Red-Carpet Styles for Less
Heidi Klum in Dior by John Galliano
THE STYLE Striking Statement Piece from the 2008 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR If you're the kind of gal who doesn't mind all eyes on you, then look for a dramatic statement dress like this one with its bold color and lavish cut.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Red satin dress, Queen of Heartz, $130; at unique-vintage.com
Keira Knightley in Valentino
THE STYLE Strapless White with Embellishment from the 2006 Golden Globes
WHAT TO LOOK FOR The detailing at the waist works to create an hourglass silhouette on the slender Knightley. The silver detailing makes it easy to complete the look with silver accessories.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION White Charmeuse dress, Faviana, $225; at onlineformal.com
Jessica Alba in Marchesa
THE STYLE Grecian Draping with Bust Detailing from the 2008 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR You don't need to be an expectant mama to pull off this dress. The long, flowing cut looks stunning on tall ladies (or those faking it with stilettos).
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Feathered Dress, Faviana, $318; at edressme.com
Jennifer Lopez in Marchesa
THE STYLE Beaded Grecian Gown from the 2007 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR A flowing empire dress is a beautiful and flattering option for pear-shape figures. This cut requires proper support at the chest, so find yourself a functional bra, shaper or foundation.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Pale gray dress, Faviana, $358; at serendipityprom.com
Katherine Heigl in Escada
THE STYLE Red Asymmetrical Gown from the 2008 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR Nothing says racy and glamorous like punchy red. Balance the look by parting your hair on the same side as the shoulder strap and wearing heavy jewelry on the bare arm.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION One-shoulder red gown, Faviana, $338; at edressme.com
Reese Witherspoon in Nina Ricci
THE STYLE Yellow Strapless Cocktail Dress from the 2007 Golden Globes
WHAT TO LOOK FOR You can't help but love this bright, cheerful color, perfect for spring and summer occasions. Go bold, like Reese, with strappy red sandals.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Strapless yellow, edressme.com, $198; at edressme.com
Angelina Jolie in vintage Hermes
THE STYLE Draping Ombre from the 2008 SAG Awards
WHAT TO LOOK FOR Because of its long, draping shape, this dress hides the body and puts the focus on the face. Ombre is a gorgeous fluid trend right now and translates beautifully in less expensive options.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Ombre chiffon, ABS, $286; at bluefly.com
Alicia Keys in Giorgio Armani
THE STYLE Navy Satin Halter from 2008 Grammy Awards
WHAT TO LOOK FOR If you want to show off toned arms and shoulders, then a halter is a great cut. Avoid it if you have a long torso, however.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Navy satin halter gown, Vera Wang $335; at bluefly.com
Amy Adams in Proenza Schouler
THE STYLE Emerald Green Geometrical Gown from the 2008 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR The rich color of this dress is different than basic black, but still subtle if you don't want anything too bold. This style creates curves and should be reserved for those with a small-ish chest.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Enchanted Green Gown, Faviana, $258; at edressme.com
Eva Longoria in Ungaro
THE STYLE Decollete-framing Gown from the 2007 Golden Globes
WHAT TO LOOK FOR Beading is a great way to add color to a dress. It also draws attention to wear it is, so make sure you like the area that detailing hits at.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Beaded gown, Faviana, $338; at serendipityprom.com
Jennifer Garner in Oscar de la Renta
THE STYLE Textured Black Strapless from the 2008 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR To add interest to a black strapless dress, look for something with texture. This is also an easy way to enhance the appearance of curves on a straight figure.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Evening Red Hots Shirred Party Dress, Betsey Johnson, $345; at betseyjohnson.com
Anne Hathaway in Marchesa
THE STYLE Red with Rosettes from the 2008 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR Floral is a huge trend for the spring and a dress with flirty rosettes captures the foliage in a pefect dose. If you want to increase the appearance of the bust, look for a dress with appliques at the bust-line.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Short Taffeta Party Dress, Alyce Designs, $234; at unique-vintage.com
Nicole Kidman in Balenciaga
THE STYLE Simple Black Sheath from the 2008 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR Sometimes a black dress creates an ideal backdrop to display amazing accessories. If you opt for a very bold piece, like this necklace, keep the dress as simple as possible.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Black Jersey Dress, Tart, $120; at bluefly.com
Miley Cyrus in Valentino
THE STYLE Sophisticated Red from the 2008 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR This conservative cut looks elegant and ups the elan ante, regardless of your age. Look for something with a cinched waist to create an hourglass figure.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Red gown, Faviana, $248; at edressme.com
Laura Linney in Michael Kors
THE STYLE Simple Black Strapless from the 2008 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR Wearing a dress like this provides an excellent opportunity to dash in your personality with statement-making colorful or metallic accessories.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Strapless Satin Gown, JS Boutique, $98; at nordstrom.com
Amy Ryan in Calvin Klein
THE STYLE Simple One-Shoulder Cut from the 2008 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR Avoid looking dowdy by finding an asymmetrical dress that's held in at the waist (whether it's a belt, sash, or detailing).
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Asymmetrical dress, OC by Oleg Cassini, $200; at dillards.com
Kristin Chenoweth in Armani Prive
THE STYLE Sheer Black with Sweetheart Neckline from the 2008 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR Sheer has been a big trend with celebs lately. It adds dimension to a basic black dress. A sweetheart neckline works nicely to frame an ample chest.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Chiffon evening dress, Shoshanna, $204; at bluefly.com
Hilary Swank in Versace
THE STYLE Detailed Asymmetrical Gown from the 2008 Oscars
WHAT TO LOOK FOR Notice how the eye sweeps down Hilary Swank's body, following the lines of the detailing. You can strategically draw the eye to a part of the body (for instance, detail near the shoulder will draw attention away from a large lower half).
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Matte jersey dress, Calvin Klein, $178; at nordstrom.com
Beyonce in Elie Saab
THE STYLE Deeply-cut Sparkles from the 2007 Golden Globes
WHAT TO LOOK FOR Looking for all-out sex appeal and maximum sizzle? Try on a body-hugging style like this one. And remember: double-stick tape is your best friend in a dress like this!
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Beyonce Dress, Faviana, $398; at promgirl.com
Sara Ramirez in Angel Sanchez
THE STYLE Red Halter from the 2007 Golden Globes
WHAT TO LOOK FOR The slimming bodice and supportive straps make this an excellent option for curvier ladies. Play up the glamour of this style with curls and red lipstick.
A LESS EXPENSIVE OPTION Red Halter dress, Faviana, $278; at serendipityprom.com