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Mariah Carey Style Breakdown

Mariah Carey
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Mariah Carey‘s voice is unmistakable — and so is her signature style.

The high-octave diva has gone up and down with her weight over the years, but she doesn’t always adjust her sizes or clothing choices to fall in line with her changing shape. However, when Mimi is on, she’s on.

This short, bell-shaped black coat is Mimi at her best: polished, proportionate and pretty. The sunnies and black peep-toes appropriately scream “diva,” and the monochromatic look flatters her olive skin.

Mariah Carey Black Coat
lya Savenok, Getty Images

She also favors one-shouldered gowns when at red carpet events, like this crimson concoction.

Mariah Carey Red One Shoulder
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Carey falters when she tries to stuff her voluptuous body into too-tight outfits, like so.

It’s clear she’s going for sexy, but she stumbles — and not because of the size of the heel on the thigh-high boots. The cropped, ruffled jacket mimics a shrug and all you see is the jacket and boots.

She’s channeling some sort of butt-kicking apocalyptic diva that’s far too out of character.

Mariah Carey All Black Thigh High Boots
Pacific Coast News

What’s Right:

When Carey goes short, she often does it right. This high collar navy frock she wore to the Project Canvas event a few years back suits her and she’s not making like a fugitive and bustin’ out. The scalloped detail on the hem and the ankle-strap peek-a-boo heels were divine.

Mariah Carey Project Canvas
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Dem Babies’ mother poured her frame into this LBD and wasn’t afraid to show that curvy girls run this motha. The hem is unusual but her left fun bag is disproportionate to the right one.

Mariah Carey LBD
Jordan Strauss, Getty Images

Carey isn’t shy when it comes to red and she rocked another short trench. It was a pulled together ensemble for her and she accessorized with flair.

Mariah Carey Red Trench
Neil Mockford, Getty Images

When she renewed her vows with hubby Nick Cannon, Carey chose a fishtail Dolce & Gabbana ivory gown with a black sash that played up those curves.

Mariah Carey Dolce & Gabbana Fishtail Wedding
Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images

This shimmering white gown with a sweetheart neckline at the 2010 PCAs hugged Carey’s hourglass figure.

Mariah Carey White Gown 2010 PCAs
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

The blue Valentino she wore to the Oscars in 2011 worked, even if the girls could use a little more breathing room in that ruched bodice. The slit is super sexy, while the blingy detail, capped sleeves and staggered hem made it stand out.

Mariah Carey Valentino
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

What’s Wrong:

Mimi was a snow bunny performing at an outside show in a cold climate, so she dressed for the weather, but her gear was way too tight. Two words: camel toe.

Mariah Carey Camel Toe
Getty Images

Think that’s a stretch? Oh, take a longer look. Once more, with feeling.

Mariah Carey Camel Toe
Getty Images

This gold outfit with all those frilly ruffles on the skirt is too cutesy and fussy. This is what a high school sophomore would wear to her first formal. Granted, for Carey, it’s a performance outfit, but it does not play to any of her strengths.

Mariah Carey Gold Gibson Dress
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Herve Leger bandage dresses are like girdles that hold EVERYTHING in, which is why celebs fancy them so. They are meant to be above-the-knee, but Carey wore one in a floor-sweeping length to the Golden Globes.

Her “mommaries” were popping out and it’s clear she’s a woman trying to wear a dress that was way too tiny.

Mariah Carey Black Herve Leger
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Where to begin, where to begin?

Did Mimi just win the WWE title and that’s her championship belt? The black and white checkered picnic table print is too loud and garish, while that thick belt pushes her boobs up.

It’s great for defying gravity, but the width doesn’t, uh, play nicely with this maxi dress.

Mariah Carey Checkered + Belted Maxi Dress
Pacific Coast News

How to Fix It:

An LBD can look good on women of all sizes — it just depends on the cut. Mariah was certainly filling this lace frock out, but it’s still apropos. It also reminds us that Carey does have some killer gams.

Mariah Carey Lacey American Idol
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Carey went retro and revisited her tight curls and predilection for black clothes from when she first arrived on the scene as a ‘Vision of Love.’ This satiny Balenciaga gown was simple and didn’t compete with that wild mane.

This is when she works it in the right way.

Mariah Carey Black Balenciaga Teen Nick
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Carey remained red hot, even after birthing twins. She slipped into this slinky red dress for her Jenny Craig debut and the silhouette was so right for her shape.

Mariah Carey Red Jenny Craig
Cindy Ord, Getty Images

When Carey goes casual, wearing things that fit is crucial. Monochromatic looks are a “yes,” as long as they have some room and some give.

Mariah Carey All Black
Pacific Coast News

Her beloved one-shouldered gowns are also preferred in black since it’s a slimming shade.

As long as she goes with dark colors or wears bright ones with her signature confidence, contains the twins (and we don’t mean Roc and Roe, either) and shows those legs, she’ll grab our attention.

Mariah Carey Black One Shoulder
Pacific Coast News

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