How to Dress Like Rihanna
Some basics tips for curating your wardrobe like the style icon.
I’ve always been a fan of Rihanna but I didn’t join the #Navy until a few years ago, right around the time her game-changing album, Rated R, was released. In addition to putting out memorable hits such as “Rude Boy” and “Hard,” the Rated R period marked the beginning of RiRi’s ascent to style icon. This was cemented into fact when the Singer / Model / Actress / Puma Creative Director / Paul McCartney Collaborator won last year’s CFDA Style Icon award. Who can forget that dress she wore? 23,000 Swarovski crystals never looked so good!
The key to Rihanna’s seemingly effortless style isn’t the designer pieces, though looking phresh off the runway certainly helps. She doesn’t stick to a certain trademark (with the exception of red lips) in the way that people automatically connect Ariana Grande with a ponytail. She frequently wears menswear or menswear-inspired pieces or sneakers with a slinky dress. She never seems uncomfortable in her clothing because she’s comfortable in her skin. She manages to make outrageous pieces work, mostly due to her inspiring self-confidence.
Admittedly, some of Rihanna’s looks cannot be achieved in everyday life because of practicality (I don’t think my corporate job would appreciate it if I waltzed into the building dressed in a sheer mesh top). However, here are some basics tips for curating a Rihanna-esque wardrobe.
1) MIX STREETWEAR WITH HIGH-FASHION
Rihanna told Elle UK that she likes mixing streetwear brands with high-fashion because “high-street shops pay more attention to kids on the street than to the runways.” The fashion world certainly has been paying attention to streetwear; it’s evident in headline-stealing moments such as the step team performance at the Spring 2014 Rick Owens show and the impressive rise of NYC-based label Hood by Air. Rihanna has been snapped sporting Dimepiece, JoyRich, and Vision Street Wear.
2) DON’T BE AFRAID OF (FAUX) FUR
Rihanna is an ardent fan of fur, whether it be a luxurious, floor-length coat or a jacket in bright, unexpected colors. For those opposed to fur, never fear! There’s there’s plenty of faux-fur alternatives that won’t have PETA banging down your door. The trick to wearing a floor-length fur coat and not looking like an extra who’s just escaped the set of Dynasty is to keep everything else simple. The coat is the main focal point. Even when wearing something like this Barbie-pink, Tom Ford mixed-materials jacket, she keeps the jewelry to a minimum.
3) KEEP IT CASUAL WITH SNEAKERS
Pair your New Balance, classic Adidas three-stripes, Converse or Air Jordans with a pencil skirt or a slip dress. It can add a sporty touch to a feminine silhouette. Functional and on-trend!
4) DON’T UNDERESTIMATE A SNAPBACK
Sometimes the final item that ties your look together isn’t a flashy necklace or statement earrings. If you’re feeling fancy, try out one of these snapbacks with a veil, like the one Rihanna wore to the Givenchy AW 2014 show at Paris Fashion Week. You can even make one yourself. Grab a plain baseball cap and hit up the local craft store for some mesh. Flip that hat to the back and you’re rocking it in true RiRi style.
This wouldn’t be a Rihanna tutorial without mentioning, at least briefly, her makeup routine. Although she’s rocked a rainbow of lip colors, her signature color is a vibrant red. She’s stated in the past that she frequently uses Ruby Woo by MAC. As the singer herself said, “When someone is wearing lipstick, you just assume they're wearing a full face of makeup. And guys are stupid – they won't notice when you're not.” Into The Gloss has a few suggestions for drugstore dupes, including Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Stoplight Red.