Charlize Theron's Most Memorable Outfits

She's mastered every major trend over the past two decades — and then some.

Charlize Theron wearing a white tea length skirt, red top, and black scarf in 2000
Photo: Jim Smeal/Getty Images

From graphic tees to popcorn shirts, the resurgence of trends from decades past has us feeling nostalgic. We've been thinking about former celebrity couples, old TV shows we loved, and the (sometimes questionable) fashion choices that we've made over the past few years.

Perhaps no one knows more about that last bit than Charlize Theron, who, we've realized, mastered every major trend over the past two decades (and slightly beyond). Bubble skirts? She wore 'em. Random mid-section belts? Check. The actress even styled dresses over pants and wore large scarves with tank tops — two combinations that never made much sense, TBH.

Still, Theron managed to make it all look pretty darn good. Take a trip down memory lane by looking at some of the star's best throwback outfits, as we cross our fingers and hope, for our sake, that some of these pieces never make a comeback.

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Camis and Pencil Skirts

Charlize Theron in 1997 wearing a black cami and pencil skirt
Sam Levi/WireImage

A classic 1997 pairing. It worked for the office, casual outings, and, in Theron's case, the red carpet.

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Metallic Dresses

Charlize Theron at the 1998 Vanity Fair Oscar Party wearing a velvet halter dress
Jim Smeal/Getty Images

It's true: the actress has been loving metallic designs since 1998. And this one's got a lovely velvet texture to it.

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Feather Tops

Charlize Theron in 1998 wearing an all-black outfit with feather details

We're honestly ready for this not-so-little detail to make a comeback. it added a bit of flair to Theron's 1998 look.

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Matching Shawls

Charlize Theron at the 2000 Screen Actors Guild Awards wearing a red dress with matching shawl
Sam Levi/WireImage

When finding the perfect layer to go with your dress was easy — and included in your purchase. Theron wore this ensemble to the 2000 SAG Awards.

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Crocheted Scarves

Charlize Theron in 2000 wearing jeans, a cami, and a scarf
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

Styled with a cami and a printed satin bag, of course.

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Matching Scarves

Charlize Theron in 2000 wearing a floral print satin dress with matching scarf
James Devaney/WireImage

Like a matching shawl, but slightly different. It's also worth noting that Theron seemed to be a fan of spaghetti straps in the year 2000.

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Mesh Tops

Charlize Theron in 2001 wearing jeans, a white cami, and a black mesh top
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

Worn over a white tank top with a thin, studded belt (for some extra edge).

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Front-Tie Sweaters

Charlize Theron in 2001 wearing a brown leather skirt, red top, and kitten heels

And knee-length leather skirts! We can't forget about Theron's kitten heels, either, which completed this 2001 ensemble.

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Graphic T-Shirts

Charlize Theron in jeans, a graphic tee, hat and sunglasses with dogs in 2002
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

These tops always promoted something random like a fake team, a fake band, or, in this case, cheetahs.

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Going-Out Tops

Charlize Theron in 2002 wearing transparent black top, flares, and pointy toe shoes
Jim Smeal/Getty Images

2002's version of a semi-fancy, super sexy look, especially when styled with low-rise jeans and heels.

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Ruched Dresses

Charlize Theron in 2004 wearing a black ruched dress with star detail and gray duster
Tony Barson/WireImage

These babies were always embellished with some sort of pin to pull it all together. Example: the silver star on Theron's dress, which she wore to a 2004 photo call for the movie Monster.

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Micro Minis

Charlize Theron in 2004 wearing a miniskirt and black turtleneck
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Which Theron wore with a modest black turtleneck because, balance.

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Satin Skirts

Charlize Theron in 2004 wearing a satin skirt, ribbed tank top, and holding a dog on a leash on the red carpet
Giulio Marcocchi/Getty Images

Theron's 2004 version fell just below the knee.

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Jewel Tones

Charlize Theron in 2004 wearing a purple dress and black polka dot heels
Tony Barson/WireImage

And, let's not forget the gold bangle bracelets that were added to this look.

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Belting Everything

Charlize Theron in 2005 wearing a belted black dress, jacket, and knee-high boots
Jean Baptiste Lacroix/FilmMagic

The actress proved to be a fan of 2005's mid-section belt trend, wearing one to Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week that year.

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Fancy Flats

Charlize Theron wearing a black strapless dress and pointed flats at the 2005 North Country premiere
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

A red carpet fashion staple back in 2005.

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Button-Up Vests

Charlize Theron Visits MTV's TRL 2005
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

We really hope Theron held onto the striped vest that she wore to TRL — this aughts staple recently resurfaced.

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Shorts Suits

Charlize Theron in 2006 wearing a shorts suit set with heels
Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

The star spiced up her gray set with strappy metallic heels while attending the Melbourne premiere of North Country.

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Round-Toe Heels

Charlize Theron in 2006 wearing a metallic mini dress and neutral round toe pumps
Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images

In a sand-like color, no less. Bringing us back to 2006!

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Oversized Purses

Charlize Theron at the airport in 2006 carrying an oversized purse
Jun Sato/WireImage

Sure, Theron was technically at the airport here, but big bags were all the rage back then.

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Pencil Skirts

Charlize Theron in 2006 wearing a sheer black top and pencil skirt with heels
Junko Kimura/Getty Images

This work staple became slightly sexier when the star added a sheer, off-the-shoulder top and drop earrings.

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Peek-a-Boo Shoulders

Charlize Theron in 2006 wearing a gray dress with peek-a-boo shoulders
Junko Kimura/Getty Images

And, whoa — check out that statement-making pendant necklace, too!

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Printed Maxi Dresses

Charlize Theron at the 2007 Venice Film Festival wearing a printed black and white maxi dress
Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

The thick black band signals that this dress is from 2007. Theron wore it to the Venice Film Festival that year.

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Bubble Dress

Charlize Theron at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival wearing a black bubble dress
George Pimentel/WireImage

One of the more questionable trends from the '00s, but Theron pulls off the bubble silhouette rather well. Jellyfishing seems to be its modern-day rendition.

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Slouchy Beanies and Booties

Charlize Theron at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival wearing a beanie, blazer, and booties
Rob Loud/Getty Images

Clearly, this star was onto something at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. While designs have changed a bit, these pieces have since become winter wardrobe staples.

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Dresses Over Pants

Charlize Theron in 2008 wearing a belted dress over pants with a blazer
Gail Oskin/WireImage

It's the best of both worlds, made complete with another mid-section belt!

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Ballet Flats

Charlize Theron in 2009 in a newsboy cap, long-sleeved tee, jeans, and flats
OutOfSightMedia - David Aguilera

A casual outfit in 2009: a newsboy cap, long-sleeved tee (with lacy details), jeans, and ballet flats.

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Vest Over T-shirts

Charlize Theron in 2009 Rag wearing a vest over a white t-shirt, jeans, and gladiator sandals
Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Also, take a look at Theron's 2009 gladiator sandals. We're having flashbacks!

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Strong Shoulders

Charlize Theron in 2009 wearing a black jacket with bold statement shoulders
Toby Canham/Getty Images

Sure, Lady Gaga helped pioneer this 2009 trend, but Theron was definitely on board.

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Gray Skinny Jeans

Charlize Theron in LA in 2010 wearing an all-gray outfit, including a moto jacket and jeans
Gustavo Munoz/Getty Images

The actress strayed from typical blue and black denim in 2010, when she stepped out in a groutfit.

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Scarves Worn With T-Shirts

Charlize Theron at the 2010 U.S. Open wearing a white t-shirt and gray scarf
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Did we actually need a scarf? No. Did we all wear them anyway? Yep!

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Charlize Theron at a Lakers Game 2012 wearing a gray fedora and black blazer
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

This hat style may be timeless, but it became a bit more popular in 2012, along with wearing a black blazer with everything.

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Metallic Sandals

Charlize Theron in 2015 wearing a black dress and metallic sandals
JB Lacroix

Which wrapped around the ankles and included a big buckle. Summer 2015 in a nutshell.

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Denim Shirts

Charlize Theron at The Tonight Show wearing a denim shirt over a white mini skirt

It's not necessarily the shirt that's a throwback. It's how it's untucked and layered over a white mini skirt.

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Fringed Leather Skirts

Charlize Theron at the Cannes Film Festival 2015 wearing an all-black outfit with fringed skirt
Anthony Harvey

We'd be lying if we said we didn't immediately run to H&M and buy an affordable option of this trend back in 2015.

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Victorian Bow Tops

Charlize Theron in 2017 wearing a Victorian top with bow, black skirt, and strappy heels
NurPhoto/Getty Images

Theron nailed 2017's Victorian-inspired trend when she stepped out to promote Fast & Furious 8 in Madrid.

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Colorful Suits

Charlize Theron wearing a pastel purple suit
Gregg DeGuire

Plus, big, boxy styles ruled 2019.

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