Kelly Ripa -- whose résumé runs from "All My Children" to pitching for a major appliance manufacturer -- sure has hit her fashion stride. In her eight years as co-host of "Live With Regis and Kelly," Ripa hasn't just transformed her career, she's also morphed herself from pretty-young-thing to fab fashionista, taming the tease in her hair, winnowing even the slightest trace of pudge from her bod, and upping her wardrobe from racy to refined. Sure, it's a joke that the 5-foot-3 star loves to strut her model walk on-air, but there's also no doubt that she's become one of the most stylish fixtures on TV. Click on to see how Kelly has gone from ho-hum to hip.
Ron Galella/WireImage.com I Jamie McCarthy/WireImage
Ripa landed on TV in 1991, playing Hayley Vaughn, "All My Children's" favorite Goth-girl, with Elvira hair, Morticia makeup and enough black leather to outfit a Hell's Angels convention. Off-screen, Ripa was just another fresh-faced Jersey Girl. At a 1991 Juvenile Diabetes benefit at the West Side Tennis Club in New York, she paired crisp white shorts with a Pop-Art cropped top.
Lady in Red: No, this isn't Ripa's prom photo (although it could be). This was taken in 1991 - three years after the future talk show queen attended her high school dance - at a Citigroup event in New York. Clearly she was still in the frilly "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" fashion mentality.
Is it any wonder that Ripa would one day get married in Las Vegas? From the beginning, she's loved to let her inner show girl shine through. An early sighting: this spangled gold halter dress for the 1993 People's Choice Awards.
In 1993, the Daytime Emmy Awards moved to night time, and Ripa, who snagged her first nomination for "outstanding younger actress in a drama series," decided to glam it up. Or, should we say, over-glam it up. She didn't win -- and neither, we suspect, did her sequined teal gown and cascading hair.
No, these aren't their wedding clothes, but they could have been. Ripa and her (momentarily-not-so-gorgeous) castmate Mark Consuelos eloped to Las Vegas in May 1996, marrying in a chapel that she's said was so "cheesy" that she can't even remember its name. (They never bothered taking wedding pictures either.) Nine months later, the pregnant star wore a boudoir look to pick up her first Soap Opera Digest Award for outstanding younger leading actress. Style note: Ripa's marriage to Consuelos and her eight-year stint as Hayley weren't the only things to endure. Watch how she clutches that silver purse for years to come.
Stunningly back in shape less than a year after the birth of son Michael, Ripa wore a clingy white dress and chic slicked-back hair to the 1998 Daytime Emmy Awards. Her best accessories: hubby Mark Consuelos -- and her little silver purse.
Oh no she(er) didn't! Ripa's see-through number for the 1999 Daytime Emmy Awards was a little too shower curtain chic for our tastes. Understandably the new mom (and Best Supporting Actress nominee) wanted to show off her increasingly buff bod, but sheer bottoms are always a dicey call. (Plaudits for sticking with the silver clutch, though.)
Is that Kelly Ripa or Debra Messing? Her Grace-like hair was of-the-moment but the spangly pink jumpsuit (sadly) was not - especially for the 2000 Daytime Emmy Awards! Then there's the matter of that sparkly star at the base of Ripa's back -- is this what a Goth-girl would do? (We doubt it, even if it does match her trusty silver purse.)
For her "Live With Regis and Kelly" debut on Feb. 5, 2001, the exuberant young star struck just the right Every-Mom note for her Every Woman audience: high boots, long skirt and a simple sleeveless turtleneck. The perfect addition: the next edition. Ripa was pregnant with daughter Lola.