The only consistent thing about Katy Perry’s style is that it’s ALWAYS changing. This year alone, the pop singer went from being a classic brunette beauty to a fun-loving, pink-haired pin-up girl to a chic blonde with a razor-cut bob and the whole thing looked like SO. MUCH. FUN. And while it does make picking your favorites a little more challenging, at least we have a BAJILLION options to choose from. We manned up, hunkered down, gathered in a windowless room, ate lots of Twix, and whittled it all down to the 10 that epitomize style, glamour, and, most of all, a spectacularly good time. So take a moment, grab a looksee, and let us know what you think. (P.S. We’re soooo juice cleansing when this is all wrapped.)
Katy Perry at the Pre-Grammy gala in Beverly Hills on Feb. 12.
Photo: Getty Images
Katy Perry went Old World glam for the Pre-Grammy gala in this sweetheart neckline, curve-hugging Nicolas Jebran, nude fishtail gown. The dress was smothered in silver sequins, which when paired with sparkly skin, nude nails, minimal jewelry, clutch, smoky eye, and long shiny hair, totally reminded us of the prettiest mermaid ever. Ariel, eat your heart out!
Katy Perry performs in Florida on June 11.
KP’s “California Gurls” was THE summer jam—not only because of the compulsively singalongable hook but because of those shorter-than-short, super-stylized outfits in the music video. Her bright hair and candy-coated costumes were flawless (and made us hungry), and when she traveled across the U.S. for her “California Dreams Tour” she had even MORE fun with the stage ensembles. Take this rhinestone-encrusted leotard paired with glittery dancing shoes and her (now famous) blunt-banged blue ’do as an example. Sick.
PASTEL ROCKABILLY PRINCESS
Katy Perry at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Belfast on Nov. 6.
Photo: Getty Images
Just last month Katy kicked her style up (heh) at the MTV Europe Music Awards by matching freshly dyed magenta hair to a pink Jeremy Scott ensemble. She rocked barrel-curled retro bangs with a studded cotton candy leather jacket, a pastel sunglasses print dress, and platform saddle shoes for a Billy Kitten throwback vibe. Total leader-of-the-pack territory here (vroom, vroom).
Katy Perry in the “E.T.” music video.
Photo: Courtesy of Capitol Records
We love when Katy gets out of her sartorial comfort zone because she doesn’t just toe the line, she skyrockets into outerspace. In her “E.T.” music video, she was an otherworldly warrior in a sculptured gold chest plate, tribal face paint, and a blonde and black braided bouffant. For her more ethereal “E.T.” ensemble, she flowed through the galaxy in a crimson red chiffon halter dress complete with orbital red braids and a stripe of red face paint across her eyes. Total transformation.
BLONDS HAVE MORE FUN
Katy Perry at “The Smurfs” premiere in New York on July 24.
Amid Katy’s gradual transition from black to pink hair, she briefly went through a strawberry blonde stage, which she showed off during The Smurfs premiere in July. So, check this out: Her new blonde ’do complemented the rhinestone-encrusted mini dress she wore that featured Smurfette’s similarly blonde hair that was designed by—get this—THE BLONDS. That was 360 degrees of blondness, people. And just when your brain has SPLODED from all that flaxen-haired mastery, Katy also tweeted her custom Smurf nails that matched the sparkly yellow, white, and blue dress. (P.S. Uuuuum, don’t ever Google “girl smurf” if you happen to blank on Smurfette’s name, unless you want some unsavory results. Seriously, lesson LEARNED.)
Katy Perry on the cover of “Rolling Stone,” “Vanity Fair,” and “Elle.”
Photo: Courtesy of “Rolling Stone,” “Vanity Fair,” and “Elle”
It’s no surprise that Katy’s versatility landed her on a number of magazine covers this year. On the June issue of Rolling Stone, Katy flaunted off her cheekier side in a silver Hershey’s Kisses halter, windswept hair, and super-shiny pink lips. For Vanity Fair (shot by Annie Leibovitz), she went all-out retro glam with pin curls, bright red lips, and a nude bustier. And for the March issue of Elle, Katy went ’70s office chic (which is 100 percent a new look for her) in a colorblocked head-to-toe Gucci outfit paired with a serious center part.
A/C AT JCDC
Katy Perry at the Jean-Charles de Castelbajac F/W 2011 Paris Fashion Week Show on March 8.
When we spotted Ms. Perry in the front row of the Jean-Charles de Castelbajac fall/winter show back in March, we could NOT get over how phenomenal she looked. Her striped maxi was the perfect backdrop for the brightness of her accessories—the scarlet JCDC “Air Conditioning” fan (we STILL need someone to knock this off ASAP), the blue wig, and the red velvet shoes. There’s something so casual yet calculated about this somewhat off-duty look that we’re constantly analyzing it for clues on how to achieve such coolness. Here’s where we’d maybe make a callback freon joke about the whole AC thing…if we were hacks.
ANYTHING BUT SQUARE
Katy Perry at the Video Music Awards on Sept. 4.
Without a doubt, this is one of Katy’s most memorable looks of the year. This Dior outfit (copped straight from the runway) that she wore to the VMAs was complete with, yep, a giant yellow head cube. It was ’80s, it was bold, it was totally surreal, and whether you liked it or not, you have to give Katy points for the commitment. Hi, she even matched her nails. AND had multiple wardrobe (and nail) changes throughout the show.
BRACES, HAIR BAUBLES, AND BANGLES
Katy Perry in the “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” music video.
Photo: Courtesy of Capitol Records
Sometimes Katy Perry doesn’t just switch up her style, she also switches up her persona. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Kathy Beth Terry—her 13-year-old nerdy alter ego who has an affinity for stonewashed denim and orthodontia. Kathy Beth Terry made her first appearance for the “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” music video in which Rebecca Black (yes, THAT Rebecca Black) gives her a style transformation that makes her the life of the party. What’s not to like about neon spandex?
ON A WING AND A RUFFLE
Katy Perry at the Grammy Awards in L.A. on Feb. 13.
GURL, did it hurt? You know, WHEN YOU FELL FROM HEAVEN? Here, at the Grammys, Katy looked like she dropped from the sky in this custom-made Giorgio Armani gown with a Swarovski crystal-encrusted bustier and iridescent silk organza ruffled skirt. No idea how she fell since SHE IS WEARING WINGS but the real guess here is a) how she hid her halo and b) where her teeny tiny angel harp could possibly be.
MORE BEST OF 2011 COVERAGE:
• The Best Celebrity Nail Art Of 2011
• The Best Shoes Of 2011
• The Best Nicki Minaj Outfits Of 2011
• The Best Accessories Of 2011
• The Best Hair Of 2011
• The Most Outrageous Outfits Of 2011