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Dublin: 18 °C Monday 1 June, 2020

22 slightly mortifying old Westlife photos that prove they were the ultimate style icons

Regrets, I’ve had a few.

IT ALL STARTED earlier this week when Brian McFadden delved into the archives to send us back to Westlife’s high fashion meeting with the Queen in 1999.

But that only upped the curiosity levels for old Westlife outfits. And they pulled off so many ~interesting~ looks back in the day:

1. One of their first appearances in early 1999 saw them start with understated black – with a few leather jackets thrown in

Childline Concert/Westlife Source: PA Archive/PA Images

2. But soon trench coats (with tracksuit bottoms?) were the order of the day

Mardi Gras/Westlife Source: PA Archive/PA Images

3. And white tank tops


4. Often, a rogue polo neck jumper will pop up out of nowhere. Exhibit A:

Westlife/Group pose Source: PA Archive/PA Images

5. And Exhibit B:

Royal Variety/Westlife Source: PA Archive/PA Images

6. They rocked quite a look for the launch party of ‘Coast to Coast’ in 2000

Westlife Party Source: PA Archive/PA Images

7. Multi-coloured jackets on stage at The Brits in 2001

Brits Westlife Source: PA Archive/PA Images

8. And on the same night, an outfit change. Patches as far as the eye could see

Brits Westlife Source: PA Archive/PA Images

9. Marvel at all the lads in racing jackets (for some reason)

Disney Awds Westlife & Danny Behr Source: PA Archive/PA Images

10. And the flared slack look had arrived by the time they were launching ‘World Of Our Own’ in 2001

Westlife Album Launch Source: PA Archive/PA Images

11. Jackets with lots of chest on show was a boyband prerequisite way back when

Brit Awards Westlife Source: PA Archive/PA Images

12. Who could forget the Big Sunglasses Era

Mardi Gras concert - Westlife Source: PA Archive/PA Images

13. It was a simpler time, a better time

Mardi Gras 2002 - Kian Egan / Westlife Source: PA Archive/PA Images

14. Here are Shane and Nicky looking like Bertie Ahern at a G8 summit

Westlife Party in the Park Source: PA Archive/PA Images

15. The only redeeming factor in this getup was that it was for a Fashion Show in 2003


16. Here’s Westlife during their Grease phase

westlife Source: Suzan Moore/EMPICS Entertainment

17. And as the fivepiece came to an end, things were decidedly muted on the clothes front

Music - MTV TRL UK Source: PA Archive/PA Images

18. But in their first gig as a fourpiece, they went all out

Westlife concert at Wembley Arena Source: PA Archive/PA Images

19. The RatPack era was here

music awards3 Source: EMPICS Entertainment

20. Here they are looking like they are about to pitch an idea to Dragons’ Den

2005 Meteor Ireland Music Awards - The Point Depot Source: PA Archive/PA Images

21. By late 2005, bootcut jeans were standard issue

westlife live 020- Source: EMPICS Entertainment

22. The lads, holding the world record for Most Style Changes for the period 1999-2006

Brit Awards 2006 Source: PA Archive/PA Images

What a ride.

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About the author:

David Elkin

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