Every weekday morning, Kelly Ripa greets viewers on her show, "Live! With Kelly & Michael," looking impossibly polished and pulled-together. (An effort that she concedes only takes an hour.) Though it's been a long road to get there: Not unlike a lot of stars (and us civilians), Ripa fell victim to many unfortunate trends in the '90s. As a long-term cast member on the long-running soap, "All My Children," the New Jersey native attended many a Soap Opera Digest Awards shows wearing gigantic hair and sequins.

Her questionable style choices would continue into the aughts when she wore a glittery, backless jumpsuit with crimped hair to the Emmys. Then there was that time she paired pointy, Victorian-style boots with pink cargo pants at a fashion show. In 2001, Ripa became co-hosts with Regis Philbin, succeeding Kathie Lee Gifford in her original post. (Regis' own replacement came this past September, when it was announced that former New York Giants football player Michael Strahan would join the show.) Though her sleekified fashion transformation has been a bumpy one, she now opts for more streamlined outfits like snug black dresses and ladylike silk tops.

As Ripa turns 42 on October 2nd, we're taking a look back at those awkward, yet awesome early years.

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  • 1991, "All My Children"

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