From Jodie Marsh To Pamela Anderson, These Once-Lambasted Sexy Looks Are Now Being Embraced

Is it 2021 or 2004?

Addison Rae and Jodie Marsh

by Natalie Hammond |

Yesterday's MTV Awards dished up a red carpet moment that was like travelling back to time to 2004. Jodie Marsh was arriving at FHM's Top 100 Sexiest Women Awards, wearing precisely three belts that, strung together, made an outfit that was truly X-rated. Two were strategically criss-crossed over her chest, while the other, a marginally bigger style covered in studs, was fastened around her hips. Celebrity magazines, with a readership who relished the concept of the 'hot or not' list, immediately consigned this look to the rubbish heap of horrible fashion decisions, but in hindsight, maybe she was onto something?

Jodie Marsh wearing diamanté belts at the FHM Awards
Jodie Marsh in 2004 ©Getty

Because this hell-for-leather approach to sexy dressing - that was championed by the likes of Pamela Anderson, and roundly lambasted - is, suddenly, being embraced by the very industry that scorned it. Pam & Tommy, an eight-part series about Anderson's relationship with Tommy Lee, is currently being filmed, with promo images featuring a blonde and corseted Lily James, while designers known for their sleight of hand when it comes to baring skin are being nominated for the LVMH Prize (Nensi Dojaka). Dua Lipa even wore suspenders to last week's BRITs.

Addison Rae wearing a black bra top and skirt at the MTV Awards
Addison Rae at this year's MTV Awards ©Getty

But back to the MTV Awards, where Addison Rae, 20 year-old TikTok sensation, appeared on the red carpet wearing a look (by Christopher Esber) that had a remarkably similar vibe to Marsh's. Its centrepiece was an extremely brief strip of black fabric that stretched across her chest, although she toned it down considerably with an oversized blazer and an ankle-sweeping maxi skirt. Still, the overall effect very much landed feet-first in sexy land, albeit with a side-order of modesty to round off the whole look.

Emily Ratajkowski wearing a white bra top and skirt at the 2020's Vanity Fair party
Emily Ratajkowski in 2020 ©Getty

This, folks, is the new way to do sexy now that we're significantly further along in the '00s. Emily Ratajkowski and Zoë Kravitz have both worn very similar versions to after-party at the Oscars, the former in a white bandeau top and a white maxi skirt that showed off a toned foot of stomach, the latter in a gilded bra top with a satiny column skirt from Saint Laurent.

Zoe Kravitz wearing a gold bra top and black skirt from Saint Laurent
Zoe Kravitz in 2020 ©Getty

And why not? If there's any combo that captures the spirit of summer 2021, it's this one. Sexy is back with a bang – just ask this year's Oscars. And if you're still in any doubt, consider that one of this season's hottest items of clothing is the mini skirt.

After a year spent mostly in lockdown, it seems that fashion is well and truly bringing sexy back. Jodie Marsh must be pleased.


SHOP: The Best Mini Skirts

Ganni, Tafetta Skirt, £225
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Arket, Denim Skirt, £55
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Zara, Shiny Buckled Mini Skirt, £29.99
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Rixo, Dogtooth Print Skirt, £185
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Mango, Pleat-Detail Check Skirt, £35.99
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Moncler, High-Rise Quilted Miniskirt, £465
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Ahluwalia, Twice As Nice Miniskirt, £290
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Sandro, Short Tweed Skirt, £219
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Whistles, Amy Patchwork Cord Skirt, WAS £79.20 NOW £59
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& Other Stories, Buttoned Wrap Mini Skirt, £75
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Maje, Diamond Pattern Rhinestone Knit Skirt, £199
11 of 16

Su00e9zane, Jelena Skirt, £100
12 of 16

J.Crew, Ruffle-Hem Sequin Skirt, £188
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Chopova Lowena, Split Argyle-Print Jersey Mini Skirt, £770
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Weekday, Issa Knit Jacquard Skirt, £30
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Uniqlo, Women Pleated Mini Skirt, £24.90
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