Pilfering treasures from your mother’s closet is practically a rite of passage for a young woman, but when you’re Tracee Ellis Ross, daughter of Diana Ross, it would make sense to inherit a similar sense of style altogether. Given Diana’s massive mark in fashion history, it could hardly be a surprise if Tracee appeared in a shimmering catsuit or a prized Ret Turner gown. (In a 2019 interview with The Wall Street Journal, Tracee admitted to snatching up pieces from her mother’s closet and having a love of “beads, baubles, and feathers” — all integral parts of Ross’ wardrobe on and off the stage.) Naturally, the twinning streak goes way back: Diana’s cool and accomplished offspring famously walked the Thierry Mugler “Butterfly” runway for her 18th birthday with her mother and has been serving up chic, matching moments ever since.
That is to say, the Ross women have such a track record for high glamour and share a soft spot for standout looks — be it a bright-hued ensemble for the latest It party or a risk-taking, feathered or fringe gown for an awards show. Ahead, take a close look at the common threads in Diana and Tracee’s fashion moments.
Based on track record alone, these ladies love a look that’s rife with dramatic details. They have been photographed multiple times in dresses decked out with beads or feathers. They’ve also worn them all together. This past June, Diana wore a frock of silver beadwork and white plumes to sing at the Glastonbury Festival in England. Two months earlier, Tracee posted a photo to her Instagram account in a baby blue sequin dress with feathered accents in a matching blue color and in neon yellow.
Pastel Slip Dresses
Both Diana and Tracee showed an affinity for pastel slip dresses at the 9th Annual Soul Train Music Awards in 1995. In the photo above, they posed alongside record producer Berry Gordy and Tracee’s siblings, Rhonda Ross, Evan Ross, and Ross Arne Naess at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, after Diana won the Heritage Award for Career Achievement. Diana went for a floor-length style in light pink, while Tracee dressed up in a baby blue, midi-length halter dress. Both wore their hair down and kept their accessories simple — a contrast to many of their many bold looks.
LBDs With One Big Wow Factor
Of course, the Ross women can wield the power that is the LBD. However, they wear it with a twist. For the 42nd Annual American Music Awards in 2014, the duo wore black dresses, each with a unique wow factor. For Diana, it was a lavishly layered, vintage feather cape (see the throwback photo here) that she wore over her velvet gown, and for Tracee, it was a large, keyhole back on her bodycon dress.
While Tracee might have followed in Diana’s fashion footsteps most often, the former Black-ish star paved the way of white pantsuits all by herself. In 2003, she wore the ensemble with a black blouse beneath it and rounded out the look with strappy black shoes and a coordinated handbag. Then, in 2004, Diana wore a similar style pantsuit with a black tank top underneath. They both accessorized with colorful baubles for a bit of oomph.
In 2007, Diana and Tracee wore matching red dresses to the 7th Annual BET Awards in Los Angeles. Each had their own character — Tracee’s was a knee-length dress with a frilly neckline, while Diana’s was a goddess-inspired halter dress, which she wore with coordinated heels for an elongating effect. Separately, the women have relied on the color countless times for performances, fashion parties, and other occasions.
For Diana and Tracee, stripes aren’t only reserved for casual daytime dressing. Diana wore a striped jumpsuit and heels to the Embassy Club in London in 1983. Decades later in 2019, Tracee wore a purple sequin version with coordinated pumps to a Met Gala after-party.
In 2017, the two women stunned in decadent, all black looks and matching hairstyles — long curls parted down the middle — at the 45th Annual American Music Awards, hosted by Tracee herself. In the photo above, the mother-and-daughter duo are posing in the press room after the event, with Diana showing off her Lifetime Achievement Award.