37 Photos That Prove Charlize Theron Has Mastered Every Major Trend Over the Past Two Decades

Charlize Theron at the 2000 Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame Honoring Garth Brooks and John Williams
Photo: Jim Smeal/Getty Images

There's something about entering a brand new decade that has us reflecting on the past. 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 at the 10th Anniversary of Dirty Dancing in 1997
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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Velvet Dresses

Charlize Theron at the 1998 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Jim Smeal/Getty Images

It's true: the actress has been loving metallic designs since 1998.

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Feather Tops

Charlize Theron at the 1998 Meet Joe Black premiere
Ke.Mazur/WireImage

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
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 at the 2000 premiere of The Patriot
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

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

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Matching Scarves

Charlize Theron at The Legend Of Bagger Vance New York premiere 2000
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 at the Curse of The Jade Scorpion Party 2001
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

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

08 of 37

Front-Tie Sweaters

Charlize Theron at the K-PAX premiere 2001
SGranitz/WireImage

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

09 of 37

Graphic T-Shirts

Charlize Theron at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary's Pet Adoption Festival 2002
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

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

10 of 37

Going-Out Tops

Charlize Theron at the 2002 Premiere Magazine "Women In Hollywood" Luncheon
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 at a 2004 Monster photo call
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 at the World Premiere of Shade 2004
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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

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Satin Skirts

Charlize Theron at the 2004 Annual Lint Roller Party
Giulio Marcocchi/Getty Images

Theron's 2004 version fell just below the knee.

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Jewel Tones

Charlize Theron at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival
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 2005 Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week
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 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 at the 2006 North Country Melbourne premiere
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 2006
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
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 promoting Aeon Flux in 2006
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 at the Spirit of Independence Awards 2006
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
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 Skirts

Charlize Theron at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival
George Pimentel/WireImage

One of the more questionable trends from the '00s, but Theron pulls it off rather well.

25 of 37

Slouchy Beanies and Booties

Charlize Theron at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival
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 Honored as Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Club's 2008 Woman of the Year
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 2009
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 at the Spring/Summer 2009 Rag and Bone show
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 at the Chelsea FC Vs. Inter-Milan game in 2009
Toby Canham/Getty Images

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

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Grey Skinny Jeans

Charlize Theron in LA in 2010
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
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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

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Fedoras

Charlize Theron at a Lakers Game 2012
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 at the On West Coast Block Party 2015
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 Starring Jimmy Fallon 2015
NBC

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
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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Pussy Bow Tops

Charlize Theron at the 2017 Madrid photocall for FAST & FURIOUS 8
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 at The Hollywood Reporter's Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast Gala 2019
Gregg DeGuire

Plus, big, boxy styles ruled 2019.

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