ESC: Aaliyah

Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Sixteen years ago today, the world said a heartfelt good-bye to the reigning R&B queen, Aaliyah

At the time of her tragic passing, the singer's iconic status was inevitable. By 15, she had a double platinum record, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number. At 17, she reappeared with music heavy hitters Missy Elliott and Timbaland at her side, releasing One in a Million, another double platinum record. Then, the star started her acting career, starring in Romeo Must Die with martial artist Jet Li, and continued acting as the vampire vixen in Queen of the Damned. In 2001, she picked up her first love, recording Billboard #1 Aaliyah—and, she achieved all of this by 22.

While this list of accolades seem like the reason that so many love the pop star, there was something else that attracted the masses: her effortlessly cool style. 

In the '90s, there weren't many stars that showed up to events in sweatpants (for a good reason). Yet, whenever Aaliyah dressed down with cropped tops and baggy clothes, it never looked sloppy. In fact, it was the opposite. Her soft-toned voice, eloquence and grace made any look feminine, including a menswear jumpsuit.

The recipe to her effortless style is easy. The consistent choice for crop tops (see: her abs) made her sexy, while her masculine-appearing bottoms made her cool. Her style stepped out of the diva personality that so many expected to her have and made her relatable. Her style transformed her from a high-achieving diva to an artist that you can see yourself being friends with. 

"[Aaliyah] came in and was so warming; she made us immediately feel like family," Missy Elliott told MTV.

Close to two decades later, this style continues to resonate with the fashion-obsessed. From Rihanna's feminine athleisure line to Gigi Hadid's collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger to the celebs' obsession with oversized clothing, the late R&B star's effortlessly sexy fashion is on trend. 

Ready to channel your inner Aaliyah? Shop the looks below! 

ESC: Aaliyah

Jeffrey Mayer / Getty Images

For a glam stage look, Aaliyah pairs an oversized patent leather jacket with pants and a metallic crop top and sleek, straight hair—and, the crowd goes wild.

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Vega Glitter Bralette, $92

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Mary Metallic Plunge Bralet, $24

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Metallic Lace-Up Bralette, $16.90

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Faux Patent Leather Pants, $990

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Zip Front Faux Patent Leather Pants, Now $287

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Vintage Red Striped Racing Jacket, $85

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Cropped Jacket, Now $549

ESC: Aaliyah

Alex J. Berliner/BEI/REX/Shutterstock

Lesson learned: Just because you dress like an OG doesn't mean you can't smile big!

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Tommy x Gigi Hadid Cropped Top, Now $16.50

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Bralette & Legging Set, $104

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

'90s Bodysuit, $82.50

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

The High Waist Sweat Pant, $129

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Wide Leg Cotton Sweatpants, $104

ESC: Aaliyah

Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Why limit yourself to women's clothing? The singer makes a utilitarian-inspired ensemble feminine by adding sunglasses and standout jewelry.

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Belted Jumpsuit, $1,675

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Jumpsuit, Now $184

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Mytheresa.com Exclusive Lana Utility Jumpsuit, Now $219

ESC: Aaliyah Style Tribute Market

Neul Indigo Pink Linen Jumpsuit, Now $144.48

More proof that Aaliyah's style is relevant today: Next summer, MAC will release #AaliyahforMAC to celebrate the singer's timeless beauty. The collaboration is a result of a petition on Change.org that her fans started two years ago. The campaign, with support from her brother, garnered over 26,000 signatures, pushing the late singer to join the likes of Taraji P. Henson and Nicki Minaj.

Although she isn't physically with us today, her legacy is very much alive.

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