Nab the early-aughts VMAs look but with a modern, trendy twist

By Kaitlyn Frey
August 26, 2016 04:46 PM
KMazur/WireImage; Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage; Scott Gries/Getty Images

The MTV Video Music Awards are an infamous occasion for celebs to pull out their wildest outfits and make bold style and beauty statements, whether it’s on the red carpet or stage.

Thanks to the slew of ’90s and early 2000s trends coming back, some throwback VMA styles you thought you’d never see again are influencing the most sought-after looks today.

And while yes, some of these ensembles might seem like too much to wear anyplace besides the red carpet or Miley Cyrus’s bathroom (hello, Lil’ Kim’s purple pasties!), read on to find out how to make these iconic looks work for you this weekend.

PASTEL COLORED WIGS

Scott Gries/Getty Images; Kylie Jenner/Instagram
Scott Gries/Getty Images; Kylie Jenner/Instagram

Our jaws all collectively dropped when Lil’ Kim stepped on the VMA red carpet in 1999 wearing her purple mermaid-inspired jumpsuit, complete with matching pastie. Though that was a one-of-a-kind moment, her matching lavender wig has been emulated by stars including Kylie Jenner (who has tried wig colors from turquoise to platinum to fire engine red). To try out a temporary, colorful hair style like the one Lil’ Kim first wore, check out Kylie’s line of vibrant clip-in hair extensions from Bellami Hair.

THIGH-HIGH OVER-THE-KNEE BOOTS

KMazur/WireImage; H&M
KMazur/WireImage; H&M

Jenny from the Block inspired so many popular trends over the years, and her floppy hat from 2001 is no exception. But these days, we’re loving her high over-the-knee boots, which are a hot look this fall – even North West stole mom Kim’s silver $1,700 Balenciaga pair. To recreate J.Lo’s footwear look for less, wear these over-the-knee suede ones from H&M, which have a more modern almond-shape toe.

DENIM OVERALLS

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; Freepeople
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; Freepeople

After several years on the “denim don’ts” list, denim overalls like Janet Jackson‘s at the 1999 Video Music Awards are back in style (her braids and red lip are timeless). Instead of a baggier fit like Jackson went for here, create this throwback look with a slimmer, more fitted one-piece style, like these ones from Free People.

BOLD BROWS

Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage; NARS
Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage; NARS

The power brow had its moment from 1987-1994, so Halle Berry was right on trend at the 1992 VMAs. Thanks to Instagram, a bold brow is hot again, so emulate Berry’s by carving out the shape of your brows and fill them in with this new NARS brow defining cream.

LEOPARD PRINT

Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect; ASOS
Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect; ASOS

We’re all about a pop of leopard print to spice up any outfit. Back in 1999 Christina Aguilera broke onto the music scene and started trends with this leopard-on-leopard lingerie look. For slightly tamer feline flair, try wearing one item of leopard print (whether it’s a shoe, bag or jacket), like this print bomber from ASOS we’re loving.

CHOKER NECKLACES

Ron Galella/WireImage; Kevin Mazur/WireImage; Top Shop
Ron Galella/WireImage; Kevin Mazur/WireImage; Top Shop

If the prevalent choker is giving you major flashbacks to a Claire’s in 1999, you’re not alone. Britney Spears sported the look (at two consecutive VMAs, in 1999 and 2000) and she’s addicted to the look all over again, as evidenced by her Hawaiian vacation, workout routine and recent Carpool Karaoke episode. For a true throwback, though, this TopShop velvet lattice choker with rhinestone embellishments is our favorite re-creation of the star’s style.

BROWN NUDE LIPS

Jim Smeal/WireImage; Hot Lips
Jim Smeal/WireImage; Hot Lips

Before Rachel Green made us all run to our drugstore to buy the exact brownish nude lip shade she wore on Friends, Cindy Crawford was the OG lipstick trendsetter in this arena. At the 1993 VMAs she made brick-nude lips cool with this natural shade she’s now known for. Charlotte Tilbury even created (and named!) a shade reminiscent of this one in her Hot Lips line. Check out Tilbury’s ‘Super Cindy’ lip color to get as close as you can to the look — though whether or not you draw on the beauty mark is up to you.

Would you recreate any of these classic VMA looks? Tell us how below!

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