Aaliyah’s music was surely what she was known for, but her trendsetting style was hard to ignore. No singer was able to strike a balance between two opposites quite like she could. She was all-woman while dressed fully in men’s attire. She was cute with a clean-cut image, but sexy and always sophisticated. Her fashion sense matured with her music, but we can’t forget those few trademark looks she wore so well (and that we tried to emulate).
Ten years ago, Aaliyah died in a tragic plane crash. Today is her birthday–we honor her effortless style:
1. Side-swept bangs. Aaliyah’s hair, long and layered, was one of her most prominent features, and rarely was she seen without her bangs in place. Swept across the side of her face, she gave us just a peak of her eyes. Female fans copied the beloved style as best they could.
2. Sunglasses. As she got older, her shyness faltered, and the shades came off, but for years – from the era of “Back N Forth” to the days of “One in a Million,” Aaliyah kept a pair of sunglasses on standby. The accessory only contributed to her being the epitome of cool.
3. Baggy Jeans. Aaliyah proved that boxers and baggy jeans were not just for rappers and thugs. She donned her denim just like the rest of the them, if not better. Low and slung below her waist, Aaliyah proved that she could run with the boys, but still be a lady.
4. Midriff-Baring. Seeing the singer with a full-length shirt on was a rarity. Bikini-style tops, and those that hit just above the belly-button were her preference from red carpets to music videos. With a flat stomach and trim waist, we couldn’t blame her, and we didn’t mind.
5. Bandana. No amount of cloth, bejeweled or not, could distract us from Aaliyah’s cascading locks, but she rocked a bandana, just as casually and comfortably as us non-celebrities would.
Check out Aaliyah’s fashion transformation over the years: