OK, let’s get one thing straight: I’ve spent over a decade attempting to establish myself as the ultimate Christina Aguilera fan. It’s hard work, and involves a lot of your lunch money going towards iTunes, crop top purchases, and repeated viewings of any and all television appearances involving one Ms. Aguilera. P.S.: Did you guys see her on Nashville? So good, right? SO. GOOD.
Anyway, keeping up with Aguilera isn’t always easy (she’s quite the busy woman), but it’s well worth it. I remember being blown away by Aguilera’s powerful pipes when she first debuted “Genie in a Bottle” in 1999, and I’ve been hooked on her catchy tunes, fierce feminism, and inimitable talent every since. Back in the ’90s, Aguilera was also a great source of style inspiration. We’ve watched her looks evolve into the 2000s, as she’s proven to be quite the chameleon with her music, fashions, and ever-changing coifs. Still, as we who grew up in the ’90s have an affinity for becoming nostalgic (we can’t help it: that decade was awesome), Aguilera’s ’90s trendsetting is a frequenter of my nostalgic reveries. In order to marry this trip down memory lane with more praise of Aguilera, let’s take a look at the platinum blonde crooner’s most ’90s looks of all ’90s looks.
The “I’m A Genie In A Bottle, Baby” Look
What would this list be without a glimpse of Aguilera’s early I Dream of Genie inspiration. At the 1999 Billboard Music Awards, the “Genie in a Bottle” singer hopped on the late ’90s crop top train (rather, she and Britney Spears were basically at the helm of it) with a fringed crop top and long drawstring skirt. Yes I tried this look in my mid-teens, and yes I quickly realized my high school had a strict dress code against showing off your midsection.
The “My Scarf Also Functions As A Shirt” Look
We had already bid the 90s adieu (*sniff* *sniff*) when Aguilera decided to get a little “Dirrty” with her fashion at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. Not only did she decide to flaunt midriff for miles, her torn-and-faded mini jean skirt draped in intersecting chains was pure ‘90s. This was also the night Aguilera presented then-enemy (I think they’ve upgraded to frenemy status since then) Eminen with an award. Remember that? I totes experienced second-hand awkwardness during that moment — yikes.
The “I’m Totally Rocking The Leopard-Print Trend Right Now” Look
My mom gave me a pair of leopard-print gloves a couple years back (when the leopard-print trend had once again gone on hiatus) and exclaimed with a beaming smile, “Here, sweetheart! I think these are supposed to be ‘in’ right now with your age group.” I smiled back and kept mum on the fact that no, they weren’t, and it was no longer 1999. And yes, I wore those gloves on the regular, being that anything leopard-print now takes me back to Aguilera’s fierce animal prints from the 1999 VMAs.
The “No, I’m Not Going To Try To Cover My Bra Strap” Look
Hey Aguilera, your bra strap is showing — and it looks great! There was a time in the ’90s where frets over wearing a black bra beneath a white shirt or having an exposed bra strap were nonexistent. In fact, those looks were fashion stapes! Underwear became overwear, and that was just fine by everyone. Honestly, can we have that trend back, please? Backless shirts and dresses were so much easier to wear then, am I right?
The “My Ponytail Is Higher Than Your Ponytail” Look
As an avid fan of keeping my hair out of my face whenever possible (there’s a lot of it, so it poses quite the challenge), I am elated that this trend has been reborn via Ariana Grande. Based on this picture, though, we all know who originally rocked the sky-high pony. Also, how 90s is that sweet fur-trimmed orange jacket? Are you aching with nostalgia, yet? I am.
The “I’m Wearing A Belt Even Though It’s Not Holding Anything Up” Look
You’re baring your midriff, Aguilera, so what is that belt possibly holding up — your bellybutton? In other words, I absolutely love this.
The “I Couldn’t Decide Which Color I Wanted So I Picked Both” Look
My ex-boyfriend once told me that this was his favorite hairstyle of all Aguilera’s styles, to which I responded, “Aww, when I wax poetic about Xtina you really are listening!” No, me and that guy are no longer together (it’s cool), but the two-toned hairstyle has made a comeback in recent years. I’d like to attribute said comeback to people at the head of the Hair Trends Committee (disclaimer: said committee likely doesn’t exist, but you never know) re-watching “Come On Over (All I Want Is You)” and promptly making appointments with their hairstylists. I personally am considering hopping aboard the ombre trend train if I can work up the courage.
The “I Don’t Care If I’m Wearing A Turtleneck; This Necklace Is Happening” Look
Much like the aforementioned “I don’t care that my bra strap is showing, it’s freaking fabulous” look, the necklace-over-a-turtleneck look was one of my faves from the 90s. I have a gold necklace that would look spectacular with the green coloring of one of my turtlenecks — what’s a girl to do? Take a page from Aguilera’s book, of course! Duh.
The “Yes I’m Wearing A Tube Dress & Pairing It With My Grammy” Look
I always shied away from tube dresses simply because there was no amount of double-sided tape to quell my fears of it falling down. However, this pic of Aguilera posing with her first Grammy award has me reconsidering that choice. Double-sided tape works pretty good, right?
Image: Getty Images (8); Giphy