the style evolution of rihanna

    before she was a bad gal

    by Yasmeen Gharnit · April 12, 2015

    photo by Kevin Winter/ Getty Images

    Before there was Bad Gal RiRi, there was just a girl with a voice, a dream, and a drawer full of cropped sweatpants. In the 10 years since she was discovered and signed by Jay Z, Rihanna has transformed from the cute girl next door to an international sex and style icon. Click through the gallery to immerse yourself in the beauty, glamour, and daring that is Rihanna's style evolution.

    <b>2005</b><b><br></b>The mid-aughts were a time when ab-rollers reigned supreme and the more pelvis you showed, the cooler you were. Ahh, those were the days.<br>

    photo by Kevin Winter/ Getty Images

    2005
    The mid-aughts were a time when ab-rollers reigned supreme and the more pelvis you showed, the cooler you were. Ahh, those were the days.
    <b>2006</b><br>For her&nbsp;first&nbsp;MTV Movie Awards, Rihanna opted for a black and white detailed mini. It was classic, but safe—unlike present-day Rihanna.&nbsp;<br><br>

    photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    2006
    For her first MTV Movie Awards, Rihanna opted for a black and white detailed mini. It was classic, but safe—unlike present-day Rihanna. 

    <b>2006</b><br>When you really think about it, the&nbsp;CFDA Fashion Awards are exactly like a high school formal. Everyone dresses up, socializes, and then goes home and breaks open a pint of Ben &amp; Jerry's—or so we'd like to&nbsp;think.<br><br>

    photo by Peter Kramer / Getty Images

    2006
    When you really think about it, the CFDA Fashion Awards are exactly like a high school formal. Everyone dresses up, socializes, and then goes home and breaks open a pint of Ben & Jerry's—or so we'd like to think.

    <b>2006</b><br>We wish we could still fit into our 2nd grade dance costumes, too.&nbsp;

    photo by Evan Agostini / Getty Images

    2006
    We wish we could still fit into our 2nd grade dance costumes, too. 
    <b>2006</b><br>If Marilyn Monroe met the Tin Man, they would be&nbsp;<i>so</i> obsessed with this outfit.&nbsp;

    photo by Peter Kramer / Getty Images

    2006
    If Marilyn Monroe met the Tin Man, they would be so obsessed with this outfit. 
    <b>2006</b><br>Did she leave a good job in the city? Was she workin' for the man every night and day?&nbsp;

    photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

    2006
    Did she leave a good job in the city? Was she workin' for the man every night and day? 
    <b>2006</b><br>After this swan moment, Rihanna really soared. And she never looked back, ever.

    photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images

    2006
    After this swan moment, Rihanna really soared. And she never looked back, ever.
    <b>2007</b><br>Pre-Kardashian waist training was a thing, here's proof.

    photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    2007
    Pre-Kardashian waist training was a thing, here's proof.
    <b>2007</b><br>In a truly sentimental music industry moment, Madonna lent Rihanna her wedding dress and black gloves to attend the 2007 MET Gala. (Editor's note: She didn't actually.)

    photo by Evan Agostini / Getty Images

    2007
    In a truly sentimental music industry moment, Madonna lent Rihanna her wedding dress and black gloves to attend the 2007 MET Gala. (Editor's note: She didn't actually.)
    <b>2007</b><br>If Jessica Rabbit went swimming in exploded highlighter juice...

    photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images

    2007
    If Jessica Rabbit went swimming in exploded highlighter juice...
    <b>2008</b><br>You see a highlighter yellow dress, we see the foreshadowing of Rihanna's 2015 Grammys gown.

    photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    2008
    You see a highlighter yellow dress, we see the foreshadowing of Rihanna's 2015 Grammys gown.
    <b>2009</b><br>There was a long period of time when RiRi wore enormous structured shoulders on everything. Literally, everything.

    Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

    2009
    There was a long period of time when RiRi wore enormous structured shoulders on everything. Literally, everything.
    <b>2009</b><br>Bitch better have my Chanel.

    Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

    2009
    Bitch better have my Chanel.
    <b>2010</b><br>We all make mistakes, maybe just not in couture.

    Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

    2010
    We all make mistakes, maybe just not in couture.
    <b>2010</b><br>2010: The year Rihanna stopped wearing real pants and we all started to come alive.

    photo by Gianni Ferrari/GettyImages

    2010
    2010: The year Rihanna stopped wearing real pants and we all started to come alive.
    <b>2011</b><br>You can't look at this dress and&nbsp;<i>not</i> remember the <a target="_blank" href="http://dayandadream.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/rose-mcgowan-1998-vmas-dress.jpg">chain "dress" Rose McGowan wore to the '98 VMAs</a>.&nbsp;

    Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

    2011
    You can't look at this dress and not remember the chain "dress" Rose McGowan wore to the '98 VMAs
    <b>2012</b><br>Perhaps this was the day that Bad Gal RiRi emerged?&nbsp;

    Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images

    2012
    Perhaps this was the day that Bad Gal RiRi emerged? 
    <b>2012<br></b>This Stella McCartney dress may be simple, but when accessorized with her gold bangles and collar, it's ultra-chic.

    Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images

    2012
    This Stella McCartney dress may be simple, but when accessorized with her gold bangles and collar, it's ultra-chic.
    <b>2012</b><br>Sure, this "costume" may have been for a stage performance, but we feel as if this is truly what Rihanna's insides look like—plastered in pearls, dark lipstick, and lace.

    Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

    2012
    Sure, this "costume" may have been for a stage performance, but we feel as if this is truly what Rihanna's insides look like—plastered in pearls, dark lipstick, and lace.
    <b>2013<br></b>This look may not be super cool or super innovative, but it is super pretty.<br><br>

    Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

    2013
    This look may not be super cool or super innovative, but it is super pretty.

    <b>2014</b><br>This look screams "I just rolled out of bed, and, yes (bitch), I woke up like this."

    Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for MTV

    2014
    This look screams "I just rolled out of bed, and, yes (bitch), I woke up like this."
    <b>2014</b><br>Why bother wearing a full shirt when a crop top is entirely adequate? - Lessons from the Rihanna playbook

    Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

    2014
    Why bother wearing a full shirt when a crop top is entirely adequate? - Lessons from the Rihanna playbook
    <b>2014</b><br>The beginning of Rihanna's pastel empire.

    Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Christian Dior

    2014
    The beginning of Rihanna's pastel empire.
    <b>2014</b><br>Now&nbsp;<i>this</i> was a look.

    Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

    2014
    Now this was a look.
    <b>2014</b><br>Forget tassles, just pick up a bag of oversized rhinestones.

    Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for amfAR

    2014
    Forget tassles, just pick up a bag of oversized rhinestones.
    <b>2014</b><br>December 1, 2014: The day Rihanna taught us that it's socially acceptable to wear a blazer sans pants—so long as you have a badass attitude.

    Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

    2014
    December 1, 2014: The day Rihanna taught us that it's socially acceptable to wear a blazer sans pants—so long as you have a badass attitude.
    <b>2015</b><br>Suri Cruise freaked out when she saw this dress (as did we, but we'll keep that between us).&nbsp;

    Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

    2015
    Suri Cruise freaked out when she saw this dress (as did we, but we'll keep that between us). 
    <b>2015</b><br>YAAAASSSSSS!<br>

    Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

    2015
    YAAAASSSSSS!
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