Why So Many People Love Blake Lively's Style
Blake Lively has come a long way from Tarzana, California, the San Fernando Valley neighborhood where she grew up. When Lively was a kid, her parents and four older siblings had to push her to go to her first audition. She just wasn’t that interested. Then, almost out of the blue, she booked her breakout role as one of the four leads in 2005’s "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants."
Two years later, she was the lead in "Gossip Girl." While her role as Serena van der Woodsen might still be her most famous work, she didn’t stop there. In addition to acting, Blake Lively went on to become a model and fashion icon.
Her fashion was always on point, but so much has changed since 2005. And Blake Lively's style evolution — including some of her best looks on and off the red carpet — shows how she won over the world.
It's 2005 Again, and Blake's Style is Sunny and Sweet.
Remember 2005? We don't either. Blake Lively was just 17 when "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" was released. True to early 2000’s style, she paired a layered tank top with matching low-rise pants at a promo event. Her long, blond waves look loose and natural, and her makeup matches. Nothing dramatic or dark here.
Blake Lively’s style in 2005 shouted "all-American teen." Considering she landed two major roles in under two years, it’s safe to say her natural look was a good choice.
The Belle of the Ball
Just two years later, and Blake Lively’s fashion journey is already beginning. Dressed for a gala, her sweeping, floor-length gown is the perfect shade of yellow to complement her long, golden locks.
With her hair partially pulled back with loose curls draped over her shoulder, she still manages to bring a beachy feel to the table.
As simple as it is, this might be one of Blake Lively’s best looks.
Every Star Announces Their Adulthood a Little Differently
In Blake's case, she went to the dark side. In a stark contrast from her previously light, summery styles, Blake opted for an all-black ensemble for a Chanel dinner at The Plaza. This 2008 design is the start of a new wave of edgier, more grown-up Blake Lively dresses.
Her messy updo matches her grunge-esque outfit. While she could make a dress made out of a trash bag look gorgeous, this definitely isn’t one of Blake Lively’s best styles.
Careful With Those Legs, Blake. They're Dangerous.
For the 2008 Super Bowl, Blake Lively’s style stayed with the all-black theme, but with a sleek and sexy twist. A loose, long-sleeved shift dress ends mid-thigh, highlighting her gorgeous legs. The neckline is modest and simple, resulting in tasteful, understated sexiness.
She went for bold, red heels, which look great, but against the red carpet, they’re barely visible. Her hair is shorter than when she first entered the scene, but she’s still rocking her natural color.
It's Like 'Black Swan' Minus the Mental Break
Unless you count all the blown minds, of course. This is the first step in Blake Lively’s style evolution that really has a "wow" factor. Black seemed to be a solid theme for her early 2008 looks, but this dress stands out from the crowd. The strapless, form-fitting dress shows off all her curves, and the swath of feathers at the bottom gives her definitive mermaid vibes.
By this point, "Gossip Girl" was in full swing. Blake had originally intended to go to college part-time during filming, but despite promises from the production company, there just wasn’t time.
Her acting had become a full-time career, and that was reflected in Blake Lively’s style.
Blue Is One of Blake's Best Colors
Maybe Blake has a thing for matching the carpet, because her blue dress is only a few hues off from the blue carpet at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards. A wide, black belt accentuates her waist and ties in her black heels while side-swept bangs soften her features.
This photo was taken just three days before the premiere of "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2." The movie was generally well-received, and critics praised her chemistry with fellow costars Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera and Amber Tamblyn.
Ready to Take the Plunge? Blake Is.
At a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists event, Blake decided to make some waves. Her dress featured a plunging neckline, but a long, silky skirt toned it down. It may just be the low evening light, but her hair looks darker than usual.
Overall, this step in Blake Lively’s style evolution makes a statement. She’s not just a cute teen anymore, and she’s not afraid to make a statement.
Still, she does it without going over the top.
Tantalizing Teal Should Totally Be a Paint Color
Who wouldn't buy it? Teal isn’t a color we’ve seen on Blake before, but it’s an amazing contrast to Blake’s warm, gold-toned complexion.
This Blake Lively dress is pretty unique. The dramatic lines are almost geometric, drawing the eye from one bare shoulder and around her torso to a high slit that shows off her entire left leg.
Her strappy gold heels tie in with her smokey, black and gold eye shadow. This is one of Blake Lively’s looks that makes her look more like a Greek goddess than a movie star.
As If She Hadn't Turned Enough Heads Already, She Had to Go and Do This.
It's too powerful, Blake. The world will never be ready for you in red. That said, what is it with matching the carpet? In a stunning red number at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards, Blake Lively’s style takes another leap. If she had worn a dress like this in 2007, we might have been shocked.
By 2009, however, she was ready and so were we. Her incrementally more daring looks over the previous two years had warmed us up.
Nude heels lengthen her legs, and her hair is pulled back into a sleek updo, putting the spotlight on her beautiful features.
Classy, Contemporary and Cute? Yes, Please!
At the 2009 Angel Ball, Blake Lively looks almost like an angel herself. Sure, her dress is black, but look at that sweet smile! The square neckline and padded shoulders add eye-catching angularity, and the peplum skirt gives a more sophisticated spin.
Blake Lively’s shoes have never been gaudy, and these black platform heels continue the trend. Some of her earlier looks would be a little out of place on the red carpet today, but this one is pretty timeless.
Tinker Bell? You Look Different.
At the premiere of "Sherlock Holmes" toward the end of 2009, Blake decided to do something a little different with her hair. Big, voluminous curls flow over her shoulders for a much different look than her usual smooth, loose waves.
Her stylist was smart to keep the curls below the chin, avoiding an accidental Dolly Parton impression. This black, strapless, lacy dress looks like a gothic reimagining of Tinker Bell, but in a good way.
Blake Just Aced Geometry Class
Approaching the end of Blake Lively’s five-year run on "Gossip Girl," Blake Lively’s fashion evolution continues. Her long, flowing waves are the only similarity between 2012 Blake and her dewy, doe-eyed look from 2007. This form-fitting, geometric dress is hard to look away from.
The lines of the bodice are reminiscent of a corset, but a much more modern take. The stripes on the skirt become gradually farther apart, looking a bit like a spider web. Her striking red lipstick completes the look — dangerous, but in a good way.
A Baby Bump Never Looked So Good in Black
A lot can happen in two years. On Sept. 9, 2012, Blake Lively married her hilarious husband Ryan Reynolds. While her previous collaborations with fellow A-listers produced great films, this one produced an entire new human being. The first of three, in fact.
She’s pictured here at the Ninth Annual Woman of Worth Awards during her pregnancy with her first daughter, James, wearing the hell out of a little black dress. This is what people mean when they say "you’re glowing."
Except for her, it’s actually true. The rest of us are just sweaty and can’t see our feet.
How Did She Pull Off Sweet and Sultry at the Same Time?
Nude dresses are super hit or miss, but it’s safe to say this one was a hit. This dress she wore to the Michael Kors 2016 show in New York complements her skin tone nicely, and its simple cut keeps the attention on the lovely lady wearing it.
This is a Blake Lively style that says a lot about who she’s become as an artist — elegant and feminine with a touch of sparkle.
Her heels are somehow the exact same shade as her dress. She could have gone with strappy silver stilettos like these, but the uniform color scheme is more refined.
Spa Day! Just Kidding.
It behooves us to say it. The next step in Blake Lively’s fashion evolution seems to be "bathrobe." This gown looks like a long, flowing, extravagant bathrobe. It just does.
Maybe a cross between a shower curtain and a bathrobe? We’re not quite sure what it is, but we’re 100 percent sure she’s the only one who can put on a silky, powder blue bathrobe and make it work.
The rest of us would look like we hopped out of the shower and threw on stilettos — except, perhaps, her husband. Ryan Reynolds can make us laugh wearing just about anything, and we're not mad about it.
Why Doesn't She Have a Tiara? Someone Get This Girl a Tiara.
Previous Blake Lively looks have, on almost every occasion, been gorgeous. At the 2016 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala, however, she upped the ante. Instead of just going for gorgeous, she went for turning into straight-up artwork.
Wearing a partly sheer, ballet pink gown with a bodice and train adorned with roses, she looks more like a fairy-tale character than an actress. The hoard of photographers behind her seems to agree.
We particularly like how her matte red lip ties in with the embroidered roses, and the dangling earrings add a bit of dimension.
2004's "A Cinderella Story" Got an Accidental Upgrade
Speaking of fairy tales, Blake Lively’s fashion at the 69th Cannes film festival in France later that year was magical. Did she arrive in a carriage made from an oversized gourd? Because she looks as close to a real-life Cinderella as humanly possible.
Let’s be real. Ruffles don’t look good on everyone. They can look incredibly tacky. "Ruffles are so flattering! Let’s add more," said no one ever. Yet somehow, ruffles don’t make Blake Lively look like a stack of Pringles.
With a simple, decolletage-bearing scoop neck and a bodice sprinkled with pastel flowers, she looks pretty ethereal. We’re not jealous, you are.
Did Someone Order a Blonde Bombshell? Looks Like It Comes in Blue
Oh, did we not mention? In that last pic, Blake was quite, quite pregnant with baby number two. This photo was taken just a day later at the same film festival in southern France at the screening of "The BFG." While the first dress concealed her baby bump, this one showed it off.
If you haven’t noticed, Blake Lively fashion features lots of monochromatic ensembles. Rarely have we seen her in bold prints. This solid, sky blue dress features one, off-the-shoulder sleeve and a long, flowing train.
How she didn't trip in it, we have no idea.
Who Needs an Award When You Are an Award?
Um hi, excuse me? I think you dropped your jaw. Remember when Blake wore a ton of black for a while? Now we remember why.
Arriving at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the 74th annual Golden Globes in 2017, her long, black gown stole the show. The gold detailing on the neckline gives it a futuristic look, which tied in perfectly with her hubby’s outfit.
Oh, and did we mention? It has pockets! She looks a little bit like a Golden Globe Award herself, just much, much more expensive. Priceless, really. This photo was also taken a mere four months after the birth of her second daughter, Inez. She should be carrying a golden sword and wearing a crown, because she’s basically royalty.
Hey, Blake? Your Grandma Called. She Wants Her Tablecloth Back.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa. What happened here? Seriously, we’re going to need an explanation. Did she lose a bet? Pictured here at the Time 100 Gala in 2017, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world, Blake Lively’s fashion evolution appears to have taken a hard left.
It’s a little like that time in the 1980s when my mom’s best friend convinced her that green carpet and floral print couches were "in." They weren’t. They were ugly. Her friend lied, and so did Blake Lively’s style advisor.
Girl, it looks like you’re selling embroidery floss off your sleeve. Knock it off.
Next Time, Blake, Skip The Art Gallery and Just Look in a Mirror.
Aaaand we’re back. Thank you, Blake. You had us worried there for a second. Blake Lively’s fashion is back on track, and it’s perfectly suited to the occasion. Here, she’s posing with her husband at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala in May 2017. The mermaid style silhouette does her figure so many favors (not that it needs it), and the ruched gold fabric is exquisite.
While some Blake Lively looks strive for simplicity, with this one it’s all in the details. Just look at the structure of it. The boning adds interesting lines, and it all leads down to a glittering tail of blue and gold. Are we sure this wasn’t supposed to be one of the exhibits?
Also, can we just say one thing? How unfair is it that the bar for men on the red carpet is so, so low? Don’t get us wrong, Ryan Reynolds looks bomb, but he also looks the same here as he does in every other photo. Black suit, black shoes, white shirt. But wait! He decided to turn some heads with a blue bowtie. The scandal.
We'd Hand Her a Crown, But She's Already Wearing One.
No. No, she did not. She did not go to a Gala looking like she stepped out of a renaissance painting. Except yes, she absolutely did. Take a good, long look at this one. The intricacy of the dress matches the theme of the 2018 Costume Institute Benefit Gala celebrating the opening of "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination."
It was inspired by depictions of Catholic saints, and wow. That’s about all we can say. If you’re done being mesmerized, scroll back to the second slide with the yellow dress.
In 2007, she was a beachy princess. In 2018, she became a certified queen.
Well OK, Neo. No Need to Flex That Hard.
This episode of Blake Lively’s best looks takes place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in autumn of 2018. She looks like a character from the Matrix with her all-black pantsuit and a sheer mock neck top.
While it’s technically not the most revealing of her outfits, it definitely feels that way. Her fishtail braid makes her look even edgier. Of all of Blake Lively’s styles, this is rated 10 in coolness, but one in practicality. Isn’t she cold? And afraid to move?
Regardless, it looks awesome.
Blake, What Did We Tell You About Borrowing Grandma's Upholstery?
Sorry, Blake. Most of your looks are incredible, but this one’s a no, dawg. What is going on here? Hair? Gorgeous. Shoes? Gorgeous. Everything else, not so much. It looks a bit as if a small child tried to play dress-up with a tutu, their grandma’s rug, their mom’s shapewear, and a chain-link fence.
Is it fashion? If fashion is busy and confusing to look at, then yes. She wore it to Christian Dior’s Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show in Paris, so maybe the standards are different there?
They certainly come up with some "interesting" designs.
Throwback Thursday Is ON
This one is impossible not to love. Pictured at the premiere of "Pokemon Detective Pikachu" at Military Island in Times Square in May 2019, Blake Lively went for a throwback Thursday look. Do you see it?
Sure, it matches the Pikachu theme and the yellow carpet, but it also looks a lot like one of the first dresses she ever wore to an event. A decade later, and she still looks just as radiant.
She rocks the same sun-kissed tan, but Blake Lively’s hair has evolved from loose, natural waves to voluminous ringlets. Love it.
Accidental Camouflage Isn't the Worst
It would be much easier to judge this Blake Lively style if we could actually see it. At a special screening of Paramount Pictures' "The Rhythm Section," she had the bad luck of wearing all black in front of an all-black sign. Her dress looks velvety, with sleek black gloves and tall, black boots. From the chest down, we get red carpet meets steampunk vibes.
Above that, we get Blake’s usual, glowing looks with peach-toned blush and a natural lip. It’s not one of Blake Lively’s best looks, but it’s not one of the worst, either.
But Traffic Cone Green Kind of Is
Remember when neon was really in for a hot minute in 2018? We really, really hope it’s back out. We’ll give up our side parts and skinny jeans. Just don’t make us wear this. Here, Blake Lively’s fashion evolution continues in a confusing direction at the Lionsgate screening of "A Simple Favor" in August 2018.
On her, this strange, neon yellow pantsuit looks fine, ish. Her bright pink lips add to the effect, and her suit is literally impossible to miss. That said, so are traffic cones and spearmint gum.
On the upside, if the fabric has some give to it, it can double as high-visibility cycling gear.
No. We Reject This Outfit. Blake Can Do Better.
OK, Blake has always looked great in yellow. She’s a natural Hufflepuff. This Blake Lively style is one big exception. Contrary to popular opinion, yellow can be very flattering if you wear a shade that complements your skin’s undertones. While most of Blake’s yellow dresses have accentuated her golden undertones and blonde locks, the yellows in this outfit do her no favors. They’re somewhere between butter and mustard, and they just don’t work.
Beyond the color scheme, it gets even weirder. The deep, gold V-neck with a white shirt underneath, paired with yellow high-waisted shorts? It’s an interesting mashup, and not in a good way. In more of a "we’re not sure what you were going for, but you missed" way. Also, look at the people behind her in parkas.
This photo was taken at "Good Morning America" in New York City in 2020. In the middle of January! Isn’t she cold? The boots are awesome, though.
Are You Getting Vague Pilgrim Vibes Here?
Leaving "The Rhythm Section" talk in New York City on the same day as the last photo, it almost seems like Blake Lively’s style is partly stolen from her previous outfit. Could the white shirt be the same one? It doesn’t really matter, because this look is definitely a step in the right direction.
While the shirt is a little bookish for our taste, the ensemble feels like a throwback to another era. The long, full skirt is simple and refined, but nothing that really sticks out.
The accessories are where this look shines. The hat adds personality and the vintage-inspired, lace-up boots are to die for.
Blake Can Upstage Ryan Reynolds in His Own Clothes
Blake Lively’s style evolution wouldn’t be complete without some more casual get-ups. Not that she can’t still rock a dress, because she absolutely can, but she doesn’t have to prove it at every single event. And let's face it, none of us wear a dress to every single dinner anymore.
Ladies can rock pants and button-downs just as well as the guys, and at New York Fashion Week of Fall/Winter 2020, Blake Lively wore the heck out of this cute outfit. The pants are loose-fitting but flattering, and the layered look on the top adds dimension and ups the fun factor.
The button-down vest cinches the waist, and a dangly earring-bracelet combo emphasizes her femininity. We dig it.
If This Dress Had a Flavor, It Would Taste Like Lemonade
Moving away from the red carpet, Blake Lively’s style is almost more inspiring.
This summery dress reminds us a lot of her beachy vibes from when she first came on the scene. It’s a much more achievable look for most of her fans, with a waist-defining fit and a long skirt. The pattern is fun, but what’s with the leopard belt? The pointy shoes aren’t showstoppers, and they look uncomfortable, but they’re not bad either.
Our favorite part of this look is her hair. It’s pulled up into a messy updo that’s perfect for more casual occasions. If only messy buns looked that way when us mortals tried it. For most of us, they just look messy.
Blake Lively's Style Evolution Can Stop Here. We're OK With That.
This is too much, Blake. It’s too pretty. You’re going to make us cry. Somehow, Blake’s off-the-carpet style is almost an upgrade. It’s so much fun to see dresses we might actually wear ourselves, and this one is utterly mesmerizing. She looks like a cross between a vintage pinup girl and a Disney princess.
The full circle skirt adds movement and flow, but the fabric is what makes this one of Blake Lively's best looks. A sheer, patterned overlay gives off strong vintage vibes, and the lightness of the fabric makes the look feel weightless and airy. The detailing on the bodice, with the fabric gathered in all the right places and a halter tie accent, adds a romantic effect.
Did you get chills? We got chills.
Aw. It Was So Cute When We Could Actually Go Outside.
Cute and comfy? Sign us up. In this Instagram pic from May 2018 captioned "Date night in my favorite city with 3 of my favorite people," we finally see some patterns we can get behind. The mix of colors is still on the neutral side, and that’s a good thing.
Unlike some of Blake Lively’s style misses, this one doesn’t feel disjointed or busy. The solid beige top ties in the structured plaid jacket and matching shoes, while the long skirt gives a pop of color and intrigue. The way the skirt lays makes us wonder if it’s made of wool.
Either way, it looks super cozy and chic.
It's Settled. We Want to Be Blake Lively When We Grow Up.
This might be Blake Lively’s best look yet. Most unique, no, but the striking simplicity is beautiful in a different way. The combination of soft grays is surprisingly soothing, and this looks like something regular people could actually pull off. And, man, does this girl know how to pose. She doesn’t have to pull runway moves to make her point.
It’s in the subtleties of how she holds herself, how she leans lightly against the wall, puts her hand in her pocket, and angles her body for an ultra-flattering photo. It looks so natural, but anyone who’s tried to take a decent selfie knows that it’s way harder than it looks.
The rhinestone-studded shoes with a wide, gold heel are unlike anything we’ve seen. With another outfit, they might be too much, but with this one, it’s just the right amount of pizazz.
A Couple This Cute Should Be Illegal.
Aw, we love this! Aside from being just about the cutest couple on the planet, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds can pull off adorable couples outfits. Blake Lively’s style evolution wouldn’t be complete without mentioning them! Couples outfits tend to be less dashing and more dorky, but that’s mostly because people try to match *too* much.
Their clothes here are perfectly coordinated without being too matchy-matchy. Her soft, wide-legged pants tie in with the peach stripes on his Adidas, while her strappy heels balance with his glasses and watch. It’s the sense of balance that brings it all together. There’s just the right amount of everything.
Good job, you two. You look amazing, and we can't wait to see what styles you come up with next.