What Our Favorite Music Videos Look Like As Outfits

Here at R29 HQ, we like our jams in all forms (and we're not talking about marmalade, here). Whether it's streaming through our headphones via Spotify, turned up at home from our hand-me-down record players, or blasting through YouTube as we dance around our bedrooms while getting ready in the morning, we get our songs on in every way possible. Being the fashion addicts we are, of course, this extends into our wardrobes as well. In honor of this staff-favorite pastime (and next Sunday’s Grammys!), we asked eight special music aficionados to share their absolute favorite videos with you. We’re talking everything from Aaliyah to Britney to, yes, even Paul Simon. Get excited.
We selected the perfect gear — crop tops, sneakers, novelty tees, and more — to accompany each clip as you relive MIKA’s “We Are Golden,” Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend," and TLC’s “Waterfalls.” Click through to shop and throw back, but fair warning: Your Wednesday afternoon may be shot now. We sense a few watch and repeats here.
Ali Hoffman, Los Angeles editor
"Waterfalls" by TLC
"Where do I even begin? When the video came out in '95, I was 8, and for me, watching T-Boz, Left Eye, and Chilli dance in crop tops, palazzo pants, and massive hoop earrings was everything and more. Now, add the fact that they're getting down miraculously on top of water (thanks to the video's expensive CGI effort, which was very advanced at the time), and my mind pretty much exploded. Then, a few years later, I re-watched the video and realized it had a much deeper meaning, as it illustrated two tragic stories — one of a drug-dealing teen and another of a man contracting HIV — that I somehow glazed over as a child. But, in addition to its poignant message, what I'll remember best, no matter what age I am, is the segment with the weird, Alex Mack-like, oil-slicked avatar versions of the trio, shown dancing underneath a waterfall. Does it get better than that?"
Cargo Liquid Eye Liner, $20, available at Beauty.com; River Island Beige Oversized Check Shirt, $50, available at River Island; Peter Pilotto Freja Printed Crepe Trousers, $558, available at MyTheresa; rag & bone Daytona Top, $220, available at rag & bone; Fallon Oversize Hoop Earrings, $100, available at Barneys New York; Dior Diorshow Mono Long-Wear Professional Mirror-Shine Eyeshadow, $30, available at Lord & Taylor.
Bobby Schuessler, fashion writer
"Oops!… I Did It Again" by Britney Spears
"So, this B. Spears classic basically defined my youth. And, yes, I dreamed (and still do) that one day I’ll be able to wear a skintight, red jumpsuit, blast off into space, and have a handsome astronaut hand me an iceberg-sized ring. Seriously. Does it get more perfect? Even though my girl probably can’t move the way she did in this video (don’t worry, though, I’m still going to Vegas), this video will go down in my book as my all-time favorite."
The Evolution Store Pyrite, $79, available at The Evolution Store; Vionnet Draped-Back Silk Jumpsuit, $2,100, available at Net-A-Porter; Topshop V Neck Cutaway Crop Top, $72, available at Topshop; Eva Fehren 18K Blackened White Gold Sapphire And Diamond Pave Ring, $5,225, available at Moda Operandi; Butter London Lippy Sheer Gloss Dandy Bubbles, $20, available at Butter London; Nike Son Of Force Mid Sneakers, $70, available at Nordstrom.
Willow Lindley, associate fashion editor
"Call Your Girlfriend" by Robyn
"I love this video because, in my dreams, I dance like this when I'm alone in my apartment."
Zara 5 Pocket Printed Trousers, $49.90, available at Zara; Superga x The Blonde Salad 2790 Coccofglw, $146.29, available at Superga; Topshop Knitted Fluffy Crop Jumper, $60, available at Topshop; Lizzie Mandler Othello Hoops, $3,890, available at Lizzie Mandler; Acne Studios Rue Li Mix Bustier Top, $381, available at MyTheresa; Benefit Cosmetics The Bronze of Champions, $32, available at Sephora.
Spencer Mandell, producer
"Institutionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies
"This is the first video of music and a band that mattered to me that I ever saw on MTV. It was a big deal for a young punker."
K.S. Homestead Bandana, $26, available at Hickoree’s; Gitman Bros. Flannel Shirt, $143, available at Gitman Bros.; Unis Gio Vintage Khakis, $198, available at Unis; Vision Gator Complete Skateboard, $89.99, available at CCS; Pin Mart Smiley Face Pin, $3.95, available at Pin Mart.
Marissa Rosenblum, shopping market director
“You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon
"I used to come home from school, turn on VH1, and wait for 'You Can Call Me Al' to come on. I was completely captivated by the dancing buddy duo, Paul Simon and Chevy Chase (who I then assumed to be Art Garfunkel). There's a lot of musical importance to Graceland, much of which you can hear in this song: the introduction of South African-style music, the bass run played forward and then backward, the whistle flute solo. And, I was aware of none of this at the time. All I knew was these two middle-aged guys had style."
Helmut Lang Ruched-Sleeve Slub-Woven Blazer, $460, available at Net-A-Porter; Hope News Trousers, $190, available at Steven Alan; Reebok Classic Nylon Sneakers, $54.99, available at Reebok; Falling Whistles Vintage Brass, $58, available at Falling Whistles; Torrans MFG Bellaire Retro Metal Patio Chair, $79.99, available at Retro Store.
Hayden Manders, editorial assistant
"We Are Golden" by MIKA
"I breathed a huge sigh of relief when this video came out. Someone had finally nailed the unique joy of the escape that comes from performing for yourself and transforming into different characters alone in your bedroom."
Bolshie Lace Up Boots, $320, available at Solestruck; Sprayground The Happy Dayz Hologram Backpack, $70.46, available at Karmaloop; Pyrex Vision White Champion Gym Shorts, $100, available at Pyrex; H0les Pixel Sunglasses, $90, available at H0les; Wacky Wacko Boys All Over Me T-Shirt, $40, available at Wacky Wacko.
Annie Georgia Greenberg, style editor
“Are You That Somebody?" by Aaliyah
"I almost feel like this needs no explanation, but here goes. This Aaliyah classic has all the makings of a sensational music video: Timbaland, a soundtrack of (crying?) babies, matching outfits, mini pigtails, a mysterious silver hallway, and a bird of prey. Not to mention amazing synchronized dance moves (sometimes in shadow, sometimes in plain sight) including, but not limited to, floor rolls and booty pops. It's also shot on a set that transcends space and time — which is a signature touchstone of all good music videos (Missy Elliott's 'Work It' and Britney's 'I'm a Slave 4 You,' to name a few). This video also marked the first time I really took note of an outfit that was masculine but sexy at the same time. I would definitely rock a mesh tank top, a choker, and JNCOs in the present day, too. What can I say? Sometimes I'm goody goody, right now I'm naughty naughty."
Nike Air Max LTD, $110, available at KicksUsa; Preen Ted Cropped Stretch-Crepe Top, $490, available at Net-A-Porter; Joe Boxer Metallic Boxers, $9.99, available at MyGofer; Vince Camuto Aztec Chocker Necklace, $39.99, available at Vince Camuto; Dickies Relaxed Fit Carpenter Jeans, $27.99, available at Dickies.
"Oh, and if you really want to get in this video’s spirit, donate to the Wild Bird Fund."
Nathan Reese, contributing editor
"Glósóli" by Sigur Rós
"I usually say that Björk's Chris Cunningham-directed 'All Is Full of Love' is my favorite music video — that or HEALTH's Eric Wareheim-helmed 'We Are Water.' But, since the first clip is all about naked androids and the second is a nightmarish, ultra-violent horror movie, I went with a more appropriate choice. Sigur Rós' video for 'Glósóli,' directed by Arni & Kinski, embodies the world-expanding sound that the band has perfected. Before M83 showed superpowered kids flying through space, Sigur Rós had a similar idea presented in much simpler terms. Basically, it's some of the most breathtaking six minutes of footage you can experience. Gets me every time."
Play By Comme des Garçons Chuck Taylor High Tops, $110, available at Barneys New York; Mason Slim Fit Chinos, $58.50, available at East Dane; Filson Guide To Work Jacket, $440, available at Steven Alan; L.L. Bean Heritage Sweater, $139, available at L.L Bean; Polar Rainier Vibes Beanie, $25, available at Polar.

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