Having judged the sartorial tastes of others, our panelists then graded themselves (on a scale of 0 to 10) and offered a few fashion tips of their own.
Vittadini: "I'd say I vary between a 9 and a 9½ when I feel great, and I try not to go below a 7. Beautiful accessories are a must for me. My best purchase lately was an alligator pocketbook."
Scaasi: "I give myself a 10 for effort. I don't think I could look any better than I do. You must be able to look in the mirror and say, 'This is terrible' or 'That's great.' That's the hardest thing to do."
Janowitz: "For a long time I bought all my clothes at a thrift store. I give myself a 3."
Ford: "I break with tradition very slowly. The last trend I adopted for myself was blazers with white turtleneck shirts. But that was 20 years ago."
Beasley: "My favorite earrings are two Mexican beer bottle caps with a picture of the Mona Lisa on top of one and a picture of her body on the other, strung together. I like one-of-a-kind things."
Cassini: "I'm an adventurer. On myself, I try to have lines that are becoming to my body. Fashion is only something that's done to make us more confident. After all, naked we'd be much less confident."
Even the publisher can't argue with that conclusion.
"Fashion is what one wears oneself," wrote Oscar Wilde almost a century ago. "What is unfashionable is what other people wear." Well, not always, Oscar. Senior Editor Carol Wallace, who planned and edited this year's survey of best-and worst-dressed celebrities (p. 48), reports that our panel of judges went about their task "with a sense of wit and a willingness to acknowledge taste when they saw it and didn't see it." Designers Arnold Scaasi, Adrienne Vittadini and Oleg Cassini, Moonlighting's Allyce Beasley, modeling maven Jerry Ford and author Tama Janowitz "approached all of our subjects with an open mind," reports Wallace. "Even Queen Elizabeth, purse and all, got high marks."