As part of TODAY's "Wear What You Want" week, we're celebrating "This is Us" star Mandy Moore and her always fun, upbeat outlook on fashion. The 2017 TODAY Style Hero is never afraid to take a fashion risk ... or laugh at it years later.
With decades of red carpet experience under her belt, Mandy Moore long ago traded in crop tops, fringe and bubblegum-pink hues for sleek, sophisticated gowns.
But back in the late '90s, when Moore rose to teen-pop prominence with her infectious breakout hit, "Candy," she enthusiastically embraced some the era's biggest trends.
In an interview with TODAY, the 33-year-old "This Is Us" star reminisced about some of her most memorable looks from the early years of her career.
"This was my very first red carpet, and I remember I didn't get to go to homecoming or prom, so I treated the Billboard Awards in 1999 as my homecoming or prom," Moore said. "And this was back when ballgown skirts and remember the twin-set cashmere sweater was popular for a hot minute? I remember seeing Gwyneth Paltrow in something similar. And that's the inspiration behind this look, although she wasn't wearing what looks like a tablecloth and a Swarovski crystal-bejeweled turtleneck. And my crazy blond hair, and I remember I had pink Prada sandals on underneath and I was so excited because they were the fanciest shoes I'd ever had in my life. This was a real low point for me, I'm going to be honest. This was not a highlight of my style career.”
"Getting a little sexier, showing a little bit of midriff, I mean it was the early 2000s," Moore said of this playful ensemble. "I don't remember, this was for some event for MTV, I believe. But that screams 2001 to me. Pink, I really loved pink, obviously. And lip gloss."
"OK, this was what looks like the Kids' Choice Awards in 2000. I remember these fringed leather pants were custom-made," she revealed. "And they were modeled off of some Ralph Lauren pants, I think, something that was seen on the runway and I was like, 'I think we can do a better version. It can be metallic purple.' But I was 16 or 17, so you can't really blame me for that, I guess."
"You're going old school," Moore said. "This was New Year's Eve, I believe, in 1999. It was that or 2000, but I think it was '99. I was helping the New Year's festivities for MTV. I would totally rock that now, actually. Good job, Mandy. I feel like I was sort of ahead of the curve there, stylistically. Or it all comes back around again, who knows?"
"This is a whopper," Moore joked. "This is a feathered top, you guys. And a jean skirt. Remember when it was en vogue to cut off the waistband of your jeans and denim skirts? This sort of asymmetrical line — that's something. And I believe you can't even really see, but there is a feathered detail on my platform sandals that's sort of tied in with the feathered halter top that I'm wearing. This was not a highlight for me either. Thank you so much for making me feel fantastic about my style choices as a teenager, guys."