7 of Mariah Carey's most iconic outfits

No one does diva style like Mimi.

by Brittany Natale
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11 December 2019, 8:00pm

"Heartbreaker"! "Dreamlover"! "Emotions"! Sure, these are all huge Mariah Carey hits, but when was the last time you went through the holidays without hearing “All I Want For Christmas”? Since the singer’s release of this absolutely legendary 1994 song, it is safe to say that the holiday season has never been the same.

To help celebrate the 25th anniversary of this iconic song, and honor the diva who gifted us this ultimate Christmas hit years ago, i-D takes a look at some of Mariah Carey’s most iconic style moments throughout the decades:

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Merry Christmas album cover, 1994
What is just as unforgettable as the actual “All I Want for Christmas” song? The cover of the album it is featured on — Merry Christmas by Mariah Carey. Dressed in what can only be described as a fabulous Mrs. Claus, Mariah is pictured wearing a white fur-trimmed suit with a black belt. This wasn’t the only instance, however, where Mariah has dressed in the holiday spirit. In 2010, she recreated the iconic image for the cover of her second Christmas album, and over the years she has outfitted herself in countless North Pole-inspired ensembles earning her the title of "Queen of Christmas."

Tokyo Dome Performance, 1996
It is hard to imagine life before hearing Mariah’s “All I Want For Christmas” every time the holiday season rolls around. In March 1996 during her Daydream World Tour, Mariah performed the song that never dies at the Tokyo Dome as an encore for her Japanese fans. Dressed in a red minidress, white headband, and go-go boots, the singer’s outfit was an homage to the popular 60s New York City girl group, The Ronettes. Mariah can be seen wearing a similar outfit to this one in the alternative version music video for the famous Christmas song.

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Photo by James Devaney/WireImage

Bedazzled Sling During a Charity Event in NYC, 2013
Mariah didn’t let a dislocated shoulder get between her and her glam while photographed en route to the MLB All-Star Charity Concert in New York City in 2013. In a total diva move, the award-winning songstress bedazzled an ivory sling with sequins and jewels to match her floor-length gown. What may have made an even bigger statement, however, was that this glittered sling wasn’t the only one she wore that night — Mariah brought along two more (equally impressive) slings to accompany each of her outfit changes.

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Rainbow Album Cover Tank Top, 1999
Remember Mariah’s late-90s rainbow tank top? Name a more iconic tank top, we’ll wait. For her 1999 studio album, Rainbow, Mariah was photographed by the legendary David LaChapelle wearing an airbrushed rainbow top in front of a matching background. In 2017, the musician went on to release Rainbow-era merchandise, featuring items such as sweatpants, sweatshirts, tank tops (obviously) and more, with a portion of proceeds benefiting GLAAD.

MTV VMA’s, 1997
Mariah may have not won any awards at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, but she definitely stole the show in her two-piece evening dress. When Mariah walked onto the stage to present LL Cool J with the Video Vanguard Award in this leg-baring number, we wonder if she already knew then that her simple, yet statement-making, outfit would act as major style inspiration for decades to come. For example, fellow singer Normani channeled Mariah’s unforgettable VMA’s look while walking the red carpet during last year’s BET Awards.

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Photo by Rose Hartman/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Chanel Show in NYC, 1994
While attending a 1994 Chanel fashion show at Lincoln Center put on to benefit New York Hospital, Mariah was photographed by well-known photographer Rose Hartman wearing a pink tweed jacket with matching miniskirt by the French design house. This, unsurprisingly, marked just the beginning of Mariah’s continuous love for all things glamorous, designer, and Chanel: The singer made headlines over two decades later wearing the same brand — this time it was when she wore a $3,900 Chanel snowsuit (with matching Dior snow boots, of course) to go skiing in Aspen.

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Photo by MJ Kim/The Prince's Trust via Getty Images

Fashion Rocks in Monte Carlo, 2005
Throughout the years, Mariah and her unmatchable style has become synonymous with “glamour”, so it makes total sense that she is best friends with the equally glamorous Donatella Versace. For Mariah’s performance during the 2005 Fashion Rocks event in Monte Carlo, the duo wore floor-length gowns dripping in sequins and crystals designed by, none other than, Versace. However, what may just be even more fabulous is how the two’s friendship began — after meeting at a Versace fashion show, Donatella invited Mariah to one of her star-studded Palazzo Versace parties. In true Mariah fashion, the singer flew into Milan just for this, leaving the same night by private plane so she could get back to her world tour.

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christmas
Mariah Carey
All I Want For Christmas Is You
7 Iconic Outfits