Get Oscars red carpet ready at home with tips from celebrity stylists
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This Sunday marks the 94th annual Academy Awards. While not every nominee wins the Oscar for “best” in their category, it’s safe to say that every star does their best when it comes to red carpet fashion.
The celebration of cinema doubles as a clothing Super Bowl, influencing the trends of the year to come. But while attendees are decked out in designer attire, the grand glamor doesn’t have to come at a high price. Look no further than Sharon Stone’s 1996 and 1998 Oscars outfits in which she wore a simple black Gap t-shirt under a charcoal gray turtleneck and white button-up shirt, respectively, on the red carpet. Stone proved that you don’t have to break the bank to make an entry.
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What makes the Oscars red carpet special?
As pandemic restrictions begin to lift in many areas, in-person celebrations and Oscar viewing parties are returning, along with the (self-imposed) pressure to find the right outfit. For insider tips on bringing red carpet glamor to your wardrobe, we tapped New York stylist Eric Archibald, who’s styled stars like Megan Thee Stallion and Tyra Banks, and stylist and author New Yorker Andrew Gelwicks, whose previous stylist clients include Catherine O’Hara and Susan Sarandon. Forget thanking the Academy一when it comes to finding the right outfit, stars have their stylists to thank.
There’s no business like show business… and there’s no party like the Oscars. “The power of the Oscars red carpet is enormous…in the way it transcends,” says Archibald, who has styled Jennifer Hudson for the Oscars four times. He adds that the stars’ styles “anticipate” trends and “what people want to wear throughout the year, whether it’s for a wedding.” [or] at a bat mitzvah.
Gelwicks also recalls magical red carpet moments: “My favorite part of styling a red carpet look is that moment during a fitting where she steps out in the dress for the first time and you just know it’s “That one.” It’s completely electric.
If you’re hoping to experience that electricity and channel the confidence of a star strutting down the red carpet, consider these style must-haves under $100.
Get a good basic dress
For a chic event, a dress could play the starring role in an outfit. “You start with a dress and then build from there,” says Archibald. Although he says a simple black dress is “very powerful,” fit and fit are key no matter which style you choose. While you may be inspired by the colors and styles seen on the stars, Gelwicks recommends sticking to yourself. “If you’re trying to up your look, give yourself time to figure out what’s right for you,” he says. “It takes a bit of experimentation.”
Consider the Free People Look Into the Sun Maxi Dress, one of the brand’s highest-rated designs, which reviewers call “so comfortable.” It’s available in six colors in women’s sizes XS through XL, and can be dressed up or down.
If a satin-finish fabric is more your style, pick up the UO Mallory Cowl Neck Slip Dress at Urban Outfitters. The design is recommended by 96% of reviewers, many of whom mention its “flattering” fit and adjustable straps.
Dress up your feet with cute heels
Even if you’re not wearing a dress, the right shoes can still add a little something extra to your look. “For shoes, [your pick] should make you feel sexy and confident, like you’re strutting down the red carpet,” Gelwicks says. “These can be paired with even a simple jeans and t-shirt look.”
High heels are a great way, quite literally, to elevate your everyday style, but Archibald recommends ditching the towering pairs that are hard to walk in. “It’s not always about wearing the highest heel,” he explains. “You can find shoes that can still make you feel sexy even with a cute little kitten heel.” For a bit more sparkle, he suggests trying shoes with a toe adornment.
When it comes to shoe shopping, you don’t have to pay for Christisan Loubuton red bottoms to feel red carpet ready. Try DSW’s Kelly & Katie Blaken Pump, which comes in women’s sizes 6 to 11. Beyond the shimmering bow, many reviewers called the designer dupes “comfortable to walk on.” If you prefer a platform heel, opt for the ASOS Nix high heel sandals, available in black in women’s sizes 5-11.
Do anything for the bag
What could be more trendy and functional than a pretty tote? To give your outfit an extra touch of star, Archibald advises you to accessorize it with a satin, mesh or crystal handbag.
If there was a prize for a bag under $100 sported by the most stars last year, the JW PEI Gabbi bag would probably have it, well, in the bag. The vegan leather handbag, which comes in 13 colors, has been worn by countless stars ranging from Emily Ratajkowski to Megan Fox.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a shiny mesh option, consider Macy’s INC Doris Sparkle Mesh Pouch, which comes in four dazzling shades. Many reviewers point to its shape, with one calling it “just the right size for all the little essentials.”
Be bold with your ties
And the prize for the best accessories goes to… jewels that cause a stir. “Finding the right accessories is really key to giving you that red carpet glamour, wherever you are and for whatever you’re wearing,” Gelwicks says. Whether you’re slipping into a dress or opting for a simple Sharon Stone-style shirt, a statement necklace can make any look shine.
Complete your look with the Bell Torsade Statement Necklace from Loft or the Givenchy Crystal Lariat Necklace from Macy’s. For a smaller necklace that still has plenty of sparkle, score H&M’s Short Rhinestone Necklace.
Accessorize your ears
If a bold necklace isn’t your style, let your earrings be the star of the show. “When it comes to choosing on-trend jewelry, I always choose jewelry that really celebrates the dress,” says Archibald.
Add a splash of color with the Kaia earrings by Baublebar, which are available in six colors, or match the Oscar statuette with the Waterfall earrings by J.Crew, in recycled gold-plated brass, or the earrings Spiral Drop Pearl earrings in gold from Anthropologie. If silver is more your style, consider Blue Nile’s Dew Drop Threader Earrings, in sterling silver.
Wear sparkly stockings
If you’re going for a dress or skirt for spring, take stock of your bottom options. Archibald recommends trying some with “a kind of shimmer” or pattern. “Don’t be afraid of the stockings, they’re back,” he says.
If you’re looking for a durable option, consider the Sheertex Classic Super-Sheer Tights in Silver Sparkle, available in women’s sizes XS to 3XL. Our reviewer found a pair of Sheertex stockings that live up to the company’s claim that tights are indestructible by human hands. For more subtly embellished black stockings, check out Emilio Cavallini’s Polka Dot Tights at Anthropologie, which come in sizes S/M, M/L, and L/XL.
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