TLC’s 11 Best Looks (And How to Style Them)

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The 90s was the ultimate decade for boy bands, girl bands, and RnB-pop trios. One of our all-time favourite groups (ever) is TLC. They were simply unmatched in their style, music, and influence on the decade and beyond. 

T-Boz, Chilli, and Lisa Left Eye Lopes were the girls we wanted to be, wanted to be friends with, and certainly wanted to dress like. The three stunners knew how to work with color, proportion, exaggeration, and all-round swag with their red carpet, album, and stage outfits. They had fun, they played, they were brave. 

TLC’s style was often defined by super-baggy clothes associated with 1990s hip-hop fashion, bare midriffs (and the most enviable abs of the century), block colors, and tomboy appeal. T-Boz, Chilli, and Left Eye were sexy and cool without trying to be, they didn’t push female sexiness on anyone, they were effortless. 

We’ve picked the 15 best looks TLC served in the 90s.

Oversized denim overalls with baggy blouses at the 1994 American Music Awards 

Let’s start with one of the most 90s looks ever: ultra-baggy denim overalls, baggy blouses, oversized plaid, and chunky shoes. The overalls had shredded hems, and in true TLC style, packaged condoms attached like R-rated brooches. 

Since the 90s, T-Boz and Chilli have discussed this trend, explaining that it was meant to empower girls to take sexual health into their own hands and to spark open, healthy conversations about sex. Not only were they cool, talented, and beautiful, but they were smart, savvy, and looked out for their fellow ladies.  

How to style it: 

  • Balance out oversized overalls with a fitted tee, tank, or, long-sleeved tee underneath 
  • Try overalls that have wide legs but a slightly more fitted waist and body for a more formal and flattering fit 

Shimmering organza oversized suits and bikinis at the 1996 Soul Train Awards 

The TLC ladies showed off their insanely toned tummies at the 1996 Soul Train awards with baggy organza trousers and bikini-style tops with chain straps. They paired the trousers with matching organza suit jackets worn open and oversized. The shimmering, duo-toned fabric brings back major early-00’s school dance dress memories. 

How to style it: 

  • Pair high-waisted, wide or straight-leg trousers in a liquid-like silk fabric with a long-line bralette or crop
  • Search for a long-line, tailored blazer with satin lapels you can wear open over your ensemble 

Read: Stunning 90s Bikini Trends

Fitted cropped block-color tees with ultra-baggy track pants at the 1995 Kid’s Choice Awards 

At the 1995 Kid’s Choice Awards, TLC rocked fitted, cropped t-shirts that had black and white stripes around the shoulders. They wore them with baggy Champion track pants, basketball shorts (colour-matching their tops), and Tommy Hilfiger underwear peeking over the top. The girls walked the carpet and took the stage looking cool and understated. 

How to style it: 

  • Swap track pants for merino or cotton joggers with tapered ankles and a higher waist
  • If you’re not into showing your tum, wear a block-colored, high-neck bodysuit instead 
  • Wear with fresh white sneakers or trainers in a block color to match your top

Metallic silver track pants, bralettes, and chunky boots at the 1995 MTV Movie Awards 

The fashion queens wore baggy metallic track pants slung low on the hip, with Dolce and Gabbana underwear bands peaking over the top. Black bodysuits or strappy crops were a simple addition, with chunky black leather boots.  

How to style it: 

  • Tone down your metallics with a cropped, tailored jacket or moto jacket in metallic painted leather 
  • Look for metallic or metallic-detailed joggers or yoga pants and pair with a plain tee tied in a knot at the hip or waist for cool workout gear 

Leather, studs, sunglasses, and midriffs at the 1996 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards

The girls really pulled out the stops here, with intricate, lace-style black leather tops and baggy hipster pants in matching black cut-out leather. We love the brown, shimmering makeup and black sunglasses (with small lenses, true to 90s style). 

How to style it: 

  • Look for a fitted lace bustier top and layer with a cropped leather jacket for a similar effect
  • Pair leather or pleather straight-leg jeans with a long-line lace bralette and a black leather jacket 
  • Polish off the look with metallic nude lips and opaque black sunglasses

Read: Keeping the Stars out of the Sun: 90s Sunglasses Trends and Styles

Ruched skirts, platform heeled boots, a long-sleeved tees from the ‘Now and Forever: the hits’ album cover 

This look was fun, futuristic, and bold. Block-color long-sleeved midriff tops, minimal black stripes, metallic ruched skirts, and ¾ tights or baggy pants worn with chunky heeled boots. What a combo

How to style it: 

  • Bring back the skirt-over-pants combo and layer an a-line or wrap mini over black baggy or straight-leg trousers and heeled booties 
  • Accessorise with thick black leather bracelets and knee-high socks 
  • Add more coverage by opting for a long-sleeved bodysuit (as opposed to a tummy-baring top) in a pastel or bright hue to offset the more inky tones 

Oversized denim and graffiti at the 1992 Billboard Music Awards 

TLC demonstrated true 1990s tomboy street style here, with ultra-oversized jeans, tees, and jackets with bright graffiti detailing. They wore boots with the laces undone and tongues out (a foreshadowing of the early 00s loose skate shoe style?). 

How to style it: 

  • Pick one item to wear oversized to balance out the proportions. For example, super-baggy pale blue jeans with a fitted tank and cropped cardigan
  • Get creative by personalizing a white tee with graffiti-style fabric paint 
  • Try straight or skinny jeans with a long white tee and baggy denim jacket slung off the shoulder, with high-heeled boots for flattering elevation 

Get the Inspo: 90s Jeans Trends (Nostalgia Overload!)

Flowing satin from the ‘Creep’ music video 

TLC played with texture and color in the ‘Creep’ video with pajama-style satin suits in jewel tones such as blue, orange, grey, and hot pink. The bright shirts were mostly open, to show those kick-ass abs, and flowed like liquid (thanks to a wind machine).

Did you know?: The ‘Creep’ video actually showed multiple classic 90s looks including a plaid shirt tied around the waist, baggy jeans, and white tanks…but let’s stick to the satin for now.  

How to style it: 

  • Swap out the satin pants for a pair of wide-leg soft linen pants (less bedtime-chic)
  • Search the thrift stores for silky blouses in rich hues and layer over a long-line bralette or cotton crop, with the top and bottom blouse buttons left loose and open

Ultra-baggy pants, braces, and block colors from the ‘Ain’t 2 proud 2 beg’ music video 

The ‘Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg’ video is sheer retro joy, with ultra-baggy pants, braces (or suspenders, if you will), overalls, block colors (i.e. orange pants and a green tee), combat boots, and baseball caps worn to the side.

You’ll also find hoop earrings, layered rubber bracelets, rainbow socks, oversized sunglasses, tie-dye, and condoms as accessories to promote safe sex. In short, it’s a treasure trove of early 90s style, swag, joy, and even a little activism thrown in there. 

How to style it: 

  • Channel the look purely through color, with block-color cargo pants (if you can find them!) and a contrasting block-color tank or bodysuit 
  • Find an oversized white tee and create a DIY tie-dye pattern, and layer with cropped slim-line trousers and braces 
  • French tuck an oversized white tee into baggy denim and pair with heeled boots to finish the billowy look with something sleeker 

Check Out: Hats and Caps that Defined the Era

Gauzy white layers at the 1996 Grammy Awards 

On the flipside of denim and plaid, the 90s also saw a lot of shimmering organza and high-shine satin fabrics. At the 1996 Grammys, the TLC girls looked like cool angels in shimmery white pants, crop tops, and long-line jackets. Sheer white fabrics, satin, and silver accessories were draped casually and generously over the ladies’ bodies in authentic TLC style. 

How to style it: 

  • Give organza the comeback it deserves with a sheer, shimmering long-line jacket worn over high-waisted trousers and a silk cowl-neck tank
  • Swap out the trousers for a bias-cut satin skirt in pearly white, worn over a white bodysuit tank or even a satin bustier-style top 

Read: 90s African American Fashion Trends

Monochrome, fishnets, and mesh at the 1999 Kids’ Choice Awards 

The 1999 Kids’ Choice Awards saw one of TLC’s most iconic looks: black mesh tops with “TLC” letters strategically covering the gals, and baggy monochrome track pants with a sheer black mesh overlay. Chunky black platform combat boots finished the look with rebellious flair and a nod to grunge. 

How to style it: 

  • Create a custom combo with bright-colored windbreaker-style track pants and a black bodysuit layered with a mesh tank 
  • Get inspired by color and find a vibrant boiler suit with baggy legs and wear with chunky Chelsea boots or black lace-up heeled booties 

Read:

How to Wear Camo Pants all Year Long

SUCH A BREEZE: Windbreakers are Back!

Top 90s Retro Fashion Choices