Best Dressed 2022: Baton Rougeans go glam in support of the American Cancer Society
On the surface, all you see is the sparkle. Under a shower of confetti, 10 male and 10 female honorees strut the runway before a cheering crowd. Ballgowns and baubles shimmer in the spotlight. It’s a celebration that attendees and volunteer organizers look forward to all year.
But after the house lights go up, the real magic begins. That’s when the funds raised at the Baton Rouge Best Dressed Ball are transformed into the life-changing work of the American Cancer Society. And these donations are no drop in the bucket: the 2021 Best Dressed Ball raised $1,489,100 toward local and national cancer efforts. In addition to supporting the organization’s overall mission, Best Dressed Ball funds were directed to both the Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge in New Orleans, which gives patients a free place to stay while undergoing treatment, and ACS’s Access to Care program, which assists patients with lodging and transportation during treatment. The Best Dressed Ball consistently ranks as one of Baton Rouge’s biggest local fundraising events and one of the top ACS galas nationwide. What a way to shine!
This year’s ball, which marks the 55th anniversary of the first such event in the Capital City, will take place August 13 at the Raising Cane’s River Center. Below, meet the 20 honorees who are making this moment not about putting themselves in the spotlight but about shining the spotlight on this important cause.
Your style in five words or less: Timeless, feminine, sometimes unexpected
Fashion inspiration: My grandmother, Norma. She owned a shoe store so she always had the best shoes and purses.
Daily uniform: Mostly scrubs, especially since the fourth baby was born
Most splurge-worthy item: Any good staple that will survive the years and trends: classic jewelry, a good pair of black or white pants, a classic white top, a timeless handbag
Worst fashion memory: The super low-rise “Britney and Christina Aguilera” jeans of the early 2000s that I fear will come back soon.
If no one were looking, I’d wear: My EVA Birkenstocks everywhere. They were my quarantine shoes.
Signature fragrance: Jour d’Hermes. It’s light and feminine.
Favorite footwear: I am loving that sneakers are in style now even with dresses and skirts.
Best fashion advice you’ve ever received: Dress for your body type. Highlight the areas you are proud of, and wear your clothes with confidence.
Your style in five words or less: New age classy
Fashion inspiration: Virgil Abloh
Daily uniform: Suit and tie
Go-to pair of denim: True Religion
Worst fashion memory: I wore an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt, cargo shorts and tennis shoes to a casual-dress cotillion event in middle school. The memory still haunts me to this day.
If no one were looking, I’d wear: My Paisley & Gray sweatsuit with Orvis hiking socks
Signature cologne: Yves Saint Laurent Y Eau de Parfum, Valentino Born in Roma Yellow Dream, and Brooks Brothers White
Favorite footwear: Cole Haan shoes
Best fashion advice you’ve received: Shoes are your secret weapon.
Your style in five words or less: Trendy, chic, business casual
Favorite designer: Zhivago when it comes to dresses and jumpsuits. Gotta have those shoulder pads.
Weekend ensemble: Heels always, plus jeans and a dressy top
Go-to pair of denim: Agolde until I discovered Boyish
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: I can’t really say. When a new trend sets, I’m always open to try it.
Signature fragrance: Victoria’s Secret Romance
Must-have product: Kevin Murphy Anti Gravity Spray for volume
Favorite footwear: Cute pair of tennis shoes
Best fashion advice you’ve received: Be you and dress to what you feel and look best in.
Your style in five words or less: Casual
Fashion inspiration: Jennifer Lopez
Favorite designer: Rachel Zoe
Daily uniform: Tennis or workout clothes
Go-to pair of denim: Just Black
Prized possession: Cross pendant necklace from Jerusalem
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: Houndstooth! #GeauxTigers
Signature fragrance: Coco Chanel
Best fashion advice you’ve received: Embrace what makes you unique.
Your style in five words or less: Comfortable, clean, straightforward
Fashion inspiration: My close group of friends. They are way more fashionable than I am!
Daily uniform: Polo shirt with denim or slacks
Prized possession: Rolex watch
Most splurge-worthy item: Custom suit
Piece I skimp on: Neckties
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: Skinny jeans—they are not made for me.
Favorite footwear: Cole Haan
Best fashion advice you’ve received: You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes.
Your style in five words or less: James Bond meets Mr. Rogers
Daily uniform: Chinos, Clark’s boots and a cardigan
Prized possession: A friendship bracelet my 8-year-old gave me
Piece I will skimp on: I’ll skimp on anything—I’m all about some T.J. Maxx.
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: I don’t wear much black. Reminds me of being a waiter in college.
Worst fashion memory: Let’s just say I was a huge M.C. Hammer fan.
Signature cologne: Sauvage by Dior, at the moment
Favorite footwear: Allen Edmonds loafers
Best fashion advice you’ve received: “Don’t be too matchy matchy.” —Melinda Petersen (my mom)
Your style in five words or less: Elegant, colorful and a touch of sparkle
Fashion inspiration: My mother, Pam Picou
Favorite designer: ALC, Zimmermann, Alexis, and Alice & Olivia
Daily uniform: FIGS scrubs and Golden Goose sneakers
Go-to pair of denim: DL1961
Prized possession: My grandmother’s statement ring
Worst fashion memory: Ribbon belts, cotton tiered skirts and layered tank tops! A true 2000s look.
Favorite footwear: Manolo Blahnik pumps
Best fashion advice you’ve received: It is better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Your style in five words or less: Classic with a bohemian touch
Fashion inspiration: Mick Jagger
Favorite designer: Ralph Lauren
Daily uniform: Skinny pants, open collar
Go-to pair of denim: An old pair of Luckys
Prized possession: My late grandfather’s 1932 high school ring
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: Black mesh tank top
Worst fashion memory: “Damn Seagulls” T-shirts and Jams
Best fashion advice you’ve received: A $10 piece that fits properly will look better than a $1,000 piece that doesn’t.
Your style in five words or less: Stylish, classy, vibrant, on-trend, boho
Favorite designer: Michael Costello and Christian Siriano
Daily uniform: Layers and pieces pulled together with statement earrings and bracelets
Prized possession: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders rookie pinky ring. It took a lot of work to earn it!
Worst fashion memory: The trend when black opaque stockings were worn under denim skirts with black Mary Jane shoes.
Must-have product: Fitted, basic white tee or tank
Favorite footwear: Steve Madden, On Cloud, Dolce Vita
Best fashion advice you’ve received: The right accessories can make or break any look.
Your style in five words or less: Very comfortable
Fashion inspiration: Instagram ads
Favorite designer: Vuori or Peter Millar
Daily uniform: Quarter zip, golf shirt, Peter Millar pants and comfortable shoes
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: A tie
Worst fashion memory: Wearing pleated pants for way too long
If no one were looking, I’d wear: Exactly what I’m wearing now
Favorite footwear: Cole Hahn Zero Grands, Saucony tennis shoes, Birkenstocks
Your style in five words or less: Simple. Sharp. Chic.
Favorite designer: Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman
Daily uniform: Workout attire
Weekend ensemble: Sassy and fun
Go-to pair of denim: Ooh La La Jeans
Prized possession: Grandmother’s white pearls
Most spluge-worthy item: Mardi Gras gowns
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: Torn jeans
Favorite footwear: Orange cowboy boots
Best fashion advice you’ve received: Develop a signature style.
Your style in five words or less: Sexy bohemian
Fashion inspiration: Jennifer Lopez and Sofía Vergara
Go-to pair of denim: Veronica Beard
Prized possession: Irish linen and lace christening gown
Most splurge-worthy item: Furs
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: Bermuda shorts
If no one were looking, I’d wear: No bra
Handbag of choice: Chanel
Signature fragrance: Thierry Mugler Angel
Best fashion advice you’ve received: Mix modest pieces with a dash of sexy.
Your style in five words or less: Simple and classic
Favorite designer: I rely on Perlis to keep me straight.
Daily uniform: Grey or blue suit with a light, patterned shirt
Weekend ensemble: Khaki pants with a knit polo
Piece I will skimp on: Trendy socks
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: Leggings
Worst fashion memory: What I wore in the ’70s
If no one were looking, I’d wear: Gym shorts and a T-shirt
Best fashion advice you’ve received: Keep it simple and classic.
Your style in five words or less: Personal, kempt, composed
Fashion inspiration: John Legend
Daily uniform: Personality-specific tie, skinny dress pants and a white coat, or scrubs with a fresh pair of J’s
Go-to pair of denim: Black Express skinny jeans. They’re so comfortable. For during the day, a pair of Respect blue jeans.
Piece I will skimp on: A suit. Styles change, as does your size, and I think how one wears the suit far trumps how expensive the suit was.
I can’t get enough of: Nikes. I have way too many kicks but your feet never change!
Best fashion advice you’ve received: Dress to your worth.
Your style in five words or less: Timeless, simple elegance with a vintage flair
Fashion inspiration: Kelly Wearstler
Favorite designers: Diane von Furstenberg and Ulla Johnson
Weekend ensemble: Yoga pants with a stylish shirt or jacket and high-tops
Prized possession: Antique pendant from Barker’s with filigree, diamonds and emeralds—a Christmas gift from my husband Stephen
Most splurge-worthy item: Stylish sneakers
I can’t get enough of: Lululemon leggings
Worst fashion memory: Floppy velvet hat and leggings with lace ankles in the ’90s
If no one were looking, I’d wear: My super-soft tie-dyed jogger set
Favorite footwear: Anine Bing studded boots from Edit by LBP
Best fashion advice you’ve received: Trust your inner sense of style, and wear colors that elevate your mood.
Your style in five words or less: Conservative eye candy
Go-to pair of denim: Ralph Lauren Polo jeans
Prized possession: Father’s college graduation ring
Piece I will skimp on: No skimping (YOLO)
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: Skinny jeans
Worst fashion memory: Wearing knockoff Z-Cavaricci pants in 9th grade; mine were named Z-Baldenisi!
Must-have product: Cufflinks
Favorite footwear: Nike Air Max 270
Best fashion advice you’ve received: Be yourself and don’t let anyone dictate what you wear.
Your style in five words or less: Simple and feminine—and in jewel tones
Fashion inspiration: BeBe Facundus
Weekend ensemble: Comfortable attire for the grandkids’ sports activities
Prized possession: My mother’s gold heart locket
Most spluge-worthy item: Manolo Blahniks
Worst fashion memory: Hip-hugging, bell-bottom pants
If no one were looking, I’d wear: A bikini
Signature fragrance: Estée Lauder Beautiful Belle
Best fashion advice you’ve received: Shoulders back. Chin up. Stand up straight.
Your style in five words or less: Conservative but unique
Weekend ensemble: Vuori shorts and a Lululemon shirt
Go-to pair of denim: AG Jeans
Most splurge-worthy item: A new ski outfit. I have to look the part!
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: A turtleneck sweater
Worst fashion memory: I once wore pink socks to match my pink shirt with tight, rolled jeans. I hate that picture!
Must-have product: A good vest—or 10 of them
Favorite footwear: Jordan lows or Frye cowboy boots
Best fashion advice you’ve received: If it don’t fit tight, it don’t fit right.
Your style in five words or less: Classy with sassy curves
Fashion inspiration: Blake Lively and “Karen Walker”
Weekend ensemble: Jackie during the day and Marilyn come dusk!
Prized possession: 20th-anniversary diamond bracelet
Most spluge-worthy item: Anything at Anton’s
I can’t get enough of: IT under-eye concealer because … life!
Worst fashion memory: High-rise, pleated, acid-washed jeans
Best fashion advice you’ve received: “Trendy is the last stage before tacky.” —Karl Lagerfeld
Your style in five words or less: Simple, clean, and professional with a modern flair every now and then
Prized possession: My two college football national championship rings
Most splurge-worthy item: Custom suits and boots
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: Three-stripe tube socks with sandals
Worst fashion memory: Girbaud jeans rolled at the ankles
If no one were looking, I’d wear: Knickerbockers on the golf course or full-blown biker gear while riding a Harley
Must-have product: Tea tree shampoo
Favorite watch: My Garmin watch. It’s my James Bond piece. It tells me the time, receives text messages, gives me distances on the golf course, and even lets me know that my heart is still beating.