If one person, nay, one name could sum up glamour, you’d be hard-pressed to argue against the one, the only, J.Lo. But before that Versace dress, the Super Bowl, the Met Gala and Hustlers, there existed a JLo who wore trousers on the red carpet and polo necks (actual polo necks) at the airport.
JLo in 1998 ©Getty
It was the ‘90s, the decade that defined minimalism, and her wardrobe was pretty much the polar opposite to her megawatt approach to getting dressed today. And it’s understandable. In the ‘90s, stars walked the red carpet wearing what mere mortals would now consider ‘smart-casual’.
JLo at 1998’s MTV Music Awards ©Getty
Things like cardigans were fair game (when was the last time you saw a starlet wearing a cardigan?) and people carried shoulder bags as if they didn’t have a minion on hand to outsource that kind of menial task to. Imagine!
JLo at LAX in 1997 ©Getty
At New York Magazine’s 30th birthday party in 1998, J.Lo arrived wearing pedal pushers (remember those?), a fur-trimmed cardigan, patent sandals and a shiny black shoulder bag. The overall look was polished, but also pared-back. She wasn’t dripping with diamonds, and simply looked like herself.
JLo at LAX in 1997 ©Getty
It was a similar story at 1998’s MTV Music Awards. 20 years later she would wear a custom-made jumpsuit that transformed into a spangled leotard for the occasion, but in 1998 the singer opted for a lemon-coloured trouser suit, a white bralette and a cowboy hat. OK, a foot of toned torso was on show, but it was still unmistakably relaxed.
JLo at LAX in 1998 ©Getty
Where she really came into her own was at the airport, with a series of off-duty outfits that still look so effortlessly cool. There was the slinky all-black co-ord, worn with square-toe boots and black-out shades, in 1997.
Later that month, she then travelled through LAX wearing a leopard-spotted coat, a taupe-coloured polo neck and the very same ankle boots in what, along with Kate Moss’s tank top, jeans and leopard print handbag look from 1994, must be the best example of airport chic from the history books. Finally, we can’t not mention the chunky cream polo neck and matching jeans combo that the star sported one year later in 1998. It’s simply too good for words.
JLo at 1998’s Golden Globes ©Getty
Of course, soon the glamazon would gather speed. At 1998’s Golden Globes, she wore a tri-coloured, one-shouldered gown with a cut-out that showed off her chiselled abs and shoulders. And then at 1999’s MTV Music Awards, she arrived in the utterly fabulous combination of wet-look latex pedal pushers and a similarly skin-tight bronze boob tube. Gone was the girl who wore cardigans, but we wouldn’t change her for the world.
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