Charlize Theron is known for her serious acting chops and edgy red carpet looks — but her reputation and style have evolved time and time again.
Today she celebrates her 42nd birthday, and we’re looking at her fashion transformation before she hit it big, starting off as an ingénue to a makeover after winning an Oscar.
When Theron first burst onto the film scene, she was cast as “the hot blonde” in a slew of films, including “2 Days in the Valley” (1996), “Trial and Error” (1997) and “Reindeer Games” (2000). On the red carpet, the actress wore slinky dresses and sky-high stilettos that reflected her blonde bombshell status.
Things changed for the South African beauty when she was cast by “Wonder Woman” (2017) director Patty Jenkins in the ultimate career-shaping film, “Monster” (2003). The movie portrayed Theron as real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos, and the actress took home an Academy Award for her work.
Perhaps in backlash to her gritty role in “Monster,” Theron changed up her red carpet fashion around this time, hitting the awards circuit in pastel dresses and glittery heels for looks that came across as girlie.
In 2004, Theron signed a deal with then-Dior head designer John Galliano, becoming the spokeswoman for the label’s J’Adore perfume. This Dior deal led to another shift in the actress’ style. Although Theron does not wear Dior exclusively, the brand is her go-to — and in the mid-2000s, she begun experimenting with bold looks by the designer, pulling off excessive ruffles, asymmetric designs and dramatic trains.
In the past few years — as Theron has begun regularly appearing in action flicks, including “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) and “Atomic Blonde” (2017) — her style has shifted again, and the star’s looks have gone from avant-garde to edgy.
At the Berlin premiere for “Atomic Blonde,” the actress went for a revealing look in a white Dior bra top and skirt, finishing off her look with on-trend white pumps. At other events this year, the actress has shown off her skin in sheer outfits and has consistently edged up her looks with boots, wearing chic Gianvito Rossi thigh-highs and rebellious black booties.
Click through the gallery to see more of Theron’s red carpet looks through the years.