Celebrity Style

20 Years Later We’re Still Talking About Christina Aguilerra’s “Dirrty” Era

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The singer’s career and fashion milestone remains to be one of the most referenced looks in modern fashion

Picture this: It’s the year 2002, and Christina Aguilera has parents outraged. Soon after she released her fourth studio album Stripped, the singer dropped her raunchy music video for “Dirrty,” and it instantly gained controversy. In the video, Aguilera sports a skimpy bra and leather chaps while grinding around in a sweaty boxing ring. The video ignited petitions to have it removed from television—“This should not be aired to kids on MTV!”— and it even got banned in some countries. For Aguilera, it was not a provocative play to make headlines, but rather an empowering career moment. The bold move was a defiance of the squeaky-clean image that pop stars had to maintain at the time. “That was me stepping up and saying I was a woman [who is] proud of my sexuality.”

Twenty years later, it’s clear that Aguilera was ahead of her time. Fashion is making a return to the raunchy Y2K wear synonymous with Aguilera at the time. We’re not all walking around in leather chaps, but Aguilera’s style choices during the “Dirrty” era include many looks that couldn’t be more on-trend right now. Whether it was her extremely mini skirts, her cargo pants paired with heels, or her tight leather corset dresses, Aguilera was one of the pioneers of the 2000s aesthetic that designers continue to reference today. (Though, honorable mentions have to go out to Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, and Paris Hilton as well.)

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Aguilera relied on looks with an edge during these years. She famously went through the phase of wearing colorful leather Motocross-inspired pieces, and racing jackets so happen to be having a moment right now (Diesel has been pushing them hard). When she attended the VH1 awards in 2002, Aguilera also turned heads in Roberto Cavalli’s spring 2003 red leather corset dress, which was laced up the back. Today, corseted silhouettes are continuing to trend, as seen with the constricting styles at Balmain, Vivienne Westwood, and Dion Lee this fall.

Her penchant for micro skirts and low-rise jeans has been revived by labels like Blumarine, while her cargo pants (paired with stilettos, of course) are a style recently seen at Tom Ford. Consider Aguilera’s “Dirrty” era wardrobe, then, the perfect mood board for your next Friday night out. Because as Aguilera famously said in her hit song, “Tight hip huggers, low for sure; Shake a little somethin’, on the floor!”

Below, more of the Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” era style moments.

This article originally appeared in Vogue.com

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