VMA Outfits We're Still Talking About

Lady Gaga's meat dress and Lil Kim's pastie are just two of the ensembles that left us speechless on MTV's wildest night (don't worry, we've got the guys covered, too)

01 of 25

Madonna

Madonna
David McGough/getty IMAGES

The Year: 1984

The Look: The "Like a Virgin" singer made a splash at the very first VMAs, wearing a bridal-white dress with a Boy Toy belt that Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera later emulated for that infamous 2003 performance.

02 of 25

Lady Gaga

LADY GAGA
PA Photos/Landov

The Year: 2010

The Look: Made out of meat (yes, meat), this "outfit" was extremely appealing – to the nation's dog population. We're still wondering if she hired someone to wave away flies all night.

03 of 25

Britney Spears

Britney Spears
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The Year: 2002

The Look: Have the Fashion Police arrived? If anyone could pull this off it's Britney (bitch).

04 of 25

Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott
RJ Capak/WireImage

The Year: 2003

The Look: It's hard to ever say a bad word about the queen, so we'll say it about her outfit instead: triple bogey.

05 of 25

Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera
Evan Agostini/Getty Images

The Year: 2003

The Look: Mid-Dirrty era, the singer cleaned up a bit, going a little Vegas in her feathered fashion.

06 of 25

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore
Ron Galella/Getty Images

The Year: 1995

The Look: So, so Goth. Then 20 years old, Barrymore wanted fans to know she wasn't the little girl from E.T. anymore.

07 of 25

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow
Jim Spellman/WireImage

The Year: 2001

The Look: Often the picture of effortless cool, Crow missed the mark that year in her vaguely Native American look that was heavy on the tube tops and turquoise.

08 of 25

Cindy Crawford

Cindy Crawford
Ron Galella/Getty Images

The Year: 1992

The Look: The 26-year-old model looked part Barbarella, part Dominatrix in her leather ensemble.

09 of 25

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus
Frank Trapper/Getty Images

The Year: 2015

The Look: Her show, her rules. The year she hosted the VMAs, Cyrus decided to skip wearing clothes on the red carpet.

10 of 25

TLC

TLC
Ron Galella/Getty Images

The Year: 1995

The Look: Before Destiny's Child entered the scene, these ladies were doing the matching thing, to varied levels of success.

11 of 25

Tommy Lee & Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson, Tommy Lee
Evan Agostini/Liaison

The Year: 1999

The Look: We just feel bad for the person who sat behind her.

12 of 25

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys
Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images

The Year: 2001

The Look: The year of her breakout album, Keys was still finding her way on the red carpet — but that blue eye shadow really made her pop.

13 of 25

Christina Applegate

Christina Applegate
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Year: 1989

The Look: VMAs, or a scene from Casablanca?

14 of 25

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani
Ron Galella/Getty Images

The Year: 1998

The Look: The No Doubt frontwoman's combo of blue hair, a furry bra top, a skirt over pants and platform sandals was nothing if not memorable.

15 of 25

Pink

pink
Robin Platzer/Getty Images

The Year: 2000

The Look: Embellished dusters, crazy jeans, wild hair: pretty much a sign of the times.

16 of 25

Nicki Minaj

NICKI MINAJ
Steve Granitz/WireImage

The Year: 2011

The Look: If Bane from The Dark Knight Rises went on a rampage through Nordstrom Rack, he still wouldn't end up with an ensemble as crazy as this. But 10 years ahead of the COVID pandemic, was she predicting the future of masks?

17 of 25

Destiny's Child

DESTINY'S CHILD
Dave Hogan/Getty

The Year: 2001

The Look: Think Beyoncé and the girls would let us borrow these coordinating costumes for Halloween?

18 of 25

Katy Perry

KATY PERRY
Mark Davis/PictureGroup

The Year: 2011

The Look: One of several looks she sported during the show that year, we call this one "Green Bay Packers Fan Goes Haute Couture."

19 of 25

Lil' Kim

LIL' KIM
Nancy Kaszerman/Zuma

The Year: 1999

The Look: The rapper famously exposed one of her "Lil' Kims" in this one-sleeve creation. Luckily for the viewing population, this happened before the advent of high-definition television.

20 of 25

Justin Bieber

JUSTIN BIEBER
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Year: 2011

The Look: How does the young man who has everything accessorize? With a live varmint, apparently.

21 of 25

Chris Evans & Jessica Alba

CHRIS EVANS & JESSICA ALBA
Koichi kamoshida/Getty

The Year: 2005

The Look: While their outfits were far from outrageous, we can't help but think that the duo looked more like an attractive suburban couple anxious to get home to the babysitter than two superstars posing on a red carpet.

22 of 25

Marilyn Manson & Rose McGowan

MARILYN MANSON & ROSE MCGOWAN
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Year: 1998

The Look: Though this was just another night out for him, we still haven't recovered from the peep show courtesy of Rose McGowan. And in case you don't remember, that's a G-string she has on.

23 of 25

Madonna

MADONNA
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The Year: 1998

The Look: Ohm my god. The queen of reinvention transformed herself into the queen of henna over tw decades ago.

24 of 25

Fergie

FERGIE
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The Year: 2006

The Look: Honey, I shrunk the tie! And the shirt, and the shorts. Hey, at least Fergie coordinated her teeny-tiny Burberry bottoms with her boots.

25 of 25

Riff Raff & Katy Perry

Katy Perry and Riff Raff
Jason Merritt/Getty

The Year: 2014

The Look: The pair did their own play on Britney Spears' and Justin Timberlake's iconic coordinating denim looks and it was a moment.

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