Fashion Lessons Selena Left Us In 20 Of Her Looks

July 5, 2017

|Maria Isabel Carrasco
selena fashion lessons

Every time I’m among a diverse group of people (and by diverse I basically mean age, and just a couple of times, nationality) I like playing a game I invented. Actually, is not precisely a game, since nobody wins, but it’s a great conversation starter that consists of telling what is the first historical event you can remember that shook the world and explain how you lived or perceived it. That’s the beauty of having a diverse group, because the answers can be extremely impressive. For instance, the day this game came to my mind I was at a family reunion, and my sister claimed that the event was 9/11, while my dad’s was actually the first man on the moon. Now, as for me, I always mention it was Princess Diana’s death because that’s more universal, but in fact the first one was Selena’s death in 1995.

I don't really have many recollections of those years, but I do have photographs of me pretending to sing "Como la Flor" and wearing my mom's bright red pashmina wrapped in my body emulating her iconic crop top. I do remember fighting with my cousin over who got to be Selena in our role plays and being very angry when I had to pretend to be a fan or one of her band members. The point is, that she was a huge icon during the early nineties and her murder did shock everyone. For me, it was the first time I kind of had to deal with the death of a loved one (yes, apparently I was really obsessed). Selena didn't only leave us incredible and emblematic songs, for many she was the representation of Mexicaness in the US. She was at the peak of her career when the tragedy occurred, breaking the hearts of millions. That's why only two years later the famous biopic was released, making her one of the most emblematic latino legends.

Here are some of the ways Selena inspired the way we think of style:

Create an iconic signature look

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One of the things we'll always remember about her was her outgoing personality and her audacious looks. Find a style that suits you best and make it your signature. That's how she became the queen of crop tops, bustiers, and leggings. Moreover, her classic makeup is still so fashionable nowadays. I mean, winged eyes and red lips, hello?

Embrace your body

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It may sound like a cliché, but it's absolutely true. In that time, when being skinny was the ultimate trend, she was never afraid of accentuating her curves with tight outfits that highlighted her figure. My point with this is that, no matter your body type, learn how to show the beauty of it with flattering clothes and confidence.

Don't be afraid of experimenting

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That's basically what drove her to become one of the most emblematic Latina fashion icons. She set her signature look but never stopped experimenting with styles and bold pieces. I mean, I don't love everything she wore, but still, she never cared what people thought and wore clothes that made her feel beautiful. 

Be true to yourself

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In his book honoring the life of Selena, Chris Perez, her husband, stated how nervous they were of performing in Mexico, since they didn't speak much Spanish. They tried to teach her prefabricated phrases, but she ended just trying to speak for herself not caring about the mistakes because she wanted to talk directly to her fans. Naturally, everybody loved her sincerity and authenticity. That can be translated into fashion. No matter what, always be true to your style and your taste, so don't wear things just because someone else is wearing them.

Wear the clothes, don't let them wear you

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All the previous points meet with this one. The bold, shiny, and showy looks were so popular and made her such an icon because she always looked extremely confident with them. Setting a signature look isn't a matter of randomly selecting statement pieces. It's about dominating and making them just an accessory of your personality.

Every now and then, there's a huge craze with worshiping her music, style, and personality. Because it doesn't matter that she hasn't been with us for over twenty years, she's a character that came to stay. So yes, writing about her reminded me of how important she was in my childhood and why every time I listen to her songs at a party I get so excited. It's not just me, I bet it happens to many. Selena was and still is the embodiment of the Latina who taught us to embrace our identity with pride at a time when we had our sight on the beauty standards of the US and Europe. That's perhaps one of the greatest lessons she left us.


Making a fashion statement isn't that hard. The difficult part is making it unforgettable and legendary. Take a look at these actresses that will be remembered by history as talented in their crafts and as fashion icons:

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Maria Isabel Carrasco

Maria Isabel Carrasco