While we could go on for days listing all the weird, wonderful, and straight-up wacky ensembles from a plethora of film clips over the decades that continue to influence fans and fellow artists alike, we’ve managed to whittle it down to just ten of the most iconic looks in music videos.
Check it out below – and for more on this topic, follow the Fashion and Beauty Observer.
Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want To Have Fun: The Party Dress
Encapsulating basically every single trend of the 1980s into one giant, pattern-clashing colour orgy, Cyndi Lauper wasn’t wrong when she said that “girls just wanna have fun” – especially when it comes to fashion.
Among the many outfits of the popular film clip, her red corset party dress adorned in chunky silver and gold accessories and OTT makeup takes the cake when it comes to fierce music video fashion.
David Bowie’s Life On Mars?: The Powder Blue Suit
David Bowie’s entire lewk in this clip is iconic, tbh. From the powder-blue suit to the heavy eye makeup and contour to the ginger mullet, Bowie’s androgynous vibes really brought the unisex trend to the fashion forefront.
The stunning, iridescent ice-blue suit was made by Bowie’s friend Freddie Burretti, who also made the Ziggy Stardust costumes.
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Britney Spears’ Oops!… I Did It Again: The Red Catsuit
While Britney’s infamous schoolgirl outfit in ‘One More Time’ put the pop star on the map when it came to iconic outfits, her all-red latex catsuit in the intergalactic-themed ‘Oops!… I Did It Again’ truly catapulted the teen queen into superstardom, with her red-hot styling in the clip still instantly recognisable more than 20 years later.
Prince’s 1999: The Purple Trench Coat
It’s fair to say that when it comes to Prince, there are countless moments that have inspired others when it comes to both their fashion and music, but the debut of the legendary purple trench coat kicked off the singer’s signature obsession with the colour purple – so much so, that he was dubbed ‘The Purple One’.
Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty: The Chaps
Marking the moment girl next door Christina Aguilera turned into bad bitch, in-your-face X-Tina, the singer upped really the edgy ante when it came to her music video fashion for 2002’s ‘Dirrty’.
Her assless chaps, nose ring and black streaks are even being recreated by fans to this day – like when Kylie Jenner dressed in the racy ‘fit for Halloween in 2016.
Kylie Minogue’s Spinning Around: The Gold Hotpants
Australia’s own pop princess Kylie Minogue turned heads in the music video for ‘Spinning Around’, the lead single from her seventh album Light Years back in 2000. Who could forget the image of the pint-sized popstar dancing on a bar top in barely-there gold lamé hotpants? Iconic!
Madonna’s Blond Ambition World Tour: The Cone Bra
Named the Greatest Concert of the 1990s by Rolling Stone, Madonna’s infamous cone brassiere made by Jean-Paul Gaultier was arguably one of the biggest standout moments of the tour that promoted the singer’s fourth album. It also went on to feature in various Madonna music videos, including ‘Express Yourself’.
M.C. Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This: The Hammer Pants
Inspired by Arabian-style harem pants, M.C. Hammer’s “hammer pants” apparently allowed him to dance more freely and quickly inspired a new trend in the early ’90s that saw fashionable youths rocking the Aladdin-esque bottoms by the droves.
Shania Twain’s That Don’t Impress Me Much: The All-Leopard Outfit
Anyone who says there’s such a thing as too much leopard print clearly has never met this iconic piece of music history.
Not only is our wild queen rocking a leopard print two-piece, a leopard print hooded jacket, and leopard print gloves and boots, she’s doing it all while hitchhiking in the desert while ditching help from a slew of self-obsessed men that try to woo her along the way. Badass!
Michael Jackson’s Thriller: The Red Jacket
It was regarded as one of the greatest music videos ever made – and for good reason. the 13-minute film was a defining moment when it came to makeup artistry as well as Jackson’s flawless choreography.
The video has remained a feat in rock history to this day – so much so that Jackson’s famous red leather jacket old for an eye-watering $1.8 million at auction in 2011, with the buyer calling it, “the greatest piece of rock and roll memorabilia in history.”