24 Iconic Fashion Moments in Music Videos

From Michael Jackson's red "Thriller" jacket to Britney's sexy schoolgirl look, this is the music video fashion we'll never forget.

1. David Bowie's "Life on Mars?" 1973

Filmed during his Ziggy Stardust era, the glam rocker's fourth music video defined his look in the '70s: an over-the-top outfit (here, a powder blue suit) and electric eye makeup paired with a bright red mullet.

2. Blondie's "Heart of Glass," 1978

Debbie Harry sported platinum locks and a red lip long before Madonna and Gwen, leading many ladies to reach for a bottle of peroxide and a tube of Revlon in the mid-'70s.

3. Olivia Newton-John's "Physical," 1981

Newton-John inspired a generation of leg warmers and pastel Spandex with this early-'80s hit.

4. Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun," 1983

Lauper epitomized the '80s trend of excess with wacky hair dye, multicolored eyeshadow, over-the-top accessories and tulle. Lots of tulle.

5. Michael Jackson's "Thriller," 1983

Widely regarded as the most iconic music video ever made, the 13-minute film showcases feats in choreography and makeup artistry—as well as a red leather jacket that became the "hottest outerwear trend of the 1980s." It sold for $1.8 million at auction in 2011, with the buyer calling it, "the greatest piece of rock and roll memorabilia in history."

6. Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love," 1985

We're addicted to the look of Palmer's backing band in this video—heavy makeup, pale skin lips and LBDs inspired by the work of Patrick Nagel. Clearly, Palmer was too—the mannequin concept was recycled in the videos for "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On," "Simply Irresistible" and "Change His Ways."

7. Madonna's "Express Yourself," 1989

Madonna's iconic cone bra makes one of its earliest appearances in the David Fincher-lensed clip.

8. Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation," 1989

Jackson and a team of dancers sport black military uniforms in a nod to the song's message of gender and racial equality, and viewers were especially drawn to the tailored, epaulet-adorned jackets, snapback hats and hoop earrings.

9. M.C. Hammer's "U Can't Touch This," 1990

MC Hammer's "Hammer pants" were inspired by harem pants worn in the Arabian peninsula. Hammer adopted them because they were easy to dance in, leading the nation to follow suit in the early '90s.

10. Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," 1991

Heavy rotation on MTV introduced Cobain and co. to the masses, driving viewers to copy the grunge aesthetic of thrifted wares and unwashed hair.

11. Aerosmith's "Cryin'," 1994

Forget Britney and Christina—Alicia Silverstone's belly button piercing in this clip sparked that particular jewelry trend—and led Aerosmith to hire the pre-Clueless actress for two more video appearances.

12. TLC's "Waterfalls," 1994

The trio sport crop tops and voluminous skirt-pant combos in the video for one of their most famous songs.

13. 2Pac's "California Love," 1995

2Pac's signature look, a bandana tied at the front of his head, made its first appearance in the videos (yes, there is another version) for this 1995 single.

14. No Doubt's "Just a Girl," 1995

This video introduced No Doubt to the masses, ushering in an era of sporty cargo pants, crop tops, red lips and bleached-blonde locks thanks to frontwoman Gwen Stefani.

15. Spice Girls' "Wannabe," 1996

Everyone wanted to be a Spice Girl in the late '90s, and if that meant platform sneakers, short hemlines and pigtails, so be it.

16. Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time," 1999

Spears gave the Catholic schoolgirl stereotype a face, complete with a short plaid skirt, knotted, belly-baring blouse and thigh-high socks.

17. Jennifer Lopez's "Jenny from the Block," 2002

Lopez (and later, Beyoncé) sparked a craze for Timberland-inspired Manolo Blahnik booties in the early 2000s.

18. Shania Twain's "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" 2003

Twain dons multiple menswear-inspired numbers for her ode to female empowerment.

19. Avril Lavingne's "Complicated," 2003

Lavinge's necktie became a major trend in the early aughts following the release of her first album, Let Go.

20. Kanye West's "Stronger," 2007

Though not necessarily practical, West sparked a craze for shutter sunglasses after this video premiered.

21. Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," 2008

These simple black bodysuits are nearly as iconic as the video's choreography.

22. Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," 2009

Alexander McQueen was already fashion's darling before this video premiered in 2009, but Gaga's performance in his legendary armadillo shoes made the designer a household name.

23. Janelle Monáe's "Tightrope," 2010

Monáeproves that a suit and tie are just as sexy on a woman in the video for her breakout hit.

24. Iggy Azalea's "Fancy," 2014

Azalea introduced Clueless to the next generation with the video for her hit, "Fancy."


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