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Breaking Down Lil Kim’s Iconic Style

Only a handful of artists are deserving of the word icon, but when it comes to the larger than life legacy of Lil Kim, iconic is the only way to describe her.

Alongside her extensive music career and her standing reign as one of the best female rappers thus far in the young history of hip hop, Lil Kim’s deliciously campy, ultra fabulous style has been recently re-recognized for its lasting influence. Feathers and furs, wigs in every hue of the rainbow, rhinestones, sequins and runway ready makeup were always key components in a classic Lil Kim fit. (She donned looks so legendary, Beyonce paid homage to her most memorable looks two Halloweens ago.)

Whether she was shocking a red carpet, rocking look after look for her memorable music videos or heading a fashion campaign ad, Lil Kim’s style not only intrigued anyone who came across her but stood as a testament to who she was an artist. Lil Kim as a rapper, a woman and a fashion darling symbolized the start of an era of true sexual liberation for the young Black woman — and she never once apologized for it. Nipple pasties, exposed thongs, as low as you can go jeans and lots and lots of lingerie were some of the countless fashion mediums Lil Kim expressed herself through (alongside the guidance of her longtime stylist, Misa Hylton.)

Below we broke down some of the essential style components that helped complete a classic Lil Kim style curation. Be warned — none of the below is for the style shy.

COLORFUL WIGS

There hasn’t been a color that Kim couldn’t rock. Lil Kim never shied away from embracing a crazy colored wig and her endless assortment of ever-changing hair looks was one of the biggest components that helped her stand out on her own stylistically. Sometimes she would add a bright head of hair to brighten up a more subdued look or she often would plan monochromatic outfits in hues of pink, blue, green and more.

LOW RISE DENIM

Lil Kim, musically and stylistically, is synonymous with crazy sex appeal. Come to the start of the new millennium, you couldn’t catch Kim without a pair of low rise, curve-hugging flared out denim that accentuated her tiny 4’11 frame. Her pairs were often bedazzled, embroidered and iced out in true 2000s fashion.

FUR GALORE

Much like her wig collection, Kim’s closet of coats came in every color of the rainbow and the furrier, the better. A larger than life fur was an essential component of her looks worthy of her “Queen Bee” title and were always the finishing touch that helped bring her looks over the top — in the best way possible.

By Bianca Betancourt
Cover Photo Lil Kim VMAs 1999