The King of Pop had a unique sense of style. He wasn’t a typical pop idol storming the stage in jeans and a sweaty t-shirt. Michael Jackson fashion was all about flair. If you think about it, he dressed like a neo-classic king. Those glistening jackets and jewel-studded belts read like royalty on a man who had known the spotlight since he was a young kid. This exceptional look made Jackson stand out among his contemporaries as a uniquely-dressed performer but made it hard for people to access or imitate his gaudy attire. There was no matching Michael Jackson, you just screamed his name at concerts and tried to do the moonwalk over and over again on the living room floor. Today, that sense of grandeur remains but people are a little braver about using iconic details of Michael Jackson fashion in their wardrobes.
RIHANNA’S TROPHY JACKET
Even before Jackson’s death, his fellow stars were starting to imitate his luxurious style. One of the first items to pop up on emerging young singers was the big-shouldered trophy jacket he wore to most performances. Stripped of their excessive jewels, these jackets were easy to wear and offered a lot of freedom when it comes to prints, colors, and decorations. Perhaps what made them so popular was their customizable design. It allowed any artist to express themselves in their personal design. Here, Rihanna uses golden yellow leather and thick black trim to make her Jackson jacket distinct and fresh.
GIVENCHY’S JACKET AND TEE
Michael Jackson fashion was atypical of most pop stars. Not only was it surprisingly haute couture, but the King of Pop publically embraced wardrobe pieces from both men’s and women’s runways. He would have fit in perfectly with this year’s trend toward gender-neutral clothing and androgynous design. This here is a Givenchy top bearing the company’s famous logo in gold sequins. It’s a piece Jackson wore often in the final years of his life. Revolutionary as this was, he still opted for pants over the skirt.
Another piece from a womenswear collection, the significance of this famous Michael Jackson fashion tee digs deeper. It pays subtle homage to the 19th-century regalia the King of Pop was famous for as an 80s performer. Jackson rarely “dumbed down” his elevated sense of fashion to make it more accessible to the public, so a print that imitated one of his more elite outfits was a one-in-a-blue-moon gift. These tees have all been sold by now, but if you have the perseverance to search there’s probably a collector or two out there willing to part with this small signature shirt.
BEYONCÈ’S MILITARY JACKET
While we’re on the topic of regalia, here’s a sports coat that embraces MJ’s famous jacket in all its ornate detail. Silver thread trim and a simple black base aren’t nearly as cool as jewels and sequins, but they’re wearable and trendy. Beyoncé was the original wearer of this dress and did it proud. It’s a look you should be trying on whether you care about Michael Jackson fashion or not. According to February’s fall/winter shows, military regalia and button-up coats are what everyone will be wearing when fall weather blows in.
THAT ONE FAMOUS GLOVE
Of all Jackson’s signature looks, the single glove is easiest to wear. It’s also the most powerful statement piece in his wardrobe. There’s something about wearing only one glove that makes you seem bold and noticeable. Many famous stars including Queen Bey herself have taken this idea and worked it into their outfits. Yet, no matter who wears it, the single glove will always be a Michael Jackson fashion staple.
MICHAEL JACKSON AS A DRESS
While most reinvented versions of Michael Jackson fashion are serious imitations, this playful dress is worth a mention. How often do you see a pop star’s head printed smack in the center of a dress?
Impressive, colorful, and iconic, Michael Jackson fashion has left a mark on modern fashion despite its unusual characteristics. If you want to give it a try, go right ahead. Just be careful where you wear that final dress on this list…
— Timothy Vest