Ariana Grande's 10-Year Style Evolution

7:15 AM 12/13/2018

by Lindsay Weinberg

From 2008 to 2018, a look at the pop star's signature style.

Ariana Grande in 2008, 2013 and 2018.
Ariana Grande in 2008, 2013 and 2018.
WireImage; Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Billboard

There's no denying it was Ariana Grande's year. Need proof? She's Billboard's 2018 Woman of the Year, her summer fling dominated newsfeeds and her subsequent "Thank U, Next" hit single broke records — the music video racked up the most views ever on a YouTube video in 24 hours. That's not to mention that the "God is a Woman" singer is nominated for best pop solo performance and best pop vocal album for the 2019 Grammys. 

The pop star's style is as iconic as her vocals — Grande is known for long sweatshirt dresses, thigh-high boots and ponytails. But her style has been evolving since she came into the spotlight in 2008, and over the years has sparked a few cries of Latino cultural appropriation; she's not Latina, she says, but Italian (specifically, part Abruzzo and part Sicilian).

This year, standouts include when Grande graced the Met Gala in a custom Vera Wang gown and wore a warrior-inspired metallic minidress at the VMAs, alongside then-fiance Pete Davidson (Grande is currently styled by Law Roach, whose other clients include Mary J. Blige, Zendaya and Tiffany Haddish).

Here's a look back at Grande's fashion looks each year in the past decade. 

  • 2008

    Grande, then known from Broadway cast of 13, wore jeans and a tee on an October visit to Planet Hollywood in New York City. She left her hair dark and curly for the event.

  • 2009

    She arrived at the AFI Fest 2009 opening night screening of 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Mr. Fox in October (above) and attended the premiere of Paramount Pictures' The Lovely Bones at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in December. Her red carpet style at this point was defined by heels, handbags and tight mini-dresses — and her bright red hair that's now long gone. 

     
  • 2010

    Grande went pink for the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, continuing with her mini-dress style. She also began pulling her hair up on the carpet (below). 

  • 2011

    We get a glimpse of a more casual Grande — never to be seen in 2018 — in jeans and a tank top. Still with her red-hued hair, she showed off a frilly dress at the TeenNick HALO Awards, reminiscent of her Met Gala look this year. 

  • 2012

    2012 was the year of the A-line dress for the singer, who attended both Jingle Ball and the Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked premiere in the silhouette. At age 19, Grande was coming into her own and starting to have a defined look that fit a sweetheart image. By the concert in December, her red hair was swapped for brown. 

  • 2013

    Two different Jingle Ball looks of the year highlight her slight shift toward edgy attire. She donned a black studded bodice and then knee-high stockings that both teased looks to come.

     

  • 2014

    Hello, cat ears! She wore the accessory to the Radio One Teen Awards, on top of her leotard look. Animal ears would become a signature for Grande with her 2016 Dangerous Woman album, on which she wears the iconic bunny ears. Below, at the American Music Awards, she embraced a gold ensemble fit for the full-blown pop star. 

  • 2015

    In honor of her second Grammys (she was nominated the previous year for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Bang Bang"), Grande opted for a more serious red carpet style with a rare full-length gown. The mature Versace dress was paired with her now-staple pony tail.

    In New York, she went colorful with a lavender two-piece a la Taylor swift when launching her fragrance, Ari by Ariana Grande.

  • 2016

    For the 2016 American Music Awards, Grande mixed it up with a crop top and white Alexander McQueen pants that reflect confidence (or maybe she was inspired by pantsuit aficionado Hillary Clinton during the election year). Grande took home the prize for Artist of the Year. She later debuted a new hairstyle: an ombre dye with shocking — and short-lived — bangs at the MTV Video Music Awards, wearing a two-piece from Alexander Wang.

  • 2017

    Grande sported her famous sweatshirt/boot combo at the Love Manchester benefit concert in June in England, following the bombing at the stadium. That year, she chose thigh-high leather boots and a sleek black outfit for her Dangerous Woman tour. 

  • 2018

    The singer dyed her hair platinum blonde, pictured on the cover of her album Sweetener. She kept it while performing at the March for Our Lives (again, strutting in her boots and a sweatshirt dress). That brings us to the Billboard Woman in Music event on Dec. 6, 2018, when she sported a "loofah," as she called it: a custom lavender, ruffled dress from Christian Siriano.