Times change, as do trends and styles. What was popular centuries, even decades ago is a far cry from what is considered hot nowadays. Hairstyles and hairdos come and go, wardrobes get major overhauls, makeup fads wear out, and even the way people carry themselves gets an update.
That is why it would be interesting to know what some of the most famous people throughout history might look like today. Whether they were politicians, entertainers, writers, or scientists, each person had a look all their own which would be quite different had they been part of today’s modern society.
Although they fit in or even stood out when they were in their prime, if they were still alive and kickin’ today, it's safe to assume that their overall look would be drastically different. Designers would be begging to dress them, stylists would be at their beck and call, and their Instagram accounts would be lit. But this is now and that was then. Their look was what it was, and we have old-fashioned pics to prove it. For better or for worse, their style will live on in history thanks to the most popular photos and recordings kept around.
The fun part is imagining how these historical folks would look today. Some might even look like modern-day celebs! Reincarnation anyone? Take a peek at these 15 photos of what historical people might look like today. Do you like them better the way they were or in their modern rendition?
15 William Shakespeare
One of the most profound poets and playwrights to have ever walked the face of the Earth, William Shakespeare is, was, and probably always will be regarded as one of the greats. From Romeo and Juliet to Julius Caesar, Shakespeare had a talent that was unmatched, and may never be. But what if he were alive today? Would he look the same, or have a more modern vibe? Here we see a rendition of what someone thought he’d look like if her were some sort of a hipster-type. He’d perform his work in coffeehouses and on open mic nights. His messy hair, scruffy beard, and artsy vibe would have all the ladies falling at his feet. And just like any modern-day poet, he’d post his musings for all the world to read on Twitter.
14 James Dean
James Dean was a rebel in his time and probably would be if he were a young man today. The actor was an icon who was adored by fans from all walks of life. His super-cool vibe was intoxicating, and his great looks were a sight to see. Guys wanted to be him, and gals wanted to be with him. Dean died young, but his memory lives on forever. If he were a modern-day celeb, his hot looks would still top those of most of the A-listers today (look out Zac Efron), but his style would surely be more up-to-date. We’d see Dean grace the pages of GQ, and every high-end designer and luxury brand would call on him to be their “face.” He’d probably date Taylor Swift or Bella Hadid, and we’d see his pics on the pages of gossip columns after being caught in compromising positions by the paparazzi.
13 President Millard Fillmore
The 13th President of the United States passed away back in 1853, so to see what he might look like today would be most interesting. Style and sophistication those days was a far cry from what we see now, both in everyday life and in the Oval Office. (Insert Trump joke here). That said, in this side-by-side pic, some may argue that Millard Fillmore would look a heck of a lot like actor/comedian/paparazzi-fighter Alec Baldwin. Baldwin does love doing presidential spoofs, so this comparison makes sense. Who’s to say if Baldwin would perform a Fillmore impression on Saturday Night Live, but with this close resemblance, we’d surely tune in. Fillmore may not have found it funny, but then again, neither does Trump. Loosen up fellas! Isn’t that supposed to be one of the highest forms of flattery?
12 Egyptian Queen Nefertiti
To be an Egyptian Queen must have been a royal honor, and Nefertiti was one of the finest in the land. This BC historic woman lived so long ago, so to think of what she would look like in modern times is hard to conceptualize. But one thing is for sure, the Queen was a great beauty with class, character, and riches. If she were alive today, she’d be the chicest chick out there. Move over Duchess Kate, this royal wonder would be on the front page of every fashion magazine from sea to shining sea, and all around the world. She’d be decked out in the finest of designer duds, her hair and makeup would be impeccable, and she would be one to emulate. Parents would name their kids after her and stylists would fight to the death to be her personal assistant. Kim K. wouldn’t even be on the radar. Egyptian excellence, indeed!
11 Elvis Presley
Singer and actor Elvis Presley was one of the biggest icons ever. His smooth and sexy voice, sensual character, and superb stage presence made him a star that was off-the-charts. He had hit after hit, movie after movie, and all the ladies went wild over his gyrating hips and quirky smile. The music legend passed away in the ‘70s, but while he was with us, his style was unique and fabulous. If he were a big star today, he’d be just as amazing, but with a modern twist. He’d look like today’s young pop and rock stars, with slim-fitting clothing and a laid-back style. The Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber, and Harry Styles would still be cool, but Presley would take the cake (and all the hot girls). The “King of Rock and Roll” would still reign mighty in the 21st century!
10 Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau lived until 1862, and back then, the style was super-stuffy and forever formal. Thoreau was a poet, philosopher, essayist, critic, historian, and then some, so apparently his days were full as can be. His look was in line of what was common in his day for a man of his caliber and career. Here, we see him all buttoned-up, in a bowtie and jacket, bearded, and serious. If he were to dress that way in modern times, he’d stand out like a sore thumb. But just look at this photo of Thoreau next to TV show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres. The resemblance is uncanny! Perhaps this isn’t a big compliment for DeGeneres, but even she would find the humor in the side-by-side. Maybe Thoreau would match her casual style, with sneakers and loose-fitting slacks and cardigans. He’d probably be a lot more comfortable!
9 Emily Dickinson
The iconic American poet, Emily Dickinson, lived an interesting life from 1830-1886. Her style was American classic, with simple clothing and minimal fuss in the hair and makeup department. If the lovely Dickinson were alive today, she would likely still embrace that all-American, casual, easy breezy style. She might look like one of the pretty models in a J. Crew or Banana Republic catalogue. Here, in this side-by-side image of what the poet might have looked like if she were alive today, we see a country-cool vibe and an all-natural glow. Loose-fitting sweaters, leather jackets, and blue jeans would be Dickinson’s go-to wardrobe staples. Her long hair would blow in the wind with loose and lovely waves. No matter the decade, Dickinson would embody inner beauty that shines from the inside out.
8 Annie Oakley
Get your guns out! The amazing Annie Oakley was an American sharpshooter and an exhibition shooter who passed in 1926. She had a special talent that was remarkable to anyone who saw her impressive skills. Here we see her in her traditional garb, with curly hair, a sophisticated hat, and a puffy blouse and bow. A look like this would be unheard of nowadays, but in Oakley’s time, she looked on point and perfect. If the sharpshooter were alive today, she might look something more like the pic on the left. A topknot would keep her hair out of her face and she’d likely wear natural-looking makeup, if any at all. Her blouse would be more modern with less pouf. Still, her lovely profile would shine as she held her head up high.
7 Philip IV Of Spain
Philip IV of Spain reigned in Spain until 1665 when he passed away in the city of Madrid. He was King of Spain and of Portugal as well. In his days, royalty dressed the part with all sorts of rich fabrics and embellishments making their presence and power known to everyone around them. In this portrait of the King from long ago, we see Philip IV of Spain in what must have been his special attire, with his hair styled just so and a pose that was proper and regal. But what if he were alive today? Some might say he would look like the “king” of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg! They are both super-rich and powerful, and the resemblance is surely there. Don’t you think? Hmmm… does Zuckerberg have roots in Spain?
6 Elizabeth I
Born in 1533, Elizabeth I of England was the Queen of England and Ireland until she passed away in March of 1603 in Richmond Palace. Her ravishing red hair was magnificent, and her style was royalty to the max. From this portrait, we can see that royal garb was intricate and elaborate, yet Elizabeth I wore her fantastic outfits with poise and perfection. It must have taken a long time to get dressed, but surely the Queen had plenty of people on hand to help her out. If she were alive today, she might take some cues from that old-fashioned royal style, but bring the look to modern times. The patterns were special, so she’d incorporate a cool scarf into her everyday pantsuit ensemble. Her hairdo would be stylish, but not too sexy. Fashion may have changed, but sophistication never dies.
5 Leon Trotsky
Marxist revolutionary and theorist Leon Trotsky was born in the Ukraine and was assassinated in Mexico in 1940. Here we see an old pic of Trotsky in his youth, and that head of hair is something to see. Was Rogaine around back then? If Trotsky were alive today, he would be the doppelganger to the popular actor Andrew Garfield, well-known and adored as The Amazing Spider-Man. As Trotsky got older, the resemblance faded, although we will have to see how Garfield turns out in a few decades. Trotsky probably would not have any special or unique style; he would likely wear the typical shirts and pants that the average fella wears nowadays. He would not be trendy or start any cool clothing fads. People might have confused him for Garfield, but Spider-Man has little to do with Marxism.
4 Hermann Rorschach
You know those ink blot tests psychologists use to test what’s going on inside your head? Well, they were created by the Swiss Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Hermann Rorschach. He was born in 1884 in Zurich, Switzerland and passed away in 1922. You may be aware of his widely-used Rorschach test and the man himself, but have you ever seen his photograph? The fellow looked like he was a dapper man of his time, with a cool hairdo and stylish clothing. Some might argue that he’d look something like actor Brad Pitt if he were alive today. He may not be as famous, but they could pass as brothers. To look like Brad Pitt isn’t all that bad, and many people would get a big ego the more they heard about the resemblance from others. But what would the results of his Rorschach test reveal?
3 Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the United State’s 17th President. He served the country from 1865 to 1869. Johnson was born in 1808 in Raleigh, NC and died in 1875 in Tennessee. In Johnson’s day, the style was buttoned-up and conservative, especially for a politician of his caliber. His hairdo was smooth and slicked back and his pose in this photo shows that he was serious and professional. But what if the former President were around today? Some say he looks a lot like actor Tommy Lee Jones! Jones is popular for his work in Men in Black, No Country for Old Men, Lincoln, and Jason Bourne, to name some of his popular films. While politics is a far different profession than acting, they both offer lots of exposure and popularity. Wonder what Johnson would think of the current U.S. Prez?
2 Albert Einstein
Born in Germany in 1879, Albert Einstein is probably the most famous physicist known to man. Einstein was a genius, and his theory of relativity was his claim to fame. Einstein passed away in 1955. Most of us have seen pics of Einstein in his later years, with his wild gray hair and mustache. But here is a photo of the physicist in his younger days. The hair isn’t as wind-blown, and the mustache is just growing in. If he were alive today, he might be confused for 31-year-old actor Shia LaBeouf. LaBeouf has starred in films including Maniac, Transformers, Fury, Man Down, American Honey, and Born Villain, to name a few of his popular movies. Both men are certainly interesting, but it is safe to say they are not much alike. But these two pics show that they look a lot alike! Let’s see LaBeouf in a few years. Perhaps he will grow out his hair to look more like Einstein in his later years.
1 George Washington
George Washington was the first American President and a founding father of the country. He was in office from 1789 to 1797. Washington was born in 1732 in Virginia and died in 1799. We’ve all seen his image on the dollar bill and in encyclopedias. His old-fashioned hair (or wig) and old-time American clothing were the style of the time, particularly for men in his position. If he were alive today, the look would not be as adorned, yet he’d still wear professional attire in the form of business suits and the like. But some might confuse Washington for American actress Glenn Close. While she may not appreciate the “compliment,” it is hard to argue that there isn’t a bit of a resemblance. Maybe she ought to go into politics. Washington was well-received.