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Coretta Scott King was a courageous and determined woman. During her decade-long marriage to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she stood steadfastly by his side during the Montgomery bus boycott, the Selma to Montgomery marches, and their final years together. Coretta Scott King also embodied grace and class with her fashion choices. To honor her memory and contributions to the world, we’ve compiled a list of some of her most memorable style moments that serve as a reminder that even when one is at the peak of public scrutiny, what you wear can be your best revenge. Her own personal style remained impeccable throughout this challenging time in her life: Coretta Scott King possessed a keen sense of personal style that came through in her clothing choices even when they were limited by circumstance or cost. The icon proved that less is more when it comes to your wardrobe, which is why we’re breaking down her essential style tips…
Always be well-dressed.
No matter the occasion, you have one chance to make a first impression. This sentiment rings especially true for high-profile individuals such as Ms. King, who was often photographed during her husband’s rise to fame in the 1950s and 1960s.Even when she wasn’t in the spotlight, Coretta Scott King made sure she was well-dressed at all times. There are pictures of the icon walking the streets of New York City in the 1960s, and she always looked impeccable—not an easy task when you’re wearing a long skirt and sleeves that go past your wrists.Coretta Scott King understood the importance of dressing well and setting a positive example for others. She wanted to make sure that she was always dressed as beautifully as she could be, not only for herself but for her husband as well. She always wore her wedding ring and had a nice handbag to carry around, just as she did when she was a young woman. She didn’t care what the press or public thought of her, she cared about her husband, her family, and her friends.
Don’t be afraid of color.
Like many women, Ms. King was probably naturally inclined to wear neutrals most of the time. However, she also understood the importance of wearing color and mixing it up from time to time.Coretta Scott King was never afraid to wear bright colors and stand out in a crowd. She knew that her husband was the focus of most of the public eye, and she tried to steer clear of the spotlight as much as she could. However, she would wear bold colors to accentuate her wardrobe and even make a statement.
Keep your wardrobe versatile.
Coretta Scott King is a shining example of how to make a wardrobe last a long time and squeeze every last drop out of it. Instead of buying a bunch of new clothes, she made sure to only buy pieces that could be worn in a variety of different ways during different seasons, and she did so on a tight budget. Rather than wearing a coat, she would wear a nice shawl or wrap to keep her shoulders warm. Rather than buying a new dress, she would make one out of an old one and make it look new again. Rather than buying new shoes all the time, she learned how to re-sole them. Coretta Scott King didn’t have a ton of money to spend on clothes, and she knew that there were better ways to spend it. Rather than spending money on something that she would only wear a few times, she would put her efforts into learning how to create clothing that could be worn year-round.
Accessories are your best friend.
Everyone has a few accessories that they cannot live without, but accessories can take on a whole new meaning when you’re a public figure constantly in the spotlight. Coretta Scott King was a woman who knew how to play with accessories to make an outfit pop. Sometimes, she would even take something off and let it rest on her lap if it was too bulky, and it could be distracting. Because she was often photographed during her husband’s rise to fame in the 1950s and 1960s, Ms. King’s accessories often received as much attention as her clothes. She often wore large earrings, a wide belt, and a bold brooch to accentuate her outfits.
Be cautious with prints and patterns.
If there was any one downfall in Ms. King’s wardrobe, it would be the number of printed and patterned pieces she owned. However, she made sure to wear them in appropriate ways. The good thing about prints and patterns is that they are very forgiving. They can really liven up an outfit and help a woman look her best. If you’re like Coretta Scott King and you love patterns, just make sure you don’t overdo it. A patterned dress is nice, but it’s going to look much nicer if you pair it with simple shoes and accessories.
Overall, it’s important to remember that fashion is a form of self-expression. What you wear is a direct reflection of who you are, how you feel, and where you come from. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look good—you just have to be creative and resourceful.Yes, dressing well can be expensive, but you don’t have to break the bank to look like a million bucks. You just have to make smart choices, and you’ll be good to go. If there’s one thing to take away from the style of Coretta Scott King, it’s that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look good.