Tracee Ellis Ross is considered a style icon for many women, and she proved why on a recent Instagram post where she rocked an elegant yet revealing pantsuit. The 45-year-old might be a fashion icon, but her mom is the real champion when it comes to wardrobe choices.
The “Black-ish” star has been in the entertainment industry for over two decades, and in that time, she has not only cemented her status as one of the most relevant African American actresses, but also as a fearless and, most importantly, honest fashionista.
Ross, who was named the “Best Dressed Woman of 2018” by InStyle magazine, is never afraid to test the boundaries of fashion and rock everything she wears with confidence. She can go from a flowy bright pink dress to an executive-looking pantsuit with an ease that only the Ross women can partake in.
“When I hold some of her extraordinary original beaded stage clothes, there is a particular Diana Ross smell, a mom smell, a certain perfume that I just love.”
In one of her recent Instagram posts, Ross channeled her ‘lady boss’ persona and her ‘Diana Ross rightful heir style’ in one go. She wore a black pantsuit from Marc Jacobs and, instead of the classic t-shirt underneath the blazer, she chose to flaunt some cleavage with a sexy white lace bra.
Tracee accessorized the look with a small purse, dangling earrings, and her hair styled in a wild mane of curls, just like her mother. “NIGHT SUIT,” Ross captioned the post, in which she posed next to a rail, looking ready for business.
Her versatility when it comes to outfits is, in part, what has catapulted Ross to the top of the best dresses lists throughout the entire year. And while most people think she’s risky and over-the-top sometimes, Tracee describes her style as “easy, no-pressure glamour,” something she learned from her iconic mother.
She finds inspiration in Diana’s clothing storage unit, a place she considers “a museum,” as she revealed to InStyle.
“I’ll sound like a crazy person, but when I hold some of her extraordinary original beaded stage clothes, there is a particular Diana Ross smell, a mom smell, a certain perfume that I just love,” she stated. “And sometimes, when you open the garment bags, and there’s makeup or sweat or other evidence of the clothes being worn — I find it really extraordinary.”
For Tracee, being able to hold in her hands a piece that was once full of life and was immortalized by pics in a moment in time, is priceless. “That’s what clothing has always meant to me, and also probably why I became an actor,” she said.
Ross also declared that, aside from learning the art of style from her mother, she also discovered the gift of self-expression and confidence through fashion. She stated:
“As a kid I saw my mom as the lady in the sparkly dress on the stage who sang, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found the language to articulate that what I was seeing was a woman in her full glory being in connection with this gift she was given, being glamorous and sexy but not in a way that’s ‘Look at me.’”
And in a time where “look at me” is mostly interpreted by exposing too much skin and giving sultry looks, Tracee remains attached to her roots. “I was raised to view sexy as being at the height of your ... self,” she said. “Clothing was one of the ways you could wear your inside on your outside.”
But as an example to many women, Tracee makes sure she keeps it real instead of painting a fantasy world where “looking good” requires no effort from her side. “The ‘I woke up like this’ thing? [expletive]!” she says. “Black-ish is in HD, darling! There’s no Vaseline on the lenses. At 18 I might have woken up like this. At 45 I [expletive] work for it.”
Ross often shares with followers her natural face with no make-up, her exercise routine and on those lazy days, she rocks her pajamas with pride, as a way to encourage a culture of self-care among her fans. “I take care of myself. And, by the way, to me self-care does not mean going to the spa,” she clarifies.
“It’s learning to say no. It’s knowing yourself so you can make choices that are an expression of you. That’s self-care.”