25 Cardi B Outfits That Define Her Red Carpet Style
Cardi B has always understood the assignment. As a first-time attendee at the Met Gala in 2018, she raised the stakes in an ornate Moschino by Jeremy Scott gown embroidered with thousands of pearls and gemstones. The sparkling beadwork was sartorial magic made richer by her dramatic headpiece and bejeweled pregnancy bump. In 2019, she became the pearl in a vintage Mugler gown from the designer's fall 1995 collection at the 2019 Grammy Awards. Complete with a transparent bodice and a flared clamshell skirt, the design asserted elegance, charm, and an over-the-top avant-garde style that has become a defining element of her wardrobe ever since.
For nearly a decade, Cardi B has been gracing the red carpet with flawless looks, due in large part to the talented eye of her primary stylist, Kollin Carter. Together, the pair have given us moments like her quilted burgundy gown at the 2019 Met Gala. Against the star-studded backdrop, Cardi B shone in the extravagant Thom Brown piece, embellished with feather accents, a sequin headpiece, and a cascading train. Again, she stopped photographers in their tracks when she arrived at the 2021 "Thierry Mugler: Couturissime" museum-exhibit opening in a feathered fantasy gown pulled straight from the designer's '90s archives.
As one of the most influential women rappers in the hip-hop world, Cardi B is decorated with dozens of awards — including a Grammy and seven American Music Awards — and rightfully so. Lyrically, the Bronx-born rapper always gives us her all, delivering unfiltered verses and an ardent passion as she details her past struggles and whirlwind rise to the top. She brings this same unapologetic vibrancy to every head-turning ensemble.
From award shows and red carpets to onstage performances, Cardi B's style never misses. Sorting through her entire style catalog would take weeks, but as part of POPSUGAR's celebration of women in hip-hop for the genre's 50th anniversary, we rounded up 25 of her most memorable outfits to give you a taste of her unforgettable wardrobe through the years. See Cardi B's incredible style evolution ahead.
Cardi B's Gaurav Gupta Dress at the 2023 Grammys
Cardi B turned heads at the 2023 Grammys in February wearing a sculptural design courtesy of Gaurav Gupta. The architectural dress boasted a structured hood, plunging neckline, and waist cutout. Carter styled the piece with Messika jewelry, including drop earrings and a two-finger ring.
Cardi B's Robert Wun Dress at the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
When it came to styling Cardi B for the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in March 2023, Carter gave the rapper a hint of Old Hollywood glam in a ruched Robert Wun dress. A play on the vintage scarves and wraps worn by stars like Audrey Hepburn, Cardi B's look featured a sheer head covering that wrapped around her neck and cascaded into a floor-length train. Carter styled the gown with Azature jewelry.
Cardi B's Versace Dress at the 2022 Met Gala
At the 2022 Met Gala, Cardi B transformed into a life-size statement necklace while wearing a custom Versace gown. The gilded piece dripped with hundreds of gold chains and pendants, turning the rapper into a walking work of art. In addition to being stunning, Cardi B's dress was also heavy, limiting her mobility as she made her way up the museum's signature steps.
"What a pleasure it was and a dream come true," Carter said of dressing Cardi B for the Met Gala on Instagram in 2022. "When I heard the theme was 'Gilded Glamour' I thought to myself, What could be the most gaudy, gold, 90's, Royal, Hip-Hop, rap sh*t we'd ever done. A life size Draped Versace necklace." He added, addressing Cardi, "You're the ultimate muse, thanks for always trusting me!"
Cardi B's Veiled Schiaparelli Dress at the 2021 American Music Awards
Cardi B attended the American Music Awards in November 2021 in a custom Schiaparelli gown. Beneath the dress's voluminous veil, Cardi B looked on at paparazzi from behind a gold face mask crafted by Daniel Roesberry. A set of metallic nails glued to her black evening gloves brought the look full circle.
"Oth•er•world•ly," Carter captioned photos of her look on Instagram. The same night, Cardi B turned out multiple ensembles, including a purple gown complete with a feathered headdress and a white hooded gown with an opalescent headpiece.
Cardi B's Feathered Thierry Mugler Dress at the 2021 Mugler Party
Arguably, one of Cardi B's most memorable looks of all time was her fitted red sequin dress — sourced from the 1995 Thierry Mugler archives — at the 2021 Mugler party during Paris Fashion Week. Making her grand entrance, she expertly posed for the cameras, showing off the gown's figure-hugging bustier and the flowing red cape adorned with thousands of scarlet feathers. The occasion marked Cardi B's first public appearance since giving birth to her son, Wave.
Cardi B's Mugler Leather Exoskeleton Dress at the 2021 Mugler Party
Spotted outside of her Paris hotel in September 2021, Cardi B looked camera-ready in a leather Mugler dress inspired by an insect's exoskeleton. The piece — sourced from the 1997 Thierry Mugler archive — featured a low-cut bustier lined with black feathers. The rest of the bodice was like a suit of armor layered with strips of leather that flared at her hips, opening up to reveal the sheer skirt beneath. She styled the outfit with matching leather gloves and black boots.
Cardi B's Schiappereli Skirt Suit and Gold Mask in Paris in 2021
Continuing her style streak at Paris Fashion Week, Cardi B turned heads during a Chanel shopping trip with her husband, Offset. Fully in her element, the rapper wore a Schiaparelli ensemble by Daniel Roseberry, including black stirrup pants, pointed-toe boots, and a tweed double-breasted blazer complete with a golden breastplate. She continued the gilded theme with a dramatic headpiece that resembled crumpled sheet metal, a chunky chain-link necklace adorned with a partial face mold, and large teeth-shaped rings on her gloved fingers. Together, the flashy accessories and structured ensemble served "the Rich Auntie, from Mars," as Carter said on Instagram.
Cardi B's Plunging Pink Rhinestone Dress at the 2020 Pre-Grammys Party
Years before the resurgence of the Barbiecore trend, Cardi B gave hot pink its moment on the red carpet as she posed for the cameras at Clive Davis's 2020 pre-Grammys party. Unlike the outfits in the "Barbie" movie, Cardi B's shimmery pink dress featured a plunging neckline so low that it practically doubled as an ab-window cutout.
A closer look at the gown revealed abstract, wave-like detailing along the bust and a half collar that gave the illusion of a structured blazer. Allowing the floor-length dress to sparkle, she opted not to style the ensemble with excessive jewelry, wearing only a pair of diamond drop earrings.
Cardi B's Red Déviant La Vie Rope Dress at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards
Cardi B turned heads when she stepped on stage at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards in a red rope dress by Déviant La Vie. Though she skipped the red carpet that evening, Cardi B had plenty of time on stage to get fans talking about the gown's unique woven bust and sky-high neckline — once when she took the stage to accept the best hip-hop award and once to present Missy Elliott with the Video Vanguard award.
From behind, the dress featured a lace-up design that beautifully mirrored the countless cutouts along Cardi B's midriff. She styled the dress with strappy 4.5-inch stilettos by Christian Louboutin and Saint Laurent jewelry, including a set of gold cuffs.
Cardi B's White Fringe Thierry Mugler Dress at the 2019 Grammys
Cardi B's love for Mugler knows no bounds, a fact exemplified by her decision to wear the designer to the 2019 Grammys. For the biggest night in music, the then-rising rapper took the stage in an off-the-shoulder gown with a crêpe shawl design along the neckline. On her hands, Cardi B wore elbow-length white gloves adorned with extra-long fringe that matched the dramatic rows of fringe along her skirt. Carter styled the outfit with strappy heels and Messika jewelry. The monochrome design was one of three Mugler pieces Cardi B wore that evening, showcasing her appreciation for the designer early on in her career.
Cardi B's Vintage Mugler Oyster Dress at the 2019 Grammys
Years before the live-action Little Mermaid graced our screens, Cardi B gave us a taste of life under the sea in a vintage clamshell dress from the 1995 Thierry Mugler archive. Before accepting the award for best rap album for "Invasion of Privacy," Cardi B floated down the red carpet in the avant-garde ensemble.
Evoking the image of a pearl emerging from its shell, the dress featured a blush-pink interior and a semitransparent bodice that transformed the rapper into a luminescent pearl. Solidifying the image, Cardi B completed the outfit with a pearl belt around her waist, layered pearl necklace, and matching headpiece stacked high enough to rival even the tallest crown. Between the striking silhouette and elegant undertones, the finished ensemble made Cardi B one of the most unforgettable celebrities on the red carpet.
Cardi B's Quilted Thom Browne Dress at the 2019 Met Gala
Cardi B stole the spotlight in a quilted Thom Browne dress at the 2019 Met Gala, less than a year after giving birth to her daughter, Kulture. "I designed this dress for Cardi specifically because she has the ultimate beauty in a woman's body, and that is what the dress is about for me: taking advantage of that beauty," Carter told Vogue.
The exquisite gown featured a 10-foot train composed of concentric circles and lined with 30,000 burned and dyed coque feathers. From behind, the wearable piece of artwork boasted a heart-shaped cutout, while the bust's 44-carat ruby nipples by Stéfère Jewelry completed the look. Carter paired Cardi B's dress — which took 35 people more than 2,000 hours to create — with a bugle-bead headpiece made in collaboration with Stephen Jones.
"Thanks for trusting my vision!" Carter captioned photos of Cardi B on Instagram. In a separate Instagram post the following day, Carter added, "Still not over this dress.... @thombrowneny think it's one of my favorites ever."
Cardi B's Georges Hobeika Dress at Rihanna's 2019 Diamond Ball
A few months later, Cardi B looked like a princess as she attended the fifth annual Clara Lionel Foundation Diamond Ball in a tiered Georges Hobeika ballgown and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry. Like an inverted rose, the strapless dress boasted a romantic silhouette comprised of ruffled layers that extended into a voluminous train. The bodice of the organza dress was equally eye-catching, with each dramatic ruffle drawing attention to the rapper's hair and makeup. While the ensemble is one of the oldest in her red carpet collection, it is definitely one of her most memorable.
Cardi B's Moschino by Jeremy Scott Outfit at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards
Before the ab-window cutout became a trend, Cardi B showed off her hard work at the gym in this Jeremy Scott two-piece dress at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. Like liquid gold, the vibrant dress featured a pleated wrap skirt with a thigh-high slit and enough fabric to pool on the red carpet around her strappy silver sandals. The asymmetrical top, embellished with crystals and gemstones, featured a halter neckline that beautifully complemented the crystal detailing along her waist. She styled the outfit with hoop earrings and a sleek hairstyle that felt like an homage to Cher.
Cardi B's Vintage Jean Paul Gaultier at the "Hustlers" Premiere in 2019
Rest assured that Cardi B's closet is never boring. Years before celebrities hopped on board the Jean Paul Gaultier print trend, Cardi B attended the 2019 "Hustlers" premiere in a piece from the designer's vintage collection. Covered in geometric polka dots, the dress's pattern seemed to contour along the curves of Cardi B's body, creating a heat signature design that left fans and photographers alike stunned. As if the figure-hugging dress wasn't stunning enough, she styled the archival ensemble with oversize Fenty sunglasses, Lynn Ban triple-swirl hoops, strappy metallic sandals by Jessica Rich, and a lime-green mini bag.
Cardi B's Chanel Tweed Pantsuit and Houndstooth Coat the the 2019 Chanel Fashion Show
Paris Fashion Week 2019 was another opportunity for Cardi B and her style savvy to shine. Embracing the logo trend, the rapper arrived at the Chanel spring 2020 show in a black-and-white flared tweed jumpsuit and matching felt-and-wool fedora from the designer's collection.
The jumpsuit featured white-ruffle detailing along the bodice that created the illusion of an underlying blouse. At her waist, Cardi B wore a white Chanel logo belt complete with layered chain detailing. She styled the outfit with a matching houndstooth coat, brown platform heels, and a quilted Chanel handbag with gold hardware. Altogether, the dramatic ensemble rang in at nearly $35,000.
Cardi B's Moschino by Jeremy Scott Dress and Headpiece at the 2019 Met Gala
Cardi B floated up the Metropolitan Museum of Art's dramatic steps in 2019 wearing an ivory Jeremy Scott dress embellished with hundreds of miniature pearls. The bodice of the scoop-neck ensemble was carefully embroidered with delicate pearl-and-gemstone designs that glittered as the soon-to-be mom posed for the cameras. The gown featured a flowing, floor-length train, embroidered gloves, and a thigh-high slit that revealed the rapper's Gianvito Rossi heels. As a final touch, Cardi B styled the lavish outfit with a matching headpiece and a vintage set of Chanel pearl earrings.
Cardi B's Christian Cowan Pantsuit at the 2018 Etam Lingerie Fashion Show
Cardi B has been serving unforgettable style moments since the beginning, including this lavender Christian Cowan pantsuit at the 2018 Etam Lingerie Fashion Show. While slightly underrated, every inch of the dramatic, monochrome ensemble was designed with the stage in mind. The maximalist outfit featured a plunging neckline accentuated by a massive feather sash that stretched from the left shoulder of her blazer to her right hip. Taking the look a step further, Cardi B even temporarily dyed her hair purple to match. She completed the outfit with pearlescent Casadie pumps and massive Dylan Lex statement earrings. The finished outfit was absolutely a fashion moment worth remembering.
Cardi B's Floral Dress at the 2018 American Music Awards
Cardi B and her stylist engineered another incredible fashion moment at the 2018 American Music Awards. Shortly after the release of her debut studio album, "Invasion of Privacy," the rapper walked the red carpet in a floral gown. From afar, the technicolor outfit turned heads, boasting a poofy ballgown silhouette, a lace-up corset bodice, and a thigh-high slit.
Up close, the intricate ensemble was even more striking: every inch of the dress was covered in a vibrant floral print, further accentuated by 3D flowers embroidered along the waist and skirt. She completed the outfit with a matching headpiece, gold statement earrings, and a pair of red platform sandals embellished with floral appliqués. After seeing this look, we should have known that Cardi B's fashion prowess was here to stay.
Cardi B's Plaid Skirt Suit at the 2018 Fashion Nova x Cardi B Launch
In 2018, Cardi B released her own fashion collaboration with Fashion Nova. The inexpensive collection — which featured plaid suits and crushed velvet pieces — quickly sold out, further cementing Cardi B's authority in the fashion game. While attending the collection's launch party in Hollywood, the rapper wore a "Clueless"-inspired outfit featuring a cropped plaid blazer and a matching pleated miniskirt with pockets on either side of her waist. Underneath the blazer, Cardi B wore a white balconette bra, which she complemented with a pair of white pointed-toe pumps. To this day, Cardi B continues to incorporate pieces from the affordable brand into her red carpet ensembles.
Cardi B's Nicolas Jebran Velvet Dress at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards
Walking her first red carpet after giving birth to her daughter, Kulture, Cardi B attended the 2018 MTV VMAs in an off-the-shoulder velvet gown with a thigh-high slit by Nicolas Jebran. The rich fabric and plunging neckline, which drew even more attention to her sleek pixie cut, instantly made this an outfit that fans and fellow celebrities adored. Her stylist paired the outfit with strappy heeled sandals and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry, including bold statement rings and turquoise drop earrings.
Cardi B's Ashi Studio Dress at the 2018 Grammys
One of Cardi B's most romantic ensembles to date is this structured Ashi Studio Dress at the 2018 Grammys. Whimsical and unique, the gown featured a high-low cut accentuated by a pair of voluminous sleeves that resembled a set of lace butterfly wings. The sleeves blended seamlessly into the piece's floor-length train, and the ruffled design created a stunning silhouette that evoked Disney Princess vibes from all angles. Cardi B and her stylist completed the romantic style moment with semi-sheer lace heels by Christian Louboutin, a symbolic white rose, and Messika jewelry.
Cardi B's Dress at the 2018 Harper's Bazaar Icons Party
Ruffles were the star of the show when Cardi B arrived at the 2018 Harper's Bazaar Icons Party in a tiered evening gown with voluminous statement sleeves. Boasting two complementary shades of red, the dress was hard to miss. Semi-sheer, the billowing dress looked effortlessly light as the rapper strutted into the venue, hands on her hips, in a pair of bright red platform sandals. Committing to the statement look, Cardi B styled the ensemble with an extra-long necklace that featured multiple embellished crosses and gemstones of various sizes.
Cardi B's Laurel DeWitt Chainmail Maxi Dress at the 2017 BET Hip-Hop Awards
According to Carter on Instagram, Cardi B's sequin chainmail maxi dress was "a vibe" at the 2017 BET Hip-Hop Awards. The Laurel DeWitt dress shimmered like a disco ball under the flashing camera lights as the rapper made her way down the red carpet. From the front, the design featured double thigh-high slits and a plunging bodice with a keyhole cutout along the bust. The silver-and-purple design created a beautiful silhouette that easily qualified Cardi B as one of the most stylish celebrities of the evening. She completed the look with strappy sandals by Giuseppe Zanotti and jewelry by Oscar de la Renta.
Cardi B's Givenchy Red Pantsuit at the 2017 BET Awards
Red was definitely Cardi B's color at the 2017 BET Awards. While sporting a bleach-blond bob, the rapper wore a cherry-red Givenchy pantsuit complete with oversize pockets along the hips of the plunging blazer. Though simple, the outfit was undeniably chic and even featured a set of miniature trains that extended from the pockets to the back of the design. Cardi B styled the look with a red clutch and glossy, pointed-toe shoes by Christian Louboutin. The award show also marked Cardi B's first instance working with Carter, making the monochrome look even more special.