Oscar nominee Sandra Bullock's red carpet style evolution
Dark lips, sheer overlays, and even a little midriff—the only way Bullock's look could be any more '90s is if she coat-checked a flannel shirt on the way in.
After three back-to-back box-office hits (Speed, While You Were Sleeping, and The Net), Bullock arrived at the 1996 Academy Awards with confidence—and the big hair to prove it. The simple chocolate Calvin Klein gown still holds up.
Bullock took her Forces of Nature premiere seriously, choosing an earthy copper shade to wear head to toe. So seriously, in fact, she ditched her bra, too. Next...
All this time, we thought J.Lo—OK, Versace—invented the belly-button-grazing deep-V. But then we found this. The plunging neckline, vivid print, and down-to-there extensions are certainly a departure for the typically understated Bullock, but she stayed in her comfort zone with moody smoky eyes and neutral lips. We'll let this one slide, because if her facial expression is any indicator, she already knows.
Forget the feathers, the bows, and the streaky golden highlights. Bullock is practically glowing in this bright white Oscar de la Renta gown, and thanks to the body-hugging silhouette, her gorgeously toned arms and décolleté have our full attention.
Now, this is just plain pretty. The low, loose chignon, flushed cheeks, and flowy Grecian gown have all the makings for red-carpet gold. Bullock has never looked more demure.
We're obsessed with this Lanvin mini (Taylor Swift wore it for her 2009 Allure cover shoot), and Bullock's sporty take is equal parts cool and youthful. The roughed-up ponytail, luminous skin, and charcoal smoky eyes were an excellent call.
Sequins, beads, and embroidery: It could easily have looked overdone, but Bullock shines in this glamorous Marchesa gown—even more so than the statue she took home that night for her role in The Blind Side. A sleek blowout and a pop ofpink lipstick are the perfect finishing touches.
She may be Miss Congeniality, but Bullock can do edgy, too. Case in point: An ethereal Jenny Packham dress gets toughened up with thick, blunt bangs and a nearly bare face.
Expert draping and a little volume: It's how Bullock nails the siren red dress (it's J. Mendel) and thigh-high-slit thing without venturing into Jessica Rabbit territory. Her pouf may be a little, well, pouf-y, but her dramatic lashes are spot-on.
With all of the ruffles, this is the stuff of our junior prom dreams (that is, if we wore Lanvin to our junior prom). But Bullock's look is hardly saccharine. The deep plum hue, jeweled belt, razor-straight hair, major smoky eyes—we'll take it all.
Looks familiar, right? Bullock plays the asymmetrical-gown card again, but in shimmery emerald (and this time, Lanvin), the effect is so much more elegant. Where many red-carpet rookies would have erred, she passed on glitzy jewelry (it could have cheapened the dress) and took a minimalist approach with her makeup: Soft smoky eyes and a dab of pink on lips and cheeks were the right move.
BACK TO SLIDE
Some things never change. And then there's Sandra Bullock's style. It's hard to remember a time when the actress wasn't America's sweetheart-with a closet full of Lanvin and Marchesa to match-but with more than two decades of the red-carpet game under her belt, she's tried just about everything: crop tops, plunging necklines...even frosty lipstick (it was the '90s, after all). Here, our favorite hits and misses.