12 Patriotic Looks to Inspire the Most Star Spangled Met Gala Yet

Look back at these patriotic pop culture moments as we mentally prepare for the 2021 Met Gala, "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion," which could easily become a show of flags, eagles and cowboy hats.

By Lindsay Weinberg Sep 12, 2021 8:00 PMTags
Watch: 2021 Met Gala: By the Numbers

Red, white and blue through and through!

On Sept. 13, co-chairs Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman and Naomi Osaka will join the who's who of Hollywood at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the 2021 Met Gala in New York.

They'll sport their most all-American looks under this year's theme "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion." Hold the apple pie.

What can we expect, besides a sea of stars and stripes? Hopefully they'll go easy on the camo print and cowboy hats.

But this is the event that saw Katy Perry dress as a chandelier and Jared Leto carry his own prosthetic head. So, perhaps attendees will avoid the subtle route and draw larger-than-life inspiration that would earn George Washington's stamp of approval.

It's possible Met Gala trendsetters will be inspired by classic U.S.A. landmarks (like the Statue of Liberty), American sports (like a bedazzled baseball jersey) and even America's finest pop culture moments (like Sex and the City, obvi). 

Suffice to say, the stars are about to serve us Fourth of July chic, minus the barbecues.

Biggest Met Gala Mysteries

In anticipation of some of the most daring Met Gala ensembles, we took a look back at some of the best patriotic outfits that have graced the red carpet and our TV screens in recent years—brought to you by Harry Styles, Sandra Bullock and Beyoncé.

Keep scrolling to see some of the most wet and wild inspirations for "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion."

Miss Congeniality’s Lady Liberty Scene

Let it be known that Sandra Bullock transformed into the Statue of Liberty for the 2000 movie Miss Congeniality—20 years before any celebs inevitably pay homage to the ladylike landmark at the 2021 Met Gala. Playing unbecoming FBI Agent Gracie Hart, Sandra donned a crown and torch to go incognito as a beauty queen… all in the line of duty.


Drop Dead Gorgeous' America-Themed Pageant

Kirsten Dunst and Brittany Murphy were proud to be Americans in Drop Dead Gorgeous. In one particularly memorable pageant scene, competitors donned crafty hats dedicated to Mount Rushmore, the Washington Monument and even the atomic bomb while giving awkward speeches.

Britney and Justin’s Double Denim

Twenty years ago, before Britney Spears even entered into her conservatorship, she and boyfriend Justin Timberlake donned one of the most well-known red carpet casual looks of all time. To this day, fans refuse to say "Bye Bye Bye" to their denim-on-denim getups from the 2001 American Music Awards.

"I confess that there was maybe a period in the '90s where I could skip over some of the outfits that were public, but the internet will never," Justin said in February, noting that "the internet won't allow me to forget" this all-American denim twinning moment.

Taylor Swift’s Fourth of July Fashion

Remember The Squad? Taylor Swift hosted her practically patented group of gal pals for their annual Fourth of July bashes in Rhode Island. The folklore singer fit right in with her model friends, Cara Delevingne and Gigi Hadid, when they twinned in these barber shop striped swimsuits. 

Carrie’s Hamptons Cowgirl Look

While Carrie Bradshaw wouldn't be caught dead in some tacky, over-the-top American flag look, she got pretty close to patriotism with her Hamptons cowgirl OOTD in season two of Sex and the City. Sarah Jessica Parker's character slipped into a bandeau bra with a scarlet rodeo hat for "the event of the season," complete with "cowboys and caviar."

Harry Styles and Elton John’s Dodgers Uniforms

What's more American than baseball? Despite their British roots, Harry Styles and Elton John proved they're Americans at heart with their iconic bedazzled Dodgers uniform. It was a home run as both Elton's concert look in 1975 and Harry's Halloween costume in 2018.

Irina Shayk’s Met Masterpiece

So nice you can wear it twice! It's Irina Shayk's time to shine by recycling this gown. Bradley Cooper's ex previously wore an American flag-inspired ensemble to the Met Gala in 2016, choosing this sheer number designed by Givenchy. The theme was "Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology," and it certainly qualifies under this year's theme, too.

Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's "Telephone"

Stop callin', stop callin', I don't wanna talk anymore—unless it's about Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's campy flag costumes in the "Telephone" music video. A bleach-blonde Gaga appears in a star-spangled bikini, knee-high boots and a bandana around her head, while Queen Bey rocks an asymmetrical minidress, red heels and a bold lip. Obviously, their star-shaped face decals take the dance sequence to a whole new level.

Rock the Vote With Christina Aguilera

From "Rock-A-Bye Baby" to Rock the Vote, Christina Aguilera passed on her patriotism to her son, Max Liron Bratman, in a 2008 campaign for Rock the Vote. Years after Madonna's iconic imagery, Xtina sang "America the Beautiful" to her baby boy, who was draped in an American flag blanket, to do her civic duty. 

Zac Efron’s Star-Spangled Speedo

Although Anna Wintour would probably have a heart attack if the High School Musical alum sported this skimpy Speedo to the Met Gala, you have to admit Zac Efron would really nail the theme. Granted, the ensemble was a bit more appropriate when he wore it during the Super Bowl commercial for his Baywatch remake in 2017.

Zoe Saldana at the American Music Awards

We pledge allegiance to Zoe Saldana, who slayed the 2016 American Music Awards in a red, white and blue sleeveless Monse gown. She presented the prize for Favorite Alternative Artist to Twenty One Pilots

Marilyn Monroe’s USO Performance

In 1954, Marilyn Monroe entertained the troops in South Korea while wearing a patriotic midnight blue gown. As the story goes, she took a detour after her wedding to Joe DiMaggio to appear on stage for this USO tour, where she truly wowed the crowd.

And visit E! Online's 2023 Met Gala page for every photo and must-see moment from fashion's biggest night.