10 Times Birthday Girl Octavia Spencer Was the Red Carpet's Monochrome Queen

At Elle's 18th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute
Photo: Jeff Vespa/Getty Images

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.

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!

01 of 10

At the 2017 Oscars

At the 2017 Oscars
ANGELA WEISS/Getty

Spencer slayed in a lavender off-the-shoulder gown with a satin top and feather-covered skirt at the 89th Academy Awards. She polished off the look with a chic, asymmetrical bob and drop earrings.

02 of 10

At the 21st Century Fox and Fox Searchlight Oscar Party

At the 21st Century Fox and Fox Searchlight Oscar Party
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Spencer was an early adopter of the off-the-shoulder trend in this light blue princess-inspired gown. She paired the look with a matching purse and drop earrings for the 2015 Oscars.

03 of 10

At the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

At the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival
Walter McBride/Corbis

The actress glowed at the premiere of Black and White in Toronto in a sea-green knee-length dress with lace detailing. Combined with a mirrored clutch and ankle-strap sandals, her look was perfect for the late summer weather.

04 of 10

At the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

At the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

At the 2014 Emmys, the Insurgent star was red hot in a bold ruched dress with a matching clutch.

05 of 10

At the premiere of Fruitvale Station

At the premiere of Fruitvale Station
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

The Fruitvale Station star arrived at the L.A. premiere of her new film in a bright blue boatneck lace dress.

06 of 10

At Elle's 19th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration

At Elle's 19th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration
Jeff Vespa/WireImage

The honoree stunned in a semi-sheer green striped dress at the Beverly Hills event in 2012.

07 of 10

At the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

At the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival
George Pimentel/Getty Images

Spencer attended the premiere of Smashed in a light blue short-sleeve dress that cinched at the waist. She accessorized with a sparkly clutch and T-strap sandals.

08 of 10

At the 5th Annual Women In Film Pre-Oscar Party

At the 5th Annual Women In Film Pre-Oscar Party
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

The Academy Award winner brought the sunshine to a 2012 pre-Oscar party in L.A. in a bright yellow dress with ruched detailing.

09 of 10

At the 2012 Golden Globes

At the 2012 Golden Globes
Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times

At the 69th annual Golden Globes, Spencer stunned in a V-neck purple gown with ruched detailing. Her elegant updo and silver clutch were perfect for the formal red carpet.

10 of 10

At Elle's 18th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute

At Elle's 18th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute
Jeff Vespa/Getty Images

The Help star donned a bold gemstone hue at a Beverly Hills event. Her silky blue dress had a belted waist, perfectly silhouetting her frame.

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