28.10.2020

Happy birthday, Queen Bey! Why Beyoncé’s style evolution is the gift that keeps on giving

Beyoncé wasn’t always the savvy dresser she is today. Pictured in 1998, at one of her first UK appearances in Destiny’s Child, a young, bare-faced beauty plays to fans at London’s HMV store. Decked in a camouflage print two-piece, it may not be to everyone’s taste but it wasn’t a bad start for the 18-year old Texan gal who still had to pay her Bills, Bills, Bills.

Wowzers. Bey’s stylist must have been on holiday at the MTV Awards 2000. There are so many crimes to fashion in this one look, it’s difficult to know where to begin. The tie-dye? The straggly locks? The rhinestone starbursts? Let’s just say that this one rated a No, No, No on our fashometer.

Three years later, Beyoncé’s red carpet style took a turn for the better thanks to this floor-length, side-split gown at the Golden Globes 2001. But the hair and heavy make-up weren’t yet quite singing on key.

In April 2001, Beyoncé went blonde to launch the new Destiny’s Child album Survivor. Her new hair received our seal of approval but unfortunately, Wilma Flintstone wasn’t too pleased about having her look stolen.

Bey fared little better with this Shakira-esque look. Her road to stylish recovery was rockier than we first thought…

…Yet her role as Foxxy Cleopatra, in the Austin Powers film Goldmember, seemed to ignite Beyoncé’s style mojo. Pictured at a special screening in 2002, complete with 70s supersize-me Afro, this is where the metamorphosis begins.

Come 2003 the R&B artist prepared to embark on a pivotal journey. After leaving Destiny’s Child the previous year, Beyoncé’s solo career soared into the award-winning stratosphere – although her wardrobe continued to peak and trough. This Golden Globes dress was little more pantomime dame, a little less leading lady, but our girl was on the right track at last. Hurrah!

Tressed to impress at the 2003 MTV Awards. Finally, we saw the beautiful face beneath the mass of curls; the slicked back ponytail earns Beyoncé serious points. However, she slid back down the style ladder with that corset dress.

At the Kodak Lifetime Awards, Beyoncé revealed a glimmer of stellar style quality. The singer’s penchant for tie-dye reared its distasteful head once again but her new, honeycomb highlighted locks redeemed her.

Beautiful and bouncy, Beyoncé went retro in a red playsuit and bouffant hair at Party In The Park in 2003.

Resplendent in sequins at the 2003 MTV Awards, Beyoncé wowed: her plunging neckline coupled with the waterfall hem catapulted her into the A-list style charts. NB The super-sized earrings hark back to her R&B heritage, so we’re letting them go.

Really, Bey? It was New York Fashion Week! Still, we have faith…

…And quite rightly so. Just five days later, she was back on the wagon at the Fighting Temptations premiere, in which she starred opposite Cuba Gooding Junior. What a relief!

The style success continued with this ghetto-fabulous look at Fashion Rocks. Now this is the top-to-toe glamour we expect from the powerful songstress. We’re Crazy In Love!

But we wrote too soon. Isn’t it incredible what three weeks and two time zones can do to a Single Lady’s style? There must have been something in the water… How else do you explain this Janet Jackson-crossed-with-Darth Vader look at the 2003 MTV Awards?

She made a swift change into this revealing sequinned flapper dress but it was still far from fashion nirvana. We don’t think the heavy bangs and bushy hair don’t do our beautiful Beyoncé justice.

Double denim – on Broadway? Oh, Beyoncé…

Beyoncé glammed up for the NRJ Music Awards in early 2004. A clever choice of colour and a marked improvement on previous attempts earned her a fashion stripe.

At the hottest sporting ticket in town, Super Bowl XXXVIII, Beyoncé opted for a white brocade skirt suit. The classy outfit was a far cry from her glitzy show costumes and she exuded grown-up elegance.

Beyoncé scored a Hollywood hat trick at the 2004 Grammys with an acclaimed performance with Prince, a staggering five awards for her album Dangerously In Love and another red carpet hit. Bravo!

Beyoncé, in breezy beach babe mode, rocked up to the Miami MTV Awards in 2004 looking relaxed and Bootilicious in a gold lamé short suit.

It’s official: a True Star was born in October 2004. And we’re not just referring to Beyoncé’s new-found off-duty style. The singer-turned-nose worked a satin shirt, cropped faux fur jacket and jeans to launch her debut fragrance of the same name.

…But the red carpet was still prevailing as Beyoncé’s style platform. At the 47th Grammy Awards she emanated simple sexiness in Roberto Cavalli, further cementing her high-octane allure.

From red carpet to runway: Beyoncé stole the show at Naomi Campbell’s Fashion for Relief Show in 2005 in this black embroidered prom dress.

For the premiere of her film Dream Girls at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, Beyoncé donned an exquisite halterneck gown created by her costume designer mother, Tina Knowles. Mum clearly knows best.

Spotted en route to lunch with her then-boyfriend Jay-Z, Beyoncé’s Happy Face compensates for this non-descript look. The sweetheart neckline and midi length of the dress complement Beyoncé’s best assets, but it’s still below fashion par.

Flashing flesh is what Bey does best and this one-shouldered black sequinned mini dress – coupled with Noughties It-accessory, the uni-glove – had Diva written all over it. A thumbs up for the dancefloor queen.

The curvalicious singer may be the doyenne of sass but this body-con number, crossover heels and Farah Fawcett hair were another style miss.

Beyoncé dusted down another sleeveless midi dress to celebrate her B’day album in London. Unlike past efforts with the tricky hemline, this version was an instant success. From the panelled bust to the dove grey shade, c’etait chic.

The shining star rocked up to the London premiere of Dream Girls in this silhouette-enhancing sparkler by Elie Saab. Simply Supreme.

Wearing Dolce & Gabbana, the sequinista won Best Female R&B Artist at the 2007 BET Awards. Triumphant in the dress stakes too, this glitzy, floor-length gown and corset belt showcased Bey’s enviable curves to perfection.

In 2008, the Say My Name star was awarded Seventeen magazine’s Style Star of The Year award – and we concurred. Sporting a claret dress, nude heels and signature statement earrings to attend the ceremony, she was at the top of her style game.

The A-list’s go-to couturier, Zuhair Murad, dressed Beyoncé for the New York premiere of Cadillac Records. East meets west in this decadent, heavily beaded gown; a lavish but fierce choice.

This was an unusual colour choice for the Irreplaceable singer but the chartreuse hue, coupled with a modest flash of bare skin, left us Dangerously In Love with this look.

Beyoncé modelled another of her mother’s House of Dereon designs at the Oscars in 2009. Bold but beautiful, the figure-hugging, fishtail gown glided over the singer’s famous curves and made us Lose Our Breath.

We’re more accustomed to seeing Beyoncé at star-studded events than on daytime jaunts, but this laidback look didn’t disappoint. Beyoncé oozed Riviera, darling, in a white all-in-one and striped cardigan.

A blingtastic Balmain dress was just the style ticket for the BET Awards 2009. An homage to her alter-ego Sasha Fierce, the short dress formed the perfect backdrop to a kaleidoscopic colour palette and super-sparkly sequins.

After more than a decade of premieres and award ceremonies, Beyoncé had begun to carve out an array of signature, super-stylish looks come that year’s MTV VMAs. But sadly, this wasn’t one of them. Somehow, our style icon did a fashion U-turn and broke all the rules – and not in a good way – in this super-short, OTT dress.

Beyoncé swapped Hollywood Haute Couture for London’s high street at a party for fellow R&B star Rihanna in London. Clad in an oversized Idol tee from New Look, it was a rare but welcome respite from her usual designer attire.

Our style soldier, Sasha Fierce, returned to the fashion fight in Moschino for the Hope For Haiti Now concert in 2010.

Come the Grammy Awards 2010, Beyoncé was on fine fashion form thanks to this blush satin gown by Stephane Rolland. Paired with gold shoulder-grazers, matching talons and sans fringe, she was the archetypal Grammy goddess.

Another storming, dressed-down outfit from the R&B queen. This time around, denim cut-offs, a slogan tee, chain belts and a pork pie hat nailed Coachella’s ultra-hip, festival vibe.

The performer-turned-producer rocked the red carpet in Naeem Khan to celebrate her directorial debut with her I Am… World Tour DVD. La Knowles wore an embellished mini dress with mocha Louboutins.

Photographed with hip hop icon hubby Jay-Z at an NBA All-Star game in 2010, Beyoncé sported a cowl neck top and ankle-grazer jeans, stepping it up with a pair of glitter platforms.

The fashion elite turned out in force to the Costume Institute Gala – aka the Met Ball – in 2011, and among them was our fierce fashionista looking magnificent in a cut-out gown by Emilio Pucci. This is testament to our Bey’s show-stopping appeal.

The forever faithful LBD served Beyoncé well at the Billboard Music Awards 2011. Talk about a power dress!

Déjà Vu: Almost a decade after we last saw it, Beyoncé’s tamed Afro got another showing on Good Morning America. The singer’s black, crocheted micro-mini Mark Fast dress was the ultimate wake-up call – and the perfect embodiment of her fun and flirtatious stage persona.

Oh, how we swooned over the delicious tangerine Lanvin gown Beyoncé wore to the MTV Music Awards 2011. The vibrant shade offset her bronzed body and the subtle sparkle from her diamond jewels added to the seamless, polished style. The triumphant fashion moment was turned into front page news as the star revealed she was expecting her first child with Jay-Z.

The Halo star may have been pregnant, but she didn’t let a little thing like a growing baby bump take its toll on her wardrobe. Wearing a Michael Kors leather panel maxi, complete with defiant cut-out detailing, she was at New York Fashion Week in September 2011 proving that you can take Sasha Fierce out of the girl but, apparently, you can’t take away her fierce wardrobe.

Playing the style icon to perfection at the J. Crew spring/summer 2012 show, Beyoncé resorted to her failsafe formula – sequins. And boy, did the mum-to-be look swell.

Come November 2011, bump was fast becoming big – and Beyoncé was keeping it sleek ‘n’ chic in clinging black.

Enter Blue Ivy Carter – and the subsequent re-appearance of Bey and that bootylicious bod. As she opted for a ruched coral ALICE by Temperley dress for her first public outing after the birth, the fashion world gave an almost audible sigh of delight.

We were relieved to see that baby duty didn’t mean Beyoncé neglected her all-important superstar accessorising! She stepped out in this awesome, look-at-me outfit in March 2012.

Her one style concession since the arrival of Blue Ivy? The permanent presence of a blue-hued manicure. And the occasional appearance of a great pair of flats.

Performing at the Superbowl half-time show in 2013, Bey blew us away in this eye-popping leather creation.

During a family Easter egg hunt, Bey swapped out her designer threads for this gorgeous and oh-so-summery crop top and shorts ensemble from Topshop.

Queen Bey rocks a glitzy football jersey-esque Tom Ford mini dress on stage in 2014, which is in fact the US designer’s homage to Jay-Z’s song Tom Ford. In it, Beyonce’s hubby states that “I don’t pop Molly, I rock Tom Ford”. The 61 is the year of the rapper’s year of birth. Music lesson – over.

We love mannish suit tailoring on girls and it’s no surprise that Bey does it like a pro. A* to Mrs. Carter.

Knockout from veiled head to designer toe, Beyoncé’s heavily embellished Givenchy gown blows the competition out the water at the 2014 Met Gala.

Floral playsuit, check. Statement bag, check. Lollipop, check. You could never say Beyonce’s fashion choices weren’t fun.

For a charity event, nothing but a sophisticated luxe-looking jumpsuit will do.

Stripes get the superstar treatment. Cue a rush to copy the co-ordinated look.

During her Mrs Carter tour, Beyonce’s stage outfits constantly impressed us.

A slinky sheer lace gown is a red hot choice for an awards ceremony. Turning heads, it’s what she does best.

‘Fierce’ is the word that springs to mind when we set eyes upon this natty little stage number.

For the 2014 Grammys, music’s biggest power couple scrub up pretty nicely, don’t you think?

Dressed down in New York City – a wrap leather skirt and a plaid blouse gets the thumbs up from us.

Clashing prints can be notoriously difficult to pull off, but Queen Bey takes it in her stride.

For her joint On The Run tour with Jay Z, fetching get-ups like this were the norm.

And, almost upstaging the bride (her sister Solange), Bey looked knock out in this simplistic stretch dress for the nuptials in New Orleans.

Beyonce paired her racy Laquan Smith romper with fishnets and a lace kimono for the unveiling of hubby Jay’s newest music sharing platform. The hostess with the mostess.

Looking Spring-ready and oh-so-fine for the Giuseppe Zanotti store opening in Beverly Hills, Bey paired her Bec & Bridge dress with a pair of studded mules by the designer.

She did literally wake up like this… The superstar paired her Met Ball ponytail from the night before with a Balenciaga tailored jacket, distressed jeans and a slogan embellished tee.

To the 2015 Met Gala, Bey wore a custom-made Emilio Pucci dress.

Throwing back to the good old days of Destiny’s Child, Bey throw on a cut out denim playsuit whilst out in NYC. We love it.

Snapped leaving a New York Office building, Beyonce looked ready for business dressed in a thigh-high dress and leather jacket.

Bey proves she is a master of relaxed, chic daytime cool, as walks around New York in her washed skinnies, shades and classic tee.

Beyonce looks incredible in her head-to-toe black outfit. We especially love her super cool platform shoes and the details, including her hat and er, an SLR camera!

Queen Bey stepped out in New York dressed in this cute floral number accessorised with black-out shades and a shoulder robed jacket. V. ladylike.

Beyonce appeared at an event wearing a red dress and matching stole. She finished off her look with a high ponytail.

Newsflash: Beyonce sure knows how to get her festive style on. Just check her out here! We’re yet to know where Bey was off to, but are aware that she was leaving her office sporting some very jolly decorations…

Beyonce attended a basketball game in March 2016 wearing mom jeans and an tee. In an outfit that could easily be boring, Bey jazzes it up with exper accessorising: embellishments, heels, a blazer, sunnies and a gorgeous block-coloured handbag.

Bey teams her embroidered kimono with a rainbow-striped skirt – a nod to the LGBT Orlando attacks.

She wore a purple Altuzarra jumpsuit for Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena, Ohio.

Bey’s holiday style game is high – she worked a little crochet dress while strolling round Sardinia with Jay-Z.

If anything will make you want to buy a suit, it’s this picture of Bey.

Where can we get Bey’s bag from because hell knows, we need it. The superstar rocked double denim, an Ivy Park baseball cap and a pair of cute Sophia Webster shoes for a night out with bae.

For a performance at the CMAs, Beyoncé wore a stunning white dress with puffed sleeves. Truly angelic, Bey.

At the Get Out The Vote concert, Beyonce wore a Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci suit with Sophia Webster boots.

Bey’s pregnancy style while she was pregnant with Rumi and Sir Carter was something in its own right, but only months after, the mother of three is back serving looks. This time in a hot pink ruched dress by House of CB.

Oh yes, Bey! WERK IT. Here she is at the Tidal party looking insanely good wearing an emerald green dress with a plum coloured faux fur stole. Incredible.

For her show-stopping On The Run II tour wardrobe, it was Beyonce’s purple caped ensemble by Peter Dundas that captured out hearts.

While performing with her former Destiny’s Child bandmates Michelle and Kelly at Coachella, Bey opted for a silver tied crop-top and hot pants because why the hell not.

Ah, here she is, just casually strutting in killer denim hotpants offset with stilettos and a designer tote.

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