When you look back at a celebrity’s career, there’s usually some sort of style pattern or evolution. Look at Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez or Beyoncé and you can watch the decades go by and our faves figure out what they’re about. One person who seems to defy the “style evolution,” however, is Non-Hollaback Girl herself, Miss Gwen Stefani. Now just hear us out.
Gwen Stefani has one of the most unpredictable, totally bizarre, absolutely fantastic fashion senses to ever grace a stage, red carpet or street. She can rock a mean fishnet and cargo pant combo, regardless of the decade and then turn up the next day in a ballgown or stylish jumpsuit. She’s back in the ‘90s and five years ahead at the same time. There’s no pinning her down and that’s the beauty of everything she does.
If you can believe it, Gwen turns the big 5-0 this year and in honour of the fashion enigma’s big day, we’ve rounded up 27 of the most outrageous, fantastic, bewildering looks she’s worn throughout her career. Here’s to five more decades of totally unpredictable fashion!
27 looks that prove Gwen Stefani has always been a style pioneer
1997 MTV Movie AwardsWith Tragic Kingdom hitting number one on the Billboard charts a year before, Gwen's becoming a solidified rock star right before our eyes. With her signature platinum hair cropped short, bright yellow top and bold crinkled skirt, fashion rules need not apply to this style queen.Getty Images
No Doubt anything goesGwen’s No Doubt style was seriously something. At the My VH1 Music Awards in 2001 she wore this Broadway-musical-meets-punk-rock costume that has us clapping and scratching our heads at the same time. At least we know it’s got good ventilation. Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Rock SteadyThis is so peak Stefani, we don’t even know where to start. The fishnets, the cargo capris, the chains, the belt, the crop top, the bedazzled bra, the hair, the lipliner—it’s so her, it hurts. George De Sota/Getty Images
The embodiment of 2003Centuries from now, when the archeologists of the future are trying to decipher what the heck was happening in the 21st century, we hope they find this photo—it’s every early-2000s trend conveniently contained in one picture. From the flared jeans to the chunky No Doubt belt to the fact she’s at a Pussycat Dolls performance—this needs to be in a museum. Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Super Bowl XXXVIIGwen is unique in so many ways, but one of our favourites is the fact that she’ll wear a look like this one for the 2003 Super Bowl Halftime Show (yeah, girl!) and pair it with a bold vintage hairstyle. Gwen picked out this punk look and then went, “You know what would look great with this? A retro half up-do.” Respect. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Gwenelena Bonham CarterThe 2003 Billboard Music Awards were a different time. How different? Well, Beyonce won the New R&B Artist of the Year Award, for starters. What was probably just as true then as it is now is that Gwen’s look screams, “Helena Bonham Carter.” It’s bizarre, but it’s working. Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
Business Casual: Stefani StyleTo win a Grammy with No Doubt in 2004, Gwen went for a sleeker almost business casual look. It’s totally different from anything she wore prior, but that never seems to be a problem for her. And why should it be? (Also, we need those pants ASAP). Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
Gwen FusionFunky dress pants and a bra top? We’re listening. This look at the Anchorman premiere was the perfect fusion of Classic Crop Top Gwen and Formal Gwen (who we’ll see a lot of later). Pulling off a colourful outfit like this is all in the attitude and Gwen has that in buckets.Vince Bucci/Getty Images
Vintage VictorianSeriously, was Gwen hanging with Helena in 2004 or what? This modern business look with Victorian influences is incredible. We don’t know why she chose it, but we’re into it. As you were, Gwen. Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
‘What You Waiting For’We couldn’t put together a gallery of iconic Gwen Stefani looks without reliving this era. The Alice in Wonderland meets French Maid look would inspire Halloween costumes for years to come. She’s the queen of the 2004 AMAs and she knows it. Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
Mama StefaniWhat does maternity style look like for Gwen Stefani in 2005? Apparently waaay lower key than anything else she’s ever worn. While pregnant with her son Kingston, Gwen went full Coachella for the Billboard Music Awards. Leave it to Stefani to make a white babydoll dress unpredictable. Ethan Miller/Getty Images
High waisted FTWOkay, we would 100 per cent wear this right now. Yes, the pantyhose and shorts look is very 2006, but it’s also pretty 2019, no? We’re also getting major P!nk vibes from this outfit which is never a bad thing. Evan Agostini/Getty Images
A Tale of Two GwensHow does she go from so cutesy sweet to this punk rock? This right here is the evidence that there’s no pinning down Gwen’s style. But that’s the beauty of it. Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Rebel Waltz
A 2019 previewNot only did Gwen wear a jumpsuit to Cannes in 2011, seven years before they would become our go-to wedding look, but she was also rocking that bright pink lip that’s been so popular this year. (Sure, both are throwbacks but this entire look looks totally now.) Does she have a time machine? A crystal ball? A really good palm reader? What is her trend-predicting secret?Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Sleek and SlickShe just won’t quit. This sleek black amfAR Gala look is so gorgeously simple, yet intricately detailed, we can’t even focus on one thing. It’s all just so classically gorgeous. Brava!Francois Durand/Getty Images
Gwen Stefani Starter PackBack to No Doubt means back to basics. And by “basics” we mean studs, chains, crop tops and combat boots—Gwen Stefani basics. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
Chaos to CoutureThe theme of the 2013 Met Gala was “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” and we would say that perfectly sums up Gwen’s style in general. She probably could have gone even more punk with this custom Martin Margiela gown, but the hair and exposed midriff are certainly on-brand. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Full-length flapperThe movement of this full-length tiered fringe gown is incredible and Gwen looks gorgeous in it with minimal accessories and a simple (for her) up-do. Even better—it’s got a totally open back that adds some dimension to the look. Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Latex legendFew people can pull off a latex puffer jacket with latex pants and studded boots. Obviously, Miss Stefani is one of them. The dip-dyed hair is a great bonus. Christopher Polk/Getty Images for CBS Radio Inc.
Formula 1 Jingle Ball?At the 2014 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball, Gwen opted for this disjointed look that looks like it was inspired by Formula 1 racer who happens to have a holiday album. And then there are the boots. We’re scratching our heads over this one, but you do you, girl. Michael Buckner/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
Wrapped in RedNow this is what you expect at a Christmas concert! Except this was actually the Grammys. The next February. Still, it’s a gorgeous look. Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS
Fishnets 4-evaGwen will never outgrow fishnets and we respect that about her. We appreciate it when someone knows themselves that well. Did we throw ours out in 2009? Yes. Will we judge anyone else who can still pull them off? Absolutely not. Larry Busacca/Getty Images for MasterCard
Gwen MonroeTheory: Gwen Stefani in formalwear is what Marilyn Monroe would look like if she were still alive and in her 30s in the 2010s. Think about it. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Camo CargoThe most punk rock move is taking items that are the opposite of punk (i.e. a figure skating costume and sparkly pumps) and pairing it with elements that are the epitome of punk (i.e. cargo pants and graffiti). This outfit embodies everything Gwen stands for. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
A Glamourous icon indeedSeriously, stop. Gwen wore this incredible Marchesa ballgown to receive her Icon Award at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in 2016. It’s like some sort of ethereal being was simply gracing us with her presence for the evening. So glamourous. So iconic. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
A Super ChristmasIt’s like Gwen was bitten by a radioactive star which transformed her into a spangled superhero. Somehow this look from Christmas 2017 is different from anything Gwen has ever worn while still being totally her (hint: it’s the fishnets). Should we integrate more capes into our wardrobe? Jim Dyson/Getty Images
Camping Gwen StyleThe 2013 Punk Couture Met Gala may have been the perfect theme for Gwen, but 2019’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion” was pretty in-line with her style too. There’s so much going on in this Moschino look, and yet it’s all working and the woman is owning it. This is everything. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue