STYLE LESSONS FROM RIHANNA
By Kasia Hastings, 20 February 2017
Pop siren, style queen and all-round don Rihanna has achieved a lot in her 29 years. She’s put everyone from Drake to Kendall Jenner in their place, out-classed everybody with her hip flask at this year’s Grammys and produced classic tunes like Work, What’s My Name? and Pon De Replay. Style-wise, when she’s not running things at Paris Fashion Week with her Fenty Puma collections, she's schooling us in how to wear menswear with attitude. Here’s what you could learn from Bad Gal RiRi.
Anti camo: wear a standout print
It’s hard to stand out in camouflage at the best of times, but with streetwear fans everywhere clad in the stuff, it’s now nigh-on impossible. Cue Rihanna breaking the mould in full winter camo. In a world full of khaki-hued outerwear, she flips things on their head, with a black, white and grey take on the military motif.
Her oversized Vetements x Canada Goose jacket and matching combats are the antithesis of understated and guaranteed to get her noticed. Try trading in your Chocolate Chip and US Woodland prints for a bolder, more ballsy monochrome pattern to do surplus chic Rihanna-style (but maybe leave your slippers at home).
Rated R-eally cosy: coats are key
For at least half the year, your coat is the first layer of your outfit that people see and, therefore, your most important piece. No one knows this more than Rihanna. Possibly the only person on the planet to rival Kanye’s coat collection, RiRi does oversized outerwear like no other, so when this winter’s puffer jacket trend hit, she went hard.
Her big black coat has 'duvet day' written all over it and appears to be paired with nothing much else at all. Make a slightly more low-key, but equally cosy, statement by wearing yours open over a hoodie and jeans.
Good girl gone goth: always experiment
Rihanna’s unapologetic approach to style means she isn’t afraid of experimenting. You’re as likely to find her in menswear as you are in Chinese couture and here we have our girl going full goth. RiRi doesn’t do things by halves, so when she tries out a new look she lives and breathes it.
Taking your style to new extremes like this takes confidence, so commitment is key. Experiment with styles, new colours and cuts, but never wear anything that takes you too far out of your comfort zone. Making a new aesthetic work is as much about a confident attitude as the clothes themselves.
Shut up and drive: jump-start your style
With guys like Kanye and cult brands like Supreme including motocross-inspired clothes in their latest collections, it’s fair to say the MX trend has stepped up a gear this year, but naturally Rihanna was ahead of curve. She adopted the bright, bulky, off-road racing jacket years before it hit mainstream menswear. Extra padding, highlighter hues, cool patches and panelling make this statement piece a far more interesting option than your standard bomber or basic leather jacket.
Rihanna works hers into her steezy off-duty aesthetic by teaming it with contrasting sweats and Nike Air Jordans. Ease yourself into the look with a customised bomber or coach jacket, or go full-throttle like Rihanna with a luminous piece of performance gear.