ESSENCE Editors Show You How to Dress Up As Classic R&B Divas For Halloween

Halloween is upon us. There are pumpkins, cobwebs and candy corn EVERYWHERE. Your local stores probably have one of those pop-up costume shops as well, and every time you go pass by, you’re reminded that you still don’t have a costume—well yet! Take it from the ESSENCE team. All you need is a a few props, a little creativity and a whole lot of black girl magic to pull off one of these moments from some of our favorite '80s and '90s musical divas! 

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Natasha Tendai

"Aaliyah is the OG cool girl: she rocked baggy men's jeans and bodycon dresses with equal aplomb and was a trendsetter far ahead of her time (ombré hair? Defined brows? Aaliyah mastered those way back in the '90s.) I vividly remember the first time I heard 'Are You That Somebody?' and I remember how enchanted I was with her crop tops, long beautiful hair, and fluidly effortless dancing. I chose to evoke Aaliyah for Halloween because a) she's probably my favorite artist of all time, b) her look is timeless while also impossible to miss and c) I found my aunt's old Tommy Hilfiger tube top and couldn't not evoke the princess of R&B!"

Sonaiya Kelley, Content Producer

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Natasha Tendai

"I decided to be the one and only Diana Ross because, hello, her hair is goals! She's so sparkly and glitzy and full of life, a real timeless diva!"

Joslyn Winkfield, Photo Editor

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Natasha Tendai

"I chose to be Mary J Blige from the 'Not Gon' Cry' video because who doesn’t know that moment?! Everything from the look to the lyrics of the song is the pinnacle of the '90s, yet timeless and perfect."

Lauren Porter, Assistant Editor

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Natasha Tendai

"I chose Monica’s 'The Boy Is Mine' look because it was one of my favorite tracks back in the late '90s and it was definitely one of Monica’s hottest moments. Her voice was everything then, and it still is today!"

Cristina Coppin, Assistant Photo Editor

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Natasha Tendai

“I chose to channel Sade because she’s the epitome of cool and her look is simple yet iconic."

Dominique Hobdy, Assistant Fashion Editor

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"I chose to be Toni Braxton, because hello she's Toni Braxton! We’re talking about one of the original R&B divas, who literally has a song for everything thing you could possibly be going through. I couldn’t resist paying homage to one of the greats.”

Alexis Reliford, Assistant Editor

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Natasha Tendai

"I chose Lil’ Kim because I’m an '80s baby and growing up in the '90s, the Queen Bee was everything. She was this little lady who stood tall amongst all the great rappers of her day; the respected, First Lady in a group of Bad Boys that included Puffy, Biggie, The L.O.X., Lil Cease. Her style was gritty and unapologetic but from her demeanor, style, and outfit choices you knew she was all woman. Plus, if you were even a small fan of '90s hip-hop, the iconic 'Crush on You' video is forever engrained in your memory."

Tanya A. Christian, Assistant Editor

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