Published on July 28th, 2012 | by Andy1
20 Shades of Mary
Baggy pants, Cross Colors, combat boots, enlarged baseball jerseys, and midnight colored shades was Mary J. Blige’s style in the 90’s.
It wasn’t glamorous, it wasn’t chic, it wasn’t even feminine, but it was definitely comfortable and tomboyish. And from those oversized jean jackets, baseball caps, and black oval-shaped sunglasses transcended a music legend and style icon, Mary J. Blige. It’s been 20 years since Mary’s first album “What’s the 411?” dropped on July 28, 1992. While she introduced us to her heartbreaks, we fell in love with not only her sweet yet edgy vocals, but we also fell in love with the way she made her grimey tomboy look, sexy.
At the start of Mary’s career, her wardrobe read as if her life was dark and lonely and as if she was hiding from something. As the years progressed, she become known for her dark shades and her all black wardrobe. She even wore dark lipstick to complement her style. She was in mourning and her style was grieving as well. As Mary grew and her heart healed, her style evolved. She did away with some pieces from her old wardrobe, but kept one of her now trademarks, dark tinted sunshades. Her most memorable sunglasses moment was in her video to the hit song off the Waiting to Exhale movie soundtrack, Not Gon’ Cry. In the video, she played a scorned wife, who was tired of crying over her cheating husband. Mary played the role. She had dark Jackie O style shades, deep plum lipstick, and her entire head was wrapped in a black cotton scarf, which gave definition to the words tired and mourning.
By the late 90’s early 00’s, Mary had laid the tomboy look to rest and opted for the sex symbol instead. Paparazzi started capturing her in colors other than black, we saw colors like reds, whites, and greens incorporated in her threads. It was like light was shining in her soul, and that light peeked through her apparel. Mary was now comfortable within her own skin and ready to show the world her new found self. However, her wear of oversized dark shades was still a key accessory to her wardrobe. She even incorporated 60’s colored rimmed glasses, which gave her style a striking amount of confidence and power. We were witnessing the birth of a new Mary, but a more refined Mary. Still raw and uncut, but in a womanly way.
Mary’s newly adapted style reflected all things with diamonds, fur, and leather. Today, Mary is as beautiful as she has ever been. She is gracing the front covers of all of your favorite magazines, sitting on the front rows of fashion shows, rocking the latest Giuseppi’s, and racking up endorsements deals from top beauty and style companies like MAC Cosmetics and The GAP, Inc. Last summer, she debuted a sunglass collection with over 800 frames called Melodies by MJB Collection, which can be found in all major department stores. If she is a Glam god now, I can’t wait to see what she will become 20 years from now. I have posted 20 of Mary’s most fashionable looks in her infamous shades. Which of Mary’s looks are your favorites?