12 Best Dresses of the Decade

Reese Witherspoon at the Golden Globes
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

12 Best Dresses of the Decade

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100 Best Dresses of the Decade

100 Best Dresses of the Decade

From barely-there figure-flaunters to sophisticated sheaths, the last 10 years have been great for gowns. Take a walk down memory lane (via the red carpet!) with InStyle fashion director Hal Rubenstein.

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Kate Hudson in Versace, 2003

Kate Hudson in Versace, 2003
SGranitz/WireImage

WHERE

75th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles
WHY WE LOVE IT "It had a level of extravagance that just had you gasping. The combination of her golden skin, golden hair and the yards of gold lace-I was stunned."

-Hal Rubenstein, Fashion Director

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Anne Hathaway in Armani Prive

Anne Hathaway in Armani Prive
Mario Anzuoni/Landov

WHERE

81st Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles
WHY WE LOVE IT "The huge, iridescent paillettes came down at a diagonal and created a great mermaid effect. This dress almost matched her skin tone and was like a burst of light underneath her."

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Charlize Theron in Vera Wang, 2000

Charlize Theron in Vera Wang, 2000
Rob Beccaris/WireImage

WHERE

72nd Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles
WHY WE LOVE IT "Vera understands real, sexy, old-fashioned, 'knock 'em dead' glamour. The color is just great and, of course, the diamonds are perfectly placed. It's Old Hollywood without looking old."

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Eva Mendes in Dior

Eva Mendes, Dior, Golden Globes 2009
Steve Granitz/WireImage

WHERE

68th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles
WHY WE LOVE IT "This look has one moment of extravagance and shows that proportion is everything. If that wonderful fold at her hip was two inches wider or longer it might have failed-but it was so right. The Van Cleef & Arpels necklace is a spectacular complement."

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Penelope Cruz in Atelier Versace

Penelope Cruz, Best of 2007
Steve Granitz/WireImage

WHERE

81st Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles
WHY WE LOVE IT "Three things: A refined moment with her hair and makeup, a va-va-va-voom moment where the dress fits so close to her body and a big glamour moment with the intricate train that goes on forever."

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Gwen Stefani in Valentino, 2004

Gwen Stefani in Valentino, 2004
Paul Smith/Featureflash/Retna

WHERE

61st Annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles
WHY WE LOVE IT "Here's the rocker chick wearing the most unlikely dress of the night. It's all about going against the grain and throwing people off."

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Jessica Alba in Dolce & Gabbana

Jessica Alba in Dolce & Gabbana
Evan Agostini/Getty Images

WHERE

58th International Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France
WHY WE LOVE IT "The movement of the fabric against her great body is sexy and, as sparkly as the dress is, there's something very withholding about it."

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Kate Winslet in Atelier Yves Saint Laurent, 2009

Kate Winslet
Steve Granitz/WireImage

WHERE

81st Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles
WHY WE LOVE IT "This dress shows the sexiness of a real woman who makes no apologies for her curves."

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Sarah Jessica Parker in Chanel

Sarah Jessica Parker in Chanel
Fernando Allende/CelebrityPhoto

WHERE

55th Annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles
WHY WE LOVE IT "There's something so happy about this dress. Those fabulous, weightless layers of organza-it's like cotton candy or a pink meringue souffle. They didn't bother with hair and makeup because the dress was such an eye-popper."

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Drew Barrymore in Alberta Ferretti, 2009

Drew Barrymore in Alberta Ferretti
Dave Allocca/Startraks Photo

WHERE

Grey Gardens

premiere in New York City
WHY WE LOVE IT "Drew was channeling a femme fatale with the twenties hair and bee-stung lips. It had that unabashed boudoir feel that Alberta does so well."

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Joy Bryant in Donna Karan, 2005

Joy Bryant in Donna Karan, 2005
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

WHERE

The Skeleton Key

premiere in Los Angeles
WHY WE LOVE IT "Everything comes dead center to the waist and starbursts out from there. It's about a woman being proud of her curves."

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Reese Witherspoon in Nina Ricci, 2006

Reese Witherspoon at the Golden Globes
Frazer Harrison/Getty

WHERE

65th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles
WHY WE LOVE IT "This was Reese's first moment out after her split with Ryan Philippe: Strapless, short, yellow, unadorned and showing her body. I love the unexpectedness of it. It was a brilliant strategy and it really worked."

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