Jennifer Lopez's Met Gala looks, ranked from least to most iconic

Jennifer Lopez's Met Gala looks, ranked from least to most iconic
  • Jennifer Lopez has attended more than a dozen Met Galas over the years.

  • She is a co-chair for this year's Met Gala on Monday, which has the theme "The Garden of Time."

  • Lopez has become far more bold with her Met Gala looks through the years.

More than twenty years after her Met Gala debut, Jennifer Lopez is co-chairing the biggest night in fashion.

She'll join Zendaya, Chris Hemsworth, and Bad Bunny at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 6 to celebrate "Sleeping Beauty: Reawakening Fashion," this year's exhibit.

Lopez has worn a range of styles during her appearances on the museum's iconic steps, and her looks have only become more bold and daring through the years.

So as we wait to see her next big red carpet moment, let's take a look back at every Met Gala outfit — ranked from least to most iconic.

Jennifer Lopez made her Met Gala debut in a safe monochromatic look reflective of the times.

Sean Combs and Jennifer Lopez walk up the stairs at the Met Gaa
Sean Combs and Jennifer Lopez attend The Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute Gala Exhibition of "Rock Style" on December 6, 1999, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.Ron Galella/Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez made her debut in 1999 with her then-boyfriend Sean Combs, known back then as Puffy.

The theme was "Rock Style," and although she wore a tan fur jacket with a matching silk dress and understated heels, once the jacket came off, J. Lo showed off her signature style.

Showing a bit of skin, Lopez wore a cut-out dress that she could easily rewear today.

Lopez's lackluster gown at the 2008 Met Gala looked like an off-the-rack prom dress from the mid-00's.

Jennifer Lopez at the 2008 Met Gala
Jennifer Lopez at the 2008 Met Gala.Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Lopez sported a teal Alberta Ferretti dress for the 2008 Met Gala, which was titled "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy."

But her simple one-shoulder gown didn't feel very superhero or fantasy. The pleated bodice and heavy beading made the dress look outdated, especially when paired with the shiny fabric. Lopez accessorized the ensemble with a sparkling clutch and cuff bracelet that resembled a corsage, transporting us to slow dancing in a school gym while "All My Life" blasts on the speakers.

Her hair looked great though!

Lopez's gown at the 2006 Met Gala was pretty but plain.

Jennifer Lopez at the 2006 Met Gala
Jennifer Lopez at the 2006 Met Gala.Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Lopez sported a baby-pink Versace dress for the Met Gala's 2006 theme "AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion."

While this gown shares a similar silhouette with Lopez's 2008 ensemble, both the color and ruching elevate it to a look that feels very feminine and elegant. But exciting? Not really.

Overall, this is a lovely dress. But it belongs at the Oscars — not the Met Gala.

She channeled Old Hollywood glamour in 2008 in honor of the "Poiret: King Of Fashion" theme.

Jennifer Lopez Met Gala 2007
Jennifer Lopez at the 2007 Met Gala.Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

The pre-Instagram Met Gala red carpet was a simpler place, and Lopez's early outfits for fashion's biggest night clearly reflect that.

Lopez shimmered on the 2018 red carpet in an off-the-shoulder Marchesa gown which, complete with an embellished belt, looked fit for a Greek goddess. And she smartly avoided turning the dress into a costume by pairing it with a bob of stylish curls that looked straight out of the 1940s.

While it wasn't a very memorable look, there's no denying that Lopez looked glamorous.

Lopez made a splash with Dolce and Gabbana in 2004.

Jennifer Lopez at the 2004 Met Gala
Jennifer Lopez at the 2004 Met Gala with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. WWD/Getty Images

Lopez made a splash on Met Gala red carpet with the help of the legendary designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabanna.

She wore a dress from their brand during the 2004 event, which was titled "Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century."

Lopez looked lovely in a romantic black dress that featured a number of unique details. We love the daring sheer lace bodice — 11 years before the "naked dress" took over the Met Gala — and the black buttons running down the sides of the gown. The ruffled skirt, braided updo, and bright red lipstick added to the Flamenco flair of the ensemble.

Lopez started having more fun with her fashion in honor of the “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” Met Gala in 2013.

Jennifer Lopez at the 2013 Met Gala
Jennifer Lopez at the 2013 Met Gala.Rabbani and Solimene Photography

Lopez stepped out in a long-sleeved Michael Kors dress in 2013.

The sheer ensemble was covered in black spots from head to toe, resembling a cheetah print. Lopez paired the look with a sky-high pompadour that would've made Cyndi Lauper proud.

Lopez's dress might've been more jungle than punk, but the multi-hyphenate superstar was clearly becoming more comfortable bringing her daring style over to the Met Gala. Don't forget that it was Lopez — and her iconic green Versace dress — that launched Google Images.

Lopez stunned in fire-engine red dress during the 2011 Met Gala, which paid tribute to Alexander McQueen.

Jennifer Lopez Met Gala 2011
Jennifer Lopez at the 2011 Met Gala. Peter Kramer / AP

Let's be honest, the 2011 Met Gala red carpet was kind of a snoozer — especially when you realize it was meant to honor one of fashion's biggest trailblazers just a year after his tragic death.

While Lopez doesn't get points from us for boldness (or, you know, wearing a McQueen design), her red Gucci gown is undeniably beautiful.

The flowing dress featured a cutout on the bodice and a bow-tie halter neckline, and Lopez paired the ensemble with a matching red shoulder-piece covered in flowers. The styling — a sleek updo and dramatic red lips — was spot on. While this isn't among Lopez's most memorable looks, it's definitely one of the prettiest.

Naked dresses were everywhere at the 2015 Met Gala, and Lopez was among the stars who jumped on the trend.

jennifer lopez 2015 met gala
Jennifer Lopez at the 2015 Met Gala. Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Rihanna kicked off the naked dress trend after wearing a barely-there gown to the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards, and her influence was apparent as everyone from Beyoncé to Kim Kardashian sported the style on the Met Gala red carpet the following year.

Lopez also jumped on the bandwagon, wearing a sheer red Versace gown for the "China: Through The Looking Glass" theme.

The one-shoulder dress was decorated with a sparkling (and strategically-placed) dragon that curved down the bodice, and an ombré red train covered in flame-like sparkles.

Lopez may have opted out of the 2017 Met Gala's avant-garde theme, but she sure looked like a Hollywood dream.

Jennifer Lopez at the 2017 Met Gala.
Jennifer Lopez at the 2017 Met Gala.Karwai Tang/Getty Images

Most of the headlines surrounding J.Lo's 2017 Met Gala appearance were dedicated to her red carpet debut with then-boyfriend Alex Rodriguez.

Their relationship is ancient history and we're back in the Bennifer era, but we shouldn't forget this stunning Valentino dress.

Does the dress fit the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" theme? Absolutely not. But as you've probably been able to tell from the last few slides, Lopez often chooses to just do her own thing. And it worked out pretty great in 2017.

Lopez's sky-blue dress oozes undeniable 1970s glamour. The high neckline and sheer cape add so much sophistication to this ensemble, as does her high-pony and massive Harry Winston hoop earrings.

Lopez discovered the designer of her stunning 2010 Met Gala gown while she was watching TV while jet-lagged.

Jennifer Lopez, wearing a strapless, sparkly gold ball gown, poses on the red carpet at the 2010 Met Gala.
Jennifer Lopez attends the 2010 Met Gala.Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Lopez's gorgeous Zuhair Murad gown, which she wore for the "American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity theme," took more than 1,000 hours to make.

"Of course, the time spent on the gown was worth it," Murad told Vogue Arabia at the time. "As Jennifer matched every second of its glory that night."

The strapless gray gown featured a shimmering silver bodice with hand-embroidered embellishments that flowed down the length of the skirt. Lopez paired the dress with a smokey eye and chic updo.

According to Vogue Arabia, Lopez discovered Murad while watching the now-defunct Fashion TV channel in the middle of the night. When she flew back to the US, Lopez had her team track down Murad and ask him to work with her for the Met Gala.

Lopez channeled her inner cowgirl for the “In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion” theme in 2021.

Jennifer Lopez at the 2021 Met Gala.
Jennifer Lopez at the 2021 Met Gala.WWD/Getty Images

Looking back at the last few years, there's clearly been a big shift in how Lopez approaches the Met Gala. By embracing the theme and opting for more daring fashion, Lopez is making it known that she's someone to watch every year on its red carpet.

And she sure made a splash in 2019 with this brown Ralph Lauren ensemble, which was covered in the subtlest of silver sparkles. The gown featured a plunging neckline, thigh-high slit, and a train that dramatically flowed down the iconic Met Gala steps.

Lopez paired the dress with a matching brown faux fur wrap, a silver statement necklace, and a leather belt and choker — which all paired perfectly with the outfit's Rodeo-inspired vibe.

And she sparkled from head to toe in a daring Balmain gown in 2018.

Jennifer Lopez attends the Met Gala 2018
Jennifer Lopez attends the Met Gala 2018Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

There must have been something in the water in 2018 because everyone was bringing it for the "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" theme. Rihanna was the Pope, Ariana Grande was the Sistine Chapel, and Blake Lively just looked like a straight up queen.

The style competition was fierce, but Lopez held her own with this stunning black Balmain dress. Starring a blue and red cross right in the middle of the chest, the long-sleeved cut-out gown also featured a feathered skirt and thigh-high slit.

Lopez paired the look with sleek hair that she had cut right before walking the red carpet.

"We cut it today, she said she wanted something different and the designer wanted something different. We wanted it to look fresh," hairstylist Lorenzo Martin told Allure at the time. "We just decided it today, like an hour and a half before she left. I didn't even know, she didn't even know we were doing it either."

Lopez fully embraced the “Camp: Notes On Fashion” theme during the 2019 Met Gala.

Jennifer Lopez at the 2019 Met Gala.
Jennifer Lopez at the 2019 Met Gala.ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Everything about Lopez's look for the 2019 Met Gala was just so fun. She shimmered in an iridescent backless Versace gown that was covered in sparkling fringe, and rocked a plunging neckline and thigh-high slit.

She paired the look with an icy fringe-covered wig that would've been at home in Cher's closet, and her matching sky-high platform heels were the perfect accessory. The look was loud, bold, and totally different for "Jenny from the Block."

Lopez revealed in a YouTube video that her 2019 Met Gala dress was one of the last gowns made by Versace's longtime tailor Luigi Massi, who she had worked with for 20 years.

"He didn't speak any English, he spoke Italian. And I didn't speak any Italian, but somehow we always understood each other," she said in the video.

Lopez was the embodiment of chic in her Ralph Lauren dress at last year's Met Gala.

Jennifer Lopez at the 2023 Met Gala.
Jennifer Lopez at the 2023 Met Gala.Kevin Mazur/MG23/Getty Images

Lopez skipped Chanel for the 2023 "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" theme, but she still channeled the label's iconic colors with her sophisticated yet daring baby-pink and black gown.

The backless Ralph Lauren dress featured a handmade silk satin skirt and a velvet halter top with a collar made of hand-molded petals, according to Harper's Bazaar. A dramatic flowing train matched the black silk opera gloves and fascinator that Lopez accessorized her ensemble with.

"I wasn't sure about the hat, but now I'm kinda feeling it," she told Vogue on the red carpet.

The hat, the gloves, the dress — it's all perfect! It's clear Lopez has really come into her own over her last two decades on the Met Gala red carpet.

And we can't wait to see what she wears next.

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