It’s been a wild year for gay pop culture, and a great year for some very well dressed queers. While this is objectively great, style and taste are subjectively determined; that’s how we got to this very subjective but deeply felt top
10 11 as based on an internal Autostraddle staff survey.
11. Hayley Kiyoko
Honestly we were gonna do top 10 but voting led us here and we CANNOT close #20GAYTEEN without honoring the one who started it all. Our lord and savior lesbian Jesus, gifted us look after look, video after video of endless fits, color, pattern, and boldness; inspired style thiefs and bras as tops. Hayley’s style is vast, and mutable and she moves in that spectrum because she owns it like no one else.
10. Amandla Stendberg
Literally what can Amandla not pull off? That Sagittarius moon was shining all through 2018! From calculated and elegant pieces carefully put together to carefree and dynamic fits showing color and boldness — Amandla’s style really showed her growing more and more into herself this year and that makes me so excited for what they’ll bring in the future.
9. Indya Moore
What a breakout year it’s been for Indya Moore. From her amazing fits as Angel on Pose (we all remember that pink fuzzy jacket?) to her radiant IRL looks on the red carpet PLUS cute selfies on Twitter, Indya’s style is brilliant and real.
8. Kiersey Clemons
You know when people are like “no one wakes up like that?” I really, truly believe Kiersey does. From hats and tshirts to elegant gowns back to sports bras and sweatpants, she is literally never out of style and I’m ABSOLUTELY still not over this look, THANKS.
7. Janet Mock
I just wanna say that Writer looked really good on Janet Mock to begin with but she continues to out-style herself, because Director and Producer look REALLY fucking good also. She blessed us with some serious business mommi this year and I cannot wait to see what 2019 brings.
6. Jasika Nicole
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I call this the Kelly Dress, inspired by a garment I saw my friend Kelly in over the summer that I fell in love with. Mine is made of silk linen from @blackbirdfabrics (I don’t think it’s stocked anymore but it’s divine!) and hacked loosely from the #hollyjumpsuit and #jessicadress patterns, shown here with memade leather sandals. Photos taken in front of one of the properties of my summer home, aka Hearst Castle 😍 Blog post up at jasikanicole.com 💕
She not only continues to wear cute (handmade!) dresses and knows perfectly how to combine colors and keep it fresh but consistent; she also conquers the perfect balance between soft vintage motifs AND slick and modern aesthetics. And did you miss that she also makes a lot of these clothes? I am CONVINCED absolutely NO ONE looked better in a jumpsuit or wide leg pant in 2018 than Jasika Nicole, thank you for coming to my TED talk.
5. Samira Wiley
I mean, she breaks everyone’s heart no matter what she wears, and truth is everything she wears is on point. From understanding color and CUT to pull off red carpet looks one after another to the boyish California edge of a simple tee and snapback, Samira killed it in 2018 just like she did every year prior.
4. Tessa Thompson
Tessa, the gift that keeps on giving — what a busy year she’s had! She didn’t just like serve looks in the 55 movies she did in 2018, she also did IRL and on the red carpet. If Jasika won best jumpsuit/wide leg pant award, absolutely no one looked better in green in 2018 than Tessa Thompson. Honorary mention to her role/look in the PYNK video with same-frequency pal Janelle Monáe. Loved this journey for them.
3. Sara Ramirez
THRILLED Sara made it to the top three. The Latinx style icon we all deserve, she blessed us every week with her Kate Sandoval style posts, particularly killing it in the boot and sock department (in my humble opinion). Later in the year because she clearly didn’t think that was enough and started serving some woke bae looks while never being caught with an off-week haircut. Excited for where the boot collection takes us next year.
2. Lena Waithe
How do I even begin to speak about Lena Waithe? It took me a WHILE to pick a photo for this because the thing is just endless you know what i mean? Hair on point, shoes, on point, fit on point, no one looks better in a hoodie, no one looks better with a snapback, and I SURE KNOW no one looks better in a rainbow fucking cape. When Lena’s cover for Vanity fair came out I went around the whole damn city to find a copy. When she buzzed her hair, I buzzed my hair. Lena Waithe is my personal Regina George, kinder but equally iconic. If she punched me in the face I would for sure be grateful. Lena Waithe wasn’t just one of the best dressed celebs of the year, she’s crowned herself as a style icon and she made sure WE ALL KNEW IT.
1. Janelle Monáe
Let’s not act like we didn’t see this coming. Anybody who didn’t see this coming is BLIND. As resident fire sign I am SO happy and GRATEFUL the crown for best dressed celeb of the year is given to a Sagittarius. Janelle represents the best of the sign; her style is just another avenue where she explores her endless creativity and imagination. Honoring both the past and the present, her arrow always looking ahead. Her style this year showed more than ever that perfect balance between the spontaneity and youth of her boldness and the carefulness, intentionality and heart of her soul. Janelle has always been a style icon, and this year she established herself even more. Whether it was her red carpet looks or video visions inspiring us to dress up for her concerts, she’s been a style icon all of 2018. I cannot wait to see what ride she will take us next year, because she’s never going to stop surprising us.