6 Things I Learned from Beyoncé’s Mom’s Style Guide

Without Tina Knowles there’d be no Beyoncé (and Beyoncé is OBVIOUSLY the greatest. Have you checked out flawless.beyonce.com yet?).  Bey’s mother and Destiny’s Child seamstress loomed large in the early to mid 2000s—anytime you saw the trio in amazing-matching suede fringe, or matching suede anything, Tina was the mastermind. In 2002, following the band’s massively successful albums, “The Writing’s on the Wall” and “Survivor,” Tina Knowles co-wrote a style bible called, “Destiny’s Style: Bootylicious Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle Secrets from Destiny’s Child.”

I found this book in a discount bin at a record store marked $3, an unbelievable steal if you were lucky enough to grow up in the TRL generation and understand the cultural significance of DC style. At 27, I’m still in search of that elusive Destiny’s Child swagger, so I read the style bible front to back and this is what I learned. 

1. Don’t be “Hootchylicious.” Hootchylicious is the opposite of bootylicious, which if you’ve forgotten is when you have jelly and someone else isn’t ready for it. To be Hootchylicious is to copy all the latest fads and worry about what other people are doing instead of focusing on your own unique look. So instead of wearing a shirt, skirt, and heels from Forever 21, maybe just wear the shirt. 

2. Deconstruct Your Jeans. According to Tina, “Beyonce was deconstructing jeans before there was a name for it.” A mom in favor of tearing up jeans is a rare thing. But now that I buy clothes with my own money, and with Tina’s blessing, I would love to have all my friends autograph and graffiti smilies into my slim cuts.

3. Wear flesh-colored underwear. Visible undergarments are a major bug a boo. Yet nude bras and panties can get pretty boring. Lots of Destiny’s Child’s tops were essentially bras that Tina bedazzled the hell out of. So instead of hiding the bra you just distract people with sequins. As far as what to do on the bottom half, rock a belly chain so that again, the attention will be drawn away from the trouble area. 

4. Work Your Assets. The ensembles Tina made accentuated each girl’s best assets. Beyonce’s legs, Kelly’s regal neck, and Michelle’s stomach. I was once told I have a great hairline but how does one accentuate that/was that secretly an insult? Perhaps I should grow out my bangs and invest in a ton of cute headbands. 

5. Wear Bootylicious Shoes. Stilettos, thigh-highs, cowboy boots with a pointed toe, and strappy sandals with a thin heel, all have the Tina Knowles bootylicious stamp of approval. I have always wanted cowboy boots but could never justify the price for the amount of wear. But maybe I can wear them to work, the grocery store, a funeral. They might become my new staple.

6. It’s All About Confidence. Confidence is what enabled Destiny’s Child to wear matching Annie Oakley-inspired indigo suede getups to the TRL premiere of “Survivor.” You are your own Destiny’s Child and you can’t let the haters keep you down. As long as you feel good in an aluminum cowboy hat then that’s all that matters. Ali Kelley is a freelance writer living in Chicago. She reviews comedy and live lit events for the Chicagoist. You can find her talking about 90s pop culture, teen angst and absurdist humor on her blog Sleepoverz. (Images via, via, via)

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