The absolute best dressed celebs of the decade set the bar high. After all, besides Instagram influencers who’ve taken over the internet to tell us what we should be wearing, the general population often looks to their favorite celebrities for style inspiration. It makes sense that the majority of people would still look to celebs to guide us through the often overwhelming world of fashion, as they usually have the low-down on the season’s must-haves and they let us know when its time to bid farewell to a trend. Tiny sunglasses, we’re looking at you.
Fortunately, the 2010s featured an array of celebs who inspired us with their fearless approach to fashion, willingness to go against the grain, and dedication to making the fashion industry a more inclusive, welcoming place for all. The past decade has been jam-packed with iconic fashion moments that will continue to influence the next decade’s style. Here’s a look at this decade’s best dressed celebs.
Lady Gaga experienced a major style evolution as a best dressed celeb
Lady Gaga was catapulted to fame in the late aughts with her catchy hit song “Just Dance.” By 2010, Gaga was a household name. However, Gaga isn’t simply known for her dance hits — the songstress also made a name for herself with her unmistakably eccentric, jaw-dropping style.
While Gaga is no stranger to making major headlines for her controversial fashion choices — such as the infamous meat dress she wore to the 2010 VMAs and the red leather ensemble she wore to meet the Queen – the star’s look has evolved with her changing sound. With the release of her 2016 country-inspired album, Joanne, fans saw Gaga ditch shock-factor outfits and opt instead for a sparkly, Western aesthetic — complete with the pink cowboy hat of our dreams — making best dressed celeb lists everywhere.
After proving her acting chops in the Academy Award-nominated film A Star Is Born, Gaga changed up her look again, gliding through awards season in dresses inspired by the Hollywood glam of yesteryear (via The Hollywood Reporter).
Meghan Markle was a best dressed celeb with a royal wardrobe
While Meghan Markle spent most of the 2010s relatively sheltered from superstardom, the former actress was skyrocketed to international fame in 2017 when her whirlwind romance and eventual engagement to Prince Harry became headline news. Since then, Markle has quickly become perhaps the most buzzed-about royal in modern history — thanks in no small part to both her fairy tale romance and instantly iconic style.
Markle was “the most powerful dresser [of 2019],” according to the global fashion search platform Lyst (via Elle). Of course, this should come as no surprise, as “The Meghan Effect” has been alive and well since the white wrap coat Markle wore during her public engagement announcement with Prince Harry sold out within minutes (via Harper’s Bazaar). After the best dressed celeb was seen wearing a long, halter neck evening gown at her royal wedding to Prince Harry, internet searches for “halter neck dresses” went up by a whopping 40 percent (via Elle).
Much like the late Princess Diana, Markle’s influence within the fashion industry will undoubtedly be felt for years to come.
The past decade proved Jennifer Lopez is still a best dressed celeb
Jennifer Lopez’s star power only seems to grow brighter with age. Similarly, the star’s style has only become more show-stopping with each passing year. Rob Zangardi, Lopez’s stylist, revealed in a 2019 interview with WWD that the multitalented star takes pride in every one of her looks, down to the very last detail. “The genius of Jennifer Lopez is it’s always a full head-to-toe look,” Zangardi told the publication. The stylist continued, “If we change four times in a day, her nails change four times in a day. So it’s always about the details … It’s always a full look with hair, make-up change.”
As evidenced by her countless red carpet appearances, the time and energy Lopez puts into looking her best has paid off. In fact, the star was recognized for her impeccable style at the 2019 CFDA Fashion Awards, where she was presented with the coveted Fashion Icon award.
Diana von Furstenberg, chairwoman of the CFDA, said of the star, “Jennifer Lopez uses clothes as a way to express confidence and power.” Furstenberg continued praising one of the best dressed celebs of the decade, saying, “Both designers and fans look forward to her fashion statements.”
This decade saw Jennifer Lawrence stumble into lists of best dressed celebs
Jennifer Lawrence stumbled into superstardom in the 2010s — literally. After being catapulted to fame for portraying Katniss Everdeen, Lawrence went on to make a name for herself as a bona fide movie star — quickly becoming an awards show staple. And, while the celebrated actress made plenty of headlines for taking multiple tumbles on national television, Lawrence’s endearing clumsiness was overshadowed by her best dressed moments.
In a 2016 interview with Glamour, Lawrence revealed that she’d recently started to pay more attention to what she was wearing on the red carpet. The star told the publication, “I think I had to take control … It was like, if I don’t start getting an opinion, I’m just gonna be like a puppet that’s being dressed by everybody else.” Lawrence continued, detailing the struggles of not being the typical designer sample size. “I’m embodying the Dior woman, which is an honor … But [also] I’ve got t*ts and an a**.” Added the actress, “And there are things that are made for skinny people … and those make me look fat.”
Despite her comments, we have a feeling Lawrence would radiate confidence and elegance at any size.
Taylor Swift earned a reputation for being on lists of best dressed celebs
Taylor Swift burst onto the country music scene in the 2000s as a sundress-sporting, cowboy boots-wearing country gal with curls and a constant look of delighted disbelief. However, as Swift made the crossover from country to pop throughout the 2010s, the superstar’s style evolved.
From the enchanting, fairy tale-inspired dresses she wore during her Speak Now era, to the ’80s-inspired aesthetic of 1989, to Reputation‘s darker, snake-like vibes — Swift has made a conscious effort to change her look to fit her ever-evolving sound. Of course, the singer’s longtime stylist, Joseph Cassell, has undoubtedly had a major hand in helping Swift seamlessly adjust her wardrobe to complement each new era.
In 2019, Swift seemed to signal a sort of metamorphosis when she arrived to the iHeart Radio Music Awards wearing a multicolor, sequined romper, along with strappy heels featuring a butterfly motif (via PopSugar). As fans quickly realized, this bright, colorful look was only the beginning of Swift’s ultra-romantic, cotton candy-colored Lover era. We’re already looking forward to Swift’s new era and her future best dressed looks.
We fell crazy in love with Beyoncé's style as one of the best dressed celebs
Despite pouring 110 percent of her time and energy into making hit songs and crushing live performances, Beyoncé still manages to find time to completely wow us with her style at every turn. Apparently, one person can do it all — and that person is Beyoncé.
According to the “Single Ladies” singer’s longtime stylist, Ty Hunter, Beyoncé’s flawless style is largely due to the star’s open-mindedness. In an interview with Grazia Daily, Hunter revealed, “Beyoncé has taught me to be honest. If she asks for your opinion, you have to tell her the truth, and we do.” The stylist continued, telling the publication, “If something doesn’t look right, we’re like, ‘Girl, you gotta change that.'” Added Hunter, “That’s how she’s gone as far as she has, because she doesn’t have ‘yes’ people.”
From the golden, Nguyen Cong Tri designer gown she wore to the July 2019 European premiere of The Lion King, to the Francesco Scognamiglio ice queen gown she donned at the 2016 VMAs, to the bejeweled Givenchy Haute Couture gown the best dressed celeb sported at the 2016 Met Gala — we can’t help but be crazy in love with Beyoncé’s iconic style.
Best dressed star Ashley Graham made a positive impact as a best dressed celeb
Ashley Graham made major waves throughout the 2010s for her outspokenness, calling out brands who refused to make their fashion accessible for an array of shapes and sizes. The creator of multiple size-inclusive fashion lines, Graham told Glamour in 2016, “I’m really trying to make a change in the industry.” The supermodel continued, “I’m trying to have more quality clothing for curvy women. A lot of it [isn’t available] in my size.”
In an 2019 interview with Vogue, Graham’s stylist, Jordan Foster, explained how the best dressed celeb’s style has evolved from her first brush with stardom. “I think [she] was surprised to see that brands loved her and wanted to dress her,” Foster said. The stylist explained, “Her style has evolved from just trying to make it work with sizing and tricks to completely owning her looks.”
At the 2019 Oscars, Graham served as an official host for ABC’s coverage of the awards show, donning a custom Zac Posen gown (via Vogue). Later, Posen explained the inspiration behind his design, saying, “This gown was really a celebration of the woman herself. It has elegance, glamour, and empowered sexiness.”
Lupita Nyong'o dazzled her way through lists of best dressed celebs last decade
Lupita Nyong’o landed her breakout role in the 2013 drama 12 Years a Slave — a performance that ultimately scored Nyong’o the Oscar for best supporting actress. Since then, Nyong’o has fully stepped into the spotlight as a movie star, garnering critical acclaim for her performances, as well as endless adoration for her best dressed celeb red carpet style.
If you were asked to describe Nyong’o’s style, “elegance” would likely be one of the first words to come to mind. And, according to a 2019 Vanity Fair interview, elegance is the star’s goal — thanks, in part, to her mother. “The gesture of my style is definitely my mom,” Nyong’o told Vanity Fair. The actress explained, “I always thought she was very elegant, and she was always present with the way she put herself together without being precious.”
Perhaps the most memorable of Nyong’o’s looks is the Cinderella-esque Prada gown she wore to the 2014 Oscars. Speaking to Ryan Seacrest (via E! News), Nyong’o revealed the sweet inspiration behind her choice of dress, saying, “It’s a blue that reminds me of Nairobi [Kenya], so I wanted to have a little bit of home.”
This decade saw Zendaya bring the drama as a best dressed celeb
Zendaya has cemented herself as a true Hollywood starlet. And so, the Euphoria actress constantly dazzles fans with her bold red carpet looks — like the magical, performative Cinderella gown she wore to the 2019 Met Gala (via Harper’s Bazaar), making her one of the best dressed celebs at the event.
According to Zendaya’s longtime stylist, Law Roach, the star’s fearlessness to stand out from the crowd enables her to take risks on the red carpet. In a 2018 interview, Roach told The Guardian, “You want to play, and you want to take risks.” The celebrity stylist continued, “[Zendaya and I] went to the Grammys after David Bowie had just passed, and she wore a tuxedo and a mullet in homage. You’ve got to be a strong girl to do that on the red carpet.” Added Roach, “You have to have conviction to say, ‘I like this, and I think I look cool, and f*** you to everybody who doesn’t.'”
However, when she’s not on the carpet, Zendaya likes to keep it casual. “Honestly, I don’t wear a lot of expensive clothes,” Zendaya told PopSugar, adding, “I think the only expensive thing I really ever buy is shoes.”
Emilia Clarke's fashion game this decade takes the best dressed celeb crown
Game of Thrones might be over, but Emilia Clarke will forever be known as Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the red carpet. Okay, maybe we took some creative liberty with that last one — but, you have to admit, Clarke’s red carpet wear is often fit for a royal.
In 2013, The Telegraph dubbed Clarke a “rising style star,” talking with her then-stylist Kate Young. “Emilia’s got a really feminine, fun sense of style,” Young said. She continued, revealing, “I especially love things that have a little wit on her.”
Another stylist, Petra Flannery, revealed a few behind-the-scenes secrets to The Hollywood Reporter in 2019, dishing on the thought process behind some of the Last Christmas star’s best red carpet looks. Discussing the dramatic, icy blue Valentino gown the best dressed celeb wore to the premiere for Game of Thrones‘ final season, Flannery revealed, “I knew if anyone could pull it off it would be her.” The stylist continued, “It [was] a big moment, wrapping up so many episodes and years of hard work, and I wanted it to be a really special, glamorous moment.”
Billy Porter taught us how to strike a serious pose as a best dressed celeb this decade
Is there anyone more delightful than Billy Porter? Since starring in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, Porter has taken the world by storm — delivering a number of fierce, statement-making looks along the way. The Pose star, who has never been one to shy away from a dress, dramatic cape, or multicolored bejeweled ensemble, has quickly become a face for gender-fluid dressing — throwing outdated stereotypes completely out of the window.
While Porter’s red carpet style as a best dressed celeb has garnered heaps of praise, his eccentric ensembles have left some people scratching their heads. In a 2019 interview with GQ, Porter’s stylist, Sam Ratelle, discussed the backlash he received for dressing the star in bedazzled Gucci pumps at the 2019 Golden Globes. “I just wanted to remind people Louis XIV was wearing pumps,” Ratelle said, comparing Porter’s Golden Globe attire to the famous French king’s style. Ratelle continued, revealing that, above all else, Porter felt comfortable in the outfit. “Billy is just living his life because he’s like, ‘Nobody told me that it was so cool to wear a dress,” Ratelle told GQ.
It is so cool, Billy — especially when you do it.
Kacey Musgraves made the red carpet her runway as one of the decades' best dressed celebs
Since releasing her debut album in 2013, country star Kacey Musgraves has made plenty of headlines for her impeccable sense of style. And, as fans have watched her musical style evolve throughout the decade, they’ve also witnessed Musgraves’ personal style take a new form.
In a 2015 interview with InStyle, the best dressed celeb said she counted Loretta Lynn as one of her style icons — specifically the iconic singer’s “empire waist and classic babydoll-looking ’60s style.” While Musgraves’ love of baby doll inspired gowns is still alive and well – as evidenced by the gown she wore to the 2019 Oscars — other aspects of Musgraves style have certainly matured. “I’ve kind of turned my inspiration a little bit away from the kitschy western wear that I was wearing,” Musgraves revealed in a 2018 interview with Stereogum. The country star continued, “I guess [my style now] is more of a polished, minimalist take on that … Lots of sequins and lots of rhinestones still, I probably won’t ever get rid of that.”
Citing Cher as a style icon, Musgraves told Stereogum, “That disco vibe, it’s inspiring to me.”
Michelle Obama made the White House fashionable again as a best dressed celeb
During her time in the White House, former First Lady Michelle Obama inspired us with her humor, class, and dedication to ensuring healthier, happier lives for kids — and, of course, her incredible sense of style, too. The former first lady consistently wowed with her regal ball gowns, sleek, business casual dresses, and the way she singlehandedly made cardigans and J. Crew cool again.
In her memoir, Becoming (via Elle), the best dressed celeb recalled the curiousness of the public’s interest in her wardrobe, writing, “My pearls, my belts, my cardigans, my off-the-rack dresses from J. Crew, my apparently brave choice of white for an inaugural gown – all seemed to trigger a slew of opinions and instant feedback.”
However, Obama soon realized that having all eyes on her meant she had the opportunity to shine a light on others. “I wanted to draw attention to and celebrate American designers, especially those who were less established,” she wrote in Becoming. The former first lady continued, “For me, my choices were simply a way to use my curious relationship with the public gaze to boost a diverse set of up-and-comers.”
Rihanna totally dominated the fashion industry as one of the decade's best dressed celebs
Rihanna rarely disappoints on the red carpet. The songstress has consistently found herself among the best of the best dressed celebs, thanks in no small part to the fearlessness with which she approaches fashion. In fact, it was this fearless, bold, open-mindedness that attracted celebrity stylist, Mel Ottenberg, to Rihanna in 2011. “Of all the pop stars at the time, I could see this openness for new things and a chameleon quality [in Rihanna],” Ottenberg told Vanity Fair.
Rihanna hasn’t just worn some of our absolute favorite looks from the past decade — she’s actually created them, launching her fashion brand, Fenty, in 2019 (via BBC).
In a 2019 interview with The New York Times, Rihanna opened up about her journey as a fashion designer. The multitalented star and businesswoman told the publication, “I’ve been slowly evolving throughout the fashion world. First wearing it, buying it, being recognized for my style and then collaborating with brands.” Rihanna continued, explaining, “I never just wanted to put my name on something and sell my license. I’m very hands-on, so I wanted to take it slowly and gain respect as a designer.”
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