How to Avoid Star Mistakes

Movie stars may be talented actors or directors, but they’re still human, and they are capable of even the most embarrassing faux pas. As the Academy Awards are fast approaching, it’s a good time to think about some dos and don’ts so that you can avoid mistakes that the stars make.

Before we go into that, though, take a moment and thank your lucky stars that you won’t be the one on television. What a load off! You have the freedom to experiment with styles and run back upstairs to your bathroom or closet for style emergencies – something the stars don’t have the luxury of on the red carpet.

This Oscar season, your mantra should be “Walk the Line.” You have the difficult task of creating a classy, elegant outfit that is distinctive and full of personality without going over the top.

Bright colors are usually a good choice when choosing a dress for the Oscars, but the material that the dress is made of plays a big factor in walking the line. If the dress material is extremely shiny, then it might look overdone. Sparkly dresses that might have some beads in the fabric are also risky, but if done right can look stunning. At last year’s Oscars, Katherine Heigl pulled off a terrific bright-red, single-strapped, dress that is definitely a textbook example of walking the line.

The straps are also a key player in choosing a successful dress. With strapless dresses, there’s usually an obligatory battle with gravity that doesn’t cause the biggest of problems, but may be an inconvenience, or a bit of embarrassment if you aren’t careful. Many people pull them off quite well, balancing the sexiness of the straplessness with the elegance of the rest of the gown. Anne Hathaway did a great job demonstrating this last year. She also gets double points for having a shiny dress!

It probably would be a bad choice to choose a strapless slit dress, as that adds a lot of seduction to your ensemble that would be better served on a different night.

If you like bows, by all means find a dress with a bow, but don’t let that bow be twice the size of your head. Large accents on dresses look gaudy and distract from you on the night when you’re supposed to be the star, so do yourself the favor and pass on the big bows.

Similarly, dresses with lots of ruffles and long trains can take away from the rest of the dress and from you. Geena Davis’s dress at the 1992 awards succeeded in doing that, as did Demi Moore’s in 1989. The more successful dresses are ones that are consistent in texture, and have more subtle accents, like a small knot on the strap that’s designed to look like a flower.

Hair, is of course another place where many things can go wrong. The trick is to not take too many risks with your hair, so that you aren’t worrying about it so much. If you go to great lengths to get all of your hair curled and tied up into some incredibly intricate style that took hours to perfect, you’ll be more stressed out than if you go with an equally elegant, but simpler style that reflects more of who you are on a daily basis than someone that has been completely transformed for a night. Angelina Jolie’s hair at last year’s Awards looked nice, but also looked really difficult to balance, and lopsided at times. Updos can be incredibly classy, but are not for everyone, so if you’re having trouble, it might be a good idea to stop and try something new and down, or half up half down. It is not worth the stress, because then your stress will show the rest of the night. In order to walk that line, you really need to make sure that you shine through. Think, not Cher’s hairstyle in 1986.

Accessories are important for completing the look, of course, but don’t feel pressured to find the biggest necklace in the world. A nice pearl necklace can do wonders, especially with vintage being so popular. Think, Ellen Page last year.

If pearls aren’t your thing, that’s fine. Find something you like that compliments, but does not steal the show away from you. Necklaces sit close to your face, and people should want to look at you, not your bling.

So enjoy yourself this Oscar season, and remember to give yourself the star treatment.