Dressing like Janet Jackson first requires determining which era in her life most appeals to you. Her earlier years were defined by bold, masculine looks in all black — a mix of sex appeal with visible bras and bared midriffs paired with baggy pants. In her later years, she went for more sophisticated and structured looks. When she’s going for sexy, Jackson does it with soft fabrics that brush against her curves.


Rhythm Nation Janet

With Janet Jackson’s first album, “Control,” the world was introduced to her budding sense of style after many years of seeing her as the sweet girl from “Diff’rent Strokes.” Her second album, “Rhythm Nation 1812,” is what turned her personal style into a trend followed by teens across in America. To emulate Rhythm Nation Janet, black is the only color in your palette. You want strong military jackets, black leggings and black baseball caps. A black bustier should be accompanied with a tuxedo-type bolero, paired with black, baggy pants. Showing your midriff is a plus.

Sexy Janet

Jackson has never shied away from expressing her sex appeal. While she had her tomboy years, she was never afraid to wear daring styles that showed off every bit of her curves. When it’s time to look her best, Jackson is fond of body-caressing, flowing dresses, always in a single color. Match her style with a bias-cut gown — similar to the one she wore to the 2002 Essence Awards — in a color sharply contrasting your natural skin tone.

Tailored Janet

When not in glamour-mode, Janet can often be seen in structured, tailored jackets — typically in black — and sometimes with a tie thrown in for good measure. Jackson balances masculine menswear looks with fitted, tailored pieces to show off her curves. Follow her signature style by achieving this same balance. Make your suit jackets tailored and your pants fitted; you can never go wrong in black or white.

Layered Janet

A quick visit to Jackson’s personal website reveals her favorite picks for every fashion season. Haider Ackermann, a designer characterized by his signature draped forms and layering, appears as a longtime personal favorite. Ackermann stays away from prints; to emulate Janet’s style, you should do the same. Layer your clothing, but stick to one color per layered piece. Choose long, ankle-length monotone column skirts in heavy fabrics. Layer with a loose-fitting blouse, also in a single color, and add a tailored jacket — you’ll have the Janet Jackson look down.