For the past couple of days we’ve been on that TLC tip all thanks to the upcoming biopic about the famous girl group. The film stars Keke Palmer, Lil Mama and Drew Sidora as the dynamic trio Chilli, Left Eye and T-Boz and is set to premiere in October on VH1 so be on the look out – we can’t wait!
TLC’s repertoire and influence has spanned over for the last few decades since they first made themselves known on the music stage back in 1992. Signed by LaFace records, the record label that signed artists like Babyface, Kriss Kross and Pebbles, the group picked up their first successful singles off their debut album Oooooooohhh! On the TLC Tip. The hit tracks include What About Your Friends, Ain’t to Proud to Beg and Baby, Baby, Baby. The group followed up their quadruple platinum album with a new more smooth R&B sound ushering the CrazySexyCool era. Tunes like Diggin On You, Creep and Waterfall became instant classics. The album sold 11 million copies and garnered the group Grammy Awards for Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance by Duo or Group. Their 3rd studio album Fanmail did exceptionally well with songs like No Scrubs, a women’s anthem, and the song discussing body image called Unpretty topping the Billboard Hot 100 charts and grabbing Grammy wins by the end of the 90s.
While their music spoke volume to us during the 90s, it was also their style that caught the publics’ attention as well. Starting with when they first burst on the scene T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli inspired a shift in women’s fashion during the early 90s by defying the standards of what people expected women should wear. From the beginning, they made it okay for people, especially women to embrace the outfits that made them feel comfortable and good about themselves. TLC also put an up and coming clothing brand called Cross Colors on the map. The brand known for their bright colors, fun wardrobe and positive statement shirts about themes like education, unity and image grew in popularity and became a staple in street wear as well as one of the biggest fashion brands of the 90’s.
However, by the mid to late 90’s, the style that was reminiscent of the early days were long gone and TLC replaced the Cross Colors and with a more sleek look that showed their growth and maturity in their songs and as artists. Their new wardrobe consisted of baggy pants, silver crop tops, big earrings and oversized flannels (ex: the Diggin on You and Creep videos) that demonstrated that baggy clothes could still be sophisticated and sexy.
Whether you’re a fan of the fun, bold and statement making fashion of early era TLC or you preferred the style of the later CrazySexyCool era there is no denying that TLC set the bar when it came to music and fashion as well of securing their spot as one of the best girl groups of all time. Their fashion challenged rules, expectations and norms by promoting a sense of style and music that embraced ideals of self-love, individualism and confidence in the way we act, how we present ourselves and what we wear that has never been seen since. It is because of this and their multitude of success that TLC is the next legends in Educate Elevate‘s Style Stealer.
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