Decode 10 mysteries about Michael Jackson’s performance costumes

Michael Jackson was very picky in choosing performance costumes. They must be unique and not hinder him when performing the dance steps.

Michael Jackson’s costumes are filled with fascinating details that make fans curious about their meaning.


1. White socks

Decoding 10 mysteries about Michael Jackson's performance costumes Photo 1

White will attract more limelight.

Michael Jackson especially liked to combine white socks with black shoes. The reason is because white has the ability to catch light, so it will help his dance steps stand out more.

2. Armband on right sleeve

Decode 10 mysteries about Michael Jackson's performance costumes Photo 2Michael’s iconic armband is simply a decorative accessory.


Michael loves to make fans curious about the meaning behind his armband. In fact, the tape carries no mysterious message at all. He only wears it because he wants his outfit to look more unique and attractive.

3. CTE on the jacket

Decode 10 mysteries about Michael Jackson's performance costumes Photo 3

The mysterious letters on Michael’s shirt were chosen at random.

These letters do not carry any specific meaning. In the 90s, Michael suggested that designers embroider a few letters on the shoulders of his shirts to make his performance outfits look more unique. They put the alphabet in the hat and “CTE” was randomly chosen.

4. Wear smaller outfits at the end of the show

Decode 10 mysteries about Michael Jackson's performance costumes Photo 4

He jumped “sung” to the point of losing weight by the end of the show.

Michael Jackson put so much effort into his dance moves that he could lose up to 2.2 kg by the end of the show. Because the waist has become about 2.5 cm smaller, he requested that the outfit also be reduced in size so as not to affect the body’s contours when dancing. That’s why towards the end, Michael’s clothes get smaller and smaller.

5. Love Chinese silk

Decode 10 mysteries about Michael Jackson's performance costumes Photo 5

He likes soft and smooth fabrics.

Michael likes soft materials like Chinese silk, charmeuse silk, and stretch fabrics because they suit his dancing style. Michael’s top priority when approving performance costumes is to ensure comfort and ease of movement.

6. Tape the finger

Decode 10 mysteries about Michael Jackson's performance costumes Photo 6

Michael put a bandage on his hand even though he was not injured.

Hand movements play an important role in Michael Jackson’s performance routine. To make them stand out more, he put white tape on his index, ring, and pinky fingers. Sometimes fans will feel confused about whether Michael is injured or not. In fact, everything he does is aimed at only one goal: creating perfect performances.

7. Do not shine shoes

Decode 10 mysteries about Michael Jackson's performance costumes Photo 7

The manager once took Michael’s shoes to be polished without consulting him, which made him extremely disappointed.

Michael intentionally let his shoes wear out so he could perform his dance moves perfectly. Polished shoes will have a slippery surface, making it difficult for him to perform.

8. № 7s stitched on jacket

Decode 10 mysteries about Michael Jackson's performance costumes Photo 8

Michael always thinks of his family.

The reason behind this detail is both simple and cute. Michael was born in 1958 and is the seventh child in the family. If you add 19 to 58, the result will be 77.

9. Wear only one glove

Decode 10 mysteries about Michael Jackson's performance costumes Photo 9

He wore gloves to hide his illness.

Michael has vitiligo – a skin condition that causes patches of skin to lose color. The disease started in his hands so he had to hide them. Wearing gloves on both hands would be too normal, so he decided to only wear one.

10. Gravity-defying shoes 

Decode 10 mysteries about Michael Jackson's performance costumes Photo 10

This special pair of shoes was invented by Michael himself with the help of two others, and it received a US patent in 1993.

When witnessing Michael Jackson’s 45 degree tilt performance, many people had to exclaim: It’s unbelievable, humans cannot lean forward 45 degrees compared to the ground because the Earth’s gravity would cause have them face down immediately”. To do this unthinkable, the costume team prepared a special pair of shoes for Michael. The sole of the shoe is attached with a thick layer of magnet and has a V-shaped groove.

At the same time, the catwalk will have two screws built in and just a light foot strike can hook the shoes firmly to the floor. On the performance stage, when he was about to perform the leaning movement, the stage lights were adjusted to dim, Michael and the dancers moved back to the area where the screws were protruding.

They will then slide the groove in the sole of the shoe onto two screws to hold the heel in place. When leaning 45 degrees forward, the pressure point is on the back.

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