IN PUTTING TOGETHER OUR 16TH ANNUAL Best and Worst Dressed issue, PEOPLE’S special issues staff had to grapple with some tough questions. How, for example, did Indonesian president Suharto know Bill Clinton’s shirt size when he presented the President with a batik souvenir (page 128)? Or why does Vogue editor Anna Wintour wear sunglasses indoors (page 164)? Shrewdly, we assigned the most delicate task—rating the 10 best and worst celebrity dressers—to eight judges, who each assessed 195 pictures. Not that their verdicts were unanimous. Only two stars (Nicole Kidman and Denzel Washington) earned eight cheers, and only two (Crystal Bernard and Melissa Etheridge) provoked eight jeers. So in tallying the results, we let the majority rule.
When it comes to their own wardrobes, PEOPLE’S panel members happily confess to personal styles ranging from contented slob to fashion junkie. Hollywood costume designer Bob Ringwood, 48, who worked on all three Batman movies, says he prefers his duds “very cheap, comfortable and preferably pale blue.” John Henson, 28, host of E! Entertainment’s Talk Soup, sticks with jeans and button-down shirts. And on a visit to the set of the CBS sitcom Dave’s World, PEOPLE correspondent Vicki Sheff-Cahan found DeLane Matthews, 34, who plays Harry Anderson’s wife, Beth, wearing denim shorts and an orange tank top.
At the opposite end of the style spectrum, Melrose Place costume designer Denise Wingate, 29, admits to being so clothing-obsessed that even when she’s in the dentist’s chair she’s thinking, “I’d like to make a dress out of the material they’re putting in my mouth.” Wingate just might find a customer for that gown in RuPaul, 34, the 6’5″ drag queen who says he lives by such rules as “Never wear high heels in soggy grass.” Syndicated talk show host Rolonda Watts certainly wouldn’t. When PEOPLE reporter Veronica Burns caught up with her, Rolonda, 35, wore chic cream pants and a taupe vest—the same color scheme selected by Another World star Linda Dano, 52, who also peddles her own accessory line on QVC. Finally, evening wear designer Pamela Dennis, 34, who outfits clients like Jamie Lee Curtis and Whitney Houston, has her own philosophy. “I like to be surprised when I get dressed,” she says. Pleasantly, we hope.