As an awkward teenager, I always wanted to be the ‘It’ girl that came back to school after summer break 20 pounds lighter, sporting new highlights, amazingly clear skin, and a killer tan from countless days at the beach. I’d be the one that would throw open those front doors and sashay into my high school hall on the first day, in a chic back-to-school wardrobe complete with that incredible Chanel chiffon dress from her mom’s couture-filled closet.
I never did get to be that girl, but I did get to live out my fantasies through my favorite celebutantes, who have given new meaning to the word fab fashion transformation. These girls took the roles of those fashion heroines from our favorite makeover movies, shedding pathetic pieces to reveal sleek designer duds that accentuated every aspect of their already fabulous frame.
They may not have always been clad in complementary couture, but over the years, these stars have transformed into stunning fashionistas with statement-y style to boot.
Here, Second City Style reveals the best of the best:
1. Mandy Moore: Teeny Bopper Turned Triple-Threat
Back in 1999, Mandy’s overly bleach blonde do and cotton candy couture was too teeny bopper for our taste. Pink eyeliner, bold blush on high cheekbones, and sugary sweet pieces “was a lot like making a commercial, except I was the product,” Mandy has said. Since chopping and darkening her luscious locks in 2003, Mandy has matured into a mod fashion maven, starring in hit movies like “License to Wed” and “A Walk To Remember”, launching Mblem, her t-shirt line, and trading syrupy lyrics for a throaty rock-and-roll rapport. Her glam look followed suit, with fitted blazers, empire-waist dresses and super-feminine skirts replacing slummy oversize t-shirts. What do we really love? Mandy stands 5’10 tall, but she’s not afraid to wear heels! Did you see her on the cover of Lucky magazine in that Black Halo silk chiffon/tweed dress from Saks? How utterly divine!
Want the look of a triple-threat?
When you’re dressing up, go for this double-breasted Stella McCartney coat dress. Dressing down? Try the Mandy-owned Marc Jacobs Shantung dress and some suede ballet flats.
2. Jennifer Garner: Plain Jane Turned Foxy Frock Rocker
When willowy Jennifer Garner jumped into the Hollywood scene with recurring appearances on the WB’s Felicity, she was sporting plain Jane hair, little makeup, and a nerdy schoolgirl style complete with plaid skirts and cable-knit sweaters. Her true big break came in 2001 in her role as grad student/CIA agent Sidney Bristow in Alias, Felicity director J.J. Abrams’s ABC adventure. Gone were the black frames, the messy hairdos, and the drab dressed-down looks. An extremely fit Jennifer Garner was soon starring in action-packed movie roles and racking up the red-carpet appearances in showstopper gowns from the likes of Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, and Narciso Rodriguez. Unfortunately, Jennifer’s chic styles seem to end with media appearances. Her personal style while out with daughter Violet and superstar hubby Ben Affleck goes back to hoodies, dingy denim jackets and faded blue jeans. But hey, she’s not the dowdy girl she once was! Did you catch her at the 2007 Video Music Awards? Pure elegance!
Get Jennifer’s dressed-up duds.
Try this Juicy Couture Contrast dress with a pair of black Chinese Laundry pumps.
Dressing down? A cozy cardigan wrap works well with 7 For All Mankind A Pocket Jeans.
3. Jessica Alba: Femme Fatale Turned Trendy Tarte
Juicy Couture’s Janey Lopata once told People.com this Fantastic Four star’s style was â€œfashionable but not trendy.” We beg to differ! This femme fashion fatale known for sparkling frocks and gorgeous gowns at black-tie affairs is known for her hip street style too. But it wasn’t always that way. Back then, Jessica may have been youngerâ€”but this superstar was a true femme fataleâ€”or at least she dressed that way. Fortunately the sexy styles, skin-revealing getups and too much makeup have been replaced with structured pencil skirts, belted pumps, and patent pumps. We’ve seen her looking glam in an Alexander McQueen red sack dress and Christian Louboutin pumps or a yellow Yigal Azrouel frock with white platform heels, but she knows how to look uber-trendy while out shopping or taking a stroll with on-again beau Cash Warren. The sultry stunner will dress up bold colored skinny jeans and black glittery flats with a trench coat or throw on a lightweight scarf over wide leg jeans and sandals. You might see her pairing leggings with a graphic print dress or accessorizing with oversize shades, multi-strand chain necklaces and a thick side slung handbag. One thing’s for sure, Jessica have become a mature scene stealer on the big screen with her leading roles and her style maturation has followed suit. Did you see her in the paillette-covered Prada dress and patent pumps at the Good Luck Chuck L.A. premiere? Tres chic!
Be a scene stealer like Jessica Alba.
For a statement dress, try Prada’s sequined number. For a daily stroll, pair a cropped Jak & Rae jacket with skinny jeans and flats.
4. Katie Holmes: From Girl Next Door to Classic Couture
Former Dawson’s Creek cast mate definitely gets our vote for hottest hubby. (We want to be married to Tom Cruise, too!) But where does she really shine? It’s all in the clothes! In the past year, Katie has swapped classy prepster sweater sets, girly striped tees, and bootcut jeans for an even classier Vidal Sassoon chop, Rolan Mouret wide-leg trousers, Balenciaga coats, Lanvin tees, J Brand jeans, Azzedine Alaia dresses, and Giorgio Armani sunglasses. We may not understand why she wears Christian Louboutins at the beach or Roland Mouret pants to the park, but with the birth of daughter Suri, this mod mom has matured and we’re excited for what’s next! Remember when she pulled out the Old Hollywood glam? Katie paired the Eres bathing suit with a wide YSL belt! Simply stunning!
Want a dressy Katie Holmes look?
Try this Matthew Williamson Old Rose dress. Something casual? Katie’s Bottega Veneta jacket and J Brand Joplin Jeans in Indigo Wash definitely works for us.
5. Nicole Richie: From Grunge Girl to Glamour Girl
If any celeb wants a lesson in how to make a fashionable impression, she needs to get tips from makeover maven Nicole Richie, who started her reality show days in skunk-like hair extensions, micro minis, and logo-emblazoned tank tops. In 2003, the former fugly girl flaunted many a fashion faux pas (remember the sheer bodysuit or the UGG boots?) until she decided to drop the weight, chop the do, and glam the look! Instant glamification! Suddenly low-cut tops were replaced with floral prints and ruffled blouses and micro minis with Michael Kors dresses. Nicole has proven to her peers that style even exists in the grungiest of girls. Now she’s done it again in maternity wear, trading in the glam party girl look for classy empire-waist dresses and long gowns â€” all still showcasing the signature solid colors or graphic prints that this socialite is known for! Didn’t you love her long zebra-like black and white Roberto Cavalli keyhole-cutout halter gown at the Fashion Rocks concert? Dazzling diva!
Want to glam up like Nicole? Try an Emilio Pucci dress or a piece from Corey Lynn Calter.