The 15 Michael Jackson Music Videos With The Best Style [GIFs]

There’s an avalanche of new Michael Jackson music coming out, and I honestly couldn’t be more excited about it! The King of Pop has soundtracked many the poignant moment in my life: learning the alphabet, my very first Halloween party, and even that time I befriended a killer rat. All along the way, MJ has been a beacon of iconic style from his bellbottomed Jackson 5 days to his signature band jackets, so in honor of the forthcoming release of Xscape, we’re taking a look back at his most stylish music videos.

THRILLER

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

You can’t talk about MJ’s style without talking about the “Thriller” jacket. That bright cherry red. That angular V-shaped panel. The fact that it’s the style centerpiece of one of the greatest music videos of all time. This is the definition of iconic.

BILLIE JEAN

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

Michael had a knack for striking separates (something he picked up in his youth, perhaps?), and his wardrobe for ground-breaking music video “Billie Jean” was no exception. If you think a pink shirt and a bow tie is soft, try wearing them with an all-leather suit. Now who’s soft, HANH?

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

BAD

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

In fact, a strong leather look was an integral part of many of Michael’s video outfits, like this head-to-toe black, hardware-laden number for “Bad.”

BEAT IT

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

Or this red zippered jacket for “Beat It,” where Michael plays the leader of a dance gang.

DIRTY DIANA

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

OR this look for “Dirty Diana,” which is softened only slightly by a billowing white button-up. (P.S. Take special note of the grommeted, chained, medallioned belt situation.)

REMEMBER THE TIME

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

Do you remember the time…you first saw MJ’s video for “Remember the Time”? I do. How can you forget the image of Michael in a gold lamé turtleneck, a metal winged harness, and a patterned skirt? The gilded Egyptian-themed short (maybe inspiration for Katy’s “Dark Horse”?) features cameos from Eddie Murphy, legendary NBA point guard Magic Johnson, and supermodel Iman. Not style related: There’s also a pretty cool Alex Mack melting effect.

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

IN THE CLOSET

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

Iman wasn’t the only model to get video shine from MJ. Enter “In the Closet,” which co-stars Naomi Campbell alongside an uncharacteristically casual Michael. HAI, TANK TOP!

JAM

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

As with everything, Michael finds a way to make even unremarkable casual dress interesting. Take his wardrobe for “Jam”—a music video wherein one MJ (Michael Jackson) teaches another MJ (Michael Jordan) how to dance and is taught in return how to play basketball. Mike (#23) is in a tank and hoops shorts, but the King of Pop goes with an orange button-up with a white-paneled stripe at the bicep. #details

THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT US

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

Better STILL is the Michael’s wardrobe for “They Don’t Care About Us”: a Rastafarian vest, skin-tight jeans, and a white T-shirt printed with stick figure people with peace signs for heads. Also, he ends up ripping the shirt in half.

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

LEAVE ME ALONE

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

Of all the super-casual Michaels, though, aviator tourist Michael from “Leave Me Alone” might be my favorite. Hawaiian shirts and Liz Taylor, y’all. *makes that phrase her Twitter bio immediately*

WE ARE THE WORLD

Photo: /GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

Of course, we’ll always remember Michael by his gold-filigree-embellished admiral jackets, his crew socks and loafers, and that one right-hand glove. All of it sparkling.

BLACK OR WHITE

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

But the true mark of a style star is one’s ability to stand out in anything, and MJ does just that in this black and white outfit (for “Black Or White”) while surrounded by classical Thai dancers in ornate traditional costumes.

ROCK WITH YOU

Photo: Epic Records/GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

Not remembered as often? Michael’s rhinestone-encrusted bodysuit from the “Rock With You” video. Come for the outfit (which, BTW, looks like a lot of the pieces The Blonds are making for all your favorite pop stars today), but stay for the Olan Mills photography-style visuals.

SCREAM

Photo: /GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

Fast forward a decade or so and you land at “Scream”—Michael’s angsty duet with his sister Janet. Shot in black-and-white but set in an austere future world, the siblings wear their Jetsons best in matching spiked sweaters and patent leather pants.

Photo: /GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

SMOOTH CRIMINAL

Photo: /GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

But if there’s one look that tops the list as our favorite Michael Jackson music video outfit ever, it would have to be his look for “Smooth Criminal.” Not just because the tailoring is impeccable or the blue shirt and white separates put a refreshing spin on the classic ’20s mobster suit, but because THE DUDE (or his team) INVENTED SHOES TO PERFORM THIS DANCE MOVE. *drops mic and walks away*

Photo: /GIF: Jenny Shafei/MTV

Embedded from www.mtv.com.