Style Icon Challenge: Annie Lennox Part 2, The Pattern of My Life

Annie Lennox wore a suit on stage in the 80s to take possession of her power and to make a statement about equality. She generally wears pants in real life, too, because, she says, she's "just not a skirt and dress kind of girl." 

Hers is the kind of angular beauty that makes menswear downright feminine and alluring. Borrowing from the boys doesn't make her look like a man; it makes her look like a strong and independent woman who's comfortable in her own skin. 

Like Annie, I've always felt most at home and most "myself" in jeans, a jacket, and boots. So replicating her street style turned out to be a breeze for me. Besides jeans and trousers, she favours neutrals (ink, navy, black, white, grey and sometimes brown), jackets, booties, scarves, and in cooler weather, layers. (Check, check, check, check, and check.) She tends to go for geometric patterns -- stripe, gingham, plaid. (Check again). 

One difference -- in summer she has a kind of more feminine boho streak to her style, with puffy sleeves, embroidery, etc. Speaking frankly, I don't think the puffed sleeves etc. flatter her all that much, but I do think for her it's authentic, whereas for me it wouldn't be. So that's one place where we differ. 

Here are a few of my recreations. 

1 - 3). This was one of my favourite Annie outfits. I like the textural mix and the fun 70s vibe of the leather coat and the way the tin-can top bag adds texture and shine (and supports a worthy cause). It's a kind of softened hard-edge. I don't really have the pieces for this look, but I adapted it. My sweater fills in for the bag, and my mixed-media pea coat fills in for the other elements. 

4-5). A little gingham fun.

6-7) Peacoat and textural black and white scarf. 

8-9). Layers and scarf. 

10-11) Geometric blues.

12- 15) Annie's well-known for her support of HIV-AIDS and she often wears a graphic tee in solidarity. She also sometimes dresses it up with a jacket. Here I'm wearing a few tees advertising various communities I support: First, arts organizations (I volunteer for our writers' festival and often participate in others); next Ten Oaks Camp, the camp for LGBTQ youth that my daughter attended this year; and of course, the good old public library.  

Stay tuned for the final instalment: DIVA! 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • catgirl replied 4 years ago

    All of these Annie looks are fabulous on you.  Looks like you are getting into a style groove too, and of course your hair is the best part!

  • lpr200 replied 4 years ago

    I love how you've incorporated Annie's style into your very stylish style!

  • Alexandra replied 4 years ago

    I'm having a hard time picking a favorite. You look great in all of them!

  • Mirjana replied 4 years ago

    Again FABULOUS......You are adorable.Love all your outfits.

  • La Pedestrienne replied 4 years ago

    Gorgeous. All these photo montages of you two are making me want to re-pixie my hair. :)

  • Beth Ann replied 4 years ago

    Don't you love discovering all these different options hiding in your closet?  I'm loving all of them!  I'm a bit thrown by her seasonal confusion in #8.  Maybe she's got a sore toe?  Going through airport security?  Who knows?

    #15 makes me happiest of all!

  • approprio replied 4 years ago

    Yeah, Annie can really rock the menswear! Your interpretation is flawless.

  • Style Fan replied 4 years ago

    Such great looks.  You have so much in common with her and not just her style.  I like the graphic T looks. 

  • Diana replied 4 years ago

    Oh wow, Suz, this is so good.  Annie is seriously the perfect style icon for you. 

  • Sara L. replied 4 years ago

    These are great!  I like how you've used her photos as a jumping off point for your outfits with your own pieces and unique style sense. 

  • JenA replied 4 years ago

    Wow. She really is the perfect icon for you. You look great in all of these outfits ... your hair is too cute!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thanks for all the kind words everyone. This was so much fun and educational to do. You really study someone's style with extra care to do this type of thing and I learned a lot about my own preferences. 

    Beth Ann, hilarious that you noticed that re the sandals. In my first pass, I forgot she was wearing sandals because it seemed so dumb to me! Ha! So I had to retake the photo. Speaking truthfully, my sandal booties wouldn't be seasonally confused with a layered outfit like this (to me, in my transitional weather). The scarf would come off early as would the jacket and maybe the vest, during the day, and the sandal booties would be JWE (just warm enough, ha!). Anyway, here was my first version. :) 

    Another thing I noticed -- Annie almost always wears a small silver heart necklace. Anybody know the story behind it? I wonder if it is a momento of her first child (that she lost). She is never happier than with her daughters, it seems. She's crazy about them and in one interview talks about making herself unnoticeable (she actually uses the other F word, frumpy) when they were small to protect their privacy. She tried to go under the radar. 

  • texstyle replied 4 years ago

    Really fantastic outfits all around - love those simple white jeans and colorful tee outfits.

  • El Cee replied 4 years ago

    Gorgeous outfits Suz!!! You do Annie justice. Both of you have awe-inspiring style.

  • chouette22 replied 4 years ago

    You look so, so good! I was crazy busy and didn't comment on your first thread but loved it so much. So much fun and so well chosen and done. But can we talk about #15? Perfection to my eye. Cool, edgy, sporty, elegant!

  • JAileen replied 4 years ago

    Suz, she may go under the radar, but you can't in these outfits. I like your versions better than hers. (Oh, except for the awesome bag in #1!). You look great in all of them.

  • jill58 replied 4 years ago

    Wow, perfect style icon for you!

  • Murph11 replied 4 years ago

    I love this so much! You're amazing!

  • RobinF replied 4 years ago

    You're killing me! It's hard to even tell you apart! These are some great looks, how fun to use her as your starting point.

  • Sal replied 4 years ago

    Yes the perfect style icon for you - I love all your interpretations.   

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    Another Killer to the Power of Killer rendition. WOW. 

    Love how your hair has grown into its style, Suz. 

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Your Annie outfits take my breath away. They enhance your feminist you and beauty.

  • Karie replied 4 years ago

    You are spot on in your interpretation of Annie Lenox! WOW. Totally her yet totally you.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thank you, Angie. Not sure the hair is completely how I want it but getting pretty close. It's so easy and I feel like I've "come home" in this cut. And of course the colour is so easy. Nice not to have to bother with that any more. (Using April's calculations, the amount I'm saving in hair dye should buy me half a new wardrobe this year!) 

    JAileen, that purse is amazing, isn't?? I got fascinated by it and I might even buy one. Here's how you can get it!   Not cheap, but I am totally tempted. I just wish I could imagine how it feels to carry it. 

    Thank you for all the kind words. I really don't have amazing style. Yet. But I think I have emergent style. And when I came to YLF, I had NO style. And next to know fashion sense either. It's by learning fashion that I've come to understand style a little bit better. Sounds like a paradox but maybe not. :)  All thanks to Angie and the forum. 

  • Brooklyn replied 4 years ago

    Great interpretations. Annie is the perfect icon for you. Her style is a bit more preppy than I expected. But still with edge. Your last outfit is my favourite.

  • Roxanna replied 4 years ago

    Sorry Suz - I've been a bit behind with everything going on. I was surprised by how striking she - and you - look in all black! And that sharp shouldered jacket in the last pic is everything. You really could be her double!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Brooklyn, yes -- her everyday style is not at all hard edge. I can see what you mean by "preppy" but I think I'd call it more modern classic. Her hair supplies a lot of the edge. And the (typically) neutral palette helps as well. 

    I was surprised by all the pattern mixing. Didn't expect it somehow. She's clearly a fan of really good and interesting knit pieces. She has a LOT of scarves and wears them well. 

  • SarahTheWhite replied 4 years ago

    I just can't get over how fantastic this is! You channel Annie perfectly. Wow. I can't even pick a favorite - they are all that good.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Roxanna -- don't apologize, for heaven's sake! I hope you are doing okay. Hugs to you, sweet one. 

  • Runcarla replied 4 years ago

    Brilliant, Suz! I'm especially enamoured with your sweater-like-the-purse and outfit #6/7.

  • JAileen replied 4 years ago

    Suz, I found the bag on Etsy, at about the same price:

    It's kind of tempting..

    I have a shiny bag, BTW, that I thrifted. It's made in the style of a gum wrapper chain. It's too small to be useful, unfortunately.

  • Maneera replied 4 years ago

    Oh wow! You look great, Suz!!! Not only have you managed to interpret Annie's style aesthetics to perfection, your own style often outshines hers!!!

    You are far more skilled at layering and that really shows in #9 & #11. But Annie is definitely the PERFECT icon for you!

  • shevia replied 4 years ago

    Maybe I am not quite awake, but I seriously had to concentrate to figure out who was who in some of these pictures. Wow. My mind is boggled, but you look amazing.

  • jenanded replied 4 years ago

    Sometimes I can't work out who I am looking at in these pics!!!!!!!!!

  • Kaelyn replied 4 years ago

    SO GREAT. Annie Lenox rocks, as do you, and you've done a great job recreating these looks in your own outfits. I love that you're hair twins.

  • Traci replied 4 years ago

    Well, if I didn't already realize how amazing you are, I do now.  Is it sacrilege to admit that I actually think you're more stylish than Annie Lennox?  Holy stars, you look fab!

  • lyn67 replied 4 years ago

    Oh my, you're Annie's twin sister, sensational looks, you nailed them all! Loved to see your gorgeous interpretations!:-)

  • tulle replied 4 years ago

    Nice work, Suz.  (And a great overview of your  well-honed wardrobe--thanks for the inspiration!) There were a couple of pics where I might not have been able to tell you from Annie, except that you are prettier.

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