Great Outfits in Fashion History: Mary J. Blige in a Gucci Logo Hat

And an unexpectedly cool take on khaki.
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Mary J. Blige in 2003.

Mary J. Blige in 2003.

There are perfectly good celebrity style moments, and then there are the looks that really stick with you, the ones you try desperately to recreate at home. In 'Great Outfits in Fashion History,' Fashionista editors are revisiting their all-time favorite lewks.

Logomania has come and gone and come again, but the icons who helped popularize the look have remained. Mary J. Blige is undoubtedly one of them, and furthermore, one of the women who played a role in popularizing "streetwear" looks that are now so accepted in the mainstream, it can be hard to remember they originated somewhere specific.

My strongest style memory of her from the mid-2000s came from the music video for "Be Without You," which debuted in 2005. In contrast to some of the other artists topping charts in her genre at the time, whose looks projected youthful sexuality more than anything else, Mary J. Blige — especially in that video — radiated something that felt a little more sophisticated. She wasn't unsexy, but she just seemed so grown up to me at the time. Even when she was just wearing sweats and a white tank top, she always looked impeccably put-together.

That's some of what comes through in this simple playsuit ensemble that Blige wore to guest-host the radio station Power 105.1 in 2003, too. Since it was an occasion where she was mostly going to be heard, rather than seen, Blige kept it low-key, wearing almost no makeup and a rather chill outfit. Still, the khaki playsuit walked a nice line between laid-back and put together, while her accessories — minimal strappy black heels, big silver hoops and the aforementioned logo-covered Gucci hat — finished things off nicely. 

If you're looking to channel your own inner Mary J. Blige, you're in luck – check out some starter pieces for emulating her look in the gallery below.

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