Cardi B is the most relevant, dynamic, and gag-worthy artist out there. Because everything she touches turns to gold. From her raps, to her collabs, online content and music videos, she is flawless. And Bardi is in that peak pop-star phase where everything she does makes news. But if everything about her right now is iconic, nowhere is that more evident than her looks. Cardi’s personal style is eclectic, distinctly her own and game-changing. Recently, she turned up to New York Fashion week to capture every bit of attention there is. So it feels like the perfect time to take a look back at the last year of Cardi B pics that demonstrate her trend-setting style.
New York Fashion Week
Cardi B has to have the best coat collection on the planet. Being a Bronx girl, you need coats to protect you from New York’s blisteringly cold winters. Here Cardi’s fur is embellished with newspaper-type headlines. She is like a glam ransom note, and who doesn’t love a good remixed fashion piece.
At Christian Siriano
This 1940s-inspired pantsuit, fur, and glasses ensemble was worn at the Christian Sirano show at this year’s New York Fashion Week. Here Cardi gets points for how incredible the overall look is, while getting bonus points for how incredible each separate piece is. The glasses alone would land this look on the list, but then add in a white-fur stole, mint-green suit, and her signature nails, and you have an all-time classic.
At Marc Jacobs
How Cardi turned out as many instantly iconic New York Fashion Week looks is beyond me. There isn’t a dud in the bunch; every single one slays. While she went 1940s at Christian Siriano, at Marc Jacobs she is embodying Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s glamour, and it is an all luxe success.
Cardi B makes the snowswept streets of New York a brighter place. Diverging from the New Yorker uniform of black, on black, on black, Cardi B shatters the antiquated rule of ‘no white after Labor Day’ to stand out from the pack. The pops of color and white pants/fur combo are enough to make winter bearable for a few more months.
Fenty Puma by Rihanna
Cardi B absolutely steals any show, and here she does it with a puffer jacket. As someone who grew up in the North East, it is almost impossible to make a puffy jacket look this good. Walk around any city with four months of winter, and try and find someone who is giving this much look with the most formless and utilitarian of winter-pieces.
Hip Hop Style Awards
Cardi rocks head-to-toe silver chain mail like no one else could. She looks like a modern day Gladiatress, ready to take on all challengers. It is this outfit’s mix of glamour and toughness that make it a stand out. It perfectly captures her persona, the rap queen who does not suffer fools lightly.
Cardi B rocks Toronto-based designer Jennifer Le in one the most Cardi jackets imaginable. Here is another case of a great outfit, that is heightened just by the sheer fact of Cardi wearing it. Most people would get lost in a jacket this extra, but Cardi says fuck it and pairs it with sequined boots. She isn’t afraid to go big with her looks, and that is where she consistently kills it.
Persona & Style
Cardi B has the most contagious personality in music. She isn’t asking that you like her, she is demanding it, with her wit, confidence, and lack of filter. This is the perfect outfit to compliment that larger-than-life persona. Once again, this is an outfit that almost anyone would get lost in, but not Cardi – it fits her perfectly.
MTV Video Music Awards
While Cardi had a few looks at the MTV Video Music Awards, this is the one that really stands the test of time. Her sequined bathing suit and Saint Laurent boots are a perfect match for Cardi’s electric performance style. Her leg tattoo and signature nails, with the perfect length hair, make this look a classic.
VH1 Hip Hop Honors
Cardi once again turns it out in this colorful, pop-art dress at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors. This is both throwback and totally current. The jean jacket would make Andy Warhol die, the dress fits her perfectly, and like always she brings all of the pieces together. What an absolute queen!
Cardi B rocked this Cinderella inspired look to Rihanna's 3rd Annual Clara Lionel Foundation Diamond. I love when Cardi does something unexpected but in her very own Cardi way. She didn’t just wear a ballgown, she wore the gown to end all gowns. Could it be bigger, could it be more pastel, could it be more Cardi? No. No. No. Style icon.
Here is a look that I would probably hate on anyone else. I mean, cyan green jacket/dress combo with nude heels, and hoop earrings, doesn’t sound great on the page. But somehow Cardi makes it all work brilliantly, making it seem both editorial and streetstyle, leaving us gagging for more.
Maybe the reason I’m alone on Valentine’s Day is I don’t turn out outfits like this? Cardi, how are the rest of us supposed to compete? Fur and sequins is always going to be a bold statement, but here Cardi doesn’t just wear both on different pieces, she wears both on the same dress. Slayyed. I’m dead.
Cardi has never looked more effervescent in layers upon layers of tulle at the iHeartRadio Awards. The color is a dream on her, but it is all about her matching the cutseyness of the dress with the severe cut of her hair. It works against the dress in a way that makes the look pure Cardi.
Calibash Los Angeles
Cardi absolutely owns old-school glamour in this outfit, which makes her look like a modern-day Sophia Loren. The 50s-style hair and silhouette prove Cardi can serve you demure, classy, pinup better than anyone else. What is so great about this look is that, even though it isn’t what we think of when we think Cardi, she makes it totally her own. She is wearing the look, the look isn’t wearing her.
Cardi rocks an all-white Champs sweatsuit and makes it more couture than anything on the runway in Paris. The shoes, the makeup, the hair, and the accessories all make it come together and elevate it to peak style. What Cardi is great at is making all of the elements of the outfit complementary. The shoes bringing out the color scheme in the outer stripes, while the lipstick matches the main stripe. It just all works.
Cardi B should have been given a fifteen-minute showcase at the Grammys, walked away with an armful of awards, and been given the respect she has earned. Even though she won neither of the awards she was nominated for, she definitely won best dressed in this bubblegum princess dress that is legitimately the only thing I remember about the whole ceremony.
LaQuan Smith Presentation
If someone else were to wear this outfit it would look trashy. It is an ultra-mini bandeau top with a matching skirt. But all of the elements Cardi has make it something special. The high wasted skirt, the pattern of the top being present on the bottom (but see-through), and, the best of all, having a little splash of color in the baby blue nail polish to contrast with the all-black three-piece.
Cardi B is a trend-setter, not a trend follower, and her dedication to up-and-coming designers like Christian Cowan is a prime example. She is also wearing Christian on the cover of her Invasion of Privacy single, FYI. Here she dons a impractical sweater, bustier-esque crop top, and sweat pants while giving us casual couture like we’ve never seen before. It is a bold look, and one she makes look effortless.
I don’t even have the vocabulary to describe this Zana Bayne eye-catcher. This dress feels like it could only be worn by Cardi, but that’s the brilliance of Cardi’s style. Nothing she ever wears could be worn by someone else. She is so commanding in her style, that you can’t imagine a ‘who wore it best’ because no one could even approach it. And if they did, I pray for them.
At Alexander Wang
One of her showstopping New York Fashion Week outfits, this look was bolder than anything else that week. Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, she matches her leather headscarf to her leather dress and black boots, accenting it with a brown bolero. It shouldn’t work as well as it does, but that’s the thing with Cardi, she is all style with the substance to back it up.
Cardi B’s Finesse look is the 90s personified, but as someone who lived through the 90s it is better than anything we actually wore. This might be my favorite Cardi look because it is so simple: jean shorts, backward cap, popculture t-shirt, and bomber jacket. Literally a billion people are wearing that exact outfit right now, but no one looks as good as Cardi does!
Is there anything more incredible than body-form full-length sheer? Anyone who sees Cardi B in this Laquan Smith dress would have a hard time arguing there is. In fairness, Cardi’s body, body, body is doing most of the work here, but the dress is just the right mix of minimal and eye-catching, and the color looks incredible on Cardi.
This is Cardi’s best video look, and it is all about that grey hair. It is crazy that she can turn a hair color meant to signify old-age and turn it into one of the freshest, hottest looks around. That’s even before we discuss the plunging, leather riding number she is rocking.