The Sexiest Oscars Dresses to Ever Grace the Red Carpet

Pause everything and reminisce with me.

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There's a certain level of decorum at the Oscars, even on the red carpet. Unlike some other awards shows, like, say, the VMAs, you probably wouldn't show up to the event celebrating Hollywood's highest honor like this. Instead, stars arrive in designer ball gowns, slinky evening dresses, and chiffon frocks to twirl in. But that doesn't mean celebrities walk the red carpet dressed like nuns. They, with the help of stylists, have managed to strike the right balance between sexy and elegant, whether that's through a simple thigh-high slit or a backless cutout and a plunging neckline. With the Academy Awards quickly approaching, (they're on February 24!), we're reminiscing about the sexiest looks the show has ever served up. Join us, won't you?

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Taraji P. Henson, 2018

The actress can do no wrong on the red carpet. She wore this custom Vera Wang cutout shoulder gown to last year's Academy Awards and it was sheer (literally) perfection. Her simple heels were by Jimmy Choo.

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Charlize Theron, 2016

As one of the faces of Dior, it's no surprise that the actress walked the red carpet in a custom red dress from the fashion house. She drew attention to the deep-v in front with a sparkling silver pendant from Harry Winston.

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Cameron Diaz, 2000

It was March 26, 2000 that Diaz attended the Academy Awards in this plunging neckline dress that was so sheer it revealed her undergarments below.

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Jennifer Aniston, 2015

The actress, who gravitates towards black at award shows, switched it up in 2015 with a strapless flesh-colored Atelier Versace dress. The bottom portion had a see-through chainmail affect, which was a rather bold move for America's girl next door.

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Cate Blanchett, 1999

For her first Academy Awards show, the actress chose a naked-ish dress by John Galliano. The entire thing was transparent while the back showed off an embroidered floral design.

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Chrissy Teigen, 2015

Teigen was a vision in blue at the 2015 Academy Awards. The slit on her Zuhair Murad dress reached her waistline (nearly) and the beaded long-sleeve top was plunging. She carried an Oroton clutch and wore Norman Silverman jewelry.

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Olivia Wilde, 2016

Wilde managed to snag one of Valentino's the sexiest dresses for the 2016 Academy Awards. The butter-yellow ensemble had cutouts in the front, back, and sides. She accessorized the eye-catching gown with a Neil Lane choker and earrings.

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Li Bingbing, 2012

The actress proved lace doesn't have to be boring—just add an edgy element. The strapless look featured a see-through portion on the side, so it gives some, but not everything, away.

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Gwyneth Paltrow, 1996

Back when she was dating Brad Pitt, the actress wore this slinky slip dress by Calvin Klein, to the Academy Awards. The look is both understatedly sexy and timeless.

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Rachel McAdams, 2016

The actress's August Getty dress was incredibly alluring thanks to a daringly low back. (The front also featured a thigh-high slit.) She wore the dress with Niwaka jewels and Stuart Weitzman silver heels.

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Cindy Crawford, 1991

Back then, Crawford, who was dating Richard Gere, attended the Oscars in a flaming hot red Versace halter dress. Better than any LBD? I'd say so.

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Cher, 1973

Cher's never afraid to go outside of the box for her Academy Awards looks. She wore this genie-inspired yellow top and skirt set (we're seriously jealous of her abs) from Bob Mackie to the 1973 oscars.

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Hilary Swank, 2005

Swank's appearance on the red carpet that night was memorable—and not just because she chose to wear this smoking backless navy blue dress by Guy Laroche—the actress was nominated for (and won!) best actress for Million Dollar Baby. Great night!

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Taraji P. Henson, 2017

The star attended the 2017 Oscars in a midnight blue gown by Alberta Ferretti, and her look was equal parts Old Hollywood glam and scintillating sexiness. The off-the-shoulder fit showed off her collar bone and her megawatt jewels from Nirav Modi.

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Jennifer Lopez, 2015

Ballgowns are expected on the Oscars red carpet, but, of course, Lopez made the style her own in a stunning beige-colored Elie Saab gown whose only modest part was from the waist down.

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Angelina Jolie, 2012

How to make a gown sexier: show off a little leg. Jolie stuck hers out from under her voluminous Atelier Versace dress, and the pose made such a commotion that night that it got its own Twitter page. She wore a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo peep-toe pumps and finished off with Neil Lane jewelry.

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Beyoncé, 2007

Beyoncé looked beautiful in this one-shoulder Armani Privé mint green gown at the 2007 Academy Awards. The slit showed off a bit of skin while still looking elegant and refined.

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Kerry Washington, 2016

The actress channeled warrior women in this leather Atelier Versace gown at the 2016 Academy Awards. A thigh-high slit gave this ensemble an A+ in sexiness. She wore Harry Winston jewels and Gianvito Rossi shoes.

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Cher, 1988

The star won for best actress in a leading role for her film Moonstruck at the 1988 Oscars. And to accept her award, she wore a memorable/completely sheer Bob Mackie gown with just the slightest amount of strategically placed beading and fringe. Bold and inspiring.

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Halle Berry, 2002

Most memorable Oscar gown ever? It's up there. Berry wore this transparent floral appliqué dress from Elie Saab to the 2002 Academy Awards. That night she became the first Black woman to win an academy award for best actress in Monster's Ball.

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Sophie Turner, 2016

Who says sustainable fashion can't be sexy? Turner proved it can be when she stepped out in this body-hugging Galvan for Opening Ceremony dress at the 2016 Academy Awards.

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Rooney Mara, 2016

Mara attended the 2016 Academy Awards as a nominee for her work in the film Carol. To walk the red carpet she donned a long-sleeve lace Givenchy dress with a cutout in the middle. Her dress split into two sections at the bottom to show off her legs and shoes.

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Mila Kunis, 2011

Elie Saab is frequently a popular choice for stars on the red carpet. Kunis went with this purple lace haute couture dress from the fashion house for the 2011 ceremony. The whispery lace gave the designer piece a romantic feel, while the sheerness gave it that sex appeal. She carried a Bottega Veneta clutch and wore Neil Lane jewels.

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Jada Pinkett Smith, 1997

The star was like a modern-day mermaid in this metallic green crop top and skirt set. She even fashioned a belly chain around her waist. Meanwhile, Will Smith matched his S.O. with a green button-down shirt. That's true love.


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