A history of Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala: Her outfits through the years

Today, Kim Kardashian is one of the most anticipated Met Gala red carpet arrivals year after year — but it wasn’t always so.

Kardashian made her debut at the Vogue-hosted ball in 2013, attending as then-husband Kanye West’s date while pregnant with their first child, North West.

“I didn’t know anyone & I’m sure no one wanted me there,” she later tweeted.

The “Kardashians” star has since gone from meme to queen of the first Monday of May, rocking everything from metallic metal mesh to waist-whittling corsets on the high-profile carpet.

Here, we take a look at all of Kardashian’s Met Gala looks over the years.

2013: Floral Givenchy

Kardashian’s first Met Gala look wasn’t as well received as she’d hoped. Getty Images

Kardashian made her Met Gala debut wearing a rose-printed Givenchy gown with built-in gloves and matching heels.

The theme for 2013 was “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” but instead of calling her edgy, fans criticized the reality star for looking like an outdated couch. Robin Williams even tweeted about the look, comparing Kardashian to Mrs. Doubtfire.

“I was crying the whole way home because I just couldn’t believe it,” the reality star told Vogue of the memes.

2014: Satin Lanvin

Kardashian wore an understated satin gown with pockets for the 2015 event. WireImage

For her second Met Gala, themed “Charles James: Beyond Fashion,” Kardashian went in quite a different direction, wearing an elegant blue-and-black gown by Lanvin.

But it turns out she almost wore an entirely different look on the big night. On her now-defunct website, the star showed some behind-the-scenes snaps of a dress in the same silhouette, but made in gold.

“My dress was originally made of this amazing leather with metallic detailing, but we decided at the last minute to redo it in blue satin,” she wrote at the time, adding, “Working with Alber Elbaz (then of Lanvin) for my custom gown in 2014 was SUCH a pleasure.”

2015: Feathered Roberto Cavalli

Kardashian said her 2015 gown “was the first dress creative director Peter Dundas designed for Cavalli.” Getty Images

For 2015’s “China: Through The Looking Glass” gala, Kardashian turned to Peter Dundas, then creative director at Roberto Cavalli, to create a fabulous feathered confection.

“My custom Roberto Cavalli gown is one of my fave dresses ever,” Kardashian said. Indeed, the totally see-through piece (with strategically placed crystals) was a major Met Gala moment for the reality star, placing her on the list of standouts for the year.

The dress actually had its roots in the first-ever Met Gala; Kardashian revealed on Instagram that she was inspired by Cher’s sheer getup from 1974.

2016: Futuristic Balmain

Kardashian said she wanted to go for a “sexy, blingy robot” look for 2016’s gala. WireImage

The 2016 Met Gala theme was “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology,” and Kardashian understood the assignment with her futuristic silver gown by Olivier Rousteing for Balmain.

Covered in silver sequins and featuring a structured bust, the reality star’s dress helped her and husband Kanye West — who rocked ripped jeans and a matching crystal-covered jean jacket, along with eerie blue contacts — be named the night’s best-dressed couple by Vogue.

West’s ripped denim was a much-talked-about choice. FilmMagic

“I was back to insecure this year because I hadn’t lost all of my baby weight,” Kardashian tweeted of her 2016 outfit, referring to the December 2015 birth of Saint West.

“Big mistake to bleach the brows but Kanye looked so good this year with those blue eyes! It was super controversial that he wore denim.”

2017: Minimalist Vivienne Westwood

Kardashian went for a low-key white gown for the 2017 event. FilmMagic

Kardashian went from super glam to super laid-back for the 2017 gala, the theme for which was “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.”

Wearing a white off-the-shoulder Vivienne Westwood dress and styling her hair in a simple, straight bob, the Skims founder was purposefully understated.

“I figured everyone was going to go really over the top and I just wanted to be really simple,” she told Vogue, attending the event without West for the first time that year.

2018: Gilded Versace

Kardashian wore a cross-embellished gown for the 2018 gala. Getty Images

Perhaps one of the Met Gala’s most memorable themes was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” and Kardashian went for it with her cross-covered gold metal mesh gown by Versace.

Adding two sparkling cross pendants to accessorize her look, she even got praise from her biggest critic, North, who actually said she wanted to wear the dress to her prom one day.

2019: “Dripping wet” Mugler

Kardashian was dripping in crystals in 2019. FilmMagic

The fashion and beauty mogul made a splash at 2019’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion” gala, appearing as if she’d just stepped out of the water in a skin-toned Thierry Mugler mini adorned with dangling crystals.

“Mugler drip. Straight out of the ocean,” Kardashian tweeted of her sexy look at the time, tagging the designer. “His first design in 20 years.”

In an episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” West objected to the dress, calling it “too sexy.” Kardashian clearly won that argument, slamming his comments as “absolutely ridiculous.”

Underneath the viral design — which was partly inspired by Raquel Welch in the 1957 film “Boy on a Dolphin” — was a waist-cinching corset tied so tight, Kardashian had to take breathing lessons and was unable to sit down for the entire night.

2021: Masked Balenciaga

Kardashian made an epic red carpet statement at the 2021 Met Gala. Getty Images

The reality star’s most unexpected Met Gala look to date came in 2021, when she wore an outfit that sparked a thousand memes — and even a Halloween costume.

She chose Balenciaga for the “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”-themed event, going with a fully-masked, all-black getup and $10,000 (and 75 inches) in hair extensions.

While Balenciaga designerDemna accompanied Kardashian on the carpet, it was West who helped inspire the design, with a source telling Page Six Style at the time, “Kanye gave her the courage to push creativity and people’s imagination through art … It’s the ultimate confidence.”

While Kardashian later admitted she “fought against” the faceless look, it was meant to prove a point about how influential the makeup mogul really is.

“People would know instantly it was Kim because of her silhouette,” Demna told Vogue. “They wouldn’t even need to see her face, you know? And I think that’s the whole power of her celebrity, that people wouldn’t need to see her face to know it’s her.”

2022: Marilyn Monroe moment

Kim Kardashian squeezed into the exact dress Marilyn Monroe once wore for the 2022 Met Gala. Getty Images for The Met Museum/

The 2022 Met Gala brought us Kardashian’s most historic outfit to date, with the superstar pulling one of Marilyn Monroe’s most memorable gowns out of the archives for the occasion.

Wearing the same Jean Louis gown Monroe famously wore in 1962 to sing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to John F. Kennedy, the reality star turned heads on the red carpet — and even dyed her hair platinum blond to complete the look.

The reality star honored an American icon for the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion”-themed fête, the dress code for which was “gilded glamour.”

But strutting up the Met steps in the Hollywood bombshell’s paper-thin gown covered in 6,000 crystals proved to be difficult in more ways than one.

In addition to being tough to walk in, the gown — which couldn’t be altered — actually didn’t fit when Kardashian originally tried it on, prompting her to lose a whopping 16 pounds in three weeks to make it work.

“I would wear a sauna suit twice a day, run on the treadmill, completely cut out all sugar and all carbs, and just eat the cleanest veggies and protein,” Kardashian told Vogue of her pre-Met weight loss plan at the time.

At the end of the day, she wore the gown for only a few minutes, changing into a safer-to-wear replica for the actual gala.

2023: Pearls for Karl

She wore (almost) nothing but pearls at the 2023 event. Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

While her Marilyn moment was a tough act to follow, Kardashian certainly turned heads with her sexy pearl-draped ensemble at the 2023 Met Gala.

Wearing a Schiaparelli Haute Couture look for the “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty”-themed event, the reality star rocked a skirt and top fashioned from over 50,000 freshwater pearls and over 16,000 crystals, along with a molded corset made from blush-hued satin.

“What is more Karl? The iconic Chanel pearls is what I always thought of, so we wanted to just be dripping in pearls,” she told Vogue on the red carpet, referring to the legendary fashion designer who died in 2019.

She also told the mag that while some of her outfit’s many gemstones fell off before she even hit the carpet, daughter North West was on hand to gather them.

Kardashian added matching pearl-trimmed heels and a dazzling Lorraine Schwartz choker to her look, which sparked comparisons to her 2007 Playboy cover.

2024: Waisting away

Kardashian was back in an itty-bitty corset in 2024. Getty Images

Kardashian opted for another tightly corseted ensemble the following year, hitting the red carpet in a Maison Margiela Artisanal outfit designed by John Galliano that whittled her waist to the approximate circumference of a pencil.

While some on social media criticized the star’s insistence on continuing to set unrealistic beauty standards for impressionable fans — and the fact that her overall look seemed to be less about fashion and more about flaunting her figure — others panned the pilled gray cardigan she layered on top of her silver metal mesh skirt and brocade corset.

As Kardashian told Vogue, her ensemble was meant to evoke “the wildest night of [her] life in a garden.”

“I just ran out and grabbed my boyfriend’s sweater and threw it on and had to get to work. And my hair’s all messed up,” she explained of the haphazard styling.