Kanye West’s influence on Kim Kardashian’s style has come under renewed focus amid the couple’s ongoing and very public split, with some claiming there’s been a definite change in the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star’s fashions since she filed for divorce. We’re taking a look at Kardashian’s red carpet outfits from before and after she began a romance with West to see just how much her style has evolved since then.
Contrary to popular belief, Kim Kardashian’s career didn’t actually start with her infamous sex tape with Ray J, her boyfriend at the time. Before the internet went wild over Kardashian’s leaked tape, she worked as a stylist and assistant to some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, namely early ’00s It-girl Paris Hilton.
Kim Kardashian’s First Red Carpet Look
One of Kardashian’s first red carpet events came when she and Hilton attended the 2006 premiere of the film Entourage. Kardashian wore a white eyelet wrap dress with a deep v-neck, but it’s not a look that stands out on the red carpet. She was likely still trying to get comfortable with the limelight because this is definitely the sort of outfit a wallflower would wear.
Schoolgirl fashions were all the rage in the mid-aughts, so it’s not surprising to find that Kardashian, like millions of others, followed the trend. The tight, dark gray overdress clings to Kardashian’s bombshell figure, but unfortunately, all the wrinkles and bunches steal the show. The white blouse beneath the gray dress is uninspired, and we hate the way the ties hang down, adding nothing of substance to the look. The unflattering gapping of her boots is the final nail in the coffin.
We have nothing against pattern dresses or empire waistlines, but this busy dress should have been left in Kardashian’s closet. It’s shapeless and does nothing for Kardashian’s figure. Possibly in an effort to push past the eye trap that is that dress, Kardashian wore heavy blush, but our eyes still go to that pattern rather than to Kardashian’s striking face.
This next look we’ll call “An Overload of Color,” and it should be immediately clear why. Kardashian was promoting the release of her self-named fragrance in 2011, just a year before she and Kanye West shifted their friendship into a romantic relationship. Kardashian wears a tied-up purple blouse that bared a triangle view of her midriff above a thick gold belt and a knee-length orange pencil skirt.
To finish off the look, she wore a pair of green and gold heels, which are definitely the highlight of the outfit. The whole ensemble could have done with a quick steaming to knock those wrinkles out, and while we do genuinely love the way Kardashian looks in the purple top, we can’t forgive the way the shoulders of the shirt rise a good two inches above her body. There’s also something so deeply unappealing about trying to combine purple and orange in the same outfit.
Kanye West’s Fashion Intervention
When Kanye West became a much larger part of Kim Kardashian’s life, the reality star’s fashion began to change immediately. In one episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, West visited Kardashian at her home with his stylist in tow to go through her closets and clean house.
At the time, Kardashian welcomed his influence, saying, “Kanye’s definitely inspired me to be a little bit more of an individual,” and that certainly became the case. Previously, Kardashian followed trends, but after West became a fashion influence on her life, she transitioned into the trendsetter we know her as today.
Just a few months after Kardashian and West took their relationship public, Kardashian turned heads in this gorgeous gold minidress. Her hair is slicked back and her eyes are darkly lined, but free of the sometimes chalky eyeshadow she’d worn in the past. In the past, Kardashian’s biggest problem on the red carpet was knowing when to stop piling on the accessories. Apparently, one of the first fashion lessons West gave her was “less is more,” and the results show it was sound advice.
It wasn’t just Kardashian’s red carpet style that changed. Her street style game also got quite the update after she began dating, and later married, West. In 2016, the paparazzi caught up with Kardashian as she wore one of our favorite looks on this list. Kardashian gave us the blues in the best way with this denim jacket, denim miniskirt ensemble.
To keep the look from becoming essentially a Canadian tuxedo, Kardashian wore a pale blue, see-through brassiere-like crop top. While we usually disapprove of shoes like these, we have to admit the completely clear, over-the-knee boots are exactly what this outfit needed to be complete.
One change West made after he became a part of the Kardashian family was the type of sunglasses the family wore. He infamously emailed Kardashian and asked her to stop wearing oversized sunglasses, which were all the rage at the time. Instead, he sent her photos of people in the 90s wearing smaller framed sunglasses.
Once again, West’s tastes proved to be prescient. Once Kardashian, as well as her sisters, began wearing smaller sunglasses like the ones in the photo above, everyone else followed suit. We can also spot West’s influence in Kardashian’s clutch, which is covered in crystals and shaped like a carton of french fries.
The Difference Is Clear
Kardashian has never looked better than she does in this vintage Gucci gown. The tastefully distressed frock curves around her figure like a dream, and the layered black cross necklace helps balance the focal point of the look between the dress and Kardashian’s expertly made-up face. Gone are the days of heavy blush and chalky eye-shadow. While Kardashian seems much happier now that she has split from West, we hope his style influence is something she keeps forever.
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