Rihanna in Balmain in NYC

Posted on May 09, 2013

Okay, enough red carpet for now. Let’s look at some street fashion. And by that we mean Balmain, of course.

Hit it, Ri.


Rihanna heading out to dinner in NYC in a Balmain silk blouse and leather skirt.

Balmain Multicolor Printed Silk Blouse

Balmain Pleated Leather Skirt

Celebrities! They’re just like us! Because don’t we all eat dinner with our bellies exposed?

These are two really cute pieces that look really cute together, but we hold out hope that some day, Ri will learn what buttons are for. There are a few different ways to interpret a blouse like that and she went straight for the to-the-waist neckline version. That’s her to a T, but we tend to think it’s not the best way to style such a cute couple of pieces.


[Photo Credit: PacificCoastNews, ssense.com]

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  • werika

    She is all flesh, all the time. Dear Ri, you’re a pretty girl, and even if you cover up your appendages once in a while, no one will confuse you for a nun.

  • lbl

    Do not like the shoes, but that shade of blue looks great on her. And agree about the buttons, Just two or three, Rihanna.

  • I mean that’s how I wear my button downs. Because nothing says “I’m classy” like showing my sternum AND belly button in something that is not a bathing suit.

    • The 3M lobby thanks you and Ri for your patronage.

  • thecitysleeps

    I love this. The colour of that skirt is so gorgeous, and I love the shape. I agree that she could have closed a couple of buttons. It still would have looked sexy, but also classy. Oh Ri! I’m loving the low heeled shoes also. Even though not a huge fan of the nude pumps, they work well with her colour, I think.

  • If she had buttoned it right where that tattoo starts it would have been hot, but this is just “HEY LOOK AT ME!”

    • shirab

      Maybe she thinks of the tattoo as covering her up.

    • decormaven

      “Look at me. Look at me. Don’t look at anybody else. Don’t look at the fat-ass losers or freaks! You look at me!”

  • Not applicable

    did she have some work done to her face? something about the chin/jaw/mouth area looks altered…

    • Lesley

      i think its just more pronounced from all the weight she’s been losing, her face has gotten a lot thinner

  • Love the skirt, both the color and cut are great for her. The blouse is great too, but I have an on principle dislike of dress tape, which has been deployed with abandon to keep that blouse where it is. Well made clothes should not require that kind of an assist. Of course, she’s wearing the blouse in a way it wasn’t designed to be worn, so she gets a bit of understanding from me.

  • i dunno, i kinda like the shape the top has when it goes down to her waist like that. but im disappointed in the skirt; in the model pic it looks a mint green, but in ri’s photos it looks turquoise, which throws the look off a bit. or just a different skirt would’ve been alright, because the top is really fantastic… /hmm

  • MoHub

    Of course

  • For Ri, this is practically demure. It’s fresh, it’s flattering and it’s reading high end, yet funky. Overall, a well played.

    TLO – You did not mention her flesh colored shoes, is that because this is an instance where you feel they were used correctly, or do you just tire of pointing them out?

  • Don’t like the shoes but the rest is very her and works well. Can’t imagine a climate cool enough for a leather skirt but warm enough for a bare sternum.

  • tereliz

    WTF shoes? Those are more disconcerting than her idea of casual dinner sternum.

  • If she had only buttoned at least 2 buttons this would have been so much better. Not so sure I can sign off on the shoes.

  • pop_top

    “we hold out hope that some day, Ri will learn what buttons are for”
    You all never fail to make my day.

    On another note, I need shoes that color. I sometimes want to wear “nude” pumps and always have difficulty finding the right shade.

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    She looks like a Slutty Judy Jetson.

  • Emily Giovanni

    Is she trying to show off a belly tattoo there? If so, it’s not really working.

    • MilaXX

      Actually it’s and underboob tat. A large phoenix or birdlike thing.

      • CurbGirl

        Hope she knows that a tattoo bra does not provide actual support.

  • flamingoNW

    Really don’t care for that skirt…

  • MilaXX

    I like the look, but hate the shoe. Are brown people now condemned to the silly putty pumps as well?

  • CarolinLA

    I eat dinner with my belly exposed but that’s only because I popped a button…

  • TheAmericaness

    Killer legs. Wow. However, she could have used at least a few buttons.

  • Even with the lampshade skirt, it’s still a cute look. Shoes don’t go though.

  • patticake1601

    That skirt is fugly. The length is all wrong. I find her too tacky most of the times.

  • Janet B

    The unbuttoned blouse brings out the prude in me.

    • Little_Olive

      Oh, honey. Don’t confuse prude and decent. The world is coming too close to that assumption.

      • Sarah


  • Anniebet

    Like it. But I’m wondering that that thin chain/necklace is connected to. A nipple piercing?

  • Rihanna says that letting her body show is cultural. Feeling free and flaunting are two differente things. Women who are confident can cover up their goodies.

    I LOVE this skirt and blouse. I wish she’d button the blouse.

    I wish she’d keep her hair brown. The red looks trashy.

    • I grew up on an island too and showing your body is such a part of the culture that the idea of someone dressing too slutty doesn’t come up. In fact, my prudishness was something even my parents made/make fun of. You’re more likely to hear your mother say “Where are you going with all those clothes on?” rather than “That skirt is too short.”

      Its hard to explain because on one hand in the Caribbean most schools are Catholic and your wear demure uniforms from 6 to 16 but outside of school little kids run around naked, women skinny and fat wear whatever they want without anyone raising a brow, Carnival is bikinis and sequins, men hang out under Mango trees in breezy boxers and nothing else. I mean its hot. And there’s no discussion about it. It doesn’t come up.

      • jetpackdino

        I want to go to there!

      • I find your comment valuable and informative. Thank you for not being insulted by my generalization. Rihanna has a beautiful shape. I still think the blouse would look better buttoned. It’s a beautiful blouse.

      • Little_Olive

        But she’s not there now, is she? I feel for her nipples with the A/Cs they use in restaurants.

        • She isn’t there now but if you saw a Scottish guy wearing a kilt outside of Scotland would you say “you’re not in Scotland, oh and btw its winter!” Well maybe you would. I kind of like that her fashion sense speaks to her roots, it says that her style doesn’t come purely from her stylist but is in fact informed by her culture. Even if they don’t mirror your own sensibilities.

          • I don’t think you can compare Balmain to any sort of folk costume.

          • No it wasn’t the best analogy (maybe my country star analogy above comes closer to getting at what I’m trying to say). And I wasn’t debating whether she should button up or not which was your original point. I was only trying to explain to MarshmallowJane that Rihanna liking to show skin really is cultural, at least in part. I mean she’s a pop star and skin is their trade but I’m just saying don’t dismiss her when she says baring skin is also part of her culture. And she hasn’t yet strayed from that, even though she’s wearing more expensive clothes (nor do I think she should).

          • I get what you’re saying. I just didn’t think the kilt worked as an example.

      • KTBSN

        How many islanders can afford a $3050.00 USD mint leather skirt that looks like v-omit omit omit anywho?

        • I don’t get your point. She didn’t grow up in New York. Or Paris. She grew up in Barbados. So more money doesn’t necessarily mean she will or should change her basic aesthetic. No one bats an eyelash when a Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert interprets all their fashion through a country lens even if they’re wearing $5,000 gowns.

      • Qitkat

        While your explanation is very helpful, and made me look at this in a new way, it feels as if what you are really saying is an excuse: “well, Rihanna grew up in Barbados, so she gets a pass for dressing more freely.” She is going out for a meal, not a club, not performing. The cultural mores of the country one is currently living in are important. People will be offended when she so blatantly flaunts herself in a public place. This is an FU to accepted standards of going out to dinner.

        • I feel like this discussion is devolving into something else.

          I’m not excusing her I’m just explaining (without knowing her but coming from the same place) why she may opt for the more skin baring option. The same reason you think there’s a problem with her showing too much skin (your culture, your belief system and your personal tastes) is the same reason why she doesn’t see a problem with showing too much skin (her culture, her belief system and her personal tastes).

          And is showing her navel really an FU to acceptable standards for going out to dinner in NYC?? I live here, trust me, New Yorkers don’t get scandalized by a little navel baring.

          Now if we’re discussing whether what she’s wearing is tacky or fashionable or off-trend or whatever that’s different. And again I was only addressing the point MarshmallowJane raised.

          We could discuss whether a particular country star wearing cowboy boots to a particular event was appropriate or tacky but we wouldn’t question whether their liking to wear cowboy boots had something to do with their being from the South. And that’s all I was trying to explain to MJ.

          • Qitkat

            I notice that you’re relatively new to the site. It’s quite common for discussions to evolve into other topics here. That is one of the reason I like it. You used the word *devolve* which implies that it’s a negative thing to continue the discussion along other lines. Many of us don’t feel that way. Your voice and mine and @marshmallowjane:disqus ‘s (and everyone else’s) are all valuable contributions. I hope you will stick around.

            Maybe New Yorkers aren’t scandalized, I don’t know, I don’t live there. Rihanna has shown over and over again that she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, and would most likely dress this way no matter where she was having dinner. Clashes of culture, belief systems, and personal tastes are responsible for much of the world’s wars and tragedies. So this is trivial compared to those.

            My comment was just my way, and opinion of saying that the skirt and blouse are both really cute; the way she chose to wear the blouse is slutty and tacky.

          • I am only new in the sense that I just started commenting and I haven’t often observed comments getting so far off topic.

            I was only trying to say that it isn’t so far fetched when Rihanna says that baring skin is part of her culture when I know for a fact that it is and it mostly likely informs how she dresses today, despite the fact that she has access to stylists and more expensive clothes. Its not about it being an excuse. Where and how you were raised can and does a have an affect on how you dress even as an adult.

            Lets use Peggy on MadMen as an example. She was raised conservatively, and her clothing reflected that when we first meet her character, and now, despite the fact that she’s making more money and is more worldly we still see her dressing conservatively. Her clothes are better made, more expensive but her upbringing and her nature still inform how she approaches the styles of her time.

            So I’m not arguing whether or not Rihanna’s outfit is inherently tacky or slutty. That’s subjective. I was only trying (and failing) to explain to MJ why baring her skin is cultural. I wish I could convey how casually nakedness is viewed in the Caribbean.

          • Qitkat

            I understand what you’re saying, how the bare(r) skin is culturally driven, I actually don’t have any issue with that. I’ve been in climates where the less worn the better, but for me anyway, it was always in much more casual circumstances, than what is certainly a high-end NYC restaurant. I didn’t say Rihanna’s outfit was inherently tacky or slutty, it was the way she chose to wear the blouse under the circumstances that I subjectively reacted to. Kerry Washington is shown in a post later today on a magazine cover quite skimpily clad. I liked it a lot. It was appropriate for the venue. And that’s what I’m talking about. Appropriate vs inappropriate. And the choices we each are free to make. YMMV.

            I agree with you completely about Peggy. Our upbringing informs all of us all our lives.

            I’ve done my best to understand where you’re coming from.

          • 🙂

  • ashtangajunkie

    Love the blouse, but I also enjoy buttons so this isn’t my favourite look. The shoes pain me.

  • Carrieanno

    A standby word comes to mind: whatever.

  • stubbornthoughts


  • Little_Olive

    I hate how her tats get in the way of her outfits, They’re so… busy.

    With such a heavy blouse and skirt, I wish the hair had been tidier.

  • unbornfawn

    Oh how cute. Ri took two adorable designer pieces and turned them into hooker clothes.

  • Titally agree… oops, that should be totally…..

  • finnishmaria

    hate the shoes, but really like everything else

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    I wish she wasn’t so damned adorable when she smiles. Then I could think she was trashy but she flashes that little girl grin and I just want to hug her….and button her shirt like the Mom I am.

  • TAGinMO

    I laughed out loud at the juxtaposition of the buttoned-up model with the pics of Ri. Just perfect.

  • This works – in RiRi’s world ONLY. It’s a really cute look, but it wouldn’t have been ruined by actually buttoning a couple of buttons on the shirt.

  • I think it’s adorable. My only complaint is the shoes.

  • If I was a pop star with a hot body, I’d be showing off the goods too.

  • Tracy_Flick

    Carhop in ugly, mismatched shoes.

  • lobsterlen

    Buttons get her in way if she needs to be topless. Which it seems she often has the need to be.

  • shelley514

    She looks gorge!

  • I’m head over heels for the blue color of her skirt.

  • maggiemaybe

    It takes some serious skill to make a gorgeous silk blouse look that trashy.

  • ojosazules

    The blouse is so so pretty. The skirt reminds me of a diner booth.

  • The buttons would have helped, but girl looks svelte and killa. Way to show up Chris Brown.

  • bellafigura1

    jesus jumpin’ kee-rist, she’s killing it. give a girl a break!

  • kathrineb

    I’m not into the unbuttoned shirt look but baring all does seem to be her thing.

  • MandyM

    the girl in the striped dress with her looks cute!

  • MartyBellerMask

    How does she tuck in a blouse and not have the slightest bit of bulk under the skirt? HOW? I would think that would be near impossible with a skirt like that. Well done.