Today's celebs are arguably baring more backs and slipping more nips than ever before. But before there was Rihanna's CFDA Swarovski crystal gown or, well, pretty much everything Miley Cyrus wore at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, there were the most scandalous celebrity looks of the '90s. Every award show and fashion event seemingly gave us another reason to drop our jaws further.
In retrospect, the outrageous garb celebs donned 20 years ago can't really compete with the fashions floating down today's red carpets. Lately, it feels like our favorite celebs have been competing to out-shock the public by getting as close to nude as possible. I guess it's safe to say we're desensitized when it comes to necklines plunging down to the navel or breasts hanging on by a thread. That's probably why the iconic looks I remember from the '90s don't seem quite as revealing anymore.
Although shock value may have taken on a totally outrageous meaning now, that doesn't mean we weren't mind-blown by the ridiculous outfits worn back in the day. When it wasn't so common to show your goods publicly, most of us couldn't help but drop some jaws. Take a look at some of these celebrity getups from the '90s that probably inspired the risqué looks ruling the industry today.
1. Everything The Spice Girls Wore
There was not one piece the Spice Girls wore that didn't add a little spice to our lives — no pun intended. The group had some of the sexiest ensembles ever. I mean, how do ultra mini dresses and platform boots not cause a stir?
2. Christina Aguilera's Trashy Chic Look
Christina Aguilera nailed the "trashy chic" look that would dominate much of the early 2000s before the millennium was even reigned in. Leopard-print coats and knee-high platform boots forever.
3. J. Lo's Plunging Neckline
Jenny From The Block is no stranger to the plunging neckline. This sexy 1999 Vogue Fashion Awards number was probably her way of testing the waters before breaking out that iconic green Versace dress for the Grammys in 2000.
4. Lil' Kim's Pasty
Lil' Kim was a purple pasty away from having a Janet Jackson at the Superbowl moment. But homegirl was on point in every aspect of this look, all the way down to the matching purple hair. Whenever a celeb exposes their breasts today, remember that Lil' Kim showed 'em how it's done at the 1999 MTV VMAs.
5. Liz Hurley's Skintight Dress
This wasn't the only time we saw Liz Hurley on Hugh Grant's arm while rocking a sultry dress. Anything skintight with slits and loads of cleavage on display was right up the gal's alley.
6. Salma Hayek's Cardigan
Salma Hayek's fuzzy sweater looked like something straight out of Clueless. When she rocked her cardigan without anything underneath, it was a pretty bold choice. Bonus points for the peek-a-boo element.
7. Carmen Electra's Gown
8. TLC's Coordinating Ensembles
When the crazy, sexy, cool ladies of TLC stepped onto the scene, they weren't showing much skin under all of that baggy clothing they wore. By the late '90s, however, it was a different story. Here, the ladies turned up the heat with hot pants and embroidered bras.
9. Britney Spears' School Girl Uniform
The '90s princess of pop probably repped one of the tamer ensembles of the list. But there was something oh-so-wrong and oh-so-right at the same time about tying up a button-down and hiking a pleated skirt. She made us all want to be sexy school girls.
10. Cindy Crawford's Pepsi Outfit
It's only right that I mention the supermodel's cropped peasant top and Daisy Dukes in this 1992 Superbowl ad. Sure, she was a little more clothed than most, but this outfit caused some major drooling when we watched her sip that pop. So much so that Crawford recreated her classic Superbowl Pepsi ad all over again in 2016.
11. Pamela Anderson's Side Boob
Anything worn by Pam Anderson was bound to be a little X-rated. After all, she was the epitome of a '90s bombshell. We definitely grew accustomed to seeing her breasts popping out of her dresses.
Most of us loved every minute of overexposed celebs that we got in the '90s. Little did we know, we would see more breasts, navels, and thighs than we could imagine in the decades to follow. Still waiting on that free nipple, though.
Image: BritneySpearsVEVO/YouTube (1)