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Celebrity Style Deconstructed: Mary J. Blige

With ten Grammy’s and eight multi-platinum albums, it’s no wonder that Billboard ranks Mary J. Blige as the most successful female R&B artist ever. She didn’t get to where she is by chance– Mary J. Blige is a woman of incredible talent and intelligence, not to mention style.

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Though some of her fashion choices have been a little over-the-top, we’ve loved every ensemble, because, on her, it just works. After all, she’s about the only person on the planet who could get away with wearing sunglasses inside. Want to know the secret to her one-of-a-kind style? We’ve got the lowdown here.

How to Dress Like Mary J Blige

Give them something to talk about

Bold Accessories

Photos:, Sherly Rabbani and Josephine Soline

Often times, Mary J. Blige steps out in numbers that just about any other celeb might wear to an event… minus one little accessory. A chunky belt with a glittering gown, a beret with a chic cocktail number, and yes, sunglasses: these are the little things that transform an outfit from something anyone could wear, to something only Mary J. Blige would wear. Set your otherwise un-shocking outfits apart with one bold accessory.

Leather belt

Wide Woven Leather Belt, $55, Ralph Lauren

Add a little edge… or a lot.

Leather Metal Style

Credit: Michael Loccisano/GettyLia Toby/WENNGamma

A little leather for day, a lot of metal by night– this is about as close to a “rule” as it gets with Mary J’s style. Never make too dramatic of a statement during the daytime– you’ll just look silly. Instead, pick one edgy garment or accessory and offset it with simpler pieces. By night, though, let loose with head-to-toe leather and enough metal to dress a gladiator.

Leather skirt

BCBGMAXAZRIA Faux Leather Skirt, $85, Lord & Taylor

Mary’s favorite cut: cut outs.


Credits: Bennett Raglin/WireImage | Kyle Rover / Startraks Photo |Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Kim Kardashian loves strapless minis, Taylor Swift loves sparkling gowns, and Mary J. Blige loves cutouts. We all have that one type of ensemble that we keep coming back to, and this musician is not afraid to rock hers all the time. One tip: if you too have one garment feature you love to wear on repeat, mix it up with different colors, fabrics and silhouettes. This way, like Mary J. Blige, you’ll keep it fresh every time.

Blue Cutout

Body-Conscious Cut-Out Dress, $43.10, Asos

Sometimes, just look pretty

Gowns and Dresses

Credits: Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic | Sherly Rabbani and Josephine Solimene |

Queen of R&B or not, Mary J. Blige is still a sucker for a gorgeous dress, and this is one of the reasons why her style earns so much style respect. While she occasionally rocks head-to-toe leather and enormous feathered boleros, she also knows when to choose timeless elegance on the red carpet. There’s a time for everything, ladies. A time for sunglasses inside, a time for a leather, and yes, a time for every woman to bring out her inner Cinderella. The only difference between our girl and a Disney princess? Really, really great earrings.

Chiffon Dress

Donna Morgan Chiffon Dress, $158, Nordstrom

Karen Millen

Thursday 28th of July 2011

That body, that dress, perfect!!

Edith Scheie

Wednesday 27th of July 2011

I agree that her accessories are great, and she wears everything well, but those tattoos are strikingly attractive, too. They add a little extra something. And they look classy, not renegade.


Wednesday 27th of July 2011

I love this article!! Great job deconstructing her look.

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