'This was a choice': Julia Stiles looks back on past red-carpet fashions

The "Hustlers" star has a lot of questions when it comes to her past style choices.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Emily Sher

Julia Stiles has been in the spotlight since the late '90s with starring roles in hit films like "Save the Last Dance" and "10 Things I Hate About You." But being a young star means showing up on the red carpet before you've really had a chance to figure out your personal style.

"If I had known that you were going to be showing me these pictures 20 years later, I probably would've been very scared, and I may have hired a stylist," Stiles told TODAY Style.

From cargo pants and thin eyebrows, to chokers of all kinds, here's what the "Hustlers" star had to say about her past fashions.

Julia Stiles cut her own top for the 2001 MTV Movie Awards.Frank Micelotta Archive / Getty Images

"This is so sadistic of you people," Stiles said with a laugh. "OK, so this was a choice that was a bolder choice than I would probably make nowadays in my maturity. I mean, I bought a Mets T-shirt, and I cut it up.

"I was a die-hard Mets fan for the longest time. Now I have to say that all the players get traded all over the place, that I'm not really beholden (to one team). I kind of just like watching baseball. It's like Valium for me."

Julia Stiles attends an event on Jan. 16, 2001, in New York City.Robin Platzer/Twin Images / Getty Images

"First of all, let's just forget about the look on my face," she said. "I think I wore that on ('The Tonight Show with) Conan O'Brien, and, I mean, that's a pretty painting. I didn't know how to pose on a carpet at that point. I think I just clearly panicked. Ah."

Stiles seemed to have an affinity for chokers in the '90s and early aughts.Time & Life Pictures / The LIFE Picture Collection via

"Wow. Well, I want to know who's photo-bombing me because I don't know who that person is. But that was really sweet. I don't think I'm wearing any makeup. I don't know how I got away with that," she said. "That was my natural hair, (I) hadn't cut or dyed it yet; wish I could have it back. I think I wore that choker a lot in the '90s.

"I would tell her to smile, although it's really annoying when people tell you to smile, but, like, enjoy it."

Stiles picked a pretty pink dress to wear to the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.Nick Elgar / Getty Images

"I was really into chokers in that era. I don't know where I got that dress. I don't know what's going on there. I'm very mysterious with my facial expressions there. I think I was growing up a little bit more and a little more reserved at that point. I was probably just really, really excited to go to the VMAs, and I was in college at the time. That's all I really remember," she said."

"I went to Columbia University in New York City," she continued. "So I probably had a limousine waiting for me outside my dorm room to take me to the VMAs, which is just sort of an awkward thing with all your other students there. It was strange."

But Stiles has no regrets about attending college. "It was really great to go to college when I did because even though it wasn't probably the best career move, I was working more and becoming more recognizable, and going back to school kind of kept my head on straight and gave me a good perspective on the craziness of kind of becoming famous."

Stiles attends the MTV Movie Awards on June 3, 2000, in Culver City, California.Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty

"I'm clearly not happy about my hair color at the time because I was doing a movie, 'The Business of Strangers,' which was a really great movie, and I was happy to be a part of it, but I ended up dyeing my hair darker in weird streaks. It was very noncommittal. I couldn't quite commit to totally being a brunette. Anyway, lots of glitter. Very '90s. That was very trendy then. Then."

Julia Stiles sits with Sean Patrick Thomas in a scene from the 2001 film "Save The Last Dance."Archive Photos / Getty Images

"Cargo pants. Why?" Stiles offered as her first reaction.

"I don't need to watch it again," she said about her starring role in the movie "Save the Last Dance." "Times when that or '10 Things I Hate About You' has come on TV, I'm curious for a second, and then I immediately switch it off."

Julia Stiles poses with Freddie Prinze Jr.Time & Life Pictures / The LIFE Picture Collection via

"Oh, I'm so glad that my eyebrows grew back, because everybody was plucking their eyebrows intensely at this time," she said. "And I'm really glad they grew back. Freddie Prinze Jr., lovely. ... Yeah, there's that choker again! I'm really sorry about that."

After looking through her photos, Stiles had a final thought: "Nobody should be quoted in print or photographed on the red carpet before they turn 30, I think. Or, I shouldn't have."