Before: Ashley Tisdale
To say that Ashley Tisdale sported the most memorable red carpet style on this list is an understatement. Most High School Musical and Disney Channel fans thoughts Tisdale was a style icon when she posed for cameras in mismatched prints, skirts layered over pants, and faux fur accessories. But looking back, most of us chuckle at the ridiculousness of early 2000s "fashion."
It's safe to assume that Tisdale didn't have a styling dressing her from 2000 to 2010 because she consistently turned up at red carpets wearing a teenager's idea of haute couture. We can give her a pass because the turn of the century was a wild time for everyone and everything, including questionable fashion trends...
After: Ashley Tisdale
Years later in 2017, Tisdale opened up about her fashion choices for the red carpet to People, confirming that she did in fact have a stylist at the time who advised her to wear outfits similar to her Suite Life of Zach and Cody character Maddie Fitzpatrick. "I grew up in front of everybody and experimented with clothes on the red carpet, so it's different for me. All of the stuff you do as a younger person you're doing in front of everyone, so there are probably tons of moments I look back on and cringe."
Luckily, the former child actress receives much more personal fashion styling nowadays from anyone including Jessica Margolis, ara Backmender, and Annabelle Harron. However, Tisdale maintains a positive attitude about her old red carpet photos. She even went so far as to roast herself on TikTok, roasting her 2005 Ice Princess premiere outfit, saying, "It is so bad. I want to give you a zero, but that’s not possible. So, I give you a one.”
Before: Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian has always been a fashion icon ever since her infamous sex tape leaked back in 2007. While not every red-carpet outfit was a hit, she was doing fine dressing herself. Whether or not she's always had a stylist whispering in her ear, there's no denying that she's the biggest trendsetter in recent decades.
That being said, Kim K.'s style has evolved in many ways since her days working as Paris Hilton's assistant. The mid-2000s clubbing scene is an entirely different world from the uber-glam 2010s and post-pandemic red carpet style. So which stylist changed the game for Kim K? Believe it or not, it was her ex-husband Kanye West.
After: Kim Kardashian
Rapper, performer, and fashion brand owner Kanye West isn't the first person most people would go running to for advice in any capacity, including fashion advice. However, he has some credibility in the area. As the founder of Yeezy, West quickly became Kim's signature fashion stylist after marrying in 2014.
West's styling was widely revered and he helped Kim solidify herself as a modern fashion icon. But West might have had too much of a say in Kim's public appearance after recent text messages sent from him to his ex-wife were released to the public. In the messages, he rudely criticizes Kim's independent fashion choices made after their separation and without his input. Needless to say, Kim is still a fashion icon with or without her former hubby.
Zendaya Coleman — who goes by her first name alone — first rose to popularity after landing a lead role in the Disney Channel series Shake It Up! alongside Bella Thorne. At the time, Zendaya was the new kid on the block and her public decisions — including fashion choices — were (probably) controlled by Disney-affiliated publicists.
When Disney controls a teenage actor's fashion choices, it's not a surprise that the looks are... rough. They weren't atrocious for a teenager, but they definitely screamed "I'm a Disney Channel actor." From clashing colors and over-accessorizing to wearing way too many layers, Disney didn't do Zendaya any favors.
Former Disney star who? Most people nowadays seem to forget that Zendaya ever worked with the corporate giant. Why? Not only has she moved on to much bigger and better projects, including Dune and Spiderman, but her fashion has also improved 10x over thanks to stylists who actually have her best interests in mind.
Zendaya is popularly seen as a celebrity who never misses on the red carpet, and we all have her legendary stylist Law Roach to thank. Now that Zendaya is a Euphoria mega-star and continually invited to the Met Gala and the Oscars, her fashion is scrutinized through a critical lens. Good thing she's not alone!
Before: Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton needs no introduction, but we'll give you one anyway. Long story short, before Kim Kardashian, there was Paris, and she still frequents the ranks of the elite today. Hilton is primarily known as a socialite because her great-grandfather was the founder of Hilton Hotels. On her own, however, she's established herself as a singer, model, actress, X-rated film star, and businesswoman.
When Hilton first broke into the entertainment industry as a socialite heiress, she didn't have a stylist. She relied on her own styling skills to get by, claiming she put together every look by herself. Looking back, most of the 2000s-era fits were iconic for the time but definitely could have used a professional touch.
After: Paris Hilton
As many of us know, Paris Hilton worked closely with Kim Kardashian. Kim was Hilton's stylist, closet organizer, and personal assistant when Hilton was at the height of fame. Now that Kim has her own reality TV show and dragged her entire family into the limelight, Hilton was left on her own to find another stylist.
Currently, Hilton works with celebrity stylist Sammy K. With Sammy, she consistently appears on red carpets in chic business-inspired pieces, glamourous gowns, and outfits fit for an heiress. Needless to say, her current style is a far cry from her turn-of-the-century clubbing outfits. Not saying her former style was a mistake, but... She definitely grew into herself.
Before: Taylor Swift
Before all of the fame and scandals, Taylor Swift was a small-town Pennsylvania girl showing up to red-carpet events in cheap cutesy prom dresses. As a young country star, it worked for her, but she quickly learned that she needed some proper styling if she'd ever make it onto Hollywood's best-dressed lists.
Swift was a budding singer-songwriter turned international superstar within just a few years, so she quickly learned she didn't have to dress herself for major Hollywood events in discount dresses anymore. While we have no idea if she actually bought these prom dresses at discount, that's what they looked like.
After: Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has never reached the status of fashion icons like Kim Kardashian or Zendaya, but she also doesn't need the title. She's a performer, an amazing songwriter, and knows what she is and isn't good at. Therefore, she lets the professionals take care of her style, including stylist Joseph Cassell.
Joseph Cassell ranked number 13 on The Hollywood Reporter's list of Hollywood's top 25 Most Powerful Stylists. Instead of turning up in ill-fitting gowns, Taylor Swift dresses spectacularly for every Oscars event and CMT Awards. Cassell knows her style and what fits her, leaving the songwriter to her.
When Adele shot to fame in 2008 with her debut album 19 and her career exploded at the release of her second album 21. Freshly legal, it's obvious that Adele wasn't overly concerned with her fashion choices from the get-go. From frumpy dresses to odd overcoats, she made it clear that her talent lies in her voice, not her clothes.
But let's make something very clear: her fashion choices were unfortunate, but they had nothing to do with her weight. Let's put it this way: no matter how show-stopping your voice is or how much you look like Gigi Hadid, turning up to the Grammys in a rah-rah skirt is scary.
Adele's re-emergence into Hollywood and the glamourous fashion scene after a six-year hiatus sparked a conversation among fans regarding her iconic red carpet looks. What happened to the rah-rah skirts and polka dots? Who is her stylist!? According to Fashion magazine, Adele has entered her 30 era, defined by "newfound power and freedom."
Honestly, her fashion transformation is shocking — in a good way. During her widely-publicized interview with Oprah in November 2021, Adele sported a custom Swarovksi crystal-adorned suit. Custom luxury pieces are a huge leap from the back-of-the-closet glam she used to rock. She's even come as far as pairing with Italian brand Schiaparelli for two internet-breaking looks. And who do we have to thank? Stylists like Gaelle Paul.
Before: Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle's style transformed drastically after marrying into Prince Harry's strict royal family. So while she probably had a stylist for years while working as an actress, she definitely had someone controlling her fashion looks after leaving her Hollywood career behind.
Before the royal wedding in 2018, Markle's wardrobe was largely made up of typical California-girl staples. From bikinis to fun hats and ruched dresses, Markle had fun with her looks while remaining professional. Plus, she always updated her Instagram with her latest saucy yoga posts, travel selfies, and off-set snaps.
After: Meghan Markle
Once Meghan secured the man and a place among his royal ranks, everything changed. Not just anyone could style Duchess Meghan anymore... Anything she wore had to be approved by the Queen herself — at least, it had to fit within her guidelines. All of those bikini snaps on the beach and cocktail dresses? History.
From nude stockings to high necklines and low hems, Markle was thrust headfirst into the royal world of styling. While she obviously appeased the Queen with her wedding dress selection and an all-new wardrobe of long-sleeved shirts, Meghan didn't succumb entirely to the royal stylist. She wore dresses without hosiery and pants... What a nightmare for the Queen!