Photo:@beyonce; Luca Zanon/Awakening/GC Images; @meganfox; Karwai Tang/WireImage; Pierre Suu/GC Images; Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images; Gotham/GC Images
Here’s a question: When you think about the pop-culture moment of the year that had you living, what was it? Was it the reboot of Gossip Girl? The rebirth of Y2K trends? The return of the Met Gala? Or was it discovering cool new musicians? It seems that 2021 gave us a ton of buzzy moments, but here’s one specific phenomenon that was my personal favorite: the resurgence of celebrity couples’ style. No other topic quite lit up social media like celebrity couples. Remember when we all lost it over finding out Zoë Kravitz and Channing Tatum were a thing? Or seeing any of Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly’s coordinated outfits on the red carpet?
Like it or not, couples style is back and poppin‘. But before you dismiss the hold that celeb couples’ style has had on the zeitgeist as thirsty or a side effect of being couped up, keep reading, as I’ve done a deep dive through the internet to round up the best looks of the year. Ahead, find 15 celebrity couples whose personal and collective style proves that this past year was all about stuntin‘ with bae. Fair warning: This story may cause you to redownload Tinder or buy matching suits for you and your partner.
WHO: Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly
WHAT: 2021 Billboard Music Awards
WEAR: On Megan: Shay jewelry; Mugler dress; Jimmy Choo heels; On MGK: Balmain suit; Tasaki jewelry
If there’s one duo who understood and aced the celebrity-couple style trend this year, it’s Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly. While they served looks all year, their matching all-black ensembles for the Billboard Music Awards broke the internet. The Mugler dress on Fox? MGK’s black-painted tongue? I’m still in shambles over this coordinated look.
WHO: Beyoncé and Jay-Z
WHAT: Tiffany & Co. About Love campaign
WEAR: On Beyoncé: black gown; opera gloves; Tiffany & Co. diamond necklace; On Jay-Z: suit
NGL, Beyoncé and Jay-Z are forever my couples-style icons—cause they aren’t afraid to serve a ’fit courtside at an NBA game or on a private yacht in Positano. That said, this past year, they even further solidified their places as a stylish duo with their About Love campaign for Tiffany & Co. What demonstrates a more cuffed and stylish partnership for life than diamonds? The answer is nothing else, fam, nothing.
Photo:The Image Direct
WHO: Zoë Kravitz and Channing Tatum
WEAR: On Kravitz: Araks Cadel Slip Dress; Theory Unlined Pump in Suede ($325); Saint Laurent tote; Oliver Peoples sunglasses; On Tatum: Oversize T-shirt; cargo jeans; Converse sneakers
While I’m not one to lose it over celebrity gossip, I was not okay the first time I saw the photos of Zoë Kravitz and Channing Tatum together. It’s one thing to be stylish on your own (Kravitz is an icon), but seeing them together? So hot. What I love about their pairing is that while they’re never completely matchy-matchy, their vibe together gives off a bit of artsy, grungy, downright edgy energy. They are what you envision when you think you’re going to date an artist: lots of vintage denim, tattered T-shirts, and riding on a bike off to the next borough.
WHO: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
WEAR: On Lopez: Christian Dior coat and dress; Foundrae jewelry; Christian Louboutin boots; On Affleck: Wool blazer; polo shirt; jeans
No one would have guessed that getting back with an ex would come back in style before low-rise jeans would. Alas, 2021 was about it. And what rekindling rocked the boat more than Bennifer? We may have tried to make Y2K fashion a thing again, but aughts couples are where it’s at because they’ve been around the block, so their style is already cohesive. Since getting back together, they’ve served up everything from red carpet looks to casual matching outfits worthy of replicating at home.
WHO: Zendaya and Tom Holland
WHAT: Spider-Man: No Way Home premiere
WEAR: On Zendaya: Alexander McQueen S/S 22; Jacob & Co. Web Earrings; Bulgari Magnifica Ring; On Holland: Celine Homme
No other couple nails the art of duo dressing quite like Zendaya and Tom Holland. What’s great about their style is that Holland opts for more traditional yet fashion-forward looks that never steal the limelight from Zendaya. The moral of the story: Get yourself a partner who lets you be as extra as you want to be.
WHO: Kristen Stewart and Dylan Meyer
Let me clear something up: The best celeb couple style moments of the year didn’t just happen on the red carpet. There are quite a few couples whose off-duty style was giving this past year, including Kristen Stewart and her fiancée, Dylan Meyer. Their casual ensembles? A lesson in dressing as a pair. No need to be in matching gowns and suits; just wear something within the same aesthetic, and you’ll look chic even if you’re just going for a cup of coffee.
WHO: Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker
WHAT: Milan Fashion Week 2021
WEAR: On Kardashian: Dolce & Gabanna dress and bustier; Gianvito Rossi Metropolis Sandals; On Barker: sunglasses; layered chain necklaces; suit
When Avril Lavigne sang, “He was a punk. She did ballet,” was she having a psychic vision about Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker? Jokes aside, since these two became an It item, they’ve served up punk pop–inspired looks that have gone viral time after time. My prediction is that their pre-engagement looks are only a premonition into a future filled with leather, black, and studs for years to come.
WHO: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
WEAR: On Markle: Emporio Armani Single-Breasted Virgin Wool Coat; The Row Chanic Turtleneck; Aquazzura Simply Irresistible Pumps; Cartier jewelry
It doesn’t get more stylish in terms of duos than Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. I mean, do you see these all-navy suits? Sure, we can’t all be royals, but wearing something as simple as matching hues with our very own king/queen can make anyone feel like royalty.
Photo:Pierre Suu/GC Images
WHO: Hailey and Justin Bieber
WHAT: Paris Fashion Week 2021
WEAR: On Hailey: LaQuan Smith dress; Linda Farrow x The Attico Irene Sunglasses; Little Liffner Minimal Mini Tote Brown Croc-Embossed; On Justin: sunglasses; chain; pinstripe suit
The key to great couples style is knowing how to balance each individual’s style and, if you’re lucky enough, having a great stylist. Of course, not everyone can hire celebrity stylist Maeve Reilly (though she works with Hailey, Ciara, and Megan Fox), but you can consider celeb couples to be your style inspo. Take note from the Biebers, and make sure one partner is wearing a neutral-friendly ensemble when the other plays with prints.
Photo:Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
WHO: Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor
WHAT: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Opening Gala
WEAR: On Paulson: Sequin gown; clutch bag; On Taylor: nude suit; black heels; clutch bag
Again, you don’t have to match perfectly to look good while you’re out with your significant other. Just take a cue from one of Hollywood’s most elegant couples, Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor. One of you can wear a bolder look, and one can go minimal so long as you’re wearing neutral hues. Opting for grays, beiges, and nudes is a surefire way to look cohesive as a couple.
WHO: Michael B. Jordan and Lori Harvey
When thinking of the viral social hashtag #ThisCouldBeUsButYouPlayin, which celebrity couple comes to mind? Personally, I always think of Lori Harvey and Michael B. Jordan. Not just because they play when it comes to going on a sultry holiday together but really because they give the people what they want: fabulous ’fits. Sure, it’s simple to wear matching all-black with your partner—but this look? It’s not a game.
Photo:Jacopo Raule/Getty Images
WHO: Elliot Page and Emma Portner
WEAR: On Page: Balenciaga; On Portner: Balenciaga Backwrap Crinkled-Satin Trench Coat ($3200) and Patched Dress in Pink ($3090), Hourglass Multibelt Top Handle Bag ($2490), and Square-Back Lambskin Knife High-Heel Pumps ($850)
Not to be weird, but there are some celebrities I constantly root for—I want all the best for them. Such is the case with Elliot Page. When he came out as queer transgender the past year, I was not only so proud of him, but I was waiting with bated breath to see how his style would evolve. Let me tell you I have yet to be disappointed. Just look at this full head-to-toe Balenciaga outfit he’s wearing out with his former partner, Emma Portner. Relationships don’t always last, but what’s for certain is Page’s role as an important figure within the LGBQT+ community, and a style icon is forever.
Photo:Luca Zanon/Awakening/GC Images
WHO: Ciara and Russell Wilson
WEAR: On Ciara: Nanushka men’s floral top and pants
There’s a running joke that everyone wants to know what Ciara’s prayer was for her relationship—and frankly, I get it. What divine interventions need to happen to get a partner who’s willing to coordinate your looks while traveling through Italy? Everything about this look is heavenly—from her full matching menswear Naushka set to Russell’s matching polo and trousers. It’s just another example of how the Russells have and always will be the epitome of bae goals, and the rest of us are just praying to get there one day.
Photo:Michael Ostuni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
WHO: Jonah Hill and Sarah Brady
WHAT: Premiere of Netflix's Don't Look Up
WEAR: Matching Gucci suits
I’m filing this full matching Gucci suit ensemble from Jonah Hill and Sarah Brady as one of the best celebrity couple looks of the year. Everything about their outfits is perfection—the mint hue, the mismatched jewelry and brooches, the matching loafers. It just shows that doing a complete matching look can be done tactfully, and if you can get them to wear matching Gucci with you, they’re a good one.
Photo:Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
WHO: Rihanna and A$AP Rocky
WHAT: 2021 Met Gala
WEAR: On Rihanna: Balenciaga; Bulgari jewelry; Thelma West jewelry; Maria Tash custom earrings; On A$AP Rocky: Eli Russell Linnetz custom quilt
Maybe the most surprising relationship news of all the year was when A$AP Rocky and Rihanna made their debut. Whether or not you’re a fan, it goes without saying that this couple defines what celebrity couple style is and all that it should be. Individually, they take style risks—A$AP Rocky was wearing jewelry long before other men hopped on the trend, and Rihanna is, well, Rihanna. But what makes them dynamic as a couple is all the looks they’ve been serving (for example, the look above).
While we all sat at home wrapped up in our duvets watching the Met Gala, they wore their blankets to the red carpet. Sure, only A$AP and RiRi could pull this off, but this moment and every other style moment this year proved that celebrity couples’ style is back and thriving.