Mini Skirts, Mega Hats And Pencil-Thin Eyebrows: Pamela Anderson Is A Total Mood For 2022

As Lily James transforms for new biopic Pam & Tommy, a lookback at Pammy's best fashion moments - and why they're so relevant now.

pamela anderson tommy lee american music awards 1997

by Laura Antonia Jordan |

It's usually the likes of The Sopranos, Mad Men and The Wire that get trotted out as pertinent illustrations of the Golden Age of Television. But anyone who grew up in the ‘90s will know that despite their Dickensianly sprawling story arcs and psychologically complex characters, these shows will never hold a torch to ‘90s Saturday nights on ITV and its holy trinity lineup of Baywatch, Gladiators and Blind Date.

I'm betting that my younger sister and I are not the only millennial women who once upon a time would knot our cotton vests into cropped tops and practice our best slow-mo running around the sitting room in an attempt to emulate Pamela Anderson’s CJ. 20 years ago, to two girls on the Hampshire coast (which has zero in common with the beaches of Malibu) she was peak #goals.

Lily James as Pamela Anderson in Pam and Tommy
Lily James as Pamela Anderson in Pam and Tommy ©Disney+ / Pam and Tommy

And now, a whole new generation is set to fall in love with the Pammy of the 90s/00s. Next week, a completely transformed Lily James bursts onto our screens as Anderson in new Disney Plus show Pam & Tommy (Sebastian Stan takes the role of the Mötley Crüe drummer) which tells the story of their stolen - and leaked - sex tape. Back in May, James posted an image of herself to Instagram with a vintage Anderson quote: ‘It’s great to be a blonde. With low expectations it’s very easy to surprise people’.

Despite imitation being (allegedly) the highest form of flattery - but Anderson is apparently unimpressed, allegedly dismissing the production as a 'cheap knockoff'.

pamela anderson double denim 1993
Pamela Anderson, 1993 ©Getty

But she might have to get used to seeing a revival of her '90s style. Going by the trailer and promo shots (not to mention James' looks on the promo trail for the show), the social media generation are already doing the 2022 equivalent of rolling up their vests. Because throwback Pammy fashion feels very now doesn't it? Consider her fondness for corset tops– they’re getting a lot of love right now from the likes of Bella Hadid and DUA LIPA. If one of those is as terrifying a prospect to you as donning a red one piece, simply layer over a white T-shirt.

See also Anderson’s excellent arsenal of hats. Sure, she was fond of a baseball cap, but it’s the huge brimmed hats (so big they make Jacquemus’ giant straw ones look like fascinators in comparison) she favoured for awards ceremonies which would garner the most social media momentum now. Feeling it? I’d urge you to check out Emma Brewin’s fluffy bucket hats – Rihanna, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Bella Hadid are fans.

pamela anderson corset
Pamela Anderson, 1994 ©Getty

Craving even more Pammy nostalgia? See also her love of thigh-grazing mini skirts (hemlines continue to rise), sparkle (seen at the SS22 collections of Brandon Maxwell, Versace, Moschino and more), double denim (given a high-fashion stamp of spin for the new season via Bottega Veneta, Dior and Loewe) and daring cut-outs (my favourites are the dresses by French brand Marcia and the audaciously twisted pieces by BFC Foundation Fashion Award winner Nensi Dojaka. Go commando or go home). It's not a stretch to imagine the likes of Kendall Jenner wearing the hip/tummy/boob baring outfit Anderson sported to the 2001 MTV Music Awards. Need evidence? See this look Kendall wore to her friend's wedding last year.

And what about the bleached blonde hair and pencil thin eyebrows? Well, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK fashion winner Bimini Bon-Boulash already had me reaching for the tweezers.

pamela anderson mtv awards hat 1997
Pamela Anderson, 1997 ©Getty

So iconic was the Baywatch swimsuit, the barbed wire tattoo, the bombshell body, that Anderson has been somewhat ignored for her style credentials. But designers – like Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney – have long been fans (of Anderson as an animal rights activist as much as a fashion plate). Now it’s time to give her her due.

pamela anderson 2001
Pamela Anderson, 2001 ©Getty

Because above all, it’s the Pam glam spirit that feels right for now. It’s the fact that she unapologetically owned, and enjoyed, her sex appeal. Lo-fi style requires stealth fakery, there’s something more honest, more authentic, more fun about making an effort and choosing clothes that make it clear their purpose is to be noticed. After a nearly two years of trackpants, want could be better ‘Hello, world! I’m baaaack!’ than diving into unapologetically sexy dressing? It's not too soon to start prepping that Hot Girl Summer wardrobe.

Pam and Tommy begins on Disney Plus on 2nd February.

Gallery

Spot the Difference! The First Looks From Pam & Tommy

Lily James and Sebastian Stan as Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee
1 of 5
CREDIT: Disney Plus

Eat your heart out Kourtney and Travis.

Lily James in Pam and Tommy
2 of 5
CREDIT: Disney Plus

LJ as CJ. The iconic red swimsuit makes an appearance.

Lily James in Pam and Tommy
3 of 5
CREDIT: Disney Plus

It's not hard to imagine Dua, Bella et al wearing this look today.

Lily James in Pam and Tommy
4 of 5
CREDIT: Disney Plus

The brows. The nails. The hair. The vest top. Pamela Anderson is set to be your 2022 style muse.

Lily James and Sebastian Stan as Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee
5 of 5
CREDIT: Disney Plus

Doing couple's dressing before everyone else was.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us