Fashion

It's Been 17 Years Since Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears Blinded Us With Denim

Let's just make it a national holiday.
IMAGE Getty
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It’s been 17 years since the undisputed power couple of the early aughts, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, gifted the world with a look that is equally as fantastic as it is heinous. 

The couple's denim-on-denim-on-denim power move from the 2001 American Music Awards is one of the most iconic pop culture style moments of all time—and with good reason. It’s straight-up incredible. The sheer audacity it takes to not only don a matching couples outfit, but to also transform denim into formalwear, needs to be celebrated and commemorated. January 2001 was a simpler time. I would do anything to have this red carpet be the most shocking event of the year. 

Let’s break down JT’s look, shall we? 


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The hat is really what sells it. Looking for some inauthentic cowboy whimsy in your life? Please, opt for this poorly constructed denim semicircle that can barely be considered headwear. Although, the hat does one thing right: covering up JT's unfortunate ramen-inspired hair. The lightly tinted sunglasses and chain necklace let you know he would eventually like to collaborate with Timbaland. And the "suit" itself is a masterpiece in all its washed-out, ill-fitting glory. Let the denim lapels have their moment in the sun, because no one else could ever pull it off. 

I have so many questions about how this came together. Were Britney and Justin watching old Western movies on acid and inspiration struck? How long did it take to get Justin on board with the idea? I’m guessing a total of 0.5 seconds. Were matching velour jumpsuits ever considered? (They should have been.) 

Jump forward to 2018, and rockin’ the Canadian tuxedo is no longer quite as frowned upon—so long as you do it correctly by mixing your washes, and y'know, keeping it a bit more low-key. Truthfully, Justin and Britney were trailblazers, and we should just take the plunge and make this a national holiday.

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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