2014 Best Dressed List

They come from all walks of life — from automotive, hospitality, and health to politics and philanthropy. What they have in common is dressing well.
65213

Fashion style:

Classic and simple most of the time. I believe in the “less is more” approach. I do have a few punk/grunge days here and there however …

Favorite shops:

Zara, Neiman Marcus, Ralph Lauren, BCBG, Club Monaco, Lost and Found, Gilt and ASOS. Something at Target [may] catch my eye.

Favorite designers:

Victoria Beckham, Roland Mouret, YSL, Ralph Lauren and for shoes Sergio Rossi and Giuseppe Zanotti.

Fashion debut:

Thanks to my mother, I’ve always loved clothes and dressing up … she thoroughly enjoyed making me a girly girl. I began to really enjoy putting outfits together in my early 20s.

Favorite outfit:

Collared shirt, blazer, fitted jeans or leggings, and riding boots.

Go-to outfit:

When in doubt, pencil skirt and a flowy top, pointed heels.

Fashion hero:

Miranda Kerr.

Fashion advice:

Wear what you love and what makes you feel confident and beautiful. It doesn’t need to be a “trendy” outfit to be stylish. As long as it fits your body well, it will look good.

Thea Tuto-Ramadan

 

Dave Kwiatkowski

Fashion style:

Modern with great attention to detail. All my belts and shoes match exactly.

Favorite shops:

Mrporter.com, suitsupply.com, Barney’s, and J. Crew.

Favorite designers:

Ovadia & Sons, Rag & Bone, and Allen Edmonds shoes.

Fashion debut:

I’ve always been conscious of how I dress. Because of my work, I had to wear certain outfits, but when I became my own boss, I really started having fun with clothes.

Go-to outfit:

Slacks, T-shirt, blazer.

Fashion hero:

John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Fashion advice:

Dress for the night you want to have and look at every night as an adventure.

— Dave Kwiatkowski

 

Fashion style:

I tend to create my own personal trends and take risks. I love sleek feminine dresses, tailored suits, slightly embellished gowns, interesting directional structures, and fashion-forward fabrics.

Favorite shops:

Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Lyudviga Couture, and upscale vintage/resale shops.

Favorite designers:

Carolina Herrera, Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney, Miu Miu, and Lyudviga Shneyders.

Fashion debut:

As a little “church girl” growing up, I loved putting on Sunday dresses. But dressing well became important [with] my first job. I handled the media and had to be prepared to go [on] camera. I knew I was a fashion addict at age 10 … I became obsessed with the gown and broach Bette Davis wore in All About Eve.

Favorite outfit:

For my 13th birthday, my dad bought me a brown tweed bell-bottom pantsuit with matching vest and sheer blouse. I thought I was rocking it at the time. Last year [it] was a black funky wool crepe draped dress with a black leather shrug underneath. Both pieces were designed by Lyudviga Couture.

Fashion hero:

Cate Blanchett — her style is daring and feminine at the same time. 

Fashion advice:

Find your own style and try not to be a copycat or get too trendy. Always reinvent your look every few years; don’t be afraid to ask for help.

— Janice Cosby Bridges

 

Fashion style:

Comfort and luxury … clothes that make me feel good physically and psychologically. I like my suits to be as comfortable as my pajamas.

Favorite shops:

Saks Fifth Avenue and Armani.

Favorite designers:

Armani suits, Bulgari watches.

Fashion debut:

Mom always made sure we were well dressed, so I’ve been fashion conscious since childhood. I had my first custom-tailored suit at 14 years old.

Favorite outfit:

A gray wool three-piece suit that I had made in Torino, Italy — the quality, the cut. It feels so good. I’ll never forget that suit.

Go-to outfit:

Black suit, white shirt. I have five black suits, each slightly different than the other. Sometimes I agonize over which black suit to wear.

Fashion hero:

Karl Lagerfeld. I really learned to appreciate his achievements when I lived in Germany 15 years ago. He’s very cool. I love what he designs, and I really like how he perfectly updated a classic design house.

Fashion advice:

Have fun with the way you dress, but be careful to not be too trendy. Dressing should be a personal thing — an emotional connection between you and what you wear.

— Ed Welburn

 

Fashion style:

Elegantly eclectic; irreverent, unpredictable — a crazy shoe; a fabulous hat; shocking jewelry and accessories.

Favorite shops:

Neiman Marcus, anywhere vintage. I like shopping everywhere. I just bought a scarf at a shop in the airport.

Favorite designers:

Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney.

Fashion debut:

I always appreciated the beauty of fashion, but for so many years I worked on my dad’s construction sites wearing boots and jeans and the whole construction guy uniform. When I started raising my family and doing other things, I started taking and enjoying the opportunity to dress more fashionably.

Favorite outfit:

A one-piece tie-dyed jumper. I wore it to a wedding and I wore it to Fash Bash.

Fashion hero:

MC Hammer? No, wait. La Toya Jackson. I don’t have a hero but I am totally inspired by art and architecture. If I had to choose someone, I guess it would be Ron Rea, a local hero who I adore.

Fashion advice:

So much advice — first as Coco Chanel said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” And you must never trend. When you’re trending, you’re out of the trend.

— Eileen Kiriluk

 

Fashion style:

Classic, but funky. Everything tailored. Surprising accessories — cool sunglasses, great watches, amazing shoes.

Favorite shops:

Neiman Marcus, John Varvatos, Darakjian, and Tapper’s.

Favorite designers:

Stefano Ricci and Brioni.

Fashion debut:

My grandmother bought me a navy suit when I was 6 or 7. It  was then that I realized I didn’t mind getting dressed up.

Go-to outfit:

Tailored sports coat (with pocket square), custom button-up shirt, dressy jeans or slacks, unexpected shoes.

Fashion hero:

James Bond — always cool and confident — in a tux or in swimwear.

Fashion advice:

Be confident. Be true to yourself. And make sure it fits.

— Aaron F. Belen

 

Fashion style:

Classic American. Mostly casual. Obsessed with jeans and sweatshirts.

Favorite shops:

I like shopping online — mrporter.com, uniqlo.com. I also shop at Today in Ann Arbor and, of course, Shinola’s new store, Willys.

Favorite designer:

Prada. I don’t own any Prada, but it is an amazing brand. I am totally inspired by it and its influence in the world of pop culture.

Fashion debut:

I think I’ve had several. I started drawing clothing when I was 9 or 10 years old. I went through a heavy punk scene in high school. For a while I wore nothing but WillieWear by Willi Smith (a very popular brand in the 1970-80s). When I was in design school, I made my own suits, which I wore every day.

Go-to outfit:

Dark jeans, American Apparel T-shirt, Acne sweatshirt, and Alden shoes.

Fashion hero:

(Designer) Yves Saint Laurent, because of his great talent and accomplishments.

Fashion advice:

Have everything tailored. Buy to the largest part of your body then have the rest tailored to fit. I was a stylist in L.A. for 15 years. I quickly learned that the absolute most important thing in fashion is fit.

— Daniel Caudill

 

Fashion style:

I grew up in a laid-back surfing community, then went to a very formal school on a golf scholarship. I think my style is a mix of both of those worlds. So it becomes stuff like beautiful silk blouses with cotton shorts.

Favorite shops:

When I splurge I go to Tender and Linda Dresner. I also like Complex and My House of Style for jewelry.

Favorite designers:

Miu Miu. Everything fits perfectly. Well, maybe it doesn’t always fit my pocketbook. I also love Lanvin and Kelly Wearstler jewelry.

Fashion debut:

Going to church as a child. I always looked forward to putting on my best duds on Sunday.

Favorite outfit:

My first really fancy dress — a Lanvin gown that I wore to a Karmanos Cancer Institute benefit. It felt so good.

Fashion hero:

I have three: Kelly Wearstler, Los Angeles fashion and interior designer (makes fashion look effortless); Lupita Nyong’o, actress (she’s so daring with color); Andi Rehm, my salesperson at Tender (boldly mixes patterns and never looks forced).

Fashion advice:

Sometimes less is more. I use this principle in my work, the way I design a room, and in the way I dress. Don’t take away the importance of a good piece by piling on a bunch of other pieces.

— Michelle Mio

 

Fashion style:

Creative/casual/professional — a mix of New York, Miami, San Diego, and Detroit (all places I’ve lived). Blazers with something interesting to them paired with a Kid Rock or a Detroit Surf Co. T-shirt.

Favorite shops:

Caruso Caruso, Nordstrom, shops in the Soho skate culture.

Favorite designers:

Psycho Bunny, Diesel, John Varvatos (I like his rock ’n’ roll twist to things), JCPenney for accessories.

Fashion debut:

It wasn’t so much a debut as it was when I got punched in the face by fashion. I tried too hard in the ninth grade — Jordache jeans, Chess King shirt, Capezio shoes. I ran into some old buddies (and) they let me know how ridiculous I looked.

Favorite outfit:

For a long time … anything in turquoise blue to enhance my eyes. I’m over that.

Go-to outfit:

I have a nicely tailored fitted blazer that I always get compliments on.

Fashion hero:

Not my dad. That’s for sure. Actually, it’s my wife, Treger. She’s always trying new things — a little ahead of the curve.

Fashion advice:

Wear what makes you feel good. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right.

— Rob Strasberg

 

Fashion style:

Timeless and tailored.

Favorite shops:

Any store with a designer sale rack.

Favorite designers:

Ralph Lauren, Sean Jean, and Cole Haan.

Fashion debut:

At an early age. I always enjoyed getting spiffy for church and special events.

Favorite outfit:

It was a plaid (throwback) print that a good friend, Mark England, had styled and designed. He paired it with an ascot. First time I had pulled off that look and it was debuted during the annual NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner.

Go-to outfit:

Classic blue, two-button suit. You can never go wrong with it.

Fashion hero:

Sammy Davis Jr.

Fashion advice:

If it wasn’t made for you, get it tailored for you. And don’t forget the accessories.

— Donnell R. White

 

Fashion style:

Classic chic.

Favorite shops:

Intermix, Halston Heritage, Bergdorf Goodman, BCBG Max Azria, Max Mara.

Favorite designers:

Rick Owens, Akris, Nanette Lepore, David Meister.

Fashion debut:

Ever since I can remember, dressing well has been important to me. My sense of style and fashion influence came from the women in my life. My grandmother was a seamstress and she taught me to sew at the age of 5. I remember taking remnants from things she had made and using them to make myself tops, pants, skirts, sashes, and headpieces.

Favorite outfit:

When I was 13, I made a short, gored skirt with a sleeveless cropped shirt. They were made of a royal purple silk blend and on the bottom of the crop I tacked large gold sequins as fringe. I felt like royalty every time I wore that outfit.

Go-to outfit:

A sheath or fitted dress in any jewel tone.

Fashion hero:

My mother and grandmother. Their style is elegant and classic like fashion icon Audrey Hepburn. Everywhere they go they always stand out as the best-dressed ladies in the room.

Fashion advice:

Understand your body type and focus on pieces that complement your shape.

— Rumia Ambrose-Burbank

 

Fashion style:

A bit eclectic. I don’t like wearing any one designer or brand from head to toe. I like to mix it up to create my own look. A great tie or bow tie is usually my starting point.

Favorite shops:

Gilt, Caruso Caruso, Nordstrom, and J.Crew.

Favorite designers:

I love Alexander Olch, Forage Haberdashery, and Personality Milano.

Fashion debut:

Being well put together became important when I began photographing weddings. Not only was I surrounded by beautiful, well-dressed people, but there is an element of being well-dressed that is empowering. 

Favorite outfit:

A Façonnable Fall sport coat. It looks great with any shirt and tie/bow tie combination.

Go-to outfit:

My staples are usually built around Chuck Taylors and a great pair of jeans, or a unique tie or bow tie and a great pair of jeans.

Fashion hero:

I don’t really have any one hero. I pick and choose different things that I like from a lot of different people and places and try to incorporate those influences.

Fashion advice:

Fashion can be as much about how something fits as much as it is what you’re wearing. Look for items that fit you well or spend a few extra dollars to get it tailored to you. Regardless of what style or fashion you adhere to, own it with confidence. Confidence is just as visible as your clothes. 

— Carl Welti III

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