It takes a strong person to revisit old, cringe-y photos of themselves. It takes an even stronger person to revisit old, cringe-y photos of themselves in front of a slew of BuzzFeed editors, a camera, and now: you. Last week, after his daily hosting duties on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live were over, Nick Lachey popped on over to the BuzzFeed offices to do exactly this: look at old, cringe-y photos of himself from his 98 Degrees heyday. He even obliged us with shared the names he’s made up for his former hair styles (see: “The Yellow Thorn” and the “Butt Cut”). Thanks to Nick for being extremely cool about this.
Nick Lachey: All right, my first reaction: The jeans are a little baggy. This was early on in 98 Degrees and it was here in New York. In those days any press was good press, so… you pretty much did any and everything you possibly could to get noticed. I don’t know why it’s just Jeff and I though because we usually did everything as a foursome.
I see I’m rocking a little bit of a “butt cut” there, the middle part. Interesting.
NL: OK, all right. This is our first, like, big solo tour. Probably 1999. Had the camo (laughs) with the kind of bulletproof vest look going on there. Because we were all also part-time SWAT officers. Times were tough. That’s cool, though. Thats a cool shot. One of our dancers is here — she was not one of us.
NL: Oh yes. The now-infamous shirtless suit pic. This was the premiere of the movie Mulan, which were we on the soundtrack of with Stevie Wonder. So very proud of that record. It was our first big premiere, Hollywood Bowl. We had these suits custom made and mine came and didn’t have a shirt with it. And foolishly I rocked it without the shirt.
BuzzFeed: I don’t think it’s that foolish.
NL: Well… It looks a little foolish.
NL: Oh! And even more foolish! This was the Nickelodeon awards, I believe. Bright red overalls. Just in case we needed to be a part of someone’s pit crew after the show. This also sports the “yellow thorn” look with the hair, which was a curious phase where I had just the front of my hair dyed blonde.
BF: Did you enjoy wearing matching clothes with your bandmates?
NL: I mean at times we didn’t mind it. You know, when we had the camo, concert–type stuff it made more sense, but in our everyday life we didn’t like to walk around in the same stuff. But when you’re on stage that stuff kind of makes sense.
NL: Next up: Is that a young Britney Spears?
BF: It is.
NL: Is it really? Wooooow. So our lawyer Larry Rudolph then became Britney’s manager so we knew Britney from very early on. We did some shows with her early on. And this is clearly very early on, I think before she even came out. This might have been at a Jingle Ball. Yeah, I think this is backstage at a Jingle Ball. She came and was introduced to us and that was right before [her] explosion.
NL: I’m not sure what’s going on there. A few things. Justin’s hat’s a little curious in this picture. I don’t know where that is, but I’m surprisingly actually well put together in this picture! I’m usually the one embarrassed by this stuff.
NL: Oh yeah. This is another butt cut shot. You can tell these are early on when I have the middle part. I’m guessing this is probably ‘97 or so. Clearly 16 Magazine trying to — this is back when magazines like Teen Beat, 16 and all these things — and boy bands would do press to try to get exposure. Now it’s all online.
NL: Again, the yellow thorn!
BF: Now did someone say, “Take off the jacket a bit” or…?
NL: Let me put everyone at ease. Let me put your speculation to rest. I don’t walk around with my jacket off of my shoulder. And it’s typically a part of my posing — I’m sure this was a request from the photographer. I remember always hating to do teen photo shoots because they always wanted to do the most goofy stuff. And now, years later I realize why I hated doing them: because you’re haunted by these things.
BF: Wife beaters were kind of your signature back in the day — was that your choice or a stylist’s?
NL: We liked the wifebeater. We felt like we were all in good shape and it was an opportunity to kinda show the guns.
NL: (Laughs) This is the patented One Overall Strap Off the Shoulder. Apparently I have a thing with one piece of a garment being off the shoulder. Um, yes. We did wear overalls. Thankfully this time we actually have a shirt on: We were known from time to time to wear the overalls without the shirt, which made the “strap off” [look] even more exciting.
BF: When is the last time you wore overalls?
NL: That may be the last time I wore overalls. Yes.
NL: Ah, I have no where that was or what that’s about except for that it looks like we probably dressed ourselves for this event. Yeah, not a great look.
NL: We’re wearing NFL jerseys! We did a few things with the NFL back in the day. There was a big song we all sang together — I can’t remember what it was for. There was Jerry Rice, all these great players, us, Isaac Hayes… I think this maybe was part of that whole thing. We were all big football fans so that was a cool thing to be a part of.
NL: This is more of the sloppy butt cut. It’s not a well-defined butt cut. It’s more of a tousled butt cut. But, uh, yeah! Young, innocent, before we were scarred by the business. Fresh-faced.
NL: Oh my gosh. This was a shoot we did at Disney World. We also did a lot of stuff for Disney back in our early days. I think this was a part of a safari Disney look. I wish I had a better explanation for this one but there really is no excuse. Looks like Justin is being eaten by a fossilized dinosaur and we’re trying to rip him from the jaws of this fierce beast.
NL: (Laughs) Yup, just more bad style, what can you say? It seems to be the common thread through this whole thing.
NL: Ah. This. I think this was probably from tour. We used to have a thing where we came out in these pods with gas masks on and big coats. We’d come out on stage and do this whole end-of-the-world Armageddon thing. Very apocalyptic. I think this was without the mask but probably pre-show from that tour.
NL: Yeah, this one from Super Teen is at a video arcade. Dave & Buster’s or one of these kinds of things. We were there playing video games, I want to say this was in Canada. I don’t know what we’re doing or what we’re looking at but apparently someone said “Look up.”
NL: Yes, here are the overalls yet again. These look like a pair of wool overalls. Not shirtless, but a wife beater so almost equally embarrassing. And I’m sitting in a leopard print recliner! Who knows.
I’ve never been shy about saying that there are some horrible pictures of us out there and you have just proven it with these outfits.
We definitely did. You can catch Nick as host of VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live every weekday at 10 a.m. on VH1.