A highly-accurate meme once said “It’s ugly until Rihanna decides it’s not.” If you’re not familiar with Rihanna’s fashion sense, trust us when we say this quote is true. There’s something about her sense of style and confidence that allows her to pull off *literally* any lewk. Looking at some of her clothes out of context, you might think they’re straight-up fugly.
But something magical happens when Riri puts them on, and they become part of yet another iconic Rihanna look. If you’re not convinced, check out these 18 pictures that prove Rihanna constantly changes the fashion game and can “Work” any outfit she dons.
18. This sheer ensemble in the “Work” video
Okay, the video for “Work” is iconic for so many reasons. We get to see Rihanna in prime form, dancing it up, while Drake looks on like a seventh-grade boy at a dance. Plus, it’s a two-part video. In the second part, Rihanna looks straight-up dazzling in a simple, but super sexy outfit. She’s never been one to shy away from showing a little nipple, and she outdoes herself in this sheer, glittery, pink top paired with a light denim skirt. It could very easily be early-2000s tacky, but paired with her simple jewelry and long, dark hair — it’s glam.
17. Her bold but simple look in the “Fourfiveseconds” video
Can we first take a second to talk about how the collab on “Fourfiveseconds” is potentially one of the most bizarre combinations of musicians…ever? Rihanna and Kanye West? Totally makes sense. Throw in Paul McCartney? I’m confused. Either way, Rihanna obviously stole the show in this video, in a look we’d never really seen her in. Slicked back hair, dark-lined eyes, and crazy-bold eyebrows. With the oversized denim ensemble, she looks like a total badass in a way that no one else could pull off.
16. When she killed it at Carnival 2015
If you’ve been a loyal follower of Rihanna for a while now, it’s pretty obvious that Carnival is pretty much the peak of her year. It honestly looks like she goes there and gains all sorts of magical power, as proved by this jaw-dropping outfit she whipped out for Carnival 2015. Where do we start? First of all, her skin is glowing. Next, the diamond, bejeweled bikini/bodysuit situation? We can’t. Paired with the dark, dramatic feathers, she looks completely ethereal.
15. This mod, white look from the 2014 Met Gala
Thank God for the Met Gala. While this definitely isn’t one of the boldest or most daring looks in Met Gala (or Rihanna) history, something about how simple it is really made her stand out on the red carpet. The super-short crop top, shoulder pads, and form-fitting skirt make her look like a Greek goddess. Plus, the diamond choker adds just enough dazzle to this otherwise understated outfit. Another highlight of this ~look~ is her hairstyle — it’s so tousled, effortless, and super modern.
14. This iconic, golden look for the 2015 Met Gala
Yes, the Met Gala is pretty much the place to be if you want to see celebs pulling out all the stops, fashion-wise. But of course, no one came close to this golden look that Rihanna donned for the 2015 Gala. If this isn’t proof that she can pull off any color, then what is? She took a dress that (TBH) could have easily looked like a ’70s carpet and made herself look like royalty. Plus, with the simple silver stilettos and her intricate headpiece, the entire thing was executed flawlessly. Logistically, the dress was probably a nightmare for bathroom breaks, stairs, etc. but it’s all in the name of fashion.
13. When she rocked yet another jaw-dropping Carnival look
It seems like every Carnival, Rihanna grows stronger. She somehow manages to out-do the previous year’s look by a landslide. The colors in her 2017 Carnival outfit are breathtaking. The pinks, greens, and blues plus the bright turquoise color of her hair somehow isn’t too much. The absurd amount of diamonds on her bodysuit, plus the sparkly fishnets weirdly compliment each other, proving that it’s scientifically impossible for Rihanna to look tacky. Also, the tat on her upper stomach looks so awesome peeking out from the bra-area of the outfit.
12. This super-feminine dress from a Fenty Beauty launch
Because we mostly know Rihanna for being a total badass, it’s always surprising to see her in an outfit that’s ultra feminine. This one takes it to a whole new level. Not only is the dress a super-soft, light purple, the scale of ruffles and puffiness on this dress could easily make it look like a tutu gone wrong. But of course, Rihanna has been styled perfectly – with the intense, strappy shoes and a messy updo, the whole thing is 100% high fashion. Just saying, if most people put this dress on they would potentially look like a confused, overgrown toddler. Not Riri, though.
11. This eye-catching red dress
Rihanna and red are a combination that should most definitely happen more often. This bold, red evening gown she wore to the red carpet premiere of Valerien was a pretty unusual move for her. The cut of the dress is really unique, and she somehow still looks incredibly sexy, instead of like an expensive red garbage bag. The whole thing looks tailor-made for her and accentuates her curves perfectly. Plus, her simple, relaxed hairstyle tones everything down a notch. Without that accent, the lewk could’ve seemed a tad over the top.
10. This menswear-inspired look
Everything about this look is super unique and totally different from something Rihanna would typically wear. The hairstyle alone is enough to make this look super memorable. The light, reddish-blonde color is not a color she would typically go for, plus the cut of it is giving some serious Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction vibes. Although the jacket and pants could easily look super unflattering and straight-up confusing, Rihanna manages to look absolutely adorable, as always.
9. Her iconic, crystal dress and cap
This isn’t just one of Rihanna’s most iconic looks; it’s one of her best moments in general. When she showed up to the CFDA’s wearing this gorgeous, totally see-through gown, she turned some heads. Obviously, she looked gorgeous, but some of the paparazzi reacted in a less-than-positive way, probing her with questions. After one question, Rihanna responded: “Do my tits bother you? They’re covered in Swarovski crystals, girl,” in what became one of the most iconic moments of Rihanna’s career. The hairnet-esque cap also could’ve been a look gone wrong, but of course, the “Sex with Me” singer killed it as always.
8. This cute, courtside hairstyle
We could pretty confidently say that no one looks as amazing on the courtside as Rihanna. Every time she’s snapped a basketball game, she’s wearing some ridiculously fashionable outfit. Take, for example, this super-simple look. Sure, it’s just a white crop top and jeans. But of course, Rihanna paired it with an amazing statement necklace, and this short, pink pixie wig. The outfit is casual enough for a basketball game, but her hairstyle makes it a classic Rihanna look.
7. This radiant yellow outfit
This is another time when Rihanna proved that she could totally rock canary yellow. This bright yellow dress and purse look stunning on her and make it look like she is literally glowing from within. The draping of this ‘fit looks super elegant and feminine, but the high updo paired with the small, ultra-mod sunglasses make it undeniably chic. Plus, the gold jewelry adds one more layer of glamour. Basically, looks like she walked right off of a Parisian runway. NGL, most would look bad in something this bold. Obvi not Rihanna.
6. This unique, structured jacket
Let’s be honest, there’s absolutely no one else in the world who could put this exact outfit on and look as stunning as Rihanna. The jacket has a crazy structure, with hugely-poofy sleeves that are a definitely an unusual length. The baggy mom jeans are a classic, but tucked into the white latex stiletto boots — it’s definitely unprecedented. And of course, she pulls it off with no problem at all. Even her stance alone shows that Rihanna knows she’s absolutely killing it.
5. This vintage Hollywood look from Cannes
How do we even begin with this one? First of all, the picture itself is unbelievably gorgeous, with the light glowing on her face and the city lights twinkling in the background (so big shout-out to whoever took this). However, the super-glamorous, old Hollywood look she has going on here is what truly steals the show. Her hair is pulled back into a simple updo, which only emphasizes the bold, vintage-looking jewelry she has on. The black gown she’s wearing is the perfect combo of just structured enough, while still flowy, soft, and luxurious.
4. This head-to-toe glitter bodysuit
Who else would be able to rock this? The top and denim shorts alone are enough to make for a great, casual, but still sexy outfit. But of course, that wouldn’t nearly be enough to make it one of Rihanna’s outlandish ensembles. So naturally, she paired it with a full-body, glitter bodysuit. If that weren’t enough, it also covers her face and entire head. The final touch? A pair of square, bejeweled sunglasses on top of the bodysuit. Dang! This girl’s an icon!
3. Her bold accessorizing at a Fenty launch
This is one of Rihanna’s more recent looks, which she was seen wearing to a Fenty launch. Everything about this outfit is really over-the-top. It almost objectively doesn’t work, but with the right amount of accessorizing, plus her incredible makeup and hair, she honestly looks like some sort of edgy Barbie. The dress itself is a daring fabric, but with the super-bold belt and crazy-chunky jewelry, it’s taken to a whole new level. However, Rihanna’s dewy complexion and bright red lip make it look sophisticated, rather than tacky.
2. This fun and edgy streetwear
No one can take streetwear and turn it into a glamorous, chic look the way Rihanna can. The jeans she’s wearing here are enormous, and definitely hard to style. But paired with this structured, fitted flannel hoodie, Rihanna manages to wear this edgy look but still make it somehow feminine and flirty. The whole thing is given a unique spin with the tiny, high-fashion sunglasses and simple jewelry. She somehow combines all of these elements into one cohesive outfit.
1. This soft, whimsical look from the “Diamonds” Video
Finally, we have one of Rihanna’s best, but definitely underrated outfits. The video for her song, “Diamonds” is one of her most visually-striking videos, which makes sense because the song is definitely one of her softer, more slow songs. This outfit really goes with the whole aesthetic of the video and the sound of the song. It’s really simple, which is unusual for Rihanna. She’s wearing a plain, fitted gray dress, which she covers with an open, fluffy cardigan. It’s soft and feminine, which makes her look a lot more vulnerable than her usual fashion choices. Thus proving the gal can *literally* wear ANYTHING and look good.