A Brief History of the Wardrobe Malfunction

Is there any better way to celebrate Janet and Justin's 10 year anniversary?

Janet Jackson on stage with Justin Timberlake.
(Image credit: Marie Claire)

1812: Death by wardrobe malfunction? After winning the Battle of the Maloyaroslavets, 490,000 of Napoleon's soldiers die in Russia. Scientists speculate the tin buttons on their uniforms (opens in new tab) couldn't withstand the -30°C temperature and turned to dust, leaving the men exposed to the elements.

Painting of Napoléon Bonaparte on horseback.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

1837: In Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes," a vain ruler becomes a fashion victim (opens in new tab) when two weavers trick him into wearing a suit so amazing that it's "invisible" to those in a lower class. This results in the emperor parading around completely naked in front of his subjects.

A show poster for The Emperor's New Clothes.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

1955: Marilyn Monroe's dress blows up (opens in new tab) as she stands over a New York City subway grate in The Seven Year Itch. Though the scene was intended to leave little to the imagination, Monroe reportedly tried layering pairs of silk underwear between takes, once she realized just how exposed she was on film. Her then-husband, Joe DiMaggio, was said to be outraged with the results—the couple divorced before the movie was released.

Marilyn Monroe holds down her dress as it is blown by wind.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

1977: Tube topped Yolanda Bowersley inadvertently flashes the crowd when she's invited to "Come on down!" to the stage of The Price Is Right. Host Bob Barker quips, "She came on down, and they came on out!" Watch the moment in the video below.

1980: Diana Spencer, future Princess of Wales, is royally embarrassed when she's photographed wearing a backlit skirt (opens in new tab). She becomes a fashion icon when she marries Prince Charles a year later.

Princess Diana in a backlit skirt.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

1988: After a near nip slip, German figure skater Katarina Witt wins the gold at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary (opens in new tab), but her revealing costume doesn't score with the judges. Rules are soon changed, requiring female skaters to wear more modest ensembles until the dress code relaxed again in 2004.

Katarina Witt presents her gold medal.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

2004: "Wardrobe malfunction" enters the lexicon (opens in new tab) when Justin Timberlake "accidentally" exposes Janet Jackson's right breast during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII — as he sings the lyrics "I'm gonna have you naked by the end of this song." Jackson explains a costume reveal went awry.

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performing on stage.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

2010: Venus Williams brings le scandal to the French Open (opens in new tab) in flesh-colored shorts that were so close to her skin tone that viewers wondered if she was wearing anything at all.

Venus Williams swinging a tennis racket.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

2011: It's like boob baboob boob boob baboob boob face when Nicki Minaj performs (opens in new tab) on ABC's Good Morning America.

Nicki Minaj performing on stage.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

2012: Two-time Olympic gold medalist Ricky Berens splits his suit right before his turn (opens in new tab) at the World Swimming Championship in Rome. He competes em-bare-assed, securing his 400-meter freestyle relay team a spot in the finals.

Ricky Berens diving into a swimming pool.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

2012: Sofia Vergara's too bootylicious for her dress at the 2012 Emmy Awards (opens in new tab). Her handlers patch up the split 20 minutes before Modern Family wins for Outstanding Comedy.

Sohpia Vergara in a green sequined dress.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

2013: Lady Gaga keeps on dancing when she splits her latex pants (opens in new tab) while performing in Vancouver. Maybe it's safer to stick to meat dresses.

Lady Gaga With a split the seat of her pants.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

2014: Pretty hurts, but it also prepares. Grammy viewers get a peek (opens in new tab) of Beyoncé's pasties during her sexy "Drunk In Love" duet with husband Jay-Z.

Beyoncé performing on stage.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)