66 photos that show how Billy Porter’s style has evolved over the years

billy porter style through the years

  • Billy Porter has been in the public eye for over ten years, and his style has changed a lot in that time. 
  • The "Pose" star has arrived at awards shows and events wearing everything from a hot-pink cape to an all-white suit.
  • Porter told Insider that his confidence to push boundaries with his red-carpet fashion came with age. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. 

When you hear Billy Porter and the word fashion in the same sentence, it's safe to say that a statement will be made. 

The "Pose" star started off his career wearing classic black suits, and slowly started adding bold prints or elaborate accessories to make the classic look his own. Porter's name then became synonymous with fashion after he wore a hot-pink cape to the 2019 Golden Globes. Speaking to Insider about that iconic style moment, Porter said that his confidence to push boundaries on the red carpet came with age. 

"I have the luxury of being older," he told Insider reporter Anneta Konstantinides. "What you're seeing is a human being emboldened by their own self-acceptance who can stand grounded on their own two feet and be authentic." 

The 50-year-old actor has previously said that his fashion moments aren't on accident. From colorful ensembles to political statements, here's a look at how Porter's style has evolved over the years. 

In 2013, Porter was keeping it simple in a black suit.

The star of "Kinky Boots" added his own flair to the look with a brown paisley bow tie and matching pocket square. 

Porter put his own spin on the classic suit by choosing a bold print.

For the 2016 premiere of Netflix's "The Get Down," Porter wore a black-and-white zig-zag pattern suit. 

In 2017, Porter started publicly expressing himself more on the red carpet.

At the 2017 TDH Honors, Porter wore a striped skirt with a white turtleneck and a black suit jacket. 

Porter topped off his all-black look with an extravagant hat.

Porter may have been wearing a monochromatic look at the 2018 premiere of "Pose," but he made it his own by adding an almost witch-like hat. 

Porter mixed prints and colors at the 2018 GLSEN Respect Awards.

Not only did the 50-year-old actor wear a dress, but he paired it with wide-leg pants and a mustard-colored hat.

In 2018, Porter started adding more drama to his red carpet looks.

At the 2018 Legacy Awards, Porter wore pinstripe culottes and a jacket with dramatic sleeves. 

At the 2018 OUT100 Awards, Porter mixed fabrics for a bold outfit.

He showed up wearing a sheer orange topper coat with a ruffled gray top, and black skinny jeans.

Porter looked comfortable during the 2018 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

The star wore head-to-toe cream with a fabulous long coat and stark white boots, gloves, and a hat. 

At the 2018 TrevorLIVE LA gala, Porter brought some color to the carpet with this look.

The actor wore a red velvet suit with a printed cummerbund. He topped it off with a statement black hat. 

Porter might be wearing all black, but the level of detail in his jacket is stunning.

At the 2018 opening night of "To Kill a Mockingbird," the actor jazzed up his all-black outfit with a jacket that featured embroidered flowers throughout the hem and the sleeves. 

While attending the 2019 AFI Awards, Porter sported a bright mustard-colored outfit.

Porter proved he knows how to strike a pose in this floor-length dress with a golden blazer and printed headscarf.

The outfit Porter wore to the 2019 Golden Globes "changed everything" for him.

The "Pose" star wore a custom Randi Rahm suit with a hot-pink silk-lined cape, Gucci shoes, Wolford tights, and Oscar Heyman jewelry. He told Vogue that the outfit changed everything for him.

"I had the courage to push the status quo," he said. "My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up. To challenge expectations. What is masculinity? What does that mean? Women show up every day in pants, but the minute a man wears a dress, the seas part."

Porter skipped wearing a belt and opted for a bit more flair at the 2019 Critics' Choice Awards.

Instead of wearing a cummerbund with his brown suit, Porter added a bright orange bow to his Rinat Brodach outfit.

Porter wore an outfit packed with so many details to The Blonds fashion show in 2019.

The actor wore earrings that matched his pearl-encrusted sweater. He paired the intricate top with gold pants, white booties, and white Mercura NYC sunglasses.

Billy Porter made a statement when he wore a ball gown to the 2019 Oscars.

The "Pose" star wore a Christian Siriano-designed outfit to the awards show. Porter's look featured a tuxedo on the top and a ball gown on the bottom. Porter told Vogue that he and Siriano wanted "to play between the masculine and the feminine." 

Porter knows how to make a statement in an all-black outfit.

At the 2019 Bailey House gala and auction, Porter wore a faux-fur coat with a velvet dress. The thigh-high slit was the perfect touch because he got to show off his leather platform boots.

Porter looked ready for business at the opening night of "Be More Chill."

The 50-year-old star looked suave in a head-to-toe brown outfit with a statement hat, white sunglasses, and a fluffy faux-fur coat. 

Porter wore a dress and pants to the 2019 PaleyFest LA.

He arrived on the blue carpet wearing a cropped pinstripe jacket, orange slip dress, purple pants, and an off-white hat.

Porter ditched the typical black suit and went for a fiery red look instead.

Not only did he wear a wig, but Porter also donned a sparkly blazer and flared red pants.

Porter wore a custom design from The Blonds to the 2019 Met Gala.

Porter's bejeweled catsuit, 10-foot wings, and 24-carat gold headpiece took months to create and had "well over a million crystals, beads, and chains," according to Vogue. 

Porter was ready to make a statement at the 2019 Peabody Awards.

He wore a Celestino Couture ensemble that featured intricate embroidery work and lots of tulle fabric. The designer, Sergio "Celestino" Guadarrama, uses upcycled materials to reduce waste, and 10% of all profits go toward initiatives to end human trafficking, according to Vogue.

Billy Porter stood out in a shiny dress at a "Pose" screening event.

Porter stepped out in a floor-length silver dress, which he paired with a clutch that read "F— U Pay Me!" from These Pink Lips.

Porter wore a matador-inspired ensemble to the premiere of the second season of "Pose."

Porter arrived at the event wearing a bullfighter-inspired design from Francis Libiran. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the outfit took more than two months to make and consisted of a heavily beaded jacket worn over a white shirt and black trousers. All of that was topped with a black satin skirt that featured a dramatic ruffled train. 

Porter wore a pantsuit made from the "Kinky Boots" curtain to the 2019 Tony Awards.

The actor arrived in a Celestino Couture design with a train intentionally designed to look like female reproductive organs, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The gown also included over 30,000 Swarovski crystals and was a nod to Elizabethan couture. 

"At the fitting, we spoke about making a pattern on the train that was in the shape of a uterus, but not obvious, of course. And I thought it was awesome because women's rights are under attack right now," Porter told CNN. "I'm an advocate for all who are disenfranchised. None of us are free until we're all free!"

"This government is trying to take away the woman's right to choose and that's unacceptable," he added.

Porter wore a flowing dress for a "Sundays at The Met" conversation about all things camp.

He wore a khaki slip dress, platform black boots, a black hat, and silver jewelry.

Porter attended the Love Ball III in a canary yellow suit.

The actor brought dramatic flair to the Love Ball III, an iconic HIV/AIDS benefit in New York City, in a custom Francis Librian suit with a ruffled train, Alexis Bittar jewelry, and Gucci boots.

Porter sparkled in a custom catsuit at the WorldPride opening ceremony.

The "Pose" star arrived in a catsuit designed by The Blonds that was covered in Preciosa crystals. He paired the jumpsuit with a coat, also from The Blonds, and a custom hat by Sarah Sokol Millinery. 

Porter stepped out for WorldPride NYC in a flowing rainbow gown.

The actor showed up to the celebration in a custom Christian Siriano design. He paired the voluminous gown with peep-toe platform heels. 

Porter brought the sunshine with him when he arrived at the 2019 HALPERN S/S 2020 fashion show during London Fashion Week.

He wore an eye-catching floor-length yellow gown and a kimono with puffed sleeves. Porter accessorized his look with a gold chain necklace, statement earrings by Alexis Bittar, and oversized sunglasses.

Porter wore feathers to a 2019 Fashion for Relief event.

He arrived at Naomi Campbell's charity benefit wearing a dress and boots by Rick Owens, a jacket from Adrian Manceras, a Stephen Jones hat, and an Alexis Bittar choker.

It's clear that Porter hasn't come across a piece of outwear that he didn't know how to rock.

The actor showed up to the Roland Mouret show wearing a powder-blue cape, a gray jumpsuit, and patent leather boots.

Porter took the color-blocking trend to another level during London Fashion Week.

In 2019, Porter attended a diversity and inclusivity panel during London Fashion Week. For the talk, he wore Victoria Beckham trousers with a purple jacket, a white shirt, and a hot-pink fedora with matching gloves.

Porter wore a long dress with thigh-high slits to Gareth Pugh's Virgin Cruise launch.

He paired the dress with fishnet tights and a These Pink Lips handbag, which he has worn before.

Porter looked ready to pose for the camera at the Roksanda fashion show.

For the fashion show, he wore a Roksanda dress with a Sarah Sokol hat that featured an oversized infinity loop. 

For his 50th birthday, Porter brought the disco era to life.

For the special occasion, the actor wore a lime-green Michael Costello gown that was designed with floral detailing all over. Porter accessorized it with an Alexis Bittar diamond choker, a chunky bracelet, and an '80s-style wig. 

Porter is a fan of putting his own spin on all-black outfits.

The actor arrived at Entertainment Weekly's pre-Emmy party wearing a Julien Macdonald jacket, a Michael Costello dress, and leggings and shoes by Rick Owens. 

The "Pose" star skipped the traditional hat and went straight for a '70s disco vibe.

Porter arrived at the 2019 Emmy Awards wearing a custom Michael Kors Couture suit, a custom hat by Stephen Jones, and jewelry by Oscar Heyman. 

Porter added sparkle to the classic black suit.

He wore red sunglasses, a white fluffy beret, and a suit with crystal embellishments all over. 

Porter's outfit at the 2019 Ali Forney Center gala featured more than one statement piece.

The actor stepped out wearing a jacket with puffed sleeves and a matching pink skirt designed by Thom Browne. He added a dog handbag that matched the gray color of his shoes.

Porter is a fan of elaborate headpieces and over-the-top hats.

The actor wore a sparkly black turtleneck and a skirt designed with splattered black-and-red paint. Instead of wearing sunglasses, Porter opted for a geometric headpiece.

Porter attended the 2019 American Music Awards wearing hints of red, white, and blue.

The actor shared on his Instagram that he intentionally wore colors from the American flag to the awards show. Porter stepped out in a look from Thom Browne's spring/summer 2020 show, which he paired with a Stephen Jones fascinator and Oscar Heyman jewelry. 

He wore a tailored jacket and tights to the 2019 World AIDS day concert.

Porter opted for a pop of color with his orange jacket, black culottes, and gray tights.

The Emmy Award-winning star isn't afraid of a little color.

For the fashion awards show, Porter wore a vinyl blue jacket with matching pants. He paired those with a bright yellow coat, Jimmy boots, and a white handbag from the same designer.

The actor wore a bold pair of bejeweled gold pants.

Porter attended a 2019 photo call for his film "Like a Boss" wearing a silk blouse, an overcoat that was reminiscent of a comic book strip, and eye-catching gold pants dripped in crystals. 

At the 2020 AFI Awards, Porter said he was channeling "'Handmaid's Tale' realness" on Instagram.

For the awards show, Porter shared on Instagram that he was wearing a cape dress from Hogan McLaughlin, Coach boots, and Konstantino jewelry. 

Porter showed up to a BAFTA Los Angeles tea party wearing a dress.

The actor walked the red carpet wearing a Baja East dress and jacket, Konstantino jewelry, Coach boots, Thom Browne sunglasses, and a Halo Mimi hat. 

A year after he sported a hot-pink cape, Porter walked the Golden Globes red carpet in a white suit with a feathered train.

The actor attended the 2020 Golden Globes wearing a custom Alex Vinash suit, which featured a long, feathered train that zipped off so he could sit down. Porter paired the suit with Jimmy Choo boots, Tiffany & Co. jewelry, and an Emm Kuo NY handbag that featured over 4,000 Swarovski crystals. 

For the premiere of his film, "Like a Boss," Porter turned to an original fashion designer.

The actor wore a custom Dapper Dan x Gucci cape and platform Coach boots. 

At first glance, Porter's 2020 Critics' Choice Awards outfit looks like a dress — but it's not.

The "Pose" star arrived at the awards show in a custom Hogan McLaughlin jumpsuit, Lynn Bann jewelry, and custom white platform boots by Coach. Porter also covered his chest and arms in hand-painted butterfly tattoos that served as an homage to the transgender community. 

Porter shimmered at the 2020 Grammys in a motorized fringe hat.

He wore a turquoise Baja East jumpsuit, Alexis Bittar jewelry, and a hat with a mechanical row of crystal fringe by Sarah Sokol. His stylist, Sam Ratelle, told Vanity Fair that the hat was inspired by a bonnet Billie Eilish wore at the American Music Awards in 2019.

He brought that same shine factor to the 2020 Oscars in a dress that was inspired by Kensington Palace.

Porter arrived at the 92nd Academy Awards in a custom couture ensemble by Giles Deacon. The outfit consisted of a 24-carat gold bodice, a ball gown-style skirt, metallic lace-up Jimmy Choo boots, and Swarovski jewelry. 

Porter changed into another outfit to perform alongside Janelle Monáe at the 2020 Oscars.

Porter wowed when he stepped onto the Oscars stage in a red jumpsuit, a long gold coat, and crystal-encrusted platform boots. 

Porter made a statement when he arrived at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscars after-party.

The actor wore a dramatic cape adorned with feathers designed by Christian Siriano. He paired his outfit with a Sokol Millinery wide-brim purple hat and the same ThesePinkLips "F— U Pay Me" clutch that he's worn in the past. 

Porter wore a ruffled dress with white platform boots during London Fashion Week.

For the fashion show, Porter wore a Kim Perets layered, ruffled dress with a glistening Alexandro Fratelli blazer and his signature Coach platform boots. 

Porter opted for a dramatic look at the Central Saint Martins show during London Fashion Week in 2020.

Porter looked dapper in a Thom Browne look, which included a fur-trimmed cape coat, plaid pleated skirt, and statement shoes. 

The actor attended the Halpern show in a glittery look.

Porter arrived at the Halpern show in a gold-and-black blazer, leather pants, and glittery silver boots. 

In 2020, he made a statement in florals while attending the Richard Quinn fashion show during London Fashion Week.

Porter looked fabulous in a look from the designer's Fall/Winter 2019 collection. He wore a floral blazer with slick latex leggings. 

Porter made an entrance in a pleated trapeze gown for Roksanda's London Fashion Week show in 2020.

The actor paired the dress with an animal-print hat and black platform boots.

Porter went full '70s glam to sit front row at the Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya London Fashion Week show.

His full ensemble was from the designer's fall/winter 2020 collection. He made a statement by mixing prints with his striped turtleneck and snake-print pants. 

Porter arrived at the Christopher Kane show wearing a color-blocked look during London Fashion Week 2020.

He looked fabulous in a colorful sweater, black pants, and a jacket with a bright floral print. 

The actor showed up at the Erdem fashion show in 2020 wearing an abstract maxi skirt.

Porter wore a classic trench coat, maxi shirt, asymmetrical hat, and platform boots. 

Porter channeled Diana Ross in this sparkly fuchsia gown for the Ashish show during London Fashion Week 2020.

Porter attended the fashion show in hot-pink sequins, a printed scarf, oversized sunglasses, and glittery platform boots. 

Porter attended a BRIT Awards after-party in a gold, croc-embossed coat and a matching hat.

He kept the attention on his coat and hat by wearing a black turtleneck and pants underneath. 

Porter looked dapper in a gunmetal suit for Christian Siriano's New York Fashion Week show in 2020.

Porter attended the fashion show at Christian Siriano's Connecticut home wearing a silver suit with a matching hat, a black shirt underneath, and platform boots. 

Porter started his "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve" co-hosting duties in a coat designed with statement sleeves.

For his first outfit of the night, Porter wore a Rick Owens outfit that he paired with a Lorraine Schwartz brooch, Esenshel hat, Lady Grey jewelry ear cuff, and Syro shoes.

On Instagram, he referred to the statement sleeves as "socially distanced shoulders." 

Porter changed into a bright outfit that he described as "serving Bridgerton realness."

Porter changed into a Botter sequin suit, Ludovic de Saint Sernin coat, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, Portolano gloves, and a Lorraine Schwartz brooch.

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