by Lori Bumgarner
“You can’t wait until that morning [of the awards show] to decide what you’re going to wear. You should put it on. Get in front of a camera. Tape it. Look at it back. See what it looks like on camera. Have some photographs taken. In other words, don’t just put it on because those images will be there forever!”
Robert Deaton, co-owner, Deaton Flanigen Productions
CMA Industry InSite, June 2010
Awards season is upon us here in the country music industry with the 45th Annual Country Music Awards just around the corner, live from Nashville on ABC November 9th. Finding just the right thing to wear on the red carpet can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you wait until the last minute which in and of itself is a fashion “don’t” as Robert Deaton explains in the above quote.
A few things to remember when selecting a red carpet outfit:
1. Raw meat has already been done. Wearing it is out and eating it is back in again! (Besides, country artists prefer to barbecue their meat instead of accessorizing it.)
2. If you want to be outrageous, this is the industry in which you can get away with that. However if you plan to go the outrageous route, don’t get your feelings hurt if you don’t end up on a “best dressed” list.
3. If it doesn’t fit, you must “a quit” wearing that thang!
4. If you’re a likely award winner, dress like a winner!
5. If you’re not even nominated, still dress like a winner!
Seriously though, if you’re a female artist, there are certain dress cuts and shapes that can best flatter your body type. For instance, if you’re short, stay away from dresses with a drop waist and choose a dress with a higher waist line to make your legs appear longer. Tall girls should aim for a simple, elegant silhouette. If you have no curves and are shaped like a boy, look for trumpet or mermaid styles to create the illusion of curves and choose a halter neckline if you have a smaller chest. If you are blessed with an ample chest, stay away from halter necklines and spaghetti straps. Instead choose a V-neckline with very little detailing along the bust line.
Guys, let’s face it…no one’s looking at what you’re wearing, NOT!!! Joan Rivers does have a “worst dressed” list for the men too. You’re just probably less likely to care about what others think of what you’re wearing. But there are a few guidelines for men when it comes to dressing for the red carpet. Make sure your tux (or whatever you choose to wear) is a perfect fit. This is so important and makes such a difference in how elegant, strong, and confident you will look. Never wear a jacket that is even just one size too big for you and always make sure your pants are the perfect length. You probably won’t have to spend as much time getting ready for the event as the women, but do take time to pay attention to the details such as cuff links, shoes (they must look like new even if they are not), etc.
The most important thing for both men and women to remember when dressing for the red carpet is to accessorize appropriately and make sure YOU are wearing the outfit and the outfit is not wearing you! Congrats and good luck to all of the nominees!
Lori Bumgarner is the owner of paNASH Style, an image consulting service that provides wardrobe styling for photo shoots, performances, red carpet events, and more. She is also the author of Advance Your Image: Putting Your Best Foot Forward Never Goes Out of Style.
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