Menu, Search & Share

Most Outrageous Met Ball Outfits

This weekend the Met Ball Gala will be taking place, no doubt we will see A List celebrities adorned in beautiful gowns and sparkling jewels as well as some celebrities erm, looking well not so good…..

The annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City showcases some of the most glamourous and extravagant outfits ever seen. The Met Gala, also known as the Met Ball has taken place annually since 1946 and as well as showcasing some breath-taking fashion creations it is also home to some of the worst fashion faux pas you will ever see. Celebrities, debutantes and fashion royalty take the themes, which are different every year, to the extreme with some guests going a little too far.

This year the 2016 Met Gala theme is: Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, no doubt there will be some fabulous and some downright crazy conceptions. With this in mind have looked back to chart some of the worst Met Gala outfits of the last 20 years showcasing some frock horrors and outfit’s that left people wondering  ‘what were they thinking?’

Met Ball Gala Outrageous Outfits Infographic

Liv Tyler and Stella McCartney 

For the 1999 Met Ball Gala the theme was – Rock Style, perfect for these rock star daughters. Not keeping in line with more formal ball style, Liv and Stella opted for one shoulder tops embezzled with the words Rock Royalty.


The Queen of pop has always been known for her eccentric styling, and features a couple of times on this list. In 2009 when the theme was The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion the songstress wore a Louis Vuitton organza dress, with over-the-knee boots and a bunny-like headband, leaving many wondering about her interpretation of the theme.

Helena Christensen      

In 2009, the Met Ball Gala was hosted by Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, so in this year model Helena opted for an unflattering Zac Posen baby pink dress with ‘Vogue’ spelt out in sequins. Not really a model look and not really very stylish.

Leighton Meester          

Another fashion failure for 2009 this time, Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester. She may have had one of the most stylish wardrobes on TV, however she hit a bad note with her out fit for the Met Ball. Wearing a Louis Vuitton patterned jumpsuit the outfit was not as glamourous as what Leighton has worn before and did nothing for her shape.

Vera Farmiga    

In 2010 the theme was American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity, which Vera took the opportunity to wear a hideously coloured gown which may have been stylish 100 years ago, but isn’t really now. The colour of the Sophie Theallet dress was not flattering and neither were the pleats and black banding.

Naomi Campbell             

In a year, honouring the late designer Alexander McQueen, Naomi opted for a gown which looked more like the bride of Frankenstein than anything glamourous and it was definitely not one of the designer’s better designs. The white fringed gown was definitely a fright in011 when the theme was Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Freida Pinto      

The actress opted for an odd Chanel Haute Couture menswear inspired gown for the 2011. With this design it leaves you unsure how this suit dress fitted the theme and left wondering what the normally stylish Freida was thinking when she said yes to a dress, which came with a tie?!

Neil Patrick Harris & husband David Burtka        

In 2012 Neil and his husband David, looked more like they were attending a fancy dress party as little drummer boys. Their take on the theme, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations saw them wearing what looked like cropped morning suits by Thom Browne, not a good look guys.

Florence Welch               

The singer is known for her unusual wardrobe choices, whether on stage or the red carpet. For the 2012 Gala she chose an Alexander McQueen tiered, ruched silver gown which looked like all sorts of bad. The poufy layers and ruched design made her look a bit like a quirky marshmallow man.

Kim Kardashian

Finding the perfect gown when you’re heavily pregnant isn’t easy and finding something which doesn’t extenuate your size can also be tricky. Unfortunately for Kim Kardashian she failed on both with a Givenchy dress by Riccardo Tisci. The floral maternity gown resembled curtains, with many people taking to the internet to compare the look sofas or curtains. For a year (2013) where the theme was Punk: Chaos to Couture, general consensus is; what was Mrs West thinking?


As promised featuring again on this list is Madonna who made another doozy of a mistake with her 2013 outfit. By designer Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy Haute Couture (also responsible for Kim K’s… um …wonderful dress) Madonna opted for a somewhat punk inspired outfit with a studded grey tartan jacket, ripped tights and thigh high socks with hot pink shoes. She was a hot mess, isn’t it time to dress your age your Madgesty?

Katie Holmes   

Normally opting for a fairly unassuming couture style, Katie Holmes made sure she was noticed in a Canary yellow Marchesa gown in 2014 when the theme was Charles James: Beyond Fashion. Unfortunately for Katie the gown, drowned her frame and the colour did not do her any justice, too much, too bold and too bad.

Sandra Lee         

When you’re 6 and designing your dream wedding dress, all poufy and frilly, this is what Dara Lamb wore. Shiny, completely flashy and cheap looking, the custom made silver satin and tulle gown was all kinds of wrong. In 2014 the theme was Beyond Fashion, but this dress was beyond tasteless.


RiRi does like to take a risk with her fashion choices, but she was taking a fire risk with her choice for the Met Gala in 2015. Wearing a Guo Pei design the canary yellow embroidered gown with an oversized train, saw her get-up become a meme, where she was compared to food items such as pizza and omelettes. The theme was China: Through the Looking Glass, but RiRi looked like she was wearing a gown made of enough food to feed the whole of China!

Sarah Jessica Parker

Bringing it for the high street in 2015, SJP wore a black embroidered gown which she had collaborated on with H&M. Although very dark and heavy, the real show stealer was the Phillip Treacy flaming headdress, which looked like a crown of fire. Although the design somewhat fitted in the theme, the whole thing together was just too OTT.

Speaking about the infographic, Chris Reilly General Manager of MyVoucherCodes said:

“The Met Ball Gala is one of the most glamourous fashion events, it is the one opportunity stars have to really push the boat out and maybe try some fashion styles they wouldn’t normally dare. However whilst some look fashionable and stylish others can opt for some frock horrors as we can see with this infographic. “

He added:

“Unfortunately for Madonna she features a couple of times, it always seems like she tries too hard. Although for most of us, these designers are way out of our price range, it is interesting to see what celebs will wear just because it has a designer name attached, even when they don’t look chic or stylish.”

Title image courtesy of Eastfjord Productions /


Back to top