Personal style is hard. It seems like everyone and their mother has a stylist these days, from tech gurus to celebrities, which means every look is carefully calculated (and intentionally branded), from grocery store runs to red carpet events.
“Bella Hadid street style” is an OG Pinterest search, and for the past few months, her looks have been the topic of conversation on TikTok, where #bellahadid has generated more than 6.8 billion views.
What makes Hadid’s style a firm fan favorite is her recent-ish enthusiasm for all things vintage. When you’re one of the world’s most photographed models, getting access to iconic pieces from the archives of Jean Paul Gaultier or Versace is a little easier than it would be for us mere mortals.
In a WSJ. Magazine interview earlier this year, Hadid revealed that she no longer works with a stylist for her day-to-day looks. It’s all her. With a love for Depop and thrifting, her style collapses multiple decades into one seamless selection, playing with Y2K items as well as old blazers from the ’70s to achieve that true trademark Bella Look™.
There is hope for us all. What follows is an object lesson in the evolution of taste: a trip through Bella’s style journey, from pre- to post-stylist. Buckle up.
In 2016, Bella embraced her inner cool girl. Despite being only 20 years old, she was already often booked and busy, and began to develop a style to fit her brand. The double-leather look and choker is spot-on from 2016 and the glory days of Tumblr, proof that right from the start she never missed the mark.
More leather! Hadid has always pulled inspiration from streetwear, and as we know, she loves a good pair of sneakers. Today she’s got an impressive collection that includes adidas x Prada as well as Virgil Abloh and Nike’s “THE TEN.” It all began humbly, however, with these Nike Air Force 1s.
All Grown Up
In 2017, Bella’s style changed drastically. Gone were the streetwear influences, and in came high heels, suiting, and a style that felt a lot older and more classically feminine. She’s a real model now, and like those who came before her, she’s dressing the part.
In 2018, Bella found a way to merge her love for masculine silhouettes with traditionally feminine pieces, and she ditched the high heels for chunky trainers. Here she’s wearing the iconic Balenciaga Triple S. Today, she’s the face of Balenciaga’s Fall/Winter 2022 campaign.
By 2019 it seemed like Bella had really found her style. She’s loyal to the suit, and prefers a minimal look. It’s unlikely anyone will look as chic as Bella in a men’s suit, no matter how hard we try, or how many references we save on Pinterest.
Vest Is Best
A staple in Bella Hadid’s closet is the vest — and with good reason. Paired with a slightly cropped top (also a Bella signature), it’s an instant win. Of course, we haven’t forgotten the vintage sunglasses and the statement belt. Hadid is the ascendent queen of accessories.
The Sporty Silhouette
If we had to guess Bella’s favorite accessory, we’d pick her midriff. Paired with oversized joggers and a sporty top, this is her go-to recipe for a good outfit — for dinner or the gym.
Tiny Top, Big Pants
Hadid is a poster child for the “tiny top, big pants” movement. If you haven’t heard of it, you clearly haven’t spent much time following TikTok’s many fashion trends — and you’re missing out. As if parachute pants weren’t big enough already, Bella’s affinity for huge legwear means that trend won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
The Denim Skirt
Don’t call it a comeback! Personally, I didn’t think we’d be seeing the knee-length denim skirt so soon after it was the peak of fashion 15 years ago. Bella knew better. Paired with a spaghetti strap tank top and chunky black boots (vintage Prada, by the way), Bella’s love for the 2000s continues.
The Bella Uniform
The “Bella Uniform” was born at the start of the pandemic. The model was frequently spotted in oversized blazers, loafers, and her signature slicked-back bun. However, it’s not a true Bella Hadid look unless it features a really good jacket.
Bringing Sexy Back
Bella Hadid was put on this Earth to wear Nensi Dojaka. Before experimenting with masculine silhouettes and oversized pieces, she gravitated toward elegant and sexy looks that added to her mysterious, cool-girl aura. But even then, no one could separate her from her best pair of tailored suit trousers.