The Spice Girls Were 2016 Before 2016

They did it first, and best: the Spice Girls rocked all of this year's style trends 20 years early

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Spice Girls’ hit single “Wannabe,” the song we still “zigazig-ah” to in our bedrooms while getting ready to go out. Regardless of how much time has passed (and TBH, we don’t wannabe thinking about it), the Spice Girls are still beloved, and totally relevant. Whether it’s the #WhatIReallyReallyWant… feminist remake posted by Global Goals to empower and inspire a new generation of girls, or the reunion announcement featuring three of the five original Spice Girls (dubbed GEM), our fave source of ’90s nostalgia is all over our newsfeeds lately. It’s no secret that the Spice Girls are the ultimate girl group; but it turns out, they were waaay ahead of us all, rocking 2016 trends and truths 20 years early. And we did some serious frame-by-frame sleuthing to prove it to ya.

Natural Hair

Fashion is embracing natural hair, with clouds of curls finding their way onto runways worldwide. Sounds a lot like Scary Spice’s go-to look, lending a helpful hand to her occasional hairography.

Wannabe (1996)

Whip that hair back and forth, Scary (Wannabe, 1996)


We all love a good pair of flatforms; they’re chic, totally comfortable and our contemporary dancing shoe of choice. Baby Spice had that all figured out, two decades back.

Wannabe (1996)

Baby’s shoes def look comfier than Posh’s (Wannabe, 1996)


Whether you’re all over rocking a track jacket to the office, or you think athletic clothing belongs at the gym, you can’t deny that athleisure is having a #moment RN. You def have Sporty Spice to thank (or blame) for that.

Wannabe (1996)

Peep the Adidas logo (Wannabe, 1996)

Pop Star Unitards

Shimmery, sequin-covered one-pieces are basically synonymous with pop star costuming. When was the last time Queen Bey or Lady Gaga performed a show without rocking at least one flashy bodysuit? Reminds us a lot of Ginger Spice’s penchant for unitards…

Whoa. (Wannabe, 1996)

Whoa. (Wannabe, 1996)

Octogenarian Chic

Fashion labels have recently started incorporating older women in their ad campaigns, as if suddenly remembering that women don’t disappear after the age of 35. Céline made Joan Didion the face of their eyewear line last year, and we loved it. But the Spice girls were loving golden gals way before designers hopped on the bandwagon.

This one looks like she's the life of the party (Wannabe, 1996)

This one looks like she’s the life of the party (Wannabe, 1996)

Free The Nipple

As a gender equality campaign, #FreeTheNipple has become synonymous with female empowerment and the belief that women should make their own choices about what they reveal or conceal when it comes to their bodies. Meanwhile, with her bra-less look (and maybe a cool breeze), Scary found a way around that pesky Instagram ban.

Her nips are definitely free (Wannabe, 1996)

Her nips are definitely free (Wannabe, 1996)

Wine Mom

On Friday nights, our Instagram feeds are flooded with photos of girls nights captioned “#vino!” But even before settling down with a husband and four kids, Posh Spice knew the value of a glass of rosé.

Atta girl (Wannabe, 1996)

Atta girl (Wannabe, 1996)

Squad Goals

It doesn’t matter if you’re part of Taylor Swift’s Fourth of July photo op or Beyonce’s backstage Bey-hive; you’ve got nothing on the Spice Girls.

#OGSquadGoals (Wannabe, 1996)

#OGSquadGoals (Wannabe, 1996)

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