The words "unique" and "trendsetter" have been diminished with overuse. Those who consider themselves either because they wear a fez or a boa don't automatically qualify.
To be unique isn't easily mastered. Consider this: When you say a trendsetter's name, you instantly have an image of that person.
Chances are you're smiling. She has that effect on people. Listening to Parton sing is a treat - watching her onstage, even more so. Besides the voice, it's how she presents herself.
Parton never met a sequin, feather or high heel she didn't love. She describes her style as, "I am kind of the girl next door - providing you live next door to an amusement park!"
Parton celebrates her amusement park's silver anniversary with Dolly Celebrates 25 Years of Dollywood, a special airing Saturday, July 3, on Hallmark Channel.
"I love having the park because it allows me to be as outrageous as I want," she says, adding that her clothes are "classy tacky."
"It costs a lot to look this cheap," Parton says, laughing.
Exceptionally busy, she doesn't get to shop as much as she wants.
"I would rather have more cheap things than one expensive thing," she says. "I just can't justify paying thousands of dollars for one piece of clothing when you can get a ton."
Most people can't spend that anyway, but they can approximate Parton's look - sans plastic surgery - by putting together key elements. A big-hair blond wig, sold at LoveToKnow, starts the outfit right. Amazon has a Dolly Parton wig for $12.88.
All outfits require rhinestones, satin, feathers, or better yet, a combination of all. MonsterMarket place offers selections for putting together a Parton outfit.
One can't assume her look without heels; she always wears them!
"Even my house shoes have heels," she says. "I can't reach my cabinets if I don't have heels."
Among the keys to Parton's look is excellent grooming. Unlike so many young celebs, she doesn't let everything hang out; she wears proper undergarments and is always put together. Yes, she wears a lot of makeup, but it's applied expertly over perfect skin.
"I am fair," she says. "I have never laid in the sun. Doctors can't give you good skin."
And her nails are always done.
"I always wear acrylics," she says of the fake nails she's been sporting for 30 years. "Ever since they came out, even when they were made from formaldehyde and your fingers would stink for days and itch, I wore them anyway. I would have worn them if my fingers would have fallen off."
Even though Parton says, "I look like a cartoon, like a whore!" millions love her and she remains one of the precious few for whom the descriptions "unique" and "trendsetter" are apt.