Olivia Palermo: Style Icon?

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Back in 2008, I wrote a series on Style Icons. It included some of my personal style icons including Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Later that year, I featured Lauren Conrad of The Hills as a hair icon. Not since Jennifer Aniston sported “the Rachel” had so many people clamored for a celebrity’s hair. No matter how Lauren styles it, it always looks cute.
This brings me to Olivia Palermo, Manhattan socialite turned reality star on The City and owner of a very enviable wardrobe. She may not be portrayed as the nicest or easiest person to get along with, but the woman has AMAZING hair and a wardrobe to match. She has been featured on The Sartorialist several times and it has even been rumored that she was the real-life inspiration for the Blair Waldorf character on Gossip Girl.
olivia palermo hair
On The City, Olivia seems to have a lackadaisical work ethic and appears to be impossible to get along with, but her style is pretty darn fabulous. Whether she is wearing a feminine dress or putting together an impeccable, menswear-inspired look, I love just about every outfit she wears on the show. She balances feminine and masculine details as perfectly as some of my favorite interior designers and she accessorizes each ensemble beautifully.
At the end of the day, I’m sure she is actually a lovely person. How else would she have so many friends and contacts? It is MTV after all, so I am sure there is an abundance of editing and scripting. So, is Miss Palermo simply a hair icon or does she qualify as an all-encompassing style icon?
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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22:  EXCLUSIVE -  TV.personality Olivia Palermo appears on set of MTV's "It's On with Alexa Chung" at the MTV Times Square Studios on June 22, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/PictureGroup)


olivia palermo topshop

Olivia Palermo | Celebrity Style | Look Magazine

Olivia Palermo attends the Ports 1961 Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Promenade, Bryant Park on September 8, 2008 in New York City.
olivia palermo: sara jaye weiss.jpg

Olivia Palermo
olivia palermo vest

Are you a fan of Olivia’s style? Who are your personal style icons?
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  1. I hate to admit it but I do believe that she is an all around style icon. She has an eye and a wonderful way of pairing new pieces and vintage to always make them look current and modern. I mean, even her apartment is beautiful!


    Rebecca June

  2. I have to admit I love Olivia’s style. She always throws in one unexpected piece either clothing or accessory which just makes the entire outfit more intriguing. I would love to have her clothing budget and wonder if part of her “difficult” personality is more for the cameras? Great post!

  3. I am a fan of Olivia’s style, though I don’t watch her show. She is really beautiful and has fab clothes. However true beauty is in humility, kindness, love, compassion, and patience towards others, and I can’t judge that without meeting her.

  4. I’m certainly a fan of her style! She sort of channels Jackie O. w/ her classy, ladylike wardrobe & affinity for signature accessories (the shades, the handbag, the shoes).

    Not so sure about Olivia herself though–she’s like the ultimate frenemy! Ha!

  5. I’m not a huge fan of long hair, so she’s not a personal hair icon for me, but I adore that girl’s shoes. In fact, I covet just about all of her shoe wardrobe!

  6. Style icon=yes
    Hair icon=yes
    Bitch icon=yes
    I watch ‘The City’ just for Olivia’s clothes.

    p.s. Kelly Cutrone fascinates me- I think I wish I could just say everything mean I thought about people. Just had to admit that.

  7. i’m sure i’m just echoing everyone above but she does have gorgeous clothes & shoes & hair & accessories. i’m not sure about her personality, she surely doesn’t give me the warm & fuzzies but i would like to share a closet with her!

  8. She does have amazing style, absolutely. As for my personal style icons, it’s the usual suspects, SJP, Gwen Stefani, Gwyneth, Kate Moss, Audrey Hepburn, etc. Great post!

  9. I have to admit that I didn’t even know who she was before this post. I haven’t watched MTV in the last decade or so and since I moved south, I don’t get the NYTimes, so I don’t see the society pages.

    It’s kind of liberating!

    She’s pretty, though. 🙂

  10. Yeah, I pretty much love/hate her. Think I am taking her “Hair” pic with me to the salon today. good inspiration. Completely rando, I have always loved Reese Witherspoon’s style.

  11. She has great taste!!!

    but from what I hear from the NYC grapevine is that she has been pretty much laughed out of town since she started on that show.

    Plus a few years ago, she wrote some wacky email to the women of some social group (myabe junior league?) asking why they dont like her.

  12. I just noticed this gir when I watched the Hills for the second time ( I swear! ). I thought she stands out compared to the others. I agree that I am sure she is a lovely person! 🙂

    I found your blog from one of my many mags I subscribe to. Was it BHG? I have a habit of ripping things out and saving for later – recipes, shoes or clothes I like, links, etc. Finally had a chance to stop by!

    Hop over for a visit when you have a moment!
    – Cougs

  13. My bff and I always fight over her! He loves her and I want to smash the tv half the time she’s on. There’s no way they can completely twist her interactions and if she didn’t like the way she was portrayed she would not have signed on for the second season…

    The other half of the time I’m staring bliss{lust}fully at her ensembles. The girl can dress! Also, her mother is an interior designer, I imagine the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree!

    {:D longest comment ever}

  14. She’s gorgeous! I wish I actually had the time to pull off a look like her’s. Seems like it would take me forever to get ready to head out lol… but maybe I’m wrong hehe

  15. hola paloma =):

    i would say she is both, hair and style icon. love her sense of style and she has beautiful hair. great post. thanks for sharing.


  16. She is beautiful! And I’m definitely thinking that she is an overall style icon. Every single picture of her is flawless and fabulous. Even her apartment makes me envious!

  17. She definitely gets a bad rap from The City. But I don’t even care what she is like personally because a. I don’t know her and therefore don’t have to deal with her and b. she dresses so amazingly I don’t even care. Every outfit she wears is perfection to me. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that she is absolutely loaded (I’d love to think I’d dress this great if I could afford it as well) but there are plenty of people out there with plenty of money whose wardrobes and style doesn’t even come close.

    Thank you for posting this because I absolutely agree – she is a style icon, she pairs her clothing, jewelry, and handbags perfectly and puts together such unique looks that always work!

  18. Ummm excuse me? You forgot her dewey angel kissed skin!?!? It’s infuriating. However, I wouldn’t give her the title “style icon” simply because I just refuse to acknowledge anyone on those shows as potentially iconic. That doesn’t mean I dont still watch their shows, wracked with guilt, but I have to draw a line somewhere! haha, but I WOULD rob her closet blind if given the opportunity and a 22 inch waist.

  19. I’ve never even HEARD of her, but, I’m not exactly on the up-and-up of reality (or any other) TV shows! Clearly, this woman has style in droves, and a pocketbook that affords one to capture such looks while still appearing effortless. What I notice first and foremost? Her skin – it is literally breathtakingly flawless!

  20. I absolutely love her style, and the fact that my favorite character on Gossip Girl was modeled after her makes me like her even more. I would much rather raid her closet than Whitney’s or Lauren’s any day.

  21. Thank you for this post! I think she has amazing style better than any celebrity out there (dressed by stylists anyway) Hair, accessories and clothes are perfection.

    Where did you find so many pictures of her?

    Thank you again!

  22. i don’t watch The City, so I don’t care about her personality, but i love every one of her outfits! and yes her hair is amazing too. i wonder how long that takes to style? wish i had the time… or professional help!

  23. You really are a fan of Olivia.. Gosh you seem to have captured her every outfit in this post.. well i really dont knw who are my style icons.. never thought about it.. i love sartorialist and his eye.. and well Olivia might go in my list as well.. but she definitely is pretty.. and her hair AWESOME!! i dont knw.. i think she is just a pretty girl!

  24. The answer is yes, Olivia is a total style icon. Everything she steps out in feels fresh, young, and perfectly edited. I would love to know just how much of this is her personal style prowess or that of a well seasoned stylist, hmmm…..

  25. Totally agree with mango gal:
    I absolutely love her style, and the fact that my favorite character on Gossip Girl was modeled after her makes me like her even more. I would much rather raid her closet than Whitney’s or Lauren’s any day.

    Although, I have to add that it pains me to call her an icon. Have heard not-so-great things about her. Regardless, if I had money, that’s how I’d dress!

    Also love: SJP, Kate Moss, Rachel Zoe, Audrey Hepburn…

    thanks for the great post!