Why Adele Should Be Your Style Icon

My motto in fashion may be “Live Colorfully” (thanks Kate Spade) but there are few people’s style I love more than Adele. She works the giant big red hair bouffants, killer cat eye makeup, and makes all black look like the sleekest thing since they invented the little black dress. The fact is, if you’re not going to go big, bold, and colorful, you can look timelessly classy and elegant in all black, without channelling your inner Hot Topic teenager. It simplifies your wardrobe too because mostly black with just pops of accent color, can’t really be screwed up.

I also can’t deny my biggest love about Adele’s fashion is that she’s not a teeny-tiny girl and she’s entirely unapologetic about it. She stands firm on the belief that people should take or leave her based on her unbeatable pipes, and if her curves make you think less of her, well, you can just go piss off. The fashion mags tried to change her to suit their needs, photoshopping the hell out of her, covering her up, hiding her cheeks with her hands, and doing very awkward crops on the cover so it only shows her face.  She’s also dealt with some less than positive comments about her size from her peers, such as Lady Gaga’s infamous comments in a “60 Minutes” interview:


Meanwhile Adele is too busy doing her own thing to care about snide comments about her frankly gorgeous self:

“I enjoy being me; I always have done. I’ve seen people where it rules their lives, you know, who want to be thinner or have bigger boobs, and how it wears them down. And I don’t want that in my life.” –Adele

I admire the hell out of that, because fashion does its best to take a dump on anyone who isn’t runway model shaped. It’s hard to find cute clothes that flatter instead of outright hide your body. It’s difficult to embrace the curves with confidence, and Adele, beautiful, talented Adele, shows that it can be done.

So how to do you get her flawless style?

Step 1: The Make Up 

Adele’s look is dominated by her perfect makeup, which is classic vintage sass. It’s all about three things: go big or go home eyelashes, a perfect winged eyeliner, and accentuating those cheekbones. She’s also been known to rock the perfect red lip but isn’t afraid of the tone down look with neutral shades either. It’s all about balance and contouring. Well-shaped eyebrows perfectly mirror the arc of the eyeliner, the mascara is heaviest at the outset mimicking the widest part of the winged eyeliner, and the subtle blush sits just under the height of her cheekbones instead of on them, making them stick out more. It’s all rather brilliant. And despite wearing a lot of makeup, it’s va-va voom but still subtle. You could wear this to work or on the runway because it’s mostly accomplished with neutrals.


If, like me, you have no idea how to accomplish this look in reality, and don’t have a team of rocking makeup artists, YouTube saves the day again. This is a how-to guide on getting Adele’s Vogue cover look:

Step 2: That Hair

OK, I admit, half my love of Adele’s style is that she is a ginger. We’re a small bunch, so if you have the redheaded locks, it’s often hard to find a fellow carrot-top in the news to look up to and emulate. Adele owns her gingerness, even when she’s adding in the platinum weave (there’s generally at least a bit of copper even in the dye jobs). Aside from the color, Adele likes to GO BIG when it comes to her hair– let’s just say some days you’re not sure which is bigger, her hair or her voice, and I love that. I’ve got naturally big red hair, and it’s normally a case of unapologetically owning the look because it’s not worth the effort of taming it. That said, Adele’s look ranges from a modern beehive bouffant to down, but with mega sculpted volume.


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I’ve managed to do the big loose waves on my own, and I’m pretty much the worst hair stylist in the world. It just took straightening out my curls, and then using an In-Styler to inject some volume to the top. The same could be accomplished with good old fashioned rollers. However doing the beehive escapes me entirely, so thankfully there are experts who can give you the lowdown.

Step 3: The Clothes

16158-adele-quote-about-jonny-cash-fashion-dress-clothes-celebquote-black--wallpaper-500x500As I mentioned earlier, the heart of Adele’s wardrobe is mastering the timeless elegance of a mostly black wardrobe. It’s chic, it always matches, and for those of us who aren’t always super comfy in our bodies, it creates optical illusions that make us feel more secure. To mimic Adele’s style, you mostly need three things: an endless array of A-line LBDs, capelets or vintage dress coats, and super comfy oversized sweaters. Yeah, you heard me, a big ugly lumpy jumper that you sit around the house eating ice cream in when you’re sick. Adele manages to rock the Bridget Jones-style jumper with some simple black pants/leggings and a shirt, and with her superstar makeup and hair, it’s somehow a great (and comfy) casual look. Her LBD game is perhaps her strongest style attribute, with retro influences in the tea-length hems, curve flattering A-line skirts, three-quarter length sleeves, and interesting textures (lace, sparkles, etc) to jazz them up. Her outwear ranges from her tartan and faux-fur cape that looks like she’s been weekending at Balmoral to an endless amount of black swing coats.

For once, this is a simple look to emulate. Regardless of your size, ModCloth has you covered, though it does have one of the biggest arrays of vintage dresses for curvy girls I’ve ever seen, as well as a plethora of super cute coats and sweaters. It’s kind of one-stop shopping with relatively affordable prices too, no matter your body shape. We think Adele would approve.



View Comment (1)
  • Love this article! Adele really seems like a wonderful woman, and I love her style.

    However, that Lady Gaga quote you mentioned is phony. It started circulating on Tumblr a while back, and lot of people were fooled by it. Here is the 60 Minutes interview in question, and she doesn’t mention Adele at all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBk22UhcJIo

    I know Lady Gaga isn’t everyone’s favorite person because she’s kind of an oddball, but I wouldn’t ever consider her a hateful person.

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