What was Madonna’s Fashion?

Without a doubt, Madonna is the most iconic pop diva who has made a name both in top-chart music and in pop culture fashion. Since the launching of her career in 1979, Madonna has been popular for her exceptional talent in music production that she is often revered as the “Queen of Pop”. On top of this, she is a fashion trend-setter whose style “reflects time” as described by her stylist Arianne Phillips.

For almost four decades, Madonna had a significant pitch in the direction of fashion trends. In this article, we describe the unrelenting evolution of Madonna’s fashion. 

1983: Crop Tops, Gauntlets, Skeggings, and Bracelets

Madonna’s style in the earliest year of her career leaned on the use of black or bright outfits composed of crop tops, fingerless lace gloves, and skirt over leggings or skeggings. She would often accentuate this with a bunch of rubber bracelets and jewelleries and her iconic hair ribbon to achieve a thrift-store look. This look was seen in the music videos of her hits “Lucky Star” and “Borderline”. 

1984: The White Bride

Madonna’s appearance in the very first MTV Video Music Awards showcased a shift in her fashion sense. She wore her most known fashion outfit called the White Bride which consisted of a white corset worn atop a white tulle skirt. She retained her fingerless gloves, starry pendants, and crucifixes but featured a belt stamped with the words “Boy Toy”, revealing her confidence and sexy attitude. 

1985: Perfecting the Black Crop Top-Skeggings Mix

During this year, Madonna re-showcased her black crop top and skeggings mix with a hint of perfection after her appearance in the film Desperately Seeking Susan. This time, she incorporated a black jacket embellished with gold but retained the usual bracelet stack, lace gloves, and hair ribbon.

It was also during this year that Madonna revealed her versatility in fashion after showcasing a Marilyn Monroe-inspired outfit for the music video of her song “Material Girl”. She featured a pink, strapless satin gown with a belt and huge bow at the back. This outfit has earned so much popularity that it was auctioned at a London exhibition. 

1986: Tomboyish look

Madonna stretched her fashion style in the music video of her song “Papa Don’t Preach” where she let go of the girlish hairstyling and jewellery-packed look. Going for a bad girl look, she instead wore a simplistic jeans-and-leather jacket combo and sometimes an outfit of black corset-and-pants mix accessorized with a black belt. 

1987: Immortalizing the Religious Imagery

In her all-time greatest single “Like a Prayer”, Madonna affirmed her obsession with religious themes with her wardrobe that showcased a black slip dress and a crucifix necklace. She finished off her look with loosely curled dark hair.

1990: Rise of the Cone Bra

Madonna popularized her memorable cone bra fashion during her Blonde Ambition tour in 1990. Designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, this style featured the underwear-as-outerwear outfit that inspired imitators for many years. This outfit was so significant that it was auctioned for £48,000 in 2012.

1991: Back to Monroe

Madonna once again showcased a Marilyn Monroe-inspired outfit when she attended the 1991 Oscars after-party with Michael Jackson. Aside from a Monroe make up, she wore a white gown with white fur and sported 20 million dollars-worth of diamonds around her neck.

1992: Letting It All Out

During this year, Madonna publicized the heights she could go in the name of fashion. In her album “Erotica” and coffeetable book “Sex”, she showcased an outfit of black blouse with a white collar and black necktie worn over a black corset. In the same year, Jean-Paul Gaultier helped Madonna in a fashion show where she walked bare-breasted.

1998: Toned-down Style

The birth of Madonna’s first child caused a dramatic change in her life and fashion style. During this year, Madonna’s fashion was seen to be heavily influenced by Eastern cultures.

Madonna took a short break from fashion trend-setting but made a stunning comeback in the 1998 VH1 Fashion Awards where she showcased the work of the rising designer Oliver Theyskens. She wore a yellow gown with a corseted waist and featured a jet-black hair that indicated her dormant years.

1999: Oriental Fashion

In the music video of her song “Nothing Really Matters”, Madonna sustained her Eastern-inspired fashion trend where she wore a red kimono. She also wore the same dress – designed again by Jean-Paul Gaultier – at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards. 

2005: Going Back to Basics

When Madonna resumed her career in music, she reminded her fans of how her fashion style began. In the music video of her hit “Hung Up”, Madonna wore her default outfit composed of leotards, fishnets, and boots with the added accessory of colored bomber jacket, sunglasses and curled hair. She made this her signature look in promoting her 10th studio album “Confessions on a Dancefloor”. 

2011: Nothing Less Than Glamour

Living up to her title “Queen of Pop”, Madonna attended the 2011 Met Gala in New York City wearing a Stella McCartney satin gown that proved her timeless glamour. 

2015: Bull-fighter Look

Madonna began showcasing looks inspired by bull fighters. She first appeared with this outfit at the 2015 Grammys and took a step farther with this look during her Brit Awards performance to the extent of harming herself by falling down the stairs due to her huge cape. 


Madonna’s fashion is one of the most influential trends that very few female pop singers are able to pull off. From its inception in the 1980s until today, people can surely find Madonna fashion outfits that they will love.