When love and fashion collide, there are bound to be a few sartorial twists.
Such is the case for style maven Jennifer Lopez. As famous for her signature threads as she is for her high-profile romances, the international triple threat is known to consistently experiment with her looks as trends fade and new ones arise—if she wants to follow them, that is.
However, the ebb and flow of the fashion industry may not be the only inspiration at work in Lopez’s ever-evolving closet. After nearly three decades in the limelight, it seems her romances may also play a part in what kind of ensembles she gravitates toward (Taylor Swift knows a few things about this.)
Take, for example, one of her earliest famous relationships with Sean “Diddy” Combsfrom 1999 to 2001. As the millennium approached, Lopez’s early style power also rose with one of the most famous award show ensembles in entertainment history—we’re looking at you, green Versace.
However, while the predominant actress was in the midst of her musical breakthrough, Lopez had already taken a deep dive into dressing like a pop icon of the time with plenty of crop tops, mini skirts and music video-worthy bling.
By the time her high-profile engagement to Ben Affleck came along and took Tinseltown by immeasurable storm, Lopez had emerged a leading lady on and off the camera in elegant red carpet ensembles.
Because of the mass following the couple had accumulated, Lopez’s face was often emblazoned on the cover of every magazine, so she came dressed and ready for the photo-ops. Though she hadn’t quite found her couture footing, Lopez was coming into her own through her refined silhouettes and designer threads.
During her longest marriage to date to Marc Anthony, Lopez’s style also hit a sweet spot as she played with colors, cuts and couture, but maintained that stylish punch that had become synonymous with her brand. Whether she was sporting fuschia flowers at the Met Gala or a headscarf at the MTV Video Music Awards, Lopez’s fashion sense seemed to have no bounds.
Soon, the mother of two was regarded as a trendsetting figure on and off the red carpet, ranking in “Best Dressed” lists and setting a standard for the rest of Hollywood.
After her split from Anthony in 2011, Lopez turned up the heat in sheer gowns, plunging necklines and thigh-high slits. She became notable for embracing her figure and not shying away from showing skin. While dating backup dancer Casper Smart, the songstress sported one show-stopping ensemble after the next, all so uniquely her own that fans could easily identify who was wearing the dress even if Lopez’s face was hidden.
In the process of hitting her style stride, the 40-something helped push the boundaries of how mature women thought and felt about dressing and dating, particularly while Lopez was in a relationship with a younger man.
“All the old clichés about women need to be undone. Enough already,” Lopez said in Self in 2014 “We’re in the other position now. We are desirable older, we can date younger guys and it’s not this big taboo. Men have been doing this for years, and it’s no big deal.”
Getty Images, AKM-GSI, Splash News, Instagram
In the midst of casually seeing—and vacationing!—with baseball star Alex Rodriguez, it appears Lopez has found the sartorial sweet spot between all the elements of her personal style—glamour, color and curve-hugging silhouettes.
In addition to her fabulous clothes, confidence continues to be her best accessory. “She feels really confident in herself and her music, so she is just riding with it,” a source told E! News.
Let the fashion train keep rolling!
(Originally published Jan. 18 at 12:35 p.m. PST)