Britney Spears: Pop icon whose debut studio album went 14 times platinum and whose follow up was certified diamond (becoming the fastest-selling record ever by a female act in America), and now established watercolor painter, has just been announced as the new face of Kenzo.
It’s not her first ride around the block in terms of campaigns, though: Britney was inaugurated as the 100th celeb to appear in the iconic Got Milk? campaign, and she was the adorable face of Pepsi for some time (when the soda was more about being young, hot and refreshed than it was about solving political tensions).
It’s not her first introduction to fashion, either. In 2008, Karl Lagerfeld presented her with an award and called her a “bird of paradise,” and in 2010 she became the fashion designer for American department store Kohl’s, which was announced with the release of a collaborative collection from Candie’s (Britney, of course, was the face of it). Additionally, it absolutely goes without saying that the singer has demonstrated a great sense of personal style over the years, both on-duty and off.
Her approach to dressing has fortunately been archived on the web for us to comment and feels particularly relevant to flag up now because ’00s styling is just so in (it speaks volumes that UGG boots have had two major designer collaborations in the past year).
Instagram is frothing the decade’s revival, too, with accounts like @popculturediedin2009, @shesvague and @virgomood really popping off, with every image of an exposed thong, colored lens, small handbag, or even smaller sunnies pointing right back at Britney. It’s almost certain that her way of layering is ogled by stylists like Ursina Gysi, and you’ve got to wonder how many times she appears on the moodboards of Bella, Gigi, and Kim (by way of Kanye).
Below, we’ve brought the nostalgia and rounded up some of Brit’s finest ‘fits.
Here lies the evidence that Britney Spears was glamming up workwear and truly making it fashion long before Berlin’s fashion elite (we’re looking at you 032c and GmbH).
This look is very Alexander Wang for adidas with its perforations and very Courreges in its mod pastel color blocking. Also, if you were to tell us that this was the new MadeMe campaign, we would not challenge you.
The door beads are basically the only thing about this that push it into ’00s nostalgia. The halter neckline, considered midriff exposure and appropriated drawstring track pant has Bella Hadid / Mimi Cuttrell [her stylist] all over it — all she needs to do is switch out those trash boho earrings for a pair of Matrix sunnies.
Just when you think she didn’t, she did. Multiple times.
Going out tops
Look, we’re not going to say we actually like this look but, along with Mischa Barton, Britney was the absolute torchbearer for the deep plunge cowl neck going out top (usually with a skirt attached to the bottom that was so short you definitely needed to wear bootcut jeans underneath) that plagued the early ’00s. That deserves some recognition.
It’s all in the detail here, and Britney knows exactly what she’s doing, coercing a sports jersey into a female fit. The trim on the neckline, meanwhile, is a nod to the hooks and eyes of corsetry. This sum of streetwear and bedwear is exactly the thing that has made Fenty x PUMA so damn appealing. (Britney’s ’00s wardrobe being part of Rihanna’ moodboard is not as far-fetched as it may seem — remember that they did couple dress for ‘S&M’ at the Billboards in 2011.)
This is literally the summer collection for every Instagram brand that’s the by-product of Kimmy K ever.
John Galliano for Maison Margiela, Gyspy Sport, Ottolinger. We are weak at the knees. This is apocalyptic motocross wear and we are very much here for it.
You know what, we’ve definitely seen this cute top on the Eckhaus Latta E-store. It’s the ugly/cool aesthetic that has been driving a lot of new labels over the past few years, particularly ones out of New York.
Before contouring was mainstream, there was this technique called putting as much bronzer all over your entire face and décolletage as possible. It’s a routine that Britney practiced regularly, and almost the entire white female population mimicked. RIP all light-colored tops, 2001-2006.
Thanks to JPG, mesh tattoo-style tops will always be sought after. Dior referenced something similar for FW18 menswear, and smaller cool labels like Barragán have been all over them for seasons.
There was mad drama when Nicki Minaj wore this metallic bodysuit for “Motorsport.” Everyone said she copied Beyoncé’s C-3PO look from the ‘Sweet Dreams’ clip, but the truth will set you free. BS did it again, donning the metal armor for the opening night of her Circus tour.
Classy / Cool
This is a really classy look. We could very much see it on the racks of cool lady brands like MNZ or some French label that Leandra of Man Repeller discovered. The contrast toy box jewelry is really setting it off, and we know exactly how sarcastic that sounds but we promise it’s not intended. If we had a Pinterest board for spring looks, we would have added this immediately.
Britney’s look isn’t restricted to little midriffs and low-rise pants: She also dabbles in the Stevie Nicks aesthetic and goes hard while she’s at it. This white witch look has us feeling like Britney is about to drop a Lana Del Rey collab, which would make sense since LDR said she was “compelled” by Britney.
Not That Innocent
White socks with Mary Jane heels and box pleats is a Miu Miu vibe that’s always appreciated. Tap across for the tube top, matching mini skirt and raffia wedges that are going to inspire your 2018 summer.
Sure, this image is much better when Justin’s triple denim outfit is visible, but it’s Britney’s dress that has been reworked like a Marge Simpson Chanel dress over and over again. Her version, with the distinctly ’00’s chain belt, is the opposite of timeless, but the concept is strong and Leigh-Anne Pinnock’s interpretation totally validates this. Justin’s look is only good because it’s pants-pissing funny.
Dude, Britney Spears was like 21 when she shot this exceptional video clip, featuring this nude diamonté situation. What was Selena Gomez doing at 21? Waiting in line to be shot by Petra Collins? Ground-breaking. (JK.)
Putting weird stuff on top of weird stuff is a styling trick that Britney deserves the right to trademark. I mean, destroyed sequin tanks over tie-up striped shirting should be wrong, but it isn’t. And those pink leather chaps over denim is something we’d froth so hard over if Glenn Martens sent it down the Y/Project runway next season.
We’re pretty sure this was the direct inspiration for Jeremy Scott’s latest Moschino collection.
Alongside Paris Hilton, Britney wore so many Juicy tracksuit sets that it’s impossible not to think about her when you think of the brand.
Full Body latex
We should probably thank Britney for nudging the normality of latex gear. In her “Oops!… I Did It Again” video, she goes through multiple costume changes, but it’s the red latex catsuit that stands out most. (Apparently, Britney came up with the concept for it and helped design it.) Famously, Urban Outfitters ended up reproducing it: A real success story.
FYI this shot is from 2017 — proving once and for all that both Britney’s hotness and personal style have longevity. We love you, Brit, never change.
Now peep how Lil Uzi Vert has been taking his ‘fit game to a whole new level.
- Main and Featured Image: Ron Galella, Ltd. / WireImage / Getty Images