2014 ESSENCE Best Dressed List

The stars that shined brightest this year showing off their daring and equally divine styles.

Celia L. Smith Dec, 08, 2014

1 of 20 Larry Busacca/Getty Images and Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage

Rihanna didin’t earn the coveted Fashion Icon of The Year Award by simply being a wall flower, infact she stirs the style pot by baring all or covering the essentials in the least safest ensemble you could choose, because in her words, “There are rules! But rules are meant to be broken.”

In Adam Selman.

2 of 20 Gary Gershoff/WireImage

In Edun.

3 of 20 Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Lupita’s a lady of elegance, but classic she is not. The actress’ discerning sense of style always finds her in pieces that are chic in the traditional sense of the word but never lacking a surprising plot or twist.

In Ralph Lauren.

4 of 20 Splash News

In Bally London.

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The Scandal star's classic Americana style spread like wild fire on the show. While on the carpet, Washington didn't lose an ounce of chic even with a baby on board.

In Calvin Klein.

6 of 20

In Comptoir des Cotonniers.

7 of 20 Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Solange’s swoon-worthy style is less about the minimal monochromatic or iconically vintage looks she wears, but about the woman who pulls them off without waiting on anyone’s approval.

In Calvin Klein.

8 of 20 Splash News

In Jonathan Simkhai.

9 of 20 Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

The House of Harlow designer just gets it. Whether in a mom-on-duty edgy-street mix with the babes or  a red carpet number that is unlike what anyone else is ever wearing, Richie proves she isn’t just being styled, but that she’s a natural at it.

In Tadashi Shoji.

10 of 20 Alo Ceballos/GC Images

11 of 20 Getty Images

We’re gaga for Gugu’s striking beauty in it’s own right, but the Brit beauty’s equally demure and daring dress choices shows she might be new to Hollywood but no stranger to chic red carpet looks.

In Calvin Klein.

12 of 20 Michael Rowe

13 of 20 Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Clearly Naomi Campbell is no model hanger, never has and never will be. She’s the type of gal not only wearing the clothes, not allowing the looks to wear her––but will make you stop and stare in the process.

In Givenchy Custom Couture.

14 of 20 Darren Gerrish/WireImage and Harlem Mepham/GC Images

In Fendi.

15 of 20 Mark Davis/Getty Images for BET

Keke Palmer has come into her own this year with particularly chic and grown-up fashion choices and especially owned her look when she chopped her tresses into a cute pixie cut for kicks.

In Antonio Berardi.

16 of 20 Robin Marchant/Getty Images

17 of 20 Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

She may be young, but Zendaya Coleman is batting in the big leagues when it comes to red carpet dressing.

in Donna Karan.

18 of 20 Hannan Saleh

In Miuniku, Acne, and Rag & Bone.

19 of 20 Steve Granitz/WireImage

With a style icon for a mom, for some, those are hard heels to follow, but not for Tracee Ellis Ross. The actress doesn’t just play red carpet dress up, she’s a style connoisseur in her own right donning threads not from anyone’s showroom, but straight from her closet.

In a self-designed dress.

20 of 20 Prince Williams/FilmMagic

In J. Crew.


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