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How Aaliyah Influenced Fashion in the 90s


Out of all the memorable artists that rocked the world in the 90s and early 2000s, only a few of them have inked lasting marks in our lives till today. We count two-decade from when Aaliyah was involved in a fateful plane crash that claimed her life, but her memory and music are still fresh. Her impact was not only from her music but also in fashion. At one point, she was quoted in an interview saying, "The whole thing about showbiz business is you don't have to lose your sense of self, "and truly, she never changed for anybody or lost herself. What she did was the opposite. She changed the people around her and fashion lovers across the world with her unique style that she graced the music world with. This write-up is about Aaliyah's influence on the fashion industry in the 90s. Aaliyah had a unique swag that has influenced the world and defined an era. Her sultry street style has influenced both the young and old in the entertainment industry and fans worldwide. She was not known for wearing form-fitting dresses and high heels. Instead, she kept it street with baggy pants and oversize shirts. According to Two Bees TV, when it comes to shoe game, as people call it, Aaliyah did not take part in that kind of game. However, her tomboyish style impacted the fashion world in a big way.

Infamous Hair Swoop

Many people remember Aaliyah with her long signature hairstyle and swoop bang to cover her left eye. This was her trademark, even though rumor going around was that she was covering something on that side of her eye. Nevertheless, this style was emulated by young and old. As she was getting older after the scandal that shocked the world when her affair with R.Kelly and illegal marriage was reported, she had to rebrand herself.

Aaliyah Sexy Tomboy Style

Aaliyah was sexy but loved dressing like a tomboy. The midriff- flosser was the designer for the tomboy styles that when you look around, you will spot still wearing them. She graced the way with tomboyish style for Keke Palmer, Rita Ora, Tinashe, Ciara, and more.


As Aaliyah continued to mature and release great music, her looks became amazing. When the video of the song"One in a Million" came out, She appeared in that video with hugging pieces that resembled leather. The looks in that video have been replicated by Normani in her latest music video 'Wild Side," where she is paying homage to Aaliyah's song "One in A Million" in this song. Normani has sampled some parts in Aaliyah's lyrics and recreated them.

All Black Everything

When you are unsure what to wear, black always saves the day. Aaliyah knew this secret all too well. Her favorite color was white, followed by black. The black outfit can make you appear mysterious and sultry. Whenever Aaliyah appeared in black, it captured her perfectly and contributed to what made her such an enigma.

The Bandana

Most of the staple accessories that Aaliyah used in the 90s are back. She could be sported with classic print bandanas, which currently most people are using to elevate their casual outfits. Recently, Singer Becky G appeared with one encrypted with Aaliyah's name all over when performing during a virtual festival event.

Tommy Hilfiger

When you spot anyone wearing the 90s Tommy Hilfiger, it brings back the memories of Aaliyah. She wore this brand most of the time and was featured in 1996 in this brand campaign marketing their jeans. According to Teen Vogue, Yara Shahidi appeared in one of the Grown-ish episodes wearing the Tommy Jeans recreating Aaliyah fashion. Surprisingly, she even wore, side part and Timbs to match the jeans.


Timberlands have been there for both males and females for a long time. This is a shoe that should make a comeback. Aaliyah never liked wearing heels. She only did when making an appearance on the red carpet. She preferred to wear sneakers and most of her trusty Timberland pair of boots most of the time. She had a white crystal pair of timberland that matched her look perfectly.


Most of Aaliyah's outfits were on point, especially her oversize ones. Interestingly, most celebs are still recreating her wear. Rihanna has been spotted recently with a similar Camo jacket that Aaliyah had in New York. Kylie Jenner has also posted a picture on Instagram clad in a similar Canada Goose and Vetements that Aaliyah once had.


Aaliyah, without a doubt, was versatile when it came to fashion. Her everyday looks still stand today, just like her immortal music videos. Her denim overall crop top can be seen with college and high school students everywhere. Rihanna collaborated with a famous British fashion brand called River Island in 2013 to release some of Aaliyah's denim. She adores Aaliyah's fashion styles.

Bikini Tops

When Aaliyah's career grew and became famous, she became bolder and continued to experiment with her wardrobe. She never abandoned her sartorial roots of wearing Calvin Klein boxer shorts, always showing off above her baggy trousers. Whenever she appeared on stage with a bikini top, everyone knew the show would be sizzling because she would give the stage a ready twist.

Statement Sunglasses

This journey of Aaliyah's fashion taste cannot end without touching on the pair of tinted sunglasses she loved. She adored her fuchsia tinted glass that had a gold rim. Whichever shape of glasses she could be spotted wearing. Her taste for sunglasses was immaculate. In 2019, Kylie Jenner wore a similar style of sunnies that resemble Aaliyah's pair when celebrating her 22nd birthday.


Cut-outs made a comeback in 2021 across the world. When Aaliyah was at the pick of her career, she was all over this piece of fashion. She could wear them with low-rise pants and a tiny shoulder bag and accessorize with gold bling, making this look kill.

Final Verdict

What made Aaliyah tick in the fashion sense was her versatility. She could rock in anything from colorful tints, matrix-like to sporty aerodynamic options. It would be best to step out of your comfort zone and be bold to try something different in fashion.

Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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