Octavia Spencer has won many awards for her acting, but we’d love to give her a trophy for something else entirely: her bold red carpet style. Before the Kardashian-Jenners were known for their monochromatic dressing, The Help star made her signature look a bold solid color.
Whether she’s giving off Disney princess vibes in a light blue off-the-shoulder gown, daring to do yellow in a ruched head-turner, or turning up the heat in a bold red dress brighter than the carpet itself, this Academy Award winner has never shied away from color. So what’s her secret for making sure each of these adventurous looks lands on the best-dressed list? Keep it simple with accessories either matching the dress’s hue or in a neutral tone, like beige or metallic.
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Pairing the looks with either a classic updo or simple curls and sticking to one piece of statement jewelry (hello, diamond drop earrings), Spencer strikes the perfect mix of daring and classic. With an unwavering agenda and a simple formula, she’s managed to turn red carpet dressing into an art.
Of course, the Golden Globe winner has many reasons to hit the carpet. After snagging multiple wins in 2012 for her role as Minny Jackson in The Help, the actress has had notable parts in Insurgent, Snowpiercer, and the TV series Mom. In the past year, Spencer returned to the big screen in Gifted, The Shack, Hidden Figures, and Ascendant, the final film of the Divergent franchise.
In honor of her 47th birthday, join us in taking a look back at her best and boldest red carpet appearances. Happy birthday, Octavia!