We’re gearing up for this Sunday’s Oscars by getting ourselves excited about the impending fashion bonanza that is the red carpet. The stars nominated for best actress/actor in both lead and supporting roles range from being fashion icons to walking fashion disasters, and today, we’re looking at the 10 best dressed Oscar nominees from 2014.
1. Lupita Nyong’o, nominated for best supporting actress, 12 Years A Slave
It should come as zero surprise that Nyong’o is number one our list, considering her consistent appearances on every best dressed list. She takes changes and always hits the mark, and she never fails to keep us on our toes. Here she is in three of our favorites: making a cape seem understated at the Golden Globes, presenting turquoise flowers as mature statements, at the SAG Awards, and picking the perfect green at the BAFTAS.
2. Cate Blanchett, nominated for best actress in Blue Jasmine
Like Nyong’o, Blanchett is big on risk taking and switching things up. These are all examples of outfits that I would imagine wouldn’t work on most other actresses, but Blanchett pulls them off perfectly. All three of these outfits show how Blanchett expertly rocks the metallic/sequin trend (which isn’t always the most attractive look), at the BAFTA Awards, the AACTA Awards, and at the NY Film Critics Circle Awards. All of these looks, like most of Blanchett’s wardrobe, prove just how well risk taking can pay off.
3. Chiwetel Ejiofor, nominated for best actor in 12 Years A Slave
It can be hard to designate well dressed men since the red carpet fare seems to either be really, truly horrible, or just fine. But Ejiofor has distinguished himself with details and perfect tailoring, like his awesome vest at the 12 Years A Slave premiere and the crisp back tie at the Golden Globes.
4. Amy Adams, nominated for best actress in American Hustle
Amy Adams has really stepped up her game over the past year or so, showing a variety that goes far beyond her original “All American Girl” persona. While she carried a floofy, princess dress at last year’s Oscars, she also went for a modern look at this year’s SAG Awards to great effect, and made hot pink look timeless at the Critics Choice Awards.
5. Jared Leto, nominated for best supporting actor in Dallas Buyers Club
While Leto has had some issues in the past, he’s emerged this season as one of the best dressed men on the red carpets. He’s especially notable for his remarkable hair–he’s keeping the ombre trend alive and well and inspiring envy in everyone who beholds his luscious locks. My favorite look ever was at the SAG Awards, where he wore a white bow tie, polka dot pocket square, and took his mom as a date.
6. Sandra Bullock, nominated for best actress in Gravity
Like Adams, Bullock has really experimented over the past year or so, adding some dimension and risk to her somewhat bland image. I loved when she went vampy for the Directors Guild Awards and the Critic’s Choice Awards, and when she balanced pastel pink and orange with an edgy cut.
7. Matthew McConaughey, nominated for best actor in Dallas Buyers Club
While McConaughey might seem like an odd choice for a best dressed list, I think he deserves mention for keeping it interesting. Here’s an example: while I initially made fun of his green velvet tuxedo jacket and Sam named him to our Golden Globes worst dressed list, now I’m just happy he gave us something unique to look at. The man undeniably knows how to wear a vest, too.
8. Leonardo DiCaprio, nominated for best actor in The Wolf of Wall Street
DiCaprio gets points for his stylistic evolution from teen heartthrob to suit-wearing, grown man. Instead of always wearing the same damn black suit every event, DiCaprio impressively plays with color and accessories to keep things interesting. He went for a sharp blue suit that felt current and fresh for The Great Gatsby premiere, expertly skipped the tie for the Critics Choice Awards, and that last picture is a great example of how DiCaprio doesn’t shy away from new color choices and textures.
9. Meryl Streep, nominated for best actress in August: Osage County
Meryl Streep just barely makes the list for one reason: DGAF (I’m sorry, that’s the world’s dumbest acronym. Please forgive me). Streep tends to wear whatever the hell she wants and carries it off with confidence, which sounds cliche, but is the single most important aspect of any red carpet look. From head-to-toe metallic like at the 2012 and 2013 Oscars, or a floral red frock with glasses at this year’s Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon, Streep just does whatever the hell she wants. God bless.
10. Judi Dench, nominated for best actress in Philomena
Okay, so you might think that Judi Dench doesn’t really have much business on a best dressed list, but I disagree for one important reason: scarves. Have you ever met a person as committed to scarf-wearing as Dame Judi Dench? It’s her trademark (also, being monumentally intimidating), and I can only imagine her special scarf closet.
Okay, your turn to weigh in.
Photos: Getty Images