It’s like it’s 1996 all over again. Gwen Stefani broke out the dress she wore from No Doubt’s ‘Don’t Speak’ video and guess what? It still fits!
“Here I am! ‘Don’t Speak.’ Look at that,” said Gwen Stefani in the TikTok she uploaded on Thursday (Apr. 15). In the short clip, Gwen, 51, was wearing the blue-and-white polka-dot dress she famously wore in No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” music video — as if she hadn’t aged a day over the past twenty-five years. Yet, Gwen did show off she was a little different than her 1996 counterpart. As she lowered the camera, her white, fringed, high-heel cowboy boots came into view. “A little bit of Blake [Shelton, her fiancé],” she said.
This marks the third time in recent months that Gwen has taken a fashion-fueled trip down memory lane. At the start of 2021, Gwen shared the video for “Let Me Reintroduce Myself,” the first single from her upcoming (and currently untitled) fifth studio album. The visual had Gwen wear looks from all her eras – her white sporty look from “Just A Girl,” her fashion from the Love Angel Music Baby era, the Alice In Wonderland-themed outfit from “What You Waiting For,” her Japanese-inspired Harajuku Girls outfits, and yes, the “Don’t Speak” polka-dot dress.
Later in 2021, Gwen teamed up with Saweetie to take it back to the Y2k era in their sporty video for “Slow Clap.”
“Don’t Speak” was released as the third single from No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom in April 1996. While the song has become to be an iconic breakup anthem for ‘90s kids, it didn’t start out that way. The original version had more complicated lyrics, according to Variety’s look back at the song, and the record label asked the band to simplify them. “My brother [Eric Stefani, No Doubt co-founder], he’s very eccentric and not good at criticism in that sense, he was just so frustrated,” Gwen told Variety. “So we sat down and tried to re-write it and he made a joke by singing, ‘You and me,’ like literally taking his melody and turning it into three notes.”
“Meanwhile, I had been dumped by [Tony Kanal, bassist for No Doubt] and heartbroken, and I changed the lyrics [at the end of the chorus] to ‘Don’t tell me ‘cuz it hurts,’” added Gwen. “The way that I wrote it, you could really just relate to the denial in the song. I’m basically saying, ‘Don’t tell me that because I already know it, but if you say it, it’s going to crush me.’”
“When I was writing back then, I was so naive, I didn’t know anyone would hear it ever,” she told Variety. “So I think when there’s something that honest and real and pure …then people connect to that. … It was so different from everything else on our record, so the fact that it was the defining world hit that it was — and continues to be — is insane.”