She Leads, You Follow: CMA Awards Edition

It was country music’s night to celebrate as the red carpet was rolled out on Nov. 4 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee for the 49th annual CMA Awards. The awards recognize the top country performers and radio personalities across the nation, but the red carpet prior to the award show certainly recognized the impeccable fashion of these superstars.

Catching our eye first in a bright coral dress was Carrie Underwood, who entered the awards in a Gauri & Nainika peplum gown with a deep v-neckline, says EOnline. She completed her red carpet ensemble with what Us Magazine says is an ear cuff and earrings by Anne Sisteron and Stuart Weitzman heels.

Living up to her name, Jewel wore a shimmery Lorena Sarbu bodycon dress down the CMAs red carpet, says EOnline. She completed her look with silver strappy sandals, a metallic clutch and loose, dramatic waves.

Former frontwoman of Sugarland Jennifer Nettles stunned on the red carpet in what was probably the sexiest look of the night. The “That Girl” singer strut her stuff in a pale pink dress with a revealing mesh-covered bodice, which she topped off with a dramatic, upswept hairdo.

Changing things up in an all-black ensemble was The Band Perry’s Kimberly Perry, who showed some leg in what TLC says is an Anthony Vaccarello design. The one-sleeve gown also featured an open-gromet side detail that revealed little peeks of skin in addition to showing all that leg.

Although these ladies are dressed for country music’s biggest award show, there are several things from their looks that we can apply to the way we dress everyday:

  1. The power of a peplum – Carrie Underwood’s dress shows us the power of a peplum, as well as its versatility. A peplum, or that small flounce of material gathered around her waist, is a great way to accentuate your waist and draw attention to your natural curves, while also hiding anything that you may be uncomfortable about. While we normally see peplums on tops or even jackets, Underwood’s look shows us that peplums can be worn in a variety of garments, from a casual top to a formal gown like hers. If you want to try a peplum in your wardrobe, start with a simple peplum top; be sure that the peplum starts at your natural waist and has enough volume to flow outwards to the top of your hips.
  2. Noticeable necklines – All of these country songstresses wore dresses with interesting necklines; Carrie Underwood, Jewel and Jennifer Nettles all went for plunging styles, while Kimberly Perry opted for an asymmetrical look. What all of these different neckline styles have in common, however, is that they frame each woman’s face while also creating a focal point of the outfit. If you want to try an interesting neckline, start with an asymmetrical design (like a one-shoulder style) and then work up to the more daring styles as you feel comfortable and as the occasion permits. And don’t forget — high necklines can be just as dramatic as plunging looks!
  3. Take a risk – Another thing all of these looks have in common is that they are all pretty daring; between the necklines, the skirt styles and the embellishments, they all have dramatic, eye-catching details. What these ladies can teach us is that sometimes, you just have to take a risk in your fashion choices; don’t be afraid to wear something that strays from what you’d normally wear, because you’ll never know if you like something different until you try it.

She Leads, You Follow: CMT Music Awards Edition

Another day, another red carpet! That means another edition of “She Leads, You Follow,” this time featuring the stylish songstresses of the country music world. The CMT Music Awards aired last night on CMT, and the show itself did not disappoint. The fashion on the red carpet beforehand also delivered an exciting crop of clothing. Here are just a few of THL’s favorites of the night!

First up is the big winner of the night, Carrie Underwood. Underwood stunned in a white-hot mini dress adorned with silver beading. Silver beading on her shoulders gives her a stronger shoulder while the beading ending at her natural waist emphasizes her tiny midsection. She paired the dress with a simple silver sandal and a silver frame clutch.

Jamie Lynn Spears walked the red carpet in a less formal but equally as fresh ensemble. Spears wore a navy jumpsuit with a yellow laser-cut patterned clutch, a long key pendant necklace and bright pink pointy-toe pumps. The jumpsuit’s deep v-neck with a wrap front makes the otherwise laid-back outfit more ‘dressed’ for an award show. Overall, the jumpsuit is tailored well to her body with one exception: the seam at the top of her hip. This seam should have been a little bit higher so it sat in her natural waistline, which would create the illusion of longer legs while also solving the slight bunching of material at her midsection.

“The Heart of Dixie” singer Danielle Bradbery went in the complete opposite direction of Spears’ laid-back look, walking the red carpet in a short, mixed gold-tone dress. The intricate beading on the dress, layered over a sheer underlay, starts off rather sparse around her neckline and gradually builds in density as it flows down the dress. The placement of the beading on this dress helps to create structure: the heavy beading on the cap sleeves creates a strong should while the beading that curves inward at her natural waistline streamlines her midsection. Bradbery paired the dress with a neutral heel.

The red carpet finally saw a pop of color when The Band Perry’s lead singer Kimberly Perry stepped onto the scene. Perry wore a long, violet blue column dress with sheer cutouts at the waist. The cutouts are perfectly placed, emphasizing the singer’s narrow waist and giving shape to an otherwise simple dress. Perry paired the dress with a gold frame clutch and minimal jewelry, letting her dress speak for itself.

Believe it or not, there are things we can take away from Underwood, Spears, Bradbery and Perry’s red carpet outfits and apply in our lives everyday as we get dressed or shop for clothes. Here’s what to remember:

  1. Sometimes, less is more – As shown by Underwood and Perry, sometimes you just need to let the outfit speak for itself. Neither singer wore a tremendous amount of jewelry, nor did they pair their outfits with oversized, brightly colored accessories; they instead kept their accessories simple and to a minimum, allowing their dresses and their natural beauty to be the star of the show. And sometimes, you just have to trust that you don’t need all the flashy “extras” with your outfit; more often than not, the only “extra” your outfit needs is an extra shot of confidence!
  2. Tailoring is not an option, its a necessity – Although Jamie Lynn Spears’ jumpsuit was styled nicely by adding two pops of color against her neutral navy jumpsuit, the styling of her outfit could not detract from the fact that the jumpsuit could have been a little bit better tailored to her body. When trying on something that can be tricky to fit (like a jumpsuit), keep in mind that it will almost never fit perfectly off the rack. But, it can fit perfectly with a little tailoring; when trying on a jumpsuit, pay special attention to the torso to legline ratio, that is, how much “top” are you versus how much “leg” you are. Ideally, you will want to have your legs look long and your waist look narrow, so look for a seam that will hit right at your natural waistline, and it will accomplish both of these goals.
  3. Try a new color – Kimberly Perry is a perfect example of trying out a new color in an accessible way; she didn’t try out this gorgeous violet color in a crazy pattern or wildly eccentric outfit. She instead tried in a fairly simple and sophisticated way, wearing a solid dress with one interesting detail (the cutouts) instead of several different details. If you are thinking about test driving a new color in your wardrobe, start simply. Try it out first in your accessories (maybe a clutch, an earring or a shoe in the color you’ve been eyeing) and then you can work up to a top, bottom or dress in that color if you wish. This way, you can test out just how much you like the color and the way it looks against your skin tone before you invest in several pieces in that color.