The Super Bowl Halftime Show’s Greatest Fashion Moments

Thanks for the mammaries.
Photos: Getty Images

In a nation—nay, a world—of Super Bowl watchers, humanity finds itself divided. There are those who tune in for a rousing game of The Football, and there are those who watch for the Halftime Show. Technically, you’ve also the crowd who only cares about commercials and a bunch who “tune in” so they can eat wings and a variety of dips. The people who eagerly watch for all of it are most certainly higher beings; close to perfection. Namaste to you.

This is dedicated to the Halftime Show contingent, a wayward gang of miscreants and rascals who defy all rules. We are the cool kids because we enjoy rock and/or roll. You football-y types can continue placing bets and doing pre-game stretches, we’ll be over here REMEMBERING THE GREATEST (or at least most memorable) HALFTIME FASHUNS! To the garments.

1991: NKOTB
TEAMS PLAYING: I FORGET

Step by step, ooooh baybeh
Photo: Getty Images

Before One Direction, before *NSync, before Backstreet Boys… there was NKOTB. And OMG, I was such a smart little nugget to fall in love with them, because look how adorable they are. I MEAN. Jon’s wearing Stan Smiths. Danny’s rockin dem gold three stripes. Joey’s got a little bad-boy curl. And look at them dance. Look at them dance!! Oh god, it’s all flooding back.

Donnie D 4EVA
GIF: MTV Style

1993: MICHAEL JACKSON
TEAMS PLAYING: THE BEST ONES?

I said, “HOOOOOOOOOO!”
Photos: Getty Images

Look at this bad motherf*****. Superhero stance like a King all up in this motherf*****, wearing his military-inspired jacket designed by Michael Bush. Dancing in his trademark Florsheim loafers, MJ stayed true to his signature style and busted out a spectacle that would set the stage for all halftime performances to come.

1996: DIANA ROSS
TEAMS PLAYING: ASK SOMEONE ELSE

Stop in the name of STYLE, GURL
Photos: Getty Images

Behold, your next Supreme!! Although this statement may also apply to a few more of today’s selection, it really belongs to Diana Ross. First of all, because obviously. Pun intended. Second of all, because she actually performed The Seven Wonders during this halftime spectacular. Examples: pyrokinesis, divination, exit by helicopterosis. Also, she looked AM-UH-ZING.

2001: BRITNEY, *NSYNC, MARY J. BLIGE, AEROSMITH
TEAMS PLAYING: ????? BOTH???

2001 all up in ya
Photos: Getty Images

This encapsulates everything that early 2000s pop culture represented. There is no further explanation required for visiting extraterrestrials of the future. Shiny things, namely. This was Britney in her prime, diplomatically paying homage to football, Aerosmith, and her own abs. This was *NSync at their peak, and Mary was just about to hit the superb “Family Affair“/”No More Drama” era. Steven Tyler hadn’t turned into somebody’s mom, yet. Nelly was there. In conclusion, *NSync’s wardrobe doesn’t stand the test of time, but few details aside, Brit’s is still killer. Good job, Brit.

Queen Mary’s like, what the F**k are all these nerds doing?
Photo: Getty Images

2003: SHANIA TWAIN & NO DOUBT
TEAMS PLAYING: NOT SURE

Whose bed have your boots been under? I’d like to borrow them.
Photos: Getty Images

Remember good ol’ Shania-gans? “From This Moment,” feelin’ like a woman, et cetera? Behold, your next supreme! (Just kidding. The position is taken.) In this Marc Bouwer creation, Canada’s favorite country sensation could maybe hunt vampires or apply as Maleficent-in-training. Then we have Base Ska’d here, the incomparable Gwen Stefani, wearing L.A.M.B. in the year of its conception.

All the girls stomp your feet like dis.
Photos: Getty Images

2004: JANET JACKSON & JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
TEAMS PLAYING: DOESN’T REALLY MATTER

The 20th Century Khaleesi
Photos: Getty Images

Well gosh, this was such a monumental performance, and lots more happened than just a wardrobe malfunction. Such as… wardrobe changes! Before the Alexander McQueen-designed suit of armor made its ill-fated appearance, Janet performed “All For You” in black culottes and a white ruffled train. Then Nelly and Kid Rock and P. Diddy performed and then Damita Jo came back with young Timberlake and everything changed forever. Not for Justin, though. But that’s another story.

Don’t do it…don’t do i—OH GOD YOU DID IT
Photos: Getty Images

2007: PRINCE
TEAMS PLAYING: I’LL FIND OUT FOR YOU

Purple rain, turquoise jacket, orange shirt
Photos: Getty Images

Get a load of this fly dude. Good ol’ fly-ass Prince, in Miami colors for this Miami appearance. Arguably one of the best halftime performances, tbh. Just cause he’s Prince, he completely werks the head wrap, turquoise suit, and sex eyes. [Confidential to people who watch the Super Bowl for what happens afterwards: Prince will guest star on New Girl following the game!]

2012: MADONNA & NICKI MINAJ & M.I.A.
TEAMS PLAYING: HOPE I LIVE TO TELL YOU EVENTUALLY

Varying emotions of Madonna
Photos: Getty Images

Oh, you know. Just a little Roman/Egyptian-inspired, bespoke Givenchy frock specially designed by Riccardo Tisci. Hand-studded belt. Bugari jewelry. LMFAO as additional accessories. Evoking the Illuminati. Madge also wore a hand-embroidered gold cape, and called upon her head cheerleaders M.I.A. & Nicki Minaj to round out the eye-popping display. Nobody does it like La Ciccone.

MDNA MDNA
Photo: Getty Images

2013: BEYONCE
TEAMS PLAYING: THERE WAS A GAME?

How do you follow up, though
Photos: Getty Images

Remember last year? When Beyonce made the lights go out and reunited DC3 and set exactly 3.5 kabillion hearts aflutter? REMEMBER? Of course you do. It was the Beyonce Bowl. So much has happened since then. Like, we didn’t even have “SERFBORT” in our lives yet—can you imagine?! Still, the Beyonciverse was a wonderful place. Observe her ***flawlessness in this Rubin Singer-designed number, inspired by Norse mythology’s Valkyrie. It took 200 hours to perfect, and 14 minutes to cause a power outage. LIGHTS. OUT.

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