Visuals in music videos have given many people fashion moments to remember for a lifetime. From never before seen suits to decade inspired homages, the intersection of music and fashion have given us imagery and clothing to recreate on many occasions, as we attempt to mimic and be inspired by our favorite musicians, songstresses, and entertainers of all time. Let’s walk down memory lane, shall we? Here are 20 iconic music video fashion moments you can recreate.
1. The Red Catsuit Britney Spears’ Fashioned in “Oops I Did It Again” (2000)
It has been exactly 20 years since Britney Spears’ single “Oops I Did It Again”‘ dropped; a masterpiece that confirmed the young artist’s commitment to being the global pop star of her time. The intergalactic themed music video does a stellar job of depicting an otherworldly experience of a woman viewing love as a game–a concept mostly attributed to men. Besides the vocals, concept, and messaging, what really captured many people’s attention in this music video was Spears’ eye-catching red catsuit. The suit made to fit the theme of the shoot was all the singer’s idea, inspiring fashion designers to create iterations of the look themselves.
2. Normani’s 2000s Inspired “Motivation” (2019) Ensemble
A more recent music video that pays tribute to 2000s artists, such as Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Omarion, and JLo, is Normani’s looks in her “Motivation” music video. From the choreography to the looks, Normani gives viewers the 2000s vibes and iconic fashion through iconic fashion. Her hot pink airbrushed 1996 top and matching motivation skirt is reminiscent of 2000s fashion and pays ode to an entire generation we are currently nostalgic for. The outfit also includes visible thong straps, a heavily worn style seen 20 years ago. This outfit is a DIY project waiting to happen, as well as an achievable hairstyle that makes this outfit pop!
3. Michael Jackson’s Iconic Red Leather Jacket in “Thriller” (1983)
There is no doubt that Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is an iconic song, dance, and music video of all time. Furthermore, “Thriller” won a Grammy for Best Music Video in 1985 and two MTV Awards for Best Overall Performance in a Video (1984) and 100 Greatest Music Videos of all Time (1999). The unforgettable red leather jacket worn by the “King of Pop” in the zombie invasion mini film is in of itself a fashion icon. The jacket is also heavily associated with Halloween and widely emulated by many every year. This is a thrilling 80s jacket no one will ever forget and stop wearing.
4. The Avant-Garde Looks Served in David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?” (1973) Music Video
27 years before Britney Spears, the legend David Bowie also had an intergalactic song with a focus on Mars. The song, however, is a little stranger than Spears, intriguing many fans with his accompanying music video that shows Bowie in heavy makeup, a turquoise “ice blue” suit, metallic tie, and fiery mullet. With the help of a white backdrop, the attention to detail in Bowie’s androgynous look is recreateable and absolutely ahead of his time.
5. Shania Twain’s Leopard Print Drip in her video “That Don’t Impress Me Much” (1998)
Shania Twain made her mark as a desert leopardess in her “That Don’t Impress Me Much” music video back in 1999. The country singer’s hooded leopard outfit and accessories made the video a topic of discussion. Celebrities like Ashley Graham and Miley Cyrus have recreated the look themselves in the last decade, making it iconic. Since then, Twain has recreated the look herself in 2020 and has even discussed the look in a recent video released by Vogue.
6. Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” ft. Jay Z (2003) White Halter Top, Blue Short Shorts, Red Heels, & Body Chain Jewelry
A simple look that left everyone breathless is Beyoncé’s outfit in her “Crazy In Love” music video. Sporting a white halter top, blue short shorts, red heels, and body chain jewelry, the video famously featured Bey’s then-boyfriend and now-husband Jay Z. This outfit worn by Beyoncé in the opening of the video was seen again in her 2013 Pepsi commercial performance and even recreated by Normani in her 2019 “Motivation” music video. This is an easy, yet recognizable girl next door outfit that screams the 2000s.
7. Cardi B & Bruno Mars’ 90s Themed “Finesse (Remix)” (2018) Fits
Bruno Mars gave us LIFE when he released the 90s inspired 24k Magic album, especially when he put rising rap star Cardi B on his “Finesse (Remix)” track. The video is a recreation of the In Living Color set, a 90s comedy sketch series known to have dancing in the opening credits of the show. Both Cardi and Bruno are fashioning 90s clothing in the music video, allowing us to enter a decade through the revisitation of fashion and sound. These “finesse” fits are cool and are easy to recreate.
8. Prince’s Signature Glittery Purple Trench Coat in His “1999” (1982) Music Video
Despite 1999 feeling out of reach in 1982, Prince gave us something to party about when he wore his signature purple trench coat with spikes in the music video “1999”, giving us a taste of the future. The trench coat is a glittery version of other purple coats worn by Prince, making it familiar yet different. The lyrics of the single brought the fashion statement to life, as it speaks of another world 15 years into the future.
9. Lady Gaga’s See-Through, Jewelry Encrusted Clothing and Orbital Outfit in “Bad Romance” (2009)
Lady Gaga is a notable fashion and pop icon. In her music video “Bad Romance”, Gaga wears a plethora of striking fashion ensembles, but a couple that stood out was her orbital outfit and see-through, jewelry encrusted white clothing. These were transitional outfits that allowed Gaga to dance and pose in, allowing viewers to focus on the functional and ornate pieces fashioned by the pop star. Recreating these fashion moments requires creativity and confidence.
10. Iman’s Pharoahess Attire in Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Time” (1992) Music Video
Somali supermodel Iman is known for gracing fashion magazines and runways galore in the last three decades of the 20th century. It was in 1992, however, when she caught the attention of a new fanbase when she starred in Michael Jackson’s music video “Remember The Time”. Iman portrayed an Egyptian Queen, married to a Pharoah played by comedian and actor Eddie Murphy. The Nefertiti-like costume is still mesmerizing, with the gold adornments, headgear, and angelic clothing being an epic look to recreate today.
11. The Fashion in Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991) Music Video
Nirvana was a grunge music trailblazer, impacting the state of teenagehood across the world. Considering this, the well-known 90s rock band also played a hand in grunge fashion. In the music video “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, viewers are introduced to the group playing at a high school pep rally, with dirty Converse shoes, cheerleaders wearing black uniforms with a scarlet A, and lead singer Kurt Cobain’s second hand striped green shirt making fashion statements throughout. Thrifted items and Converse shoes became very trendy, and the dark cheerleading outfits in the video are still recreated on Halloween and at events today.
12. Lil’ Nas X’s Unforgettable Western Suit in “Old Town Road (Remix)” ft. Billy Ray Cyrus Music Video (2019)
Lil’ Nas X’s song “Old Town Road” was the longest-running number-one song on the Billboard 100 chart; the song made history by being number-one for 19 weeks straight! What made the song even more iconic is the famous feature and cameos in the remix music video (Billy Ray Cyrus, Chris Rock, Diplo, etc.) and the customized western suit Lil’ Nas X wears in the video with his name embroidered on the back. From the colors to the belt, this suit merges old school and new school when it comes to cowboy fashion. A look to recreate and add your own flair to.
13. Everglow’s “Adios MV” (2019) White, Pearl Embellished Uniforms
The K-pop girl group Everglow made a splash in their HUSH album with their incredible single “Adios MV”. The music video featured all 6 members wearing all black and white outfits indoors and outdoors. While the black outfits appeared to look great on the girls, it was the white, pearl embellished uniforms that stole the show. So much so that the group wore different versions of the uniforms at award shows and performances due to the distinctiveness of the look. The nametags and thigh-high boots personalized the outfits, making it a fashion moment dying to be recreated.
14. Selena’s “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” (1994) White Crop Top Outfits
The late “Queen of Tejano Music”, Selena, was known to wear super cool outfits that were cute and of her time. The simple, yet exquisite outfits she wore in her music video “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” were long skirts paired with a white crop top. Both the Rosie Assoulin skirt and the maxi floral skirt couldn’t have looked better with anything but the crop top she chose herself. The breezy outfits looked effortless and perfect in the music video. This is definitely a fashion moment to emulate.
15. George Michael’s Sexy Chic Look in His “Faith” (1987) Music Video
The aviator glasses, stubble, leather jacket, Levi jeans, and cowboy boots in the George Michael “Faith” music video launched Michael as a sex symbol. The video and debut studio album of the same name had the aim of capturing a new side to the singer, by making him look chic and sexy. An easy look to recreate, this is a music video fashion moment that’ll make people swoon.
16. Flavor Flav’s Clock Necklace and Top Hat in Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power” (1989) Music Video
The Spike Lee joint Do The Right Thing is a well-known film addressing issues of police brutality–an issue creatively illustrated through the movie’s soundtrack song “Fight The Power” by Public Enemy. The music video features Lee himself and, in particular, Public Enemy member Flavor Flav famously sporting a clock necklace and top hat. While the top hat serves as a personal fashion choice to go with his ensemble, Flavor Flav wore and still wears a clock around his neck due to “time being the most important element in our life”.
17. The Burlesque Lingerie Looks in “Lady Marmalade” (2001)
At the turn of the century, artists Lil’ Kim, Christina Aguilera, Pink, and Mya all collaborated in a powerhouse remake of the Labelle song “Lady Marmalade”. The sexually suggestive song paired perfectly with the music video, as the respected women wore burlesque lingerie attire to show sex appeal. In addition to vocals, the hair, lace, and bling in the music video made it iconic.
18. Doja Cat’s “Moo!” (2018) Outfit
Doja Cat catapulted to fame with her amazing low-budget “Moo!” music video back in 2018. The video features Doja Cat in a cow outfit with cow ears to match and french fries in her nose. The cool and bizarre green screen GIF visuals of cows, farms, and anime MADE the video, and the rappers cow attire became a fashion moment ever since.
19. The Infamous “Hold Up” (2016) Yellow Dress Worn by Beyoncé
Beyoncé’s Lemonade album made waves everywhere with its artistic approaches to visuals and lyrics, as well as the variety of genres the album explores. The single “Hold Up” shows Beyoncé destroying everything in her way with a bat in style. Her yellow ruffled dress and rose printed black heels contrast the justifiably angry lyrics. The song is pivotal to the Lemonade album, with the lemonade colored dress emulating the African goddess Oshun, the Yoruba deity of love.
20. The Cupcake Bra Top and Colorful Wigs Katy Perry Wears in “California Gurls” (2010)
“California Gurls” is, well, unforgettable. The 2010 single made Katy Perry a household name, especially when the singer wore a cupcake bra in the music video, in addition to many risque candy land outfits. The colorful wigs Katy Perry rocks is literally icing on the cake. This is an outfit to recreate for the creative mind.