Charlize Theron: See How Her Red Carpet Style Has Changed

It’s been 20 years since Charlize Theron landed her first movie role at the age of 22, and in that time her style has changed in a subtle yet noticeable way.

Certain items — like pantsuits, statement necklaces, and strapless tops —  have remained staples in the star’s wardrobe for decades, but she has styled them differently over time. Through the use of makeup and jewelry, her style has also become more relaxed and informal, and her hair has been on quite the journey.

The actress’s gradual evolution shows that change doesn’t always have to be startling. Theron’s tendency to stick to fashion and beauty looks that work for her prove she has a clearly defined sense of style.

Keep scrolling to see how the “Atomic Blonde” star’s style has transformed.

Theron wore a striped shift dress to the BMI Pop Awards in May 1998.

charlize theron 1998
Charlize Theron at the 1998 BMI Pop Awards in Beverly Hills, California. 

She also wore her naturally brunette hair in a short pixie cut.

In the late ’90s and early 2000s, stripes were a wardrobe staple for the actress.

charlize theron june 2000
Theron’s hair was back to blonde in 2000. 

She wore this sparkly top to the premiere of “The Perfect Storm” in June 2000.

Theron has been a big fan of pantsuits since she began her acting career.

charlize theron february 2001
Charlize Theron at the “Sweet November” premiere in Westwood, California. 

She chose a sleek white ensemble for the premiere of “Sweet November” in February 2001, and accessorized with a pair of black-and-white heels and a matching purse.

The actress wore a distressed, off-the-shoulder top and a pair of baggy white jeans to an event in September 2003.

charlize theron september 2003
Charlize Theron at a photocall for “The Italian Job” in Deauville, France. 

These separate pieces of clothing don’t really come together as a cohesive outfit.

She wore a ruffled cold-shoulder top and bootcut jeans to the MTV Movie Awards in June 2002.

charlize theron june 2002
Charlize Theron on the purple carpet at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards. 

Theron kept her accessories, hair, and makeup simple.

For a February 2004 screening of “Monster,” Theron opted for a vampy, glamorous look in a fur-style shawl over a floor-length black gown.

charlize theron february 2004
Charlize Theron attends a “Monster” screening in Berlin, Germany on February 8, 2004. 

For a pop of color, she wore red lipstick to complement her Hollywood-inspired outfit.

She wore this mermaid-esque fishtail gown to the Golden Globes in January 2005.

charlize theron january 2005
The actress loves to wear different silhouettes, and often opts for strapless necklines. 

She also wore her hair in a dark pixie cut.

She wore a tuxedo-like ensemble to the UK premiere of “North Country” in February 2006.

charlize theron february 2006
Charlize Theron at the UK premiere of “North Country” in February 2006. 

She stuck to a simple black-and-white color scheme for the event.

In June 2006, Theron wore this tunic dress to an event during the Los Angeles Film Festival.

charlize theron june 2006
Charlize Theron on a red carpet at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival. 

She finished the look with a gold statement necklace, and styled her hair in tight curls.

Theron wore another tux-like ensemble to the premiere of “East of Havana” in February 2007.

charlize theron february 2007
The actress is a fan of wearing monochrome outfits with red lipstick. 

However, the colors on her jacket and undershirt were inverted.

Theron changed up her look in a major way for the MTV Movie Awards in June 2008.

charlize theron june 2008
This outfit was quite different from her standard look. 

She wore a corset and dark jeans with edgy accessories and lots of eyeliner.

The actress often wears metallic dresses to formal events.

charlize theron march 2009
She wore black accessories and painted her nails black to keep the look edgy. 

She wore this gold dress to the premiere of “The Burning Plain” in March 2009.

Though she doesn’t usually wear a lot of color, Theron chose a two-tone purple gown for the Academy Awards in March 2010.

charlize theron march 2010
Charlize Theron attends the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. 

She finished off the look with contrasting, bright red lipstick.

Theron rocked several of her wardrobe staples at once in 2011: a strapless neckline, a fringe dress, and a suit jacket.

charlize theron june 2011
Charlize Theron at the launch of DIOR VIII in June 2011. 

She also wore a pair of Art Deco-style heels to go with the 1920s style of her dress.

Theron also wore an oversized two-piece outfit in 2011.

charlize theron september 2011
These wide-leg pants had a busy pattern. 

The actor wore the ensemble to GQ’s Men Of The Year Awards in September 2011.

She wore a shimmering strapless dress with a leg-exposing slit to the premiere of “Prometheus” in May 2012.

charlize theron may 2012
Charlize Theron on the blue carpet at the “Prometheus” premiere in 2012. 

Glitter fabric is a large part of Theron’s wardrobe — especially for formal events.

Read moreThe 74 most daring dresses celebrities have ever worn

In February 2013, she wore a dusty, gray-purple strapless gown with a statement sequin detail.

charlize theron february 2013
Charlize Theron at the 2013 Cinema For Peace Gala. 

Her hair was darker and shorter at the time, and she carried a gold clutch.

Theron wore a black gown with sheer straps to the Oscars in March 2014.

charlize theron march 2014
Charlize Theron at the Oscars on March 2, 2014. 

She finished the look with a large diamond pendant.

The actress often wears blazers and suit jackets over dresses.

charlize theron november 2014
Theron often wears her hair swept back. 

She wore this ensemble to the opening of Nasty Gal’s Melrose store in November 2014.

The actress wore a mixed-material black dress at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2015.

charlize theron may 2015
Charlize Theron seems to love fringe details. 

She finished the look with a scarf. 

The actress went for another pantsuit during the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

charlize theron may 2016
Charlize Theron at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2015. 

She completed the look with a smoky eye and diamond necklace.

Theron switched up her usual color scheme with a red gown at Vanity Fair’s Oscars party in February 2016.

charlize theron oscars 2016
Charlize Theron attends Vanity Fair’s Oscars party in February 2016. 

She complemented the dress’s plunging neckline with a necklace.

At the Cannes Film Festival in May 2017, Theron wore a sheer black gown with a thigh-high slit.

charlize theron may 2017
Charlize Theron walks the red carpet at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. 

The actress wore lace tights underneath her dress, making the look edgy.

The actor wore another black ensemble to a movie premiere in July 2017.

charlize theron july 2017
The actress is a fan of mixing fabrics in the same color. 

Theron sported a sheer, fringe dress to the premiere of “Atomic Blonde.”

Theron rocked another white pantsuit at the “Gringo” premiere in 2018.

charlize theron
Charlize Theron at the premiere of “Gringo” on March 6, 2018. 

She donned a sheer white shirt underneath her suit jacket, and also wore see-through socks with her heels.

Two months later, she opted for a much darker look while making an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

charlize theron colbert
Charlize Theron arriving at “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on May 3, 2018. 

Theron donned a sparkling poncho over a sleeveless dress and opaque tights. She also wore heeled boots for the event.

Theron looked elegant in a sleeveless dress at the 2019 Critics’ Choice Awards in January.

charlize theron critics choice awards
Charlize Theron at the Critics’ Choice Awards on January 13, 2019. 

She paired a blunt bob hairstyle with a metallic dress for the event. Her gown was an ombré mix of silver, blue, and white colors, and featured a triangular cutout above her stomach.

In May 2019, Theron put a unique spin on the “naked trend” while in New York City.

charlize theron nyc
Charlize Theron in New York City on May 1, 2019. 

On May 1, Theron was spotted walking around New York City wearing bright-blue pants and a matching turtleneck. Her top was also sheer, and revealed a blue bra.