Janet Jackson reentered the spotlight this fall when her album Unbreakable came out, but that’s really only one of the reasons to get reacquainted with her style. There are few current fashion trends Jackson doesn’t deserve credit for test-driving in the ‘90s and early ‘00s. The septum piercing popularized by FKA Twigs? Jackson wore one in the safari-themed video for “Together Again” back in 1997. Those fuzzy Nasty Gal sweaters that are everywhere? Jackson, known to play up her tomboy side, paired hers with utility pants. It’s no wonder the actress’s Poetic Justice–era crop top and jean combos still resonate with the Tumblr demographic today — even if they haven’t seen the film.
A star in her own right, Jackson always found ways to set herself apart from pop icon Michael’s style — even if they did both love a good military jacket. Whether she’s wearing one key-hook earring or a single red leather glove, her eye for accessories has been reliably quirky for over 30 years now. Her best accessory, though, might be her own midsection; in the late ‘90s, no one had more ab pride.
See all her best looks in our slideshow ahead, from the straight-out-of The Matrix floor-length leather jacket she wore to the 2000 MTV Movie Awards to the many all-white ensembles she’s sported on the red carpet.