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54 Times Women Said No To Dresses At Formal Events

54 Times Women Said No To Dresses At Formal Events

Sometimes, you just wanna see what else the designers have got up their sleeves…

Here’s my round up of some of the times women have slayed on the red carpet in an outfit that’s not a dress!

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Marilyn Monroe moment? Not today!


Uma Thurman

David Livingston / Getty Images

Dresses are pretty common on the red carpet, but skirts aren’t seen so much. I love the simplicity and elegance of Uma’s ensemble here – classic and timeless, but a bit different to another ballgown.

Many saw Uma’s outfit as a way of paying homage to one of her most iconic roles — Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction.


Kristen Stewart

David Livingston / Getty Images

There’s so much going on with this outfit! The plunging neckline, the short shorts, the bold necklace…combined with voluminous hair and simple heels, Kristen’s look was one that certainly caught people’s eyes at the 94th Annual Academy Awards.


Dylan Meyer

Future Publishing / Future Publishing via Getty Images

Kristen’s screenwriter fiancée also said no to the dress, opting for a sleek, dark brown patterned suit. She and Kristen must have coordinated the button usage on their shirts — Kristen’s buttoned the bottom and Dylan’s gone for the top!


Ariana DeBose

David Livingston / Getty Images

Ariana ran with red for the Oscars. She wore palazzo pants coupled with a cropped top, and accentuated the simple but eye-catching combo with a dramatic cape and jewelry by De Beers.

“Pants at the Oscars is lit, hunnyyyy,” she told Vogue. “That’s a four-hour telecast — comfy and chic? Werk!”  


Miley Cyrus

Michael Kovac / Getty Images for WCRF

I’m obsessed with this suit of Miley’s. It’s super simple yet flattering, and the splash of baby pink on the lapels gives it a bit of personality.


Mary J. Blige

Karwai Tang / WireImage

Just look at this ensemble! I love the split design of the jacket, the tailored fit, and those beautiful glittery heels. It takes a stereotypically masculine outfit and combines it with a feminine flowing train, creating a stunning look that really shows Mary’s individual style.


Brandi Carlile

Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

Brandi is certainly no stranger to a suit, but this is one of my personal favorites. It’s the sleek silhouette, bold contrasting colors, and those beautiful silver embellishments. Plus, she’s topped it off with a bow tie which — excuse the pun — really ties the whole look together!


Michelle Obama

Paras Griffin / Getty Images

Look at this outfit!! Ugh, I just love it. I was kinda spoilt for choice with Michelle and her suits, but finally settled on this one because the color really pops, the shape is super flattering, and she just looks so happy wearing it. I also love the playful element the black glittery tube top adds.


Sarina Potgieter

Dave J Hogan / Dave J Hogan / Getty Images

The more I look at this outfit, the more I see. The blouse has that unique frill pattern which gives it some movement, then the asymmetrical blazer gives a nod to military-style. The baggy trousers that tailor in at the ankles really draw the eye to those bold golden platform heels, too. A super unique look — I love it!


Emily Hampshire

George Pimentel / Getty Images

Emily is another person who spoilt me for choice, and I’m gonna have to include two of her looks because I reeeeally couldn’t pick! I just love this look on Emily. I love all the little details that bring it together, like the black cravat, glittery pantyhose, and chunky black patent pumps.


Emily Hampshire (again)

Gregg Deguire / WireImage

Do you see why I had to let Emily on the list twice? This look gives me major Clueless vibes, and I just love its playful twist on the traditional suit.


Sandy Powell

Matthias Nareyek / Getty Images

Sandy has SO many outfits I just wanna nick right out of her wardrobe. This one is a great example of her quirky style. That print, the shape, the chunky shoes — so Sandy, so good!


Victoria Magrath

Tristan Fewings / Getty Images for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Universal Pictures

*Chandler Bing voice* Could I BE any more obsessed with this look? Guys, I just love it. The soft pastel colors, the cinched-in waist paired with the baggy trousers, that cute little boxy bag…just perfection. I also love the blown-out hair Victoria has combined the look with, completing that vintage vibe.


Irina Shayk

Jennifer Graylock / Getty Images for The Daily Front Row

The small details can really change an outfit, right? The turtleneck finish and cape-like shape of the cropped jacket give the look a totally different silhouette. I love the cut-out detail at the ankles, too.


Tracee Ellis Ross

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Tracee is another one who caused me trouble. She has too many great outfits! I particularly like this one as the jacket and the suit shouldn’t go together…but somehow, they just work!


Katie Piper

Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

Orange isn’t the most common colour at formal events, is it? After seeing Katie’s outfit at the GQ Men of the Year Awards, I think it should be more prevalent!


Wanda Sykes

Art Streiber / ABC via Getty Images

It’s the SHOES. They just give this look a whole different vibe! The elegant silver jewelry at the top combined with the white sneakers at the bottom give it a chic but cool air — plus, it looks comfy!



Arnold Jerocki / Getty Images

Guys, this is too hard. I’m putting Zendaya on this list twice, too. She has rocked up at so many events with outfits that make jaws drop, whether in a dress or not. Here’s one of her looks that I love. A full body bold color outfit never fails to draw the eye, and she’s teamed it with mega platform heels and textured trousers. Plus, a high waist with a long jacket always looks great!


Zendaya (again — sorry, not sorry)

Kevin Mazur / WireImage,

You see why I couldn’t exclude this, right? I love the cool color theme, the sparkles, the jewelry, the cropped blouse — it’s so simple, yet at the same time, there’s actually a lot going on. Love. It!


Marlee Matlin

Axelle / FilmMagic

The shine on the suit, the glittery details, and the contrast between the fitted blazer and the wide leg of the trousers — ugh, so good. Plus, it’s a gorgeous shade of pink! I need this suit in my life.


Jodie Comer

Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox

This look means business! I love how everything she wears here has a subtle shine — the satin look to the blazer and trousers, the silver blouse, and the patent boots. The stompy boots really give this look a badass edge!


Charli XCX

Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic

Get a tux, but make it Charli. Obsessed with that neon pink bow tie and those glittery pink peeptoe shoes! 

I really like the frilled shirt and the fact she’s gone all out with the three-piece suit. (Although it’s all white, so I’d be terrified to eat, drink, or generally exist while wearing it!)


Emma Stone

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

I love a good jumpsuit! Loving the asymmetrical lapel detail and the combo of silver and gold Emma is showcasing here, too. The gold accents go so well with her hair color, too!


Emma Watson

David M. Benett / Dave Benett / Getty Images

The boots change the WHOLE look of this outfit, am I right?! At first glance, it looks like an elegant black suit with lace accents and dainty jewellery. But then you clock those mega chunky boots and it becomes a stunning hybrid of tough military and delicate formal.


Julia Roberts

Dia Dipasupil / WireImage

I love a good layered outfit with different lengths, and Julia’s waistcoat combined with shorts and a thigh-brushing jacket totally runs with this. Paired with simple black heels and accentuated with a silver brooch, the outfit looks breezy and smart-casual. 


Blake Lively

Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

Blake has such a good collection of suits — honestly, look her up and you’ll see how hard it was to pick just one! I settled for this one as I love the soft color combo spliced together with bold glittering shoes which go so well with the sparkly jewelry, plus there are those little details like the rolled-up ankles on the trousers. Truly lovely!


Jillian Mercado

Paul Bruinooge / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The sharp tailoring of Jillian’s jacket is an amazing contrast to the soft, ethereal-looking tulle skirt. The stark difference between the styles and colors gives the outfit such a cool look overall.


Elizabeth Olsen

Gareth Cattermole / Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images for Marvel Studios’

A black and silver combo always looks great. Concentrating a bold pattern in one place on an outfit always draws the eye, and I love that Lizzie’s outfit has short sleeves too, which gives it a different vibe to a traditional long-sleeved blazer/trouser combo.


Millicent Symonds

David M. Benett / Dave Benett / Getty Images

Millicent just exudes elegance with this look from the BAFTAs. It’s super simple, but the high neck/high waist combo looks stunning on her.


Elizabeth Banks

Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic

I love that cutout/swirling pattern detail! The placement on the arms, hips, and from the chest to the waist really accentuates Elizabeth’s shape.


Kelly Rowland

Valerie Macon / AFP via Getty Images

I know I’ve been singing the praises of high-waisted looks, but Kelly’s showing the power of a more flowing, less structured outfit. I also love the combo of dark green and light pink!


Lauren Ridloff

Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images for Lexus

Playsuits are not worn enough! They’re so versatile — they can be elegant and formal, or quirky and playful. Lauren’s outfit at the Eternals world premiere is a great combo of both.


Lucy Hale

Amy Sussman / Getty Images

So. Much. Happening. Here! The bold pattern from head to toe, the big hoops, then that bright pink turtleneck. It shouldn’t work, but Lucy pulls it off!


Nicole Kidman

Jeff Spicer / Jeff Spicer / Getty Images for BFI

This looks so darn svelte! I love the bright pink color, and the subtle accent it gives to the wrists. The color combo elevates what could have been a pretty run-of-the-mill suit to a whole new level.


Hailee Steinfeld

Gabe Ginsberg / WireImage

Hailey is like a walking fabric swatch board in this outfit! So much is going on all in one ensemble. Lace, leather, ribbed sleeves, ruched waist, long sleeve, no sleeve, high neck, boat neck, asymmetrical waistline, fingerless gloves — whew! I could go on!


Kerry Washington

Jason Laveris / FilmMagic

Kerry said, “I’ll take all of the pattern, please — oh yes, and all of the colors too.” This outfit is a barrage of florals and bright colors, but somehow Kerry makes it look great.


Hailey Bieber

John Sciulli / Getty Images for Turner

A subtle colour combo and a nice mix of fitted and floaty thanks to the tailored waist paired with flared bottoms, and a baggy blouse with flowing side detail.


Cara Delevingne

Karwai Tang / WireImage

So sleek! I love the way the neckline embellishment matches the shoe detail, and the suit is given a new silhouette through its plunging neckline. Cara’s icy blonde hair with the black ribbon matches so well with the black and silver of her outfit.


Lupita Nyong’o and Rosario Dawson

Donato Sardella / Getty Images for Belvedere Vodka

There were actually so many great outfits at the Janelle Monae and Belvedere Vodka’s A Beautiful Future Campaign with Fem the Future Brunch, with these two being just a couple of them!


Tessa Thompson

Donato Sardella / Getty Images for Belvedere Vodka

Here’s Tessa at the same event — what an outfit, eh?!


Selena Gomez

Vivien Killilea / Via Getty Images

There’s been a fair amount of black and silver in this post, so I’m loving Selena’s white and gold combo. I really like the fringe detail on the shoulders.


Halle Berry

Rich Polk / NBCUniversal / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Halle Berry rocked up to the 2021 People’s Choice Awards in this motorcycle jumpsuit, making her possibly the most glamorous motorcyclist I have ever seen!



Axelle / FilmMagic

Sunshine in an outfit! I love the different shades of yellow coupled with bright sparkles and colored sunglasses.


Storm Reid

Axelle / FilmMagic

I love the unusual shape Storm’s outfit has! It also has an open back, where those side details kinda open up from, petal-style.


Demi Moore

Dominique Charriau / WireImage

Demi’s outfit is pretty simple, but I love the way she’s used bright color sparingly to really change it up. The electric blue of her necklace and gloves are so eye-catching!


Sofia Richie

Presley Ann / Getty Images

Sofia’s outfit just looks so comfortable! Breathable linen and a light color coupled with her beachy waves give it an effortless summer vibe.


Scarlett Johansson

Steve Granitz / WireImage

Scarlett brought the vintage vibes to the Avengers cast hand printing event. Honestly, I can see her as a 60s movie star in this outfit!


Gigi and Bella Hadid

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Gigi and Bella both said no to dresses at the Variety Power of Women event. I especially love Gigi’s outfit — that stunning blue shade and the contrast between the jumpsuit’s sharp silhouette and the flowing cape detail.


Rosie Huntington Whiteley

Michael Kovac / Getty Images for Moet & Chandon

I love how this baggy boiler suit-esque outfit is cinched in at the waist and showcased in a powder pink to give a feminine twist to a traditionally masculine outfit. I really like the color combo, though I’m not sure about the boots with the look — what do you think?


Cate Blanchett

Mondadori Portfolio / Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

It’s the details for me. Look at those stunning brooches! Plus, it’s combined with a subtle lemon yellow shirt instead of the traditional crisp white.


Ashley Graham

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for Michael Kors

Such a nice springtime look! The bright floral pattern is really set off by the simple black crop top it’s paired with.


Alexa Demie

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Major nostalgic vibes! The dainty frilly top shouldn’t work with the bold zebra print trousers and sneakers, but it really does!


Lady Gaga

Neilson Barnard / Getty Images for ELLE Magazine

Arguably one of Gaga’s most simple looks, she somehow makes drowning in fabric look mega chic and stylish!


Gemma Chan

Gareth Cattermole / Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images for Disney

I am bloody obsessed with this look! The hood, the midriff cutout, the mesh parts of the skirt — ugh, I just love it!

Which look is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!