Welcome back to Underrated Icons, a column that looks at the styles of icons past and present, specifically icons that don’t always get the credit they deserve.
In light of Sunday’s Academy Awards, today’s post features Ruth Negga, one of this year’s nominees. Appearing in films like 12 Years a Slave and World War Z, along with TV shows such as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ruth has years of acting experience. But it was a lead role in 2016’s Loving, the historical drama based on the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision Loving vs. Virginia that solidified the Irish-Ethiopian star’s role as an up-and-coming icon, and earned her multiple award nominations and the January 2017 cover of Vogue.
In addition to being a fantastic actress, she’s a total badass and has also spoken out about creating more diversity in the film industry:
“It’s not about being color-blind, it’s about being color appreciative, and inclusive…I think it’s a good thing for everybody that we see the entire world reflected back at us on our screens.”
Inspired to emulate this woman? Here’s how to get Ruth Negga’s classic and fresh style for yourself.
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Ruth is a fan of wide-leg shapes and unexpected fabric pairings, so with spring right around the corner, go for a bold but light look by mixing a subtle print with an interesting texture – in this case, a flowy floral tank and lace culottes. You can dress this look up or down by wearing either lace-up flats or classy heels. For accessories, wear simple bangle bracelets, and give the outfit a pop of color with a mint green crossbody bag. For makeup, wear a classic red lip, bold brows, and mascara to imitate Ruth’s vintage look.
Ruth’s more casual style is a quirky combination – bohemian and menswear-inspired. To get the look, a classic black blazer with high waisted skinnies and a subtly sexy lace crop top to play with proportion. Add a floppy hat and platform clog sandals to give your outfit an easy, effortless vibe. To top it all off, balance out a sleek, masculine watch with a feminine rhinestone bracelet.
Standing at 5’3″, Ruth is petite. Despite that, she still manages to pull off large and billowy shapes and proportions that in theory should overwhelm her frame.
No matter what your height or shape, you can wear bolder, looser shapes like Ruth with one simple concept – balance. A girly, tailored Peter Pan collar blouse in a unique fabric paired with an edgier faux leather midi skirt in a bold color creates just that. A mini-crossbody bag is practical for carrying necessities while lace up-chunky boots are unexpected. Cat-eye shades protect your eyes and are also a nod to Ruth’s modern-vintage style.
What do you think?
Have you seen any of Ruth Negga’s work? Did you like these looks? Have any special requests for upcoming columns? Sound off in the comments!