. She’s gone from sweet pop singer to sexy vixen musician. Her stage style is a little more dominatrix-esque than her street style, but I still like it. As long as she keeps it on stage and we don’t see her walking down the street in a pvc skirt and bondage bra…unlike Lady Gaga.
#4 Lily Allen
I love Lily Allen’s style. It’s young, fashionable, and she works it well. She is the new face of Chanel’s Fall/Winter handbag campaign. Her stage style is similar to her street style, like a couple other girls on the list. I’m going to forgive her for the time she dressed up like a slutty sailor. Pretending it never happened for the sake of this list……
#3 Alisson Mosshart
I’ve written about Alison Mosshart’s (of The Kills) style before. It’s just so effortless. It’s a look that would be planned by some people, but I get the feeling she just throws something on and ends up looking awesome. Even without a mic and guitar, you know she’s a rock star.
#2 Karen O
Though she’d rather be known for her music, Karen O is mostly known for the elaborate and colorful costumes she wears on-stage. Designed by her friend Christian Joy; Karen’s stage wear is insane, in a completely good way. It’s all a part of the YYY’s performance. I don’t know what it is exactly that I like about it, maybe it’s her confidence and creativity. I just know that I like it. A lot.
#1 Gwen Stefani
Since the nineties Gwen Stefani has been known for her outrageous style and stage presence. With No Doubt she’s the queen of plaid and houndstooth (as seen above). When she started her solo career she came out in Alice in Wonderland and Japanese-inspired outfits/costumes. Even now that she’s back with No Doubt, her style is a bit less punky and more stylish, but it still has Gwen’s rock star touch. I saw them recently and halfway through she came out in a glittery, silver, checkered romper and lace-up boots. Futuristic Punk, the next Rock Chic? Both of her clothing lines reflect her two different kinds of stage style, L.A.M.B and Harajuku Lovers. Of course, her iconic red lipstick has been there the whole way.