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How to Dress Like Rihanna

By Kames Narayanan

 
Felicia Yap
 

Throughout the span of her more than a decade long career, Rihanna has established a name for herself beyond the music industry. Just as the hit-maker has risen to the top of music charts, she has climbed to the top of a seemingly never ending list of being named the best-dressed. On the red-carpet and off, the style maven’s singular and distinctive style has earned her multiple collaborations with fashion houses, most recently, the conception of her own clothing brand Fenty Puma.

While it may be hard to pin the Barbadian songstress’s style to one genre, it is easily distinguishable by an eclectic mix that comes together effortlessly. At first glance, Rihanna’s ensembles might visually overwhelm in proportions or unapologetic colours but stepping away, it is easy to identify the codes that ground her personal style – a size too big is never a bad thing, playing to multiple personas in one outfit is not necessarily a fashion faux pas and the brighter, the better.

Graduating from the more feminine, Rihanna now navigates her sex appeal with an unmistakable sense of cool. Here, we breakdown the star’s street style by her key acquisitions.

Puffer Jackets

Felicia Yap
 

Setting the trends and moving beyond them even before they are officiated on the runways, the puffer jacket has long been a staple in Rihanna’s travel wardrobe prior to Demna Gvasalia’s tenure at Balenciaga. The Barbadian songstress is often photographed in long, oversized reiterations of the 90s puffer jacket. Injecting a signature cool into the style, she often drapes them around her shoulders, elevating even the most rudimentary of outfits.

Oversized Statement T-Shirts

Felicia Yap
 

The humble t-shirt plays a key building block in Rihanna’s wardrobe. But what gives it an identifiable Rihanna flair is its fit. Always worn oversize, at times layered underneath outerwear, and usually left untucked, the unassuming t-shirt anchors the badgal’s insouciance.

Sunglasses

Felicia Yap
 

On Rihanna’s watch, sunglasses are a staple part of her look regardless the time of the day. More fashion than function, the songstress ups the visual quotient of her looks with head turning eyewear. While her go to pair of sunglasses of late are an oversized, square-framed white pair, her choices – from a pink sequined pair of Gucci’s to futuristic aviators from Le Specs – are kept on rotation. If there was one general rule to abide by, it will be to go against all preconceived notions of inconspicuousness associated with sunglasses.

Headwear

Felicia Yap
 

Rihanna’s repertoire of head accessories extends from snapback caps, hats, beanies and even the more formal beret. Often paired with an unexpected outfit, her unpredictable pairings cement her status as a street style maven. For instance, she might lend a streetwear appeal to a more feminine, structured dress or lend a touch of Parisian to a casual pairing of oversized t-shirt and denim jeans.

Denim

Felicia Yap
 

Denim is well a part of the everyday wardrobe but under Rihanna’s stylistic choices, steps away from the archetypal into an outstanding acquisition. Worn in an array of combinations – at times, as a dress paired with a matching boot or other times a Candian tuxedo – Rihanna’s denim outfits have earned their staying power in her style repertoire over the years. Her denim looks have grown with her, graduating from short miniskirts to baggy jeans as she found her signature style.

Statement Boots

Felicia Yap
 

Rihanna knows her footwear. On her burgeoning list of fashion collaborations, the star has collaborated with prominent shoe-makers from streetwear giants Puma to the more sophisticated Manolo Blahnik. When not slipped into the ease of a sneaker, Rihanna opts for a power boot – ones that cut off at the calf or extend all the way up to the thigh. Never in understated colours, Rihanna’s choice of boot is more often than not, bold statement makers. Her unabashed statement makers elevate the casual denim short or jean combinations. We’d look to Rihanna as a barometer for the season’s trendiest boot.

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