52 photos that show Ariana Grande's dramatic style evolution, from Nickelodeon teen to global phenomenon

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for AGAriana Grande headlined Coachella in 2019.
  • Ariana Grande has been in the public eye since she was a 15-year-old Broadway star.
  • Over time, her wardrobe has gone through numerous transformations.
  • Grande has evolved from a youthful teen on Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” to an edgy, fashion-forward pop star.
  • See the ebbs and flows of her style evolution below.

Ariana Grande knows how to use fashion and style to define her brand.

Grande was cast in the Broadway show “13” at just 15 years old. She went on to star as the bubbly, youthful Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon’s “Victorious.”

But in the years since, the 26-year-old pop star has created one of the most recognisable looks in the music industry. The “Thank U, Next” singer can often be seen sporting her now-iconic high ponytail, over-the-knee boots, mini skirts, and crop tops (or oversized sweatshirts in more casual environments).

See the ebbs and flows of Grande’s style evolution below, including some of her best and most memorable looks.


Grande went casual for her first red carpet appearance in 2008.

Jim Spellman/WireImageAriana Grande visits Planet Hollywood with the cast of Broadway’s ’13’ on October 30, 2008.

According to Refinery29, Grande joined the cast of “13” in January 2008 as a member of the ensemble. She eventually landed a named character role, Charlotte, and became a supporting member for the official Broadway run.


By the time she walked her second red carpet in July 2009, Grande had been cast on Nickelodeon’s “Victorious.”

Christian JENTZ/Gamma-Rapho via Getty ImagesAriana Grande at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘The Lovely Bones’ on July 12, 2009.

Grande was required to dye her hair bright red for the role.


Read more:


THEN AND NOW: The cast of ‘Victorious’ 9 years later


Bright red hair became her signature look.

Jesse Grant/WireImageAriana Grande at the premiere of ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ on October 30, 2009.

The first season of “Victorious” began filming on October 5, 2009. When the pilot episode aired on Nickelodeon on March 27, 2010, the show quickly became a hit.


In her early days of solo performances, Grande favoured sparkly outfits and tutu skirts onstage.

Noel Vasquez/FilmMagicAriana Grande performs at the iPOP! concert series on January 9, 2010.

“yayy!! just finished performing at the iPOP concert!”Grande wrote on Twitter in January 2010. “so much fun! i love you guys!!! post the videos laterr :) yayyy!!! i love performing!”


She wore a white mini dress to the 2010 Kids’ Choice Awards.

Jason Merritt/Getty ImagesAriana Grande arrives at Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards on March 27, 2010.

If you need more context for the era: Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” won favourite song, Selena Gomez won favourite TV actress, and “iCarly” won favourite TV show.


She wore a form-fitting, strapless mini dress at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards.

Jason Merritt/Getty ImagesAriana Grande at the MTV Movie Awards on June 6, 2010.

During this time, Grande’s wardrobe was filled with mini strapless dresses and shiny pumps.


She began to rock a sleek ponytail in the summer of 2010.

Noel Vasquez/Getty ImagesAriana Grande at the 21st annual ‘A Time For Heroes’ celebrity picnic.

“I wear extensions but I wear it in a pony tail because my actual hair is so broken that it looks absolutely ratchet and absurd when I let it down,” Grande told fans in 2014. “It’s all that works for now.”


Grande wore a one-shoulder mini dress at the 2011 Grammys.

Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty ImagesAriana Grande at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.

The dress combined a drapey top with a ruched, body-con skirt.


Two months later, she wore a similar style at the 2011 Kids’ Choice Awards.

Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty ImagesAriana Grande on the orange carpet on April 2, 2011.

Once again, Grande’s outfit consisted of subtle earrings, a neutral-coloured mini dress, and peep toe heels.


She switched it up for the premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” with a maxi dress and long hair.

Jim Spellman/WireImageAriana Grande on the red carpet on July 11, 2011.

Grande is a noted “Harry Potter” obsessive.


Read more:


People are doubting that Pete Davidson is as huge a ‘Harry Potter’ fan as he’s claimed – here’s a look at the evidence


Grande combined different textures with a satin-and-feather dress in late 2011.

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagicAriana Grande attends Project Angel Food’s Divine Design Gala on December 7, 2011.

Grande released her debut single, “Put Your Hearts Up,” on December 12, 2011.


She accessorized with a small hair bow at the 2012 Kids’ Choice Awards.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for KCAAriana Grande at Nickelodeon’s 25th annual Kids’ Choice Awards on March 31, 2012.

“Victorious” won favourite TV show.


The pop star donned a matching two-piece outfit on September 15, 2012.

Gregg DeGuire/WireImageAriana Grande arrives at Variety’s 2012 Power of Youth event.

She accessorized with red lipstick and white sneakers.


Grande went back to brunette in late 2012.

Tommaso Boddi/WireImageAriana Grande at KIIS FM’s 2012 Jingle Ball.

“Victorious” was cancelled in August 2012.


Her hair was noticeably darker at the 2013 Kids’ Choice Awards.

Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesAriana Grande at Nickelodeon’s 26th annual Kids’ Choice Awards on March 23, 2013.

“Victorious” won favourite TV show once again.


Grande wore a midi floral dress for her first-ever late-night TV performance.

Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesGrande performs on June 14, 2013.

She performed her single “The Way” with Mac Miller on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.”


Read more:


All the evidence that Ariana Grande’s song ‘Imagine’ is about Mac Miller


She looked elegant in a floor-length, form-fitting dress at the 2013 American Music Awards.

David Livingston/Getty ImagesAriana Grande poses in the press room at the American Music Awards on November 24, 2013.

Grande won the award for new artist of the year.


She continued to rock a curled, half-up-half-down hairstyle at the 2014 Grammys.

Lester Cohen/WireImageAriana Grande at the Grammy Awards on January 26, 2014.

She presented an award onstage with fellow singer Miguel.


Grande wore a black dress and white boots to perform at the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Awards.

Kevin Mazur/Getty ImagesAriana Grande performs during the iHeartRadio Music Awards on May 1, 2014.

She performed a medley of “The Way” and her newest single, “Problem.”


Read more:
Tyra Banks loves Ariana Grande’s signature ponytail so much that she lectures about its ‘power’ in her class at Stanford


She embraced her new black-and-white aesthetic to perform at Wango Tango in 2014.

Chelsea Lauren/WireImageAriana Grande performs at KIIS FM’s Wango Tango on May 10, 2014.

She performed her third single “Right There,” from her debut album “Yours Truly,” alongside Big Sean. The two began dating a few months later.


Grande donned an edgier look by Moschino at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards.

Kevin Mazur/WireImageAriana Grande attends the MTV Video Music Awards on August 24, 2014.

She won best pop video for “Problem.”


A matching mini skirt and crop top became her signature performance look in the second half of 2014.

Al Pereira/WireImageAriana Grande on August 29, 2014.

She wore this holographic set to perform on NBC’s “Today.”


She wore cat ears onstage throughout her “My Everything” era, starting in late 2014.

Kevin Mazur/WireImageAriana Grande performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 19, 2014.

She released her second studio album, “My Everything” on August 25, 2014.


For her “Saturday Night Live” debut, Grande wore two all-black outfits and cat ears.

Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesAriana Grande was the ‘SNL’ musical guest on September 27, 2014.

It also may have been the night that she met her future fiancé,Pete Davidson.


Read more:


Here’s a complete timeline of Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s whirlwind engagement and sudden split


She wore a black dress with geometric cut-outs at the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards.

Venturelli/WireImageAriana Grande attends the MTV EMAs on November 9, 2014.

Grande wore a futuristic bodysuit to perform her hit single “Break Free” at the awards show.


Grande posed with her then-boyfriend, Big Sean, in a white-and-silver gown at the 2015 Grammys.

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagicBig Sean and Ariana Grande at the Grammy Awards on February 8, 2015.

They broke up two months later.


She moved closer to her now-iconic style during her 2015 “Honeymoon Tour.”

Larry Busacca/Getty ImagesAriana Grande performs at Madison Square Garden on March 20, 2015.

Grande began to define her classic style with matching ensembles, winged eyeliner, over-the-knee boots, and a high ponytail.


She subtly debuted a new tattoo at the American Music Awards on November 22, 2015.

Steve Granitz/WireImageAriana Grande won the award for favourite pop/rock female artist at the 2015 AMAs.

In the summer of 2015, Grande and her then-boyfriend Ricky Alvarez got “hi” inked on their toes.


Read more:


Ariana Grande has gotten 43 tattoos (and counting). Here’s where they are and what they all mean.


Grande went for a classic red gown at the 2016 Grammys.

Steve Granitz/WireImageAriana Grande at the Grammys on February 15, 2016.

She topped the look with diamond accessories and heavy eye makeup.


The 22-year-old singer channeled Marilyn Monroe at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards.

Larry Busacca/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTVAriana Grande attends the MTV Movie Awards on April 9, 2016.

Grande’s satin pink Michael Costello gown and white fur shawl echoed Marilyn Monroe’s performance of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the 1953 film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”


Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” era was dominated by chokers and jackets falling off her shoulders.

RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC ImagesAriana Grande performs on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ on May 12, 2016.

She released her third studio album, “Dangerous Woman,” on May 20, 2016.


She looked cosy and expensive onstage at Wango Tango in 2016.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagicAriana Grande performing on May 14, 2016.

She wore a fluffy coat, beige heels, and a silver choker.


She returned to her sleek, high ponytail at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards.

Frazer Harrison/BBMA2016/Getty Images for dcpAriana Grande on the pink carpet on May 22, 2016.

Her response to rude photographers during this red carpet appearance inspired a popular meme.


Grande got bangs after she was cast on NBC’s “Hairspray Live!”

Evans Vestal Ward/NBCUniversalAriana Grande onstage at the ‘Hairspray Live!’ panel discussion on August 2, 2016.

Grande played Penny Pingleton on the live TV event.


She worked her long ponytail at the 2016 VMAs.

Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImageAriana Grande at the MTV VMAs on August 28, 2016.

She demonstrated her favourite red carpet poses in a video with “Access Hollywood.”


Later that night, she donned a retro white-and-pink outfit to perform her hit single “Side to Side.”

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic‘Side to Side’ has been certified quadruple platinum.

Grande took the stage with Nicki Minaj at the 2016 VMAs.


She wore sleeveless tops and baggy pants on on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesAriana Grande performs with The Roots on September 8, 2016.

She performed “Side to Side” and took the “Best Friends Challenge” with Jimmy Fallon.


She wore a lacy top and white pants at the 2016 AMAs.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty ImagesAriana Grande at the American Music Awards on November 20, 2016.

She won the award for artist of the year.


Grande wore a variety of edgy, trendy outfits during her 2017 “Dangerous Woman” tour.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live NationAriana Grande performs on February 3, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Other looks included a floor-length leather gown and a baggy all-white tracksuit.


She wore an oversized sweatshirt and jeans for “One Love Manchester.”

Getty Images/Dave Hogan for One Love ManchesterAriana Grande performs onstage on June 4, 2017.

Grande returned to Manchester for a benefit concert in June 2017, less than two weeks after a suicide bomb killed 22 people at her Manchester Arena concert on May 22.


She stepped out with platinum blonde hair on March 4, 2018.

GC ImagesMac Miller and Ariana Grande attending an Oscar party.

She first teased the new hairstyle in April, on the cover art for her single “No Tears Left to Cry.” She also sported a variety of platinum blonde ponytails in the music video.


She rocked a purple ponytail during a surprise performance at Coachella in 2018.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for CoachellaAriana Grande performs with Kygo at Coachella on April 20, 2018.

She wore a matching purple set, beige boots, and a black fanny pack onstage during Kygo’s set.


“I look like a gumdrop,” she told Jimmy Fallon on May 1, 2018.

Andrew Lipovsky/NBCShe wore a short pink dress and beige boots.

She announced the release of her album “Sweetener” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”


Grande channeled the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling at the 2018 Met Gala.

George Pimentel/Getty ImagesAriana Grande at the Met Gala on May 7, 2018.

Grande dressed according to the theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination,” with a gown designed by Vera Wang.

Grande later revealed that her heavenly attire, which featured Michelangelo’s “The Last Judgment,” was actually a hint about her upcoming single, “God Is a Woman.”


She wore another “gumdrop” dress and another oversized bow at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.

Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesAriana Grande performs at the BBMAs on May 20, 2018.

She performed her newest single, “No Tears Left to Cry.”


She donned a futuristic outfit — and debuted her new engagement ring — at Wango Tango in 2018.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMediaAriana Grande performs on June 2, 2018.

She had recently gotten engaged to Davidson, but the public didn’t know it yet.


Grande frequently stepped out in the summer of 2018 wearing oversized sweatshirts and over-the-knee boots.

Gotham/GC ImagesPete Davidson and Ariana Grande seen on June 20, 2018.

Her current style also includes plenty of barettes and hair accessories.


She let her hair down and wore a shiny, silver mini dress at the 2018 VMAs.

Kevin Mazur/WireImageAriana Grande at the MTV VMAs on August 20, 2018.

Later that night, she wore a celestial bodysuit onstage to perform “God Is a Woman.”


She wore her own merchandise onstage for “The Sweetener Sessions.”

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for American ExpressAriana Grande performs on August 25, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

In a series of intimate performances to promote her newest album “Sweetener,” Grande wore oversized sweatshirts from her own merchandise collection.


Grande wore a lavender “loofah” dress to accept Billboard’s 2018 award for woman of the year.

Jim Spellman/WireImageAriana Grande attends Billboard’s Women in Music event on December 6, 2018.

“Loofah of the year,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing a photo of the Christian Siriano bustier mini dress.


Grande’s colourful “Sweetener Tour” looks were custom-made by Versace.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Ariana GrandeAriana Grande performs on March 18, 2019 in Albany, New York.

“wow what a moment,” the “Thank U, Next” songstress wrote on Instagram, tagging the famed Italian designer. “thanks for making this lil Italian chick’s dreams come tru w all my custom looks. love u forever and am extraordinarily grateful.”


Each of Grande’s seven outfits adhere to the same formula: a mini skirt, a crop top, over-the-knee boots, and her high ponytail.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Ariana GrandeAriana Grande backstage at her ‘Sweetener World Tour.’

Law Roach, the celebrity stylist and Image Architect,told People magazine that he always uses those four elements to build Grande’s outfits. He stuck to the same formula to help create her “feminine and superpowerful” looks on the “Sweetener” tour.

“I always like to say if you put anyone behind a screen with a long pony, an A-line skirt, an over-the-knee boot, the first thing that comes to everybody’s mind is now Ariana Grande,” Roach told People. “I really do think that one of her ponytails will end up in the Smithsonian one day, that’s how iconic I believe that ponytail is.”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.