25 Iconic Dresses Worn by Southern Women Throughout History
There are dresses—and then there are dresses that you remember. Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Princess Diana on her wedding day. Marilyn Monroe standing over a subway grate. Can you see them? Those are iconic dresses.
Southern women decades and decades over have graced the silver screen and the red carpet in dresses worthy of the designation. Think Hollywood starlets like Ava Gardner and Farrah Fawcett; country music singers like June Carter Cash and Loretta Lynn; It girls like Gloria Vanderbilt and Jackie Kennedy. And, of course, Queen Dolly…she’s a category all her own. Besides all being Southern, these women have something in common: They know how to make an entrance—and how to pick a memorable gown to get the job done.
Here are 25 iconic gowns worn by Southern women throughout history.
Vivien Leigh in "Gone With The Wind," 1939
Sure, the wedding dress would have made an obvious pick. But this white frock is about as classic Southern belle as it gets.
Vivien Leigh in "Gone With The Wind," 1939
When Scarlett O'Hara rocked this provacative burgundy ballgown, we couldn't help but salute her sass.
Ava Gardner, 1950
Ava Gardner, born in North Carolina, was the queen of Old Hollywood glam.
Ava Gardner, 1960
She also stole the show in this tiara-topped look at the Academy Awards in 1960.
Jacqueline Kennedy, 1962
Southern gals love to emulate Jackie O's classic style, and this simple pink dress paired with her signature bouffant is perfection.
The former First Lady spent her childhood in Virginia, and later shared a vacation home near Middleburg with her husband, John F. Kennedy.
Patsy Cline, 1970
If you know Patsy Cline, you know the singer's famous frock: a fringed red cowgirl dress. (It might not be a gown, but it's surely iconic.)
June Carter Cash, 1971
No one could own the stage like Johnny and June, especially when June Carter Cash picked this memorable glitzy number in the 70s.
Farrah Fawcett, 1972
The Texas-born Charlie's Angels star pulled off a pale yellow gown during an appearance on "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour" in 1972.
Gloria Vanderbilt, 1972
The American heiress, model, and fashion designer was the queen of simple elegance. She wore this tulip-fit gown to spend the evening at a party with Charlie Chaplin, as one does.
Lauren Hutton, 1975
Who didn't want to be Lauren Hutton, the famous Charleston-born model, when she wore this cool-girl outfit to the 47th Academy Awards?
Farrah Fawcett, 1978
Fawcett turned heads in this slinky gold gown—paired with her iconic hairstyle, of course.
Dolly Parton, 1978
Dolly Parton transported us back to the Wild West when she wore this frilly pink dress for the cover of her album, "Heartbreaker."
Dolly Parton, 1989
A few years later, she brought the glitz to the Steel Magnolias premiere in New York City.
Julia Roberts in "Steel Magnolias," 1989
This classic Southern movie inspired plenty of Southern brides to copy Julia Roberts’s off-the-shoulder lace masterpiece.
Reba McEntire, 1994
Reba McEntire proved a power red never goes out of style, wearing this sheer red dress to the CMA Awards in 1993, during a performance in 1994, and again to the ACM Awards in 2018!
Shania Twain, 1999
In our not-so humble opinion, this is Shania Twain's best look ever. Was anyone even looking at her Grammy awards?
(Also, we know she's originally from Canada. By now, we think she deserves the title "Honorary Southerner.")
Oprah Winfrey, 2002
The Mississippi-born talk-show host gave us all Disney princess vibes when donning this flattering off-shoulder gown to receive yet another Emmy in 2002.
Loretta Lynn, 2004
Country singer Loretta Lynn always stays true to her style and we're here for every single sequined, puffy-sleeved moment.
Carrie Underwood, 2012
The country star had the ultimate modern "Cinderella" moment at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards with her hubby.
Octavia Spencer, 2012
Southern women know the power of good tailoring, which means even a classic white blouse can be black-tie. Spencer paired it perfectly with a fluttery black skirt in 2012.
Faith Hill, 2014
Faith Hill walked hand-in-hand with her husband, Tim McGraw, at the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in what we'd like to call "the most perfect awards dress ever."
Reese Witherspoon, 2014
The Sweet Home Alabama star gave us everything we could want: pretty pink color, top-notch tailoring, and really good hair.
Nicole Kidman, 2017
It's like our childhood ballerina dreams coming true, but in the form of a really, really showstopping dress.
(We also consider Nicole Kidman an "Honorary Southerner," being that she's married to a country music star and resides part-time in Nashville.)
Jennifer Garner, 2018
The Texas-born actress (and hilarious Instagrammer) brought the drama in an ethereal royal blue gown while attending the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
Dolly Parton, 2019
This country music icon never fails to remind us that she's still got it. Lifetime achievement award, please!