12 Times Britney Spears Performed While Basically Naked

From nipple tassels to whale tails.

by Shorey Andrews and Alyssa Lapid
Originally Published: 
Britney Spears performing onstage at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards held at Radio City Music Hall o...
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Britney Spears’ discography is timeless — and so are her performances. Throughout her decades-long tenure as the princess of pop, she blessed fans with countless hits and iconic live renditions that were easily heralded as some of the best performances of her era. Think: her “I’m A Slave 4 U” performance at the 2001 MTV VMAs with an actual live snake or her medley at the 2016 Billboard Awards as the recipient of the Millennium Award.

More than her bops, dances, and theatrics, however, her performances have gone down in history for her outfits. Like her red carpet appearances, Spears redefined fashion in the noughties via her on-stage ensembles. Whether during awards shows or her many world tours, she catapulted trends into the zeitgeist, for better or worse. Think: whale tails, bedazzled bras, and a distinct lack of pants.

When it comes to naked dressing — as in, freeing the nipple or forgetting pants — Spears was way ahead of the curve. Some of her music is pretty provocative and she had the wardrobe to match. Her “Toxic” music video in 2004 is arguably her most famous birthday suit look, but her concert looks are pretty legendary, too.

Whether she’s accessorizing with thigh-high latex boots or a live snake, Spears has her performance looks down to a science. Ahead, revisit Spears’ wildest performance ’fits of all time.

Her OG Whale Tail

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Before Spears made the exposed thong look her signature style, she debuted the whale tail on a grand scale at the 2000 MTV VMAs. Performing a medley of hits, she wore a glimmering, Swarovski-encrusted co-ord set by David Dalrymple that mimicked a birthday suit. Her sheer bottoms, in particular, came equipped with faux thong straps, helping snowball the divisive trend in the early aughts.

Beaded Nipple Tassels

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By 2009, Spears had already rocked several iterations of the sparkly naked ’fit. During The Circus Starring Britney Spears tour, she harkened back to the iconic style with a flesh-toned bodysuit covered with crystals.

Parts of the garment were strategically bedazzled in black to make it look like she was wearing undies, a harness, and the most daring detail of all: tasseled nipple pasties. IMHO, this is her most risqué look of all time.

Sheer Top, Peek-A-Boo Bra

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In a post-#FreeTheNipple world, visible bras are practically quaint. But when she wore this sheer top to perform at the Bambi Awards in 2008, she turned heads. The see-through look seemed to echo her undies-forward red carpet style.

Red Hot Lingerie

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Fans who grew up on Spears’ music were thrilled when the pop princess took the Billboard Music Awards stage in 2016 to celebrate bagging the Millennium Award. She performed a greatest hits medley in another great hit: a fiery red crystal-encrusted thong and bra with chains.

All-Over Latex

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A shimmery corset with cut-out details? Latex undies? And thigh-high latex boots? It doesn’t get any spicier than Spears’ look at the 2003 AMAs.

Micro Shorts & A Snake

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Behold: Spears’ most iconic performance look of all time. Custom-made by her go-to styling duo Kurt and Bart, she wore a leaf green bra and the teeniest micro shorts to sing “I’m A Slave 4 U” at the 2001 MTV VMAs. Despite it only being her second performance at the prestigious awards show, she immediately made history when she came out with Banana, the albino Burmese python, draped across her shoulders. The pop star donned the outfit once again during her Dream Within a Dream Tour — sans snake.

Pantsless Ringleader

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Before Kendall Jenner, Dua Lipa, and Beyoncé made the no-pants style their own, Spears was already eschewing bottoms. This ringleader outfit from The Circus Starring Britney Spears Tour further supports that statement. I love everything about this look. The jacket is absolutely adorable.

White Boudoir Dressing

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To perform “Like A Virgin” with Madonna and Christina Aguilera at the 2003 MTV VMAs, Spears borrowed a boudoir-appropriate piece: a daring white corset. The look — and the moment — became one of her most infamous performances to date when she locked lips with Madonna.

Shimmery Undies

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Spears wore nothing but undies and fishnet stockings to perform at the 2009 MTV VMAs. While the ’fit is ubiquitous on pop stars these days, back then it was a bold sartorial move.

She made the lingerie worthy of the stage, however, by yassifying it with lots of sparkle. Also, peep her layered bras — a technique that eventually trickled into the next decade. She’s a trendsetter even in intimates.

Navel Gazing

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Before her lingerie-forward era, Spears was a sucker for exposing her belly button by way of a crop top and ’00s-era low-rise jeans. There were a few versions of this costume, with this one specifically having its debut during the singer’s Oops!... I Did It Again Tour in 2000.

All Laced Up

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During her Cirus kick off tour in New Orleans, Spears rocked the no-pants style once again in a button-down shirt, lace-up corset, lace-up boots, and black undies.

Honorable Mention: Pretty In Pleather

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No, this isn’t a naked look... but can it get a round of applause for being cute? This pleather tube top and pants with coordinating knee pads made their first appearance on Spears’ Baby One More Time Tour while she was promoting her debut album in 1999. Long live body glitter!

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