Remember the photo of you at the age of 13 where you smiled awkwardly at the camera sporting the latest fashion trend of white washed overalls, lime green ankle socks and high top tennis shoes? Of course you remember, we all do despite wanting to forever forget those embarrassing moments of our former selves! Every generation has seen fashion trends come and go, wearing them well and tragically refusing to let go of them. From pictures of big hair and clown-like makeup, everyone has embarrassing photos they wish to forever erase from existence.
You and I are far from alone in this embarrassment. Celebrities are the biggest culprit of embarrassing moments because, for the most part, their fashion transformations occur center stage for the world to see. Through the years, some celebrities have held onto their trademark look while others have drastically changed everything about themselves from head to toe. These changes, though, are not always for the better. From bad to worse or from drab to fab, these are the celebrities we will focus on todayWhich celebrities from music, film and television have undergone some of the biggest fashion transformations in their careers? We found 12 celebrities who have gone from drab to fab in a matter of years. You’ll see awful jewelry, sweaters from grandma, and cornrows as we make our way through this list. Who made the list for our 12 favorite fashion 180s? Let’s start with a singer who dressed like a tomboy, which started rumors about her gender. Just a fair warning, the bad is bad but the good makes it better. Enjoy these fashion faux pas and miracle fashion turnarounds!
Originally from the Lone Star state of Texas, Ciara ended up becoming a globetrotter before finally settling in Atlanta, Georgia. It was in Atlanta where Ciara became a member of the group Hearsay, but they soon split, leading Ciara to launch a solo career with LaFace Records. Ciara became a big hit with her first album that included the singles “Oh” and “1, 2 Step.” At the time, she was definitely wearing the wardrobe of a tomboy, a far cry from her looks today.
Baggy jeans and bikini tops were a bit trendy back then, and Ciara was one of the poster women for the style (even if it was far from a good thing). Fortunately, Ciara has since changed her look completely since her tomboy days and dresses for the great body that she has worked so hard to maintain. You can find Ciara wearing high-end dresses and jumpers that work perfectly for her, all of which are a far stretch from her “Goodies” days.
Nicole Richie is the daughter of a former musician, but was raised by Lionel Richie when her birth parents could not afford to raise her. It was a strange childhood for Nicole as Lionel and his wife divorced while she was very young. Nicole even had Michael Jackson as a godfather, although who didn’t at the time? Nicole was a public figure thanks to her father, with fame that helped launch her television career starring in “The Simple Life” alongside her friend, Paris Hilton.
Richie received widespread criticism for the way she looked at the time. Some of her more interesting looks were her braids with the bad extensions and oversized colorful dresses. It seemed like Richie could not pick an outfit to save her life. However, soon after she disappeared for a little while, during which time she lost weight and gained a fashion sense. Now, Richie is a role model for style, which is something we never thought we would say.
Ryan Gosling is originally from Canada, but moved to the United States to be part of “The Mickey Mouse Club.” As a child actor, Gosling had bit roles in the shows “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” and “Goosebumps.” Things would consistently get better for Gosling as he went on to become a huge star in Hollywood (and still is, obviously) with hits such as “The Notebook” and an Academy Award nomination for “Lars and the Real Girl.” Gosling is also usually featured in lists of the most attractive celebrities in Hollywood.
While Ryan Gosling is the symbol for what style should be right now, there was a time that he looked like some frumpy skateboard wannabe hanging outside of your local library. Gosling tried to make a trend out of t-shirts, suit pants and tennis shoes, but that ended up falling tremendously flat. Now, Gosling dresses to the nines in three piece suits that he pulls off perfectly.
Alicia Keys hails from Manhattan in New York City and was actually an actor before she became a musician. Keys’ first appearance was in “The Cosby Show” as an extra. After her appearance, she was then sent to school solely to learn music. By the time she was 16, Keys had already graduated from her performing arts school as the valedictorian, which should really come as no surprise. That success launched her career path, beginning with the hit album “Songs in A Minor” in 2001.
If you remember the early days of Alicia Keys’ career, you will remember seeing her often in the weird hair net looking thing. Other trademarks that Keys tried to make popular were the crop top, fedoras and cornrows, all of which she wore together from time to time. It was a mish mash of odd fashion choices, but her wardrobe now consists of flattering dresses and a hairstyle that is elegantly normal.
Also from New York City (this time the Bronx borough), Kerry Washington was part of a youth theater group in the early 1990’s before attending college for sociology. Washington switched up her career path (thankfully) and started her career appearing in commercials to get her acting card. From there, Washington began landing small roles before finally getting her big break with Chris Rock in the movie “Bad Company.” These days, Washington is a household name thanks to her lead role in the ABC hit show “Scandal.”
Many had no idea that Washington was going to be as big of a star as she is now. Of course, she certainly did not dress the part in her early days. Washington seemingly had no fashion sense, and even wore the dreaded chain belt (remember those?) to red carpet premieres. Perhaps the worst look that Washington ever tried to pull off was a turtleneck sweater with fur on the sleeves. Now, Washington is perfectly tailored, which fits her persona and career success far better than ever before.
Jennifer Lopez is one of the current judges on the long running talent show “American Idol.” Lopez has had a successful career in music and film for more than half of her life, getting her start as a dancer on a variety show (which also involved Jim Carrey) before moving into acting. Lopez’s first big role was in “Selena” and has since gone on to sell millions of albums and star in blockbuster films, while dabbling in pretty much everything else under the sun. Lopez is even the first Latina in Hollywood to become a millionaire in just one year.
These days, Lopez is known for her glamorous gowns and designer looks that none of us would ever be able to afford. However, when Lopez got her first big break in Hollywood, it seemed like she went to the thrift store to find her clothes. Her early look was minimalistic as there were no low cuts, eye catching patterns or even combed hair. The first symbol of change came when Lopez wore the famous green dress that left very little to the imagination.
There are a ton of job titles that Nick Cannon has to his name, including ‘husband of Mariah Carey.‘Cannon hails from San Diego and landed his first appearance on television with the Nickelodeon show “All That.” Cannon then formed a rap group that opened for bigger acts before he returned to acting full time. The first lead role for Cannon came in the 2002 film, “Drumline” and, today, Cannon now hosts NBC’s hit reality show, “America’s Got Talent.”
It seems like every decade, we can go back and laugh at what we dressed like the previous decade. Nick Cannon is no exception, as he was one of the many people who fell for the infamous bucket hats of the early 2000’s and simply wore way too much leather. As a TV host, Cannon has to be on point at all times, and he now wears a suit better than just about anyone, a style that he has adopted with ease and class.
Beyonce was raised in Houston, Texas and started taking dance lessons at a very young age. She was soon discovered as a singing talent by a teacher, leading her to beat out 16 year olds to get top billing at shows. Beyonce then met Kelly Rowland, the two of whom would later team up to be two thirds of the group Destiny’s Child. Destiny’s Child went on to be an instant success, laying a strong foundation for Beyonce who would later launch one of the biggest solo careers in the history of pop music.
There was a time when we thought that the members of Destiny’s Child were in high fashion. Everything that they wore was bright and glimmered, and we all loved it. Now, we chortle at the thought that they were ever considered fashion icons, especially when you see what Beyonce wears these days. When you and your husband have a combined net worth of $1 billion, you can dress in some of the most luxurious gowns like Beyonce has at her fingertips.
Gwen Stefani famously came from Anaheim, California where she took an interest in musicals. Stefani made a demo tape for herself but was discouraged after people said her voice was too unpredictable, but that didn’t stop her. Stefani and her brother, Eric, found two more members to form the band, No Doubt in Fullerton, California during the late 1980’s. The group had their big breakout in the mid 1990’s. Now, Stefani has a successful solo career and is a member of NBC’s, “The Voice.”
Since No Doubt was very much a punk band back in their day, Stefani dressed like you would expect a punk singer to dress. One of her more common fashion choices was pants with a bikini top, a terrible hair dying job and weird facial jewelry that made her look like a bedazzled iPhone. As Stefani has matured, so has her wardrobe, and she is even a fashion designer in her own right. Stefani is perhaps the biggest transformation on the list.
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Jennifer Hudson was raised as a devout Baptist that performed with her church choir. Hudson performed for quite some time, but didn’t get discovered in the same way as many of the singers on our list. Instead, Hudson tried out for “American Idol” where she wowed the judges, which allowed her to end her career as a singer on a cruise ship, launching her into stardom as a successful recording artist. Hudson has also starred in films, with her biggest role coming from “Dreamgirls.”
Hudson certainly dressed the part of a gospel singer from Chicago, but decided to make a change when Simon Cowell criticized her look on “American Idol.” Hudson appeared on the show in ill-fitting clothes and never showed off what a good stylist could do to her hair. After dropping more than 75 pounds, Hudson apparently got a great fashion designer and a newly discovered sense of style. Hudson is now often seen in mini dresses, as she is proud to show off her new figure, having worked with some of the top designers in the world for her new wardrobe.
Carrie Underwood had a very similar career path as Jennifer Hudson, except she got her start in Oklahoma instead of Illinois. Underwood worked on a farm as a child and was given an audition for Capitol Records at a young age. When management changed, she did not get the contract, which caused Underwood to have to wait almost 10 years before she was given another chance on “American Idol.” Underwood ended up winning the competition and has been one of the biggest stars in country music ever since.
Carrie has always been considered country as her roots trace back to a farm in Oklahoma and, well, she certainly dressed the part. Carrie fell into the popular trend of the mid 2000’s country scene by wearing dresses that looked way too big with massive leather belts that made her look like she just ended a cows life and was on her way to performing at a dive bar in front of truckers. Carrie rocks her gorgeous figure now in heels and short dresses, which is a much better look for her, no matter where she’s from or what genre she sings.
Earlier in the list, we pointed out that Christina Aguilera was on “Star Search” and “The Mickey Mouse Club”. Justin Timberlake’s career history is exactly the same, but he did not launch as a solo artist as early as Christina. Timberlake joined the boy band NSYNC, which was one of the hottest acts in music during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Timberlake went solo and is now one of the highest grossing music acts, as well as a successful actor with roles in movies such as “In Time” and “The Social Network.”
There is no doubt that Justin Timberlake is now a style icon. Heck, Timberlake even has a song called “Suit and Tie” to show off how well he dresses. There were two phases before that, though, with the first being the weird ramen noodle haircut phase during his time with NSYNC. The second phase is when he went solo and wore ill-fitting suits that were way too big for his lean and lanky frame. After over a decade, Timberlake finally has the look down.