Photo: Taghi Naderzad

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Rita Moreno, 81

The legendary actress-singer-dancer (and now author, with the recent publication of Rita Moreno: A Memoir) looks back on her fashion history with amusement. "I loved tight dresses, and everything was excessive: too much color, too much makeup, too much everything!" she says, laughing. "I'm really more judicious now."

Fashion Crush
"Cate Blanchett. She is the personification of elegance and glamour."

Favorite Things
Jackets. "You can look so smart with so little effort if you have just the right jacket."

Wouldn't Be Caught Dead In
A miniskirt. "There's something so embarrassing about older women trying to look younger."

Style Secret
"I'm very short-waisted, so I never wear a belt unless it's a hip belt."

Note to Younger Self"
"I would have told myself to tone it down a lot. I didn't feel very pretty, and the only way I felt presentable was to hide beneath a layer of pancake makeup."

Blazer, Sandro, $515. Shirt, Theory, $215. Pants, Tucker, $325. Belt, Michael Kors, $295; 866-709-5677. Watch, Skagen.