Counting Down The 20 BEST Celebrity Style Looks of 2021: Part THREE (The Top Ten)

Posted on December 22, 2021

If you’re the type who skips ahead to the finale without reading the introduction, well shame on you, you little scamp. In other words, before you hit the final ten, you can read about entries 20 to 11 here and here.  And now for the goddesses, queens, princes, princesses and toy soldiers of this portion of the list.


10. Riz Ahmed in Prada at the “Encounter” Los Angeles Premiere

To reiterate points we made in the previous entries, the big stories of celebrity style in 2021 had to do with the rise of peacocking among male stars, the (not coincidental to the first point) spike in the color pink’s popularity among men, and the overall embrace of Asian and African shapes, motifs, prints and styles on the red carpet by Asian and Black stars. Riz managed to hit the trifecta with this quietly gorgeous, impeccably executed look.



9. Dan Levy at the Critics Choice Awards in Dior Homme

When it comes to promotional style, Dan Levy has spent his post-David Rose public life doing the Sarah Jessica Parker thing, more or less. When the actor and the character share the same distinctive style preferences, it can be difficult to separate the two. We tend to think he’s still figuring this out, since he seemed to cycle through several distinctly un-David style experiments this year. This toy soldier take was a spectacular way to transition slightly away from the pretension of David Rose while still playing to Dan Levy’s strengths (in this case, the very fact that he’s cute and charming enough to get away with this sort of cosplay at all). Just a gorgeous look that found its perfect wearer.



8. Elle Fanning in Gucci at the LACMA Art + Film Gala

Controversy! Controversy on the list! We expect some vigorous pushback on this one and on a certain level we might agree, given our dislike of side cutouts and our usual complaints about the ubiquity of public underwear in high fashion. But sometimes a look comes on so strong and makes a statement so unmistakable in its articulation that we have to simply applaud the results for their masterful use of fashion. She’s still young enough and savvy enough to know that the fairy tale princess looks won’t entirely leave her style rotation for the foreseeable future – not while she’s literally playing royalty in a critically lauded period piece like The Great. But she’s also old enough (and savvy enough) to know that it’s time for her to start sending the message that she can be so much more than a pastel princess when she wants to. Message received, loud and clear.



7. Zendaya in Rick Owens at the “Dune” London Premiere

One of the first things we did as we started compiling these entries was click on the Zendaya tag in our archives, knowing that she could have easily populated five or more spots on the list based on her jawdropping year in red carpetry and other forms of promotional fashion. But we tend to dislike a list that’s all samey-same, so in our quest to narrow down the choices from all of the fabulous looks she sported this year, we kept coming back to this one for having something a lot of the others didn’t: a quiet, regal sort of chicness. She more or less pioneered the rising trend of theme dressing for red carpets, but this look, with its Leia undertones and overall fantasy vibe, allowed her to hit that Sci-Fi Queen sweet spot without stepping out in a literal costume.



6.  Hannah Waddingham in Christian Siriano at the Emmys

Sometimes, you’ve just gotta recognize when every single piece falls neatly into place. This may be the most conventional look of any of our choices for best of 2021, but there’s simply no denying that the marriage of classic goddess gown and statuesque (almost literally) beauty with a ton of personality resulted in one of the most dazzling looks all year. A personal best for her and a pretty high-ranking moment for Christian Siriano.


Next up: The TOP FIVE.


[Photo Credit: Ted Belton, Erica Cloud/Instagram,, Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures/Legendary Picture, Media Punch/, Abaca/, Francis Specker/CBS, Cliff Lipson/CBS, VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

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