Alba's big breakthrough came after she landed the lead role in James Cameron's science fiction TV show Dark Angel, and she donned a series of sexy outfits for the show, which ended in 2002.
The actress loved her years in the series, but admits it took her a long time to shed her image from sex icon to style queen.
Alba, 31, tells Marie Claire, ""I had a show that premiered when I was 19. And right away, everyone formed a strong opinion about me because of the way I was marketed. I was supposed to be sexy, this tough action girl. That's what people expected... I felt like I was being objectified, and it made me uncomfortable. I wanted to be chic and elegant!""
However, the mum of two is now happy with her image, adding, ""There are some women who dress for men. I dress for myself. It took me some time to get here. Being a mom and feeling grown-up have helped.""