Then & Now: These Celebrities Were Once Red Carpet Rookies

Wait until you see these epic red carpet throwbacks.

The red carpet is usually the epitome of Hollywood glamour. Celebrities spend hours primping and prepping for a few paparazzi shots before being whisked away to attend a glamorous awards show. But before they were awards show veterans, these celebrities were just red carpet rookies, rocking some questionable red carpet looks that will make you all sorts of nostalgic. FYI, almost all of your favorite celebrity men had frosted tips at some point (I’m lookin’ at you Bradley Cooper) and those chokers you love so much were just another accessory to the ladies of the carpet. Take a trip down memory lane by clicking through the gallery below.

  • 1 Reese Witherspoon
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    A young Reese Witherspoon attends the premiere for the movie The Man in the Moon. In case the daisy shirt wasn’t a dead giveaway, this was back in 1991!

  • 2
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    And here’s Reese in 2018 at the AFI Awards.

  • 3 Will Smith
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    Back when Smith was still the Fresh Prince, he attended the MTV VMAs with DJ Jazzy Jeff.

  • 4
    …and here he is in 2017 at the premiere of Bright in Tokyo, Japan.

  • 5 Matthew McConaughey
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    Matthew McConaughey lookin’ alright, alright, alright in 1996.

  • 6
    …and now, gone are the days of denim on denim. McConaughey has traded up for more sophisticated suits.

  • 7 Meryl Streep
    Streep looked gorgeous in all white at the 1980 Academy Awards.

  • 8
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    And here she is approximately one million awards later, at the premiere of The Post in 2017.

  • 9 Mandy Moore
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    At the 1999 Billboard Music Awards, Moore embraced about twelve trends at the same time.

  • 10
    In 2017, the actress pulls off the understated glam look exceptionally well (and without any plaid in sight…)

  • 11 Kristen Bell
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    Here’s Kristen Bell on the red carpet in 2003…

  • 12
    …and here she is announcing the 2018 Golden Globes nominations in a beautiful embroidered dress.

  • 13 Rihanna
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    RiRi has always rocked the red carpet, though this photo definitely screams “2005!”

  • 14
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    She traded in her hip huggers for a regal black gown at her 3rd Annual Diamond Ball.

  • 15 Kerry Washington
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    In 2001, Kerry Washington’s fluffy turtle neck was the only Scandal in sight.

  • 16
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    At the 2018 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center, Washington’s look is still super playful…though it looks like she’ll be leaving the faux fur at home for the foreseeable future.

  • 17 Ben Affleck
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    Here’s Ben Affleck alongside his buddy Matt Damon at the premiere of Good Will Hunting.

  • 18
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    And here he is in 2017 at the premiere of The Justice League.

  • 19 Denzel Washington
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    Denzel’s ’stache is peak 1981.

  • 20
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    The man, the myth, the legend is still rockin’ the carpet over two decades later.

  • 21 Ryan Reynolds
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    We love everything about Ryan Reynolds at the premiere of Election in 1999.

  • 22
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    Looking dapper and with tips that are just a little less frosted with his wife Blake Lively in 2017.

  • 23 Jared Leto
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    With Soleil Moon Frye in 1991.

  • 24
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    His style has…changed a lot since the ’90s.

  • 25 Anne Hathaway
    The choker, the off-the-shoulder blouse, the fringe on her patterned skirt. Yep, looks like 1999 red carpet style to me.

  • 26
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    At the 2017 National Book Awards, Anne looks glam in all black (though we wouldn’t mind if she added a choker for old times sake.)

  • 27 Drew Barrymore
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    Look at little Drew attending the Golden Globes in 1983!

  • 28
    Here she is looking casual yet stunning at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in 2017.

  • 29 Zac Efron
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    Nothing says, “This is my first red carpet!” like a Hawaiian shirt and flip flops.

  • 30
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    Now always looking on point, we sort of miss the Hawaiian shirts of red carpets past.

  • 31 George Clooney
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    Why did Clooney decide to leave his mullet in 1986?

  • 32
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    Though he definitely aged like fine wine. Here he is with his wife Amal in 2017.

  • 33 Bradley Cooper
    Just so you know, pretty much every male celebrity you’ve ever loved had frosted tips at some point. Yes, including Bradley Cooper.

  • 34
    In 2016, Cooper is always one of the best dressed celebs on the carpet.

  • 35 Jennifer Lawrence
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    Jennifer Lawrence has always been relatable. To prove it, I’ve dug up this photo of her wearing a dress that I wore to no fewer than four bar mitzvahs as a tween.

  • 36
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    Now, over a decade later, she’s still relatable, but she has found her red carpet style.

  • 37 Scarlett Johansson
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    20 years ago, Scarlett Johansson was really embracing the ~*flower girl*~ look of the ’90s.

  • 38
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    Though she now rocks her signature bombshell look.

  • 39 James Franco
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    In 1999 long, luscious locks reigned supreme and James Franco was no exception.

  • 40
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    Is he a vampire, though? Because it’s like he hasn’t aged.

  • 41 Emma Stone
    In 2006 (those bangs!) Emma Stone was rockin’ hip huggers on the red carpet.

  • 42
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    Now an Oscar winner (and a blonde!) Emma always shows out on the carpet.

  • 43 Jake Gyllenhaal
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    In 1999, Jake wore a backpack to the red carpet. Do you think it was to hold extra hair gel?

  • 44
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    In 2017, there’s not a backpack in sight, but he sure knows how to pull off a tuxedo.

  • 45 Gabrielle Union
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    Someone bring back the leather pants trend because Gabrielle Union really pulled it off in 2000 and I need to see it happen again.

  • 46
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    In 2017, Union sparkles all over the red carpet.

  • 47 Kate Winslet
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    In 1996, Winslet attended the 53rd annual Golden Globes looking…shiny in a blue pantsuit.

  • 48
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    Now, she struts the carpet looking glam and refined.

  • 49 Leonardo DiCaprio
    In 1993, DiCaprio was still a red carpet newbie…

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    And here he is nearly 25 years later at the Monte-Carlo Gala for the Global Ocean, which was held in his honor.

Fat Joe, Warren G, Romeo, The Lox and more talk to Liane V on the Hip Hop Honors red carpet about their favorite ‘90s looks.