No matter where Dolly Parton goes or what she does, the petite entertainment dynamo definitely marks each moment with her one-of-a-kind brand of style. While she was trying to make her statement for the benefit of public health and ending the pandemic, Dolly Parton’s stunning royal blue dress for her vaccine day stole all the headlines with its cut-out sleeves and “cold shoulders,” as Country Music Alley conveys.
In song jewels like “My Mountains, My Home,” “Butterflies,” and many more odes from her endless catalog of classics, Dolly Parton conjures vivid imagery of her rural Tennessee two-room cabin on Locust Ridge. Parton still enjoys the beauty and solitude of nature when she goes on her songwriting retreats that inspire the songwriting legend to write 24 hours at a time.
When it comes to her commitment to stay presentable, however, Dolly Parton doesn’t take the “all-natural” approach at all. As Showbiz CheatSheet notes, the philanthropist and very public performer prefers to literally put her best face forward, in full makeup, at all times.
Very few eyes ever see Dolly Parton makeup-free
Dolly Parton crafted her look in the early 60s. As soon as she joined Porter Wagoner on his syndicated show, the songstress coordinated the colors of all her dresses to match the shades of Wagoner’s lavishly bedazzled suits. At the time, Dolly wasn’t bringing in a big salary at all, but her style effort paid off. Audiences delighted in seeing the musical partners pair up in harmony and every hue imaginable. Of course, through the 70s and 80s, Parton firmly establishes her empire as a solo artist and entrepreneur. The sparkle of her dazzling wardrobe rivals that of the singer who inspires “I Will Always Love You” in every way. Fans have been infatuated with Dolly Parton’s fashion sense ever since.
“I clean my face in the mornings,” Dolly Parton confirms. “You never know if you’re going to wreck the bus,” the singer presumes, or who Dolly Parton might meet in a hotel lobby, or heaven-forbid, if “there’s going to be a fire,” she ponders.
“I leave my makeup on at night and clean my face in the morning,” Dolly assures, just to be safe. In one of her beloved “Dollyisms,” Parton playfully quips that Carl Dean sees her natural self in private time. “I know every line on his face and he knows every hair on my wig,” the wife of 54 years humorously concedes.
Humor, patience, love, and respect design the lasting bond that stays more beautiful than anything promised by a makeup counter at the drugstore. Dolly makes herself camera-ready in a hurry when she needs to rush.
The three style essentials for Dolly Parton
During a holiday visit with Scandinavian entertainment host, Skavlan, Dolly Parton details her essentials for becoming the Dolly everyone knows.
Contrary to some rumors, Dolly Parton does her own makeup. “I’ve done it for years– it’s easy,” the singer insists, relating how she essentially keeps the same look, day or night. In a pinch, the national treasure can pull herself together in 20 minutes, though an hour is better. Additionally, her high heels and wigs round out Dolly Parton couture.
Like many artists in the 60s, Dolly Parton damaged her nature-given blonde locks with a little too much treatment. The “Pure & Simple” singer-songwriter prefers the convenience of chosen hair versus heredity. “I can just pick whatever fits my mood,” she confirms, and stiletto heels likely provide the only kind of pedestal that Dolly Parton doesn’t mind.
Poverty and tough times leave lessons for life
Dolly Parton never shies away from the truth of the bare-bones existence that she and her siblings shared with their parents through years in the East Tennessee hills. In another CheatSheet profile, the “Daddy’s Working Boots” singer recounts the extremes of harsh winter weather and her family’s measures just to stay alive.
Avie Lee Parton, the mother of the loving clan of 12 children, feared every winter. The faith-filled matriarch sensed God speaking to her in dreams and visions. The dread of winter brought worries that one or more of the children might succumb to “pneumonia or worse.”
In her book, Songteller; My Life in Lyrics, Dolly Parton recalls the “old, cold-ass houses.” She and her siblings kept their full clothing on in bed, still shivering, while their father, Robert Lee Parton stoked the fire and got it going.
“Daddy, is the fire hot?” every child asked. The wait in bed was sometimes too long for the siblings, who wore the clothes wet from urine to school the same day. Somehow, though, by their courage and God’s grace, the family survived winter after winter. Dolly Parton realizes now that the difficult season drew her mother into depression, but her strength still proved a source of survival for the family.
Lessons from the cold remain creative fodder
In every aspect of her life and values, Dolly Parton honors the courage of her parents “to maneuver that brood of kids, in that part of the world, with no real money coming in, just trying to survive in the winter.” The power and purpose of their example give Dolly Rebecca Parton “a lot to think about, a lot to write about, a lot to be grateful for– I think about my mom and dad all the time,” she reflects.
With roots like those, it’s never surprising that Dolly Parton refuses to lay down thousands of dollars for a coat or a purse. Her parents’ stretched the same amount to last for a year for the family and probably doesn’t erase that fact from her mind. Her upbringing teaches her to be ready for the winter storms of life, to work hard, and to always believe she will succeed. Mom and Dad smile down on Dolly now, dolled-up to a T!