Once upon a time – a long time ago – we had never heard of contouring, brow shaping, body shapers, and all the other magical techniques, elixirs, potions, and practices that serve our present-day fashion and beauty routines. And we’re willing to bet there isn’t a woman among us who doesn’t look back at old pictures of herself and cringe at the misguided sartorial mistakes that she made – the noughties weren’t kind to anyone, not even celebrities. For some reason, and we can’t explain it now, we used to think extremely low-cut jeans, babydoll dresses, and giant belts were the height of style. Yet, looking back, not even women like Blake Lively and Kim Kardashian looked good in them.
What were we collectively thinking? Will we someday look back on all of 2018’s trends and shake our heads at our terrible judgment? That remains to be seen. However bad it all started, no one stayed stuck in a style rut for long. In fact, many celebrities seem to have blossomed into full-fledged style icons almost overnight. As a reminder of how far they’ve come, we’re taking a look back at the style evolution of seven celebrities who have managed to change their looks more drastically than anyone else.
Posh Spice has a lot to cringe about, but Victoria Beckham is a bona fide fashion icon. How is it that someone could live a life with such a distinct split running through the middle? For one, the identity of the Spice Girls was a manufactured conceit, and Beckham was just playing along. When she went solo – able to cultivate her own identity – she made polished, poised elegance her calling card and built a fashion empire around it.
Tina Knowles – Beyoncé’s mother – was the costume designer for many of the looks worn by Destiny’s Child, so the early days of the popstar’s career contained a lot of excess, bling, cowboy hats, denim, and other fashion fare typical of the times. However, as Beyoncé’s star rose, her sartorial choices rapidly became more sophisticated. By the time she was invited to the Met Gala, designers were fighting over who would dress her. Now, she is one of the world’s biggest style icons and has even collaborated on her own collection with Balmain.
She started out as a closet-organizer to the stars, which put her in the company of socialites like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, but soon, Kim Kardashian was just as famous – or infamous. She had a rough start when it came to personal style, but that was just the era of fashion that we all had to suffer through. Once she and Kanye West started dating, he started styling her look more, steering her toward clean silhouettes, clinging fabrics, athletic fits, and neutral tones.
Although Jessica Alba is naturally gorgeous, she has always possessed a bit of a tomboy streak. This is particularly evident during her early years in Hollywood, when she would hit the red carpet in baseball tees without a care in the world. Nowadays, Alba helms a billion-dollar company and has upgraded her look to include boardroom-worthy outfits and gorgeous frocks.
Rihanna also succumbed to the terrible trends of the early aughts, but she quickly found firm footing, developing her personal style along experimental lines. She has never been shy about trying designs that are different and daring, even playing an instrumental role in elevating new, emerging designers in recent years.
Blake Lively first arrived on the scene as a sun-kissed California girl, sporting twee dresses and a penchant for preppy style. However, after she was tapped to play socialite Serena van der Woodsen on Gossip Girl, she polished up her personal style for the red carpet significantly. Now, she is known for her jaw-dropping Met Gala gowns and, in 2018, practically launched the suits-on-the-red-carpet trend singlehandedly.
When you flick through the photo gallery below, you can literally see Selena Gomez grow up before your eyes. In her early days, she dressed exactly as you would expect a Nickelodeon starlette to dress, but as her fame grew, so did her confidence. She quickly shed her youthful ensembles, trading them for feminine dresses and beautiful ballgowns.