Dolly Parton takes readers on a tour of her sparkly jumpsuits, dresses, and wigs in new book: ‘Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones’

Dolly Parton’s iconic look — big hair, big heels and tight low-cut dresses covered in rhinestones or beads — is a big part of her lasting appeal, nearly as important as her vast catalogue of country ballads and bangers that made her a star.

In “Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones,” Parton takes fans on a detailed tour through her closet, filled with 450 vivid photos of decades of sparkly dresses, jumpsuits, jeans and even wigs, which she started wearing early in her career.

She chronicles how she always knew she wanted a maximalist, flashy look, and stayed true to her personal style despite seemingly endless objections by her father, managers and others who always wanted her to “tone it down.”

The cover image of “Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones” by Dolly Parton.

Ten Speed Press via AP

“From early on I loved the big hair and makeup, the long nails, the high heels, the flashy clothes,” she writes. “But believe it or not, I had to fight for that look.”

Starting with replicas of Dolly’s “Coat of Many Colors,” based on her famous song about a coat her mother made her, Dolly gives a tour of how her style evolved through the decades, from the country costumes she wore as the “girl singer” on “The Porter Wagoner Show” in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to the jumpsuits she wore during her rising solo career and the flashy rhinestone-studded gowns and outfits she wore making it big in Hollywood movies like “9 to 5” and “Rhinestone.”

The book is a joint effort with her niece, Rebecca Seaver, and music journalist Holly George-Warren. It includes profiles and remembrances from her favorite designers, makeup artists and stylists and others that help put together Parton’s famous look. And fans can get a glimpse of some of Parton’s outfits at an accompanying exhibit at Lipscomb University in Nashville Oct. 31-Dec. 9.

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