Whether it be head-to-toe designer wear, thrifted finds, or smooth but functional sports gear, when it’s all said and done, your look should gently — but masterfully — whisper your name, letting onlookers know it is simply, perfectly you doing you.
At Hour Detroit, our team of skilled fashionistas annually pools our resources to identify an elite group of metro Detroiters who consistently present themselves a cut above the norm — to the point of earning the title “best.”
Note: the photos in this post were shot on location at The Whitney; hair/makeup by Monica Jadan; wardrobe director Jessica VanAssche; digital tech/photo assistant Karl Moses; second photo assistant Hailey Kasper; talent coordinator Mary Ann Mangano.
2022 Best Dressed List
Jason P. Drumheller // Dezi Santiago // Austin Bryant // Sissy Yellen // Elizabeth “Betsy” Gould // Ralph Gilles // Lindsay Scallen // Ursula Froes Mullen // Dr. Nadia F. Yusaf // Loren Hicks // Rayford Jackson // George Nikollaj
First vice president and financial adviser for The Stillwagon Group at Morgan Stanley.
Fashion style: Modern classic with a sporty edge. During a normal week, you’ll find me in a custom suit that I helped design with Ray Hines from Cicchini Custom Clothier in Birmingham. I’m a little more daring with my suit patterns and linings, but I will typically match that up with a solid shirt and tie. Whenever I meet with clients, I feel it’s important to wear a tie, and I will pair that with some Ferragamo loafers and a matching belt, along with a pocket square. When I’m not in the office or a boardroom, you can usually find me on the golf course. Golf fashion and accessories are something I always try to have fun with; I wear more aggressive colors and patterns from Greyson Clothiers, RLX, Peter Millar, and G/Fore.
When did you first become interested in dressing well? Fashion has always been a way to stand out and differentiate myself regardless of I am doing. It was also when I was younger that I fell in love with Air Jordans and have continued to amass a nice collection of them. I get the chance to wear them every once in a while.
Describe one of your sharpest outfits of all time. This is easily the custom tuxedo that I had made for my wedding. I worked with Ray Hines, and we designed the perfect navy blue tux with navy satin accents and a bow tie. I complemented the tuxedo with a pair of navy velvet Ferragamo loafers. Ray also added a custom monogram on my shirt cuff that read “J+R,” and he stitched “Jason and Rhonda” [Drumheller is married to WDIV Local 4’s Rhonda Walker] into the inside cuff of my pants. It’s an outfit and a day that I will always remember.
Whose fashion style to you admire? I have always admired David Beckham’s fashion sense and style. What is unique about him is that he has a great ability to pull off all sorts of looks in all types of situations, whether he’s at a sporting event or an airport.
Where do you shop? Who are your favorite designers? I work with stylist Ray Hines on all of my suits. I’m also a big fan of Ferragamo, Gucci, and Tom Ford.
Fashion advice: When it comes to clothing, fit is everything. I would find a tailor that you trust and work well with. I always feel it’s difficult to look good in a piece of clothing that doesn’t fit well, regardless of how expensive it might be.
Hairstylist, podcast host, and founder of Sway’D Style Lounge.
Fashion style: Tomboy chic most of the time, but I always make time for glam.
When did you first become interested in dressing well? I played in my dad’s ties and belts as a child, and a petticoat was my favorite base piece. I could go from Cinderella to Punky Brewster with the twist of a tie or belt.
Describe one of your sharpest outfits of all time. I believe in “looks,” so whenever I’m dressing, I dress according to my vibe. A recent look that stands out is an oversized silk Balenciaga wrap shirt dress that I reversetied on the side to create a super-high thigh reveal, accessorized with the clear acrylic Cult Gaia Eden geometric clutch and a pair of zebra-print Bottega Veneta Stretch Lounge Carpet Sandals.
Describe one of your craziest outfits of all time. Not really crazy to me because I do it all the time, but I have a thing about wearing men’s clothes. I just love the ruggedness and the oversized look. I paired some men’s patterned pajama pants with a brown button-up shirt; a cognac leather trench; a pair of royal blue Attico lace-up pumps; a blue Chanel box bag; and big, wild hair. Hair is indeed included in fashion, FYI.
Whose fashion style to you admire? Julia Lang, founder and creative director of @ItsVeert. And I’m always ready for a Rihanna moment!
Where do you shop? Who are your favorite designers? Right now, I am heavy on the Jacquemus slides. I’ve been on those since six seasons ago, and I can’t shake the obsession. Loewe has been amazing. I’m about quality pieces that will remain timeless. Locally, I’m always in Neiman Marcus playing dress-up with my favorite duo, David Crain and Suzie [Dehko]. My favorite place to shop is The Webster. In a pinch, Net-a-Porter is a great online go-to; you’re sure to find some great pieces, and depending on your location, they can come the same day or next, without fail.
Fashion advice: Comfort can still be cute. Dressing at the expense of pain or discomfort is never the move. We should be wearing the clothing, not the clothing wearing us.
Defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions.
Fashion Style: I would categorize one side of my style as suave, while I would identify the other side as fresh and fun.
When did you first become interested in dressing well? It started in my childhood years, dating back to elementary school. Although I didn’t have a lot, I made sure that I always put myself together well, and a fresh pair of sneaks was mandatory.
Describe one of your sharpest outfits of all time. One that I wore recently started off with a khaki Burberry overshirt with the classic “TB” logo all over, from last season’s fall collection. For bottoms, I went with loose-fitting navy blue cargo pants. To bring it all together, I came with cream-colored midtop Ferragamo shoes. These added some flavor to the outfit because of the word “Ferragamo,” which is stitched in rainbow, spanning the width of each heel. I accessorized with a navy blue fitted ball cap with the trademark “D” in the signature Tigers orange with crystals to give it a little more flare. To stay true to this city, I also rocked a green-dial Shinola automatic as well as the blue-tint Cartier glasses.
Describe one of your craziest outfits of all time I wore this crazy multicolored textured sweater with relax-fit coral pants. I coupled it with the highly coveted off-white OG Air Jordan 1 [sneakers] fitted with neon green laces. I was at [NBA] All-Star Weekend, so I wanted to show off the shoe closet a little bit.
Whose fashion style to you admire? I have a great appreciation for Steve Harvey’s wardrobe. I want to be the 25-year-old version of him. He has the perfect mix of suave and fun in his closet.
Where do you shop? Who are your favorite designers? I am a frequent visitor at Somerset Collection. I love Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, of course, because they have a little bit of everything. I also shop a lot at Xhibition in downtown Detroit. My favorite labels at the moment are Todd Patrick and Off-White.
Fashion advice: Don’t overthink it. When you see the piece and you get that little fuzzy feeling, do it!
Interior decorator at Sissy Yellen Living and former professional chef.
Fashion style: Comfortable maximalism.
When did you first become interested in dressing well? Although I was always interested in dressing, I wasn’t interested in dressing well until my early 20s. I stopped trying to make trending ideas work and started doing my own thing. I love experimenting with bold patterns and beautiful colors. I am very keen on conservative silhouettes and practical shoes.
Describe one of your sharpest outfits of all time. A white crepe-silk, draped midi dress with white leather brogue oxfords by Manolo Blahnik. I love color blocking.
Describe one of your craziest outfits of all time. There are a lot of these. The craziest look was a navy blue column dress and navy silk pumps, polished off with navy blue lipstick. Also not denying lavender tulle ball gowns or feathered shift dresses from time to time.
Whose fashion style do you admire? Author and blogger Leandra Medine
Where do you shop? Who are your favorite designers? Saks Fifth Avenue. [My personal stylist] Mary [Cholagh] tracks down anything hard to find. I like the Real Real for past-season finds. I’m a longtime fan of Gap. Anything Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, or Chanel is so timeless. Hermès for investment leather shoes and bags. Also, Farfetch, Moda Operandi, and Matches Fashion online.
Fashion advice: My personal mantra is this: If my husband, Brandon, doesn’t laugh when he sees me, then it’s not it. I love to make people smile with my clothes.
Stylist and buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue.
Fashion style: Modern chic. I enjoy combining timeless pieces with contemporary accents, creating a uniquely classic but edgy look.
When did you first become interested in dressing well? My mother would say I came out of the womb in my favorite black dress. I’ve played dress-up as long as I can remember and always enjoyed picking out clothes for my mother and grandmother.
Describe one of your sharpest outfits of all time. My black tweed and leather Chanel jacket can turn any outfit into a showstopper. I’ve had it for years, but it still works, making me feel confident and put-together whenever I wear it.
Describe one of your craziest outfits of all time. Probably an outfit I wore during [Paris] Fashion Week. When I’m in another city or country, I feel I can play with various styles and experiment with different looks and combinations that inspire not only me but also my clients.
Whose fashion style do you admire? There are so many — however, Princess Diana is iconic. She had an effortless ability to make every outfit chic and stylish.
Where do you shop? Who are your favorite designers? Saks Fifth Avenue, of course! There are so many amazing designers, and their collections and aesthetics change from season to season. It’s hard to pick just one, but I can give you a long list if you have time.
Fashion advice: As Coco Chanel once said, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” Trust your stylist.
Chief design officer at Stellantis.
Fashion style: Fitted European, “car-designer- black” auto-themed tees
When did you first become interested in dressing well? As an automotive designer, dressing well has always been important. However, in 2010, my travel to Turin for work increased, as did my awareness of style and what that represents.
Describe one of your sharpest outfits of all time. At this year’s Quail event during Monterey Car Week, I wore an outfit styled by Dolce Moda in Birmingham: a beautiful, plaid Italian-linen blazer in light blue with creamy shades of brown; a textured light-blue shirt; a pair of satin-finished, cream, organic pima cotton slim trousers; and chocolate- brown suede loafers and a matching belt. As luck would have it, I perfectly matched the Maserati MC20 Cielo Spyder in Acquamarina that we launched at the event.
Describe one of your craziest outfits of all time. Years ago, for a Detroit Science Center [now the Michigan Science Center] fundraiser featuring a Star Trek exhibit, my wife suggested we dress up as Captain Kirk (mustard yellow shirt and all) and Lt. Uhura. Of course, we arrived late, were the only ones dressed in costume, and had to weave our way to our table at the front of the room while someone was speaking. We were quite the conversation piece all evening.
Whose fashion style do you admire? Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton. His style is edgy, bold, and unique.
Where do you shop? Who are your favorite designers? Locally, I shop at Dolce Moda, where Jenny [Ouliguian] and Alyssa [Pauls] outfit me in Ted Baker and other European designers. I also enjoy shopping at Zegna’s flagship store in Milan. For casual dress, I love our friend Sasha Koehn’s American-made clothing company, Buck Mason. I also enjoy shopping at the Detroit Shirt Co. and Blipshift; both are great for cool automotive T-shirts.
Fashion advice: It’s important to update your closet every few years to ensure you have the right amount of classic pieces to balance with what’s on trend. And it allows you the opportunity to donate any items that no longer suit you, while also giving back.
Owner of Flyleaf, an upscale bookshop, bar, and bistro opening soon in Grosse Pointe Farms.
Fashion style: It depends on my mood and the occasion. [When I’m going out to an event] I always try to dress appropriately for the venue, guests, audience, and most importantly, how I’m feeling that particular day or night. I will wear something more feminine one day and then go slightly masculine another day. My style usually has a mix of sporty, sexy, feminine, and a little masculine, all at once. That is when I feel the most comfortable in my clothing — when it’s this very precise mix.
When did you first become interested in dressing well? When I was a little girl, I changed my outfits multiple times a day, depending on what my family was doing and where we were going. So I’d say I’ve always been slightly high maintenance with my outfits.
Describe one of your sharpest outfits of all time. I got married in August, and I’m going to go with my wedding dress. It was part of the Oscar de la Renta fall 2022 bridal collection. It was an embroidered silver cocktail dress, open in the back and certainly not your traditional wedding dress.
Describe one of your craziest outfits of all time. In my high school days (in the 1990s), my best friends and I would wear full black suits from Ann Taylor with scarves tied around our necks. We looked like we were going to work, not high school. It was ridiculous.
Whose fashion style do you admire? I honestly don’t follow specific people for fashion style. What works for one person — body shape, personality, etc. — won’t work for mine. Believe me, I’ve tried. My best friends in life all have very different and unique styles that fit each of them as an individual.
Where do you shop? Who are your favorite designers? My go-to places are Neiman Marcus (best overall customer service); for online shopping, I like Net-a- Porter; Alo for all my sports and leisure wear; Jenni Kayne for my at-home cozy sweaters and sweats; Intermix for fun, beachy vacation clothes. I also love Girlie Girl and Tenue in Grosse Pointe Woods for casual everyday items. My favorite designers are Chanel, Gucci, and Brunello Cucinelli. If I’m looking for something specific and more feminine, I love Oscar de la Renta.
Fashion advice: Always, always, always wear what makes you feel confident. If someone tells you a dress or an outfit looks good on you and you hate it, but you wear it, I guarantee you’ll feel uncomfortable, fidget all night, concentrate too much on your outfit, and not feel like yourself. I honestly think confidence in your clothing choices is one of the sexiest things you can exude and the perfect way to express your authentic self.
Real estate adviser at Arterra Luxe.
Fashion style: Somewhere between Detroit and Palm Beach. Being Brazilian, I can pull off anything, depending on the occasion; however, I tend to stick around business casual, chic, and athleisure.
When did you first become interested in dressing well? At the University of Michigan. I remember having my first full suit on for a meeting and falling in love with suits.
Describe one of your sharpest outfits of all time. A red, crepe suit jacket from Black Halo paired with the matching straight-leg pant. I love a matching set.
Describe one of your craziest outfits of all time. A bold Carolina K flower- print dress for a day in Palm Beach. I call that crazy.
Whose fashion style do you admire? Modern influencers like Camila Coelho, Mona Vand, and Negin Mirsalehi.
Where do you shop? Who are your favorite designers? I had to look in my closet to answer this, because I never shop by designer but rather the piece itself. Saks Fifth Avenue, Revolve, Jaus, and Caruso Caruso. My favorites are Theory, A.L.C., L’Agence, Joah Brown, and Sandro.
Fashion advice: You can never have enough suit jackets.
Fashion style: Modest and sophisticated with an edge. I like to be unique, and I love statement pieces for certain occasions. As a Muslim woman, my dressing style is more modest but still fashion forward. I hope to serve as a source of inspiration for other working moms, female physicians, and Muslim women to be creative and not limit their fabulous sense of expression.
When did you first become interested in dressing well? When I started medical school, I made a decision to put forth more conscious effort into how I dressed. I knew that my appearance and how I presented myself would be the first impression I make on my patients.
Describe one of your sharpest outfits of all time. I have a red, tulle tiered gown that is dramatically voluminous and makes me feel like royalty.
Describe one of your craziest outfits of all time. To celebrate my birthday, I wore a customized full-length, long-sleeve pastel paillette sequin dress. I love that it is so unique. Kids stopped me, thinking I was a Disney princess.
Whose Fashion style do you admire? Kate Middleton’s style has always been inspiring. She has an effortless elegance no matter what she wears — even her maternity style was on point.
Where do you shop? Who are your favorite designers? My favorite places to shop are Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Net-a-Porter, and Intermix. My favorite brands are Zimmermann, Self-Portrait, Needle & Thread, Olivia Rubin, Loeffler Randall, and Chanel.
Fashion advice: Fashion should be a reflection of you; it is your calling card to the world. Wear what makes you happy. As a mother, I want to instill in my children the confidence to be who they are and to always present the best version of themselves, from the inside out.
Fashion designer and founder of Michigan Fashion Week.
Fashion style: Classic glamour.
When did you first become interested in dressing well? My entire life I’ve loved to dress well. I won “Best Dressed” in high school. Clothing has always been a passion of mine.
Describe one of your sharpest outfits of all time. Where do I start? I would definitely say my wedding dress was the baddest thing I have ever worn. It was backless, mermaid-style lace dress embellished all over with cubic zirconia. Talk about bling! The train of the dress was about 5 feet long. I was sharp!
Describe one of your craziest outfits of all time. I am not a crazy dresser. All of my stuff is well put-together — LOL. However, I have done a color-blocked suit with about eight different colors. I guess you can call that crazy and out-of-the-box for my style.
Whose fashion style do you admire? I am definitely a fan of Khloé Kardashian’s style and of Gabrielle Union’s style.
Where do you shop? Who are your favorite designers? I shop all kinds of places, from thrift stores to Saks Fifth Avenue, from local boutiques to making my own stuff. There are no limits on where I get my clothing from. I literally don’t have a favorite designer; I admire a lot of work from many different designers.
Fashion advice: Take time to learn your style and what looks good on your body. From there, begin to build a wardrobe so that, wherever you go and whoever you meet, you will be well dressed. Don’t be afraid to explore all types of stores and retailers. And my goodness, iron your clothes before you leave the house!
President of Rayford Homes LLC and CEO of Cohorts Entertainment.
Fashion style: I wear a lot of head-to-toe Gucci. My look is overall artsy, chic, and avant-garde. Never conservative — always on the edge.
When did you first become interested in dressing well? My father was a master tailor at [the former] Serman’s Clothes Shop in downtown Detroit. As a kid, my mom would send me down to Serman’s on a regular basis, to pick out outfits for church and special occasions. I’d pick out clothes, and my father would tell me no. He taught me to look for clothes with good style and great quality. It is in my DNA.
Describe one of your sharpest outfits of all time. Elton John wore a sequined Gucci tuxedo to an award show once. I had to have it, but I found out they made it especially for him. So, I contacted Gucci, and they made one for me. I wore it to a gala in LA.
Describe one of your craziest outfits of all time. A leopard-print Versace T-shirt, leopard-print Versace jeans, and leopard-print Versace scarf.
Whose fashion style do you admire? Oscar de la Renta. In terms of class, style, elegance — Oscar wins hands-down. Class act.
Where do you shop? Who are your favorite designers? I shop at Versace, Saks Fifth Avenue, and obviously Gucci. I also work with a personal shopper out of New York. I loved Jean Paul Gaultier in the late 1980s, early 1990s. I like Tom Ford and Alexander McQueen. My No. 1, however, is Alessandro Michele from Gucci. Right now, he’s the best designer out there.
Fashion advice: Dress as though you are an artist or composer creating a work of art. Do it with a secure, contemporary, au courant attitude.
Fashion style: Depends on the day, the event, and the mood. I would say that for the most part, I am drawn to classic, sophisticated styles with edge. I love the idea that one person doesn’t have to conform to one look or one style.
When did you first become interested in dressing well? I think I have always had interest in fashion because of my career, but as my self-assurance developed with age, I was able to fine-tune my style and feel comfortable in wearing what made me feel good. I am a creator of beautiful hair, so I care about how things are made and the creative process. Whether it is architecture, clothing, or a great cocktail, it is the process that intrigues me.
Describe one of your sharpest outfits of all time. I feel like my style is always evolving, so I don’t necessarily have a favorite. It’s like picking a favorite child: It’s impossible.
Describe one of your craziest outfits of all time. I look back at the fashions in certain eras, and I definitely have my regrets. For now, I like to stick with the basics and go from there to achieve an outfit that reflects my mood. The worst style is one which is out of place.
Whose fashion style do you admire? Ralph Lauren because he is timeless, sophisticated, and classic. Tom Ford because his fashion is luxurious but lowkey. Gianni Agnelli because he made such an impact on classic men’s fashion.
Where do you shop? Who are your favorite designers? I have quite a few custom pieces made by Josh Gold. His work is extremely detailed, including customized lining, buttons, monogramming, and collars. I shop at Caruso Caruso for basics and casual looks. Nike is always collaborating with cool brands, and it is exciting for me to wait for new collaborations. Burn Rubber is one of my favorites for exclusive sneaker drops.
Fashion advice: Like it or not, we are a visual society, so I plan my personal presentation each and every day. I always say there are no prizes for dressing like a rodeo clown. Your clothes are your second skin, and you should treat them like that. Fashion fades; style is eternal.
This story is from the November 2022 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition.