All Good in the Hood

Remember when Rihanna looked like someone made her with a Tyra Banks cookie cutter? Neither does the rest of the world.

Prior to sporting the cooler version of Kate Gosselin’s haircut and high fashion duds, the R&B songstress didn’t have a single distinctive style attribute. Polished and pretty she was, but her caramel extensions and trendy clothes scored low in originality.

Today, only Lady Gaga can compete with Rihanna’s love affair with nonconformity. The only difference is that Lady Gaga’s version comes off like a joke that only she’s in on. Rihanna’s, on the other hand, comes down to creativity.

Take the sweater dress she’s got on here. You can’t help but wonder whether it’s supposed to be worn as a cowl neck or, as she has it, hoodie-style. We suspect she slipped it on and decided something was missing. Realizing the shield sunglasses she so adores wouldn’t fly in a studio shoot, she slid the hood over her newly blond locks with the same all-knowing slickness Obi-Wan Kenobi would. Like that, the fashion force was with her. That’s the way it went in our fantasy, anyway.

To copy her look, start with a sweater dress. You may not be able to find the stripes and the cowl neck together so decide to which of the two you’re more partial. If it’s the stripes, find a pattern that doesn’t make you look like Foot Locker employs you. A bold geometric print will do just fine. If it’s the cowl neck you like, do as Rihanna would, go big. It makes a statement, which means less accessorizing.

Rihanna loves the unexpected. Why else would she rock a puffy-sleeved tuxedo to the MET Costume Institute Gala alongside a long trail of gowns attached to other tuxedos? She does the same with her casual clothes, pairing shredded jeans with a lace blouse or taking the buttoned up look and completely unbuttoning it. Here, the unexpected comes in the form of the hoodie and the combat ankle boots. A black pump or knee-high boot would be too predictable. And, with Rihanna’s style all that we can predict is the unpredictable.

Check out how to copy her look.

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