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Oscars: Best of the worst dresses

Published 1930 GMT (0330 HKT) February 26, 2014
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Part of the fun of the Academy Awards is watching the red carpet. Nearly every year, you have a star who stands out in an amazing dress ... and then you have those who either forgot they were attending Hollywood's biggest night or just didn't care. This is a list dedicated to those fashion foibles. Example No. 1 is Demi Moore at the 1989 Oscars. She arrived looking like she couldn't decide between being in a ball gown or a Milli Vanilli music video so she just split the difference. JIM SMEAL/RON GALELLA COLLECTION/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES
We'll cut 1988 Jodie Foster some slack because she did win a best actress Oscar that year for "The Accused." Instead, we'll blame this sky-blue mullet of a prom dress on it being the '80s -- and on the person who told her it was a good idea to shop off the rack. Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/GETTY IMAGES
Kim Basinger in "Nine ½ Weeks"? Sign us up. Kim Basinger, fashion designer? Not the best idea. You see what happened when she tried that in 1990. Ron Galella/WireImage/GETTY IMAGES
When we saw Geena Davis arrive at the Oscars in 1992 -- she was nominated for "Thelma & Louise" at the time -- we were left with several questions. Where did she leave the front of her dress? Why was there a black-bow motif on her shoes and on the train? Would this unraveling ruffle of confusion have been any better if she just didn't wear the black tights? Ron Galella/WireImage
Sometimes we think Whoopi Goldberg intentionally trolls fashion lovers with her red-carpet outfits. In 1993, the Oscar winner -- she'd previously picked up the best supporting actress award for "Ghost" in 1991 -- arrived in a get-up that appeared to take Demi Moore's 1989 look and kick it up a notch with full-length pants, a full skirt and as much neon as possible. Barry King/Liaison/GETTY IMAGES
On one hand, Lizzy Gardiner's dress of American Express Gold Cards is certainly ... inspired. The costume designer crafted her own gown in 1995, when she won the best costume design Oscar for "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." But c'mon, Lizzy -- if you could afford that gold wrap, you could afford enough fabric for an actual dress. Ron Galella/WireImage/GETTY IMAGES
As though satin formalwear isn't already difficult enough to pull off, Susan Sarandon went and had her Dolce & Gabbana dress made in an awkward copper shade to match her hair in 1996. Not that our opinion matters for much: Sarandon won the best actress Oscar that year for "Dead Man Walking," and the dress was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images
Some fabrics just aren't Oscar-friendly, and velvet is one of them, as Anna Nicole Smith learned after she arrived in this aquamarine number in 1996. James Aylott/hulton archive/getty images
We're positive The Count from "Sesame Street" saw Oscar winner Juliette Binoche at the 1997 awards, did a double-take, and then immediately called Us Weekly for a "who wore it best?" comparison. Timothy A. CLARY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Madonna changes styles -- and accents -- so regularly that it feels like we're being introduced to a new person each time. In 1999, it was Zen Madonna who showed up to a Vanity Fair Oscars party. Jeff Vespa/WireImage/GETTY IMAGES
We've waited years to find out which prom-bound teen Tyra Banks stole this frock from before going to the 2000 Academy Awards. david mcnew/hulton archive/getty images
We get it: Angelina Jolie has a personal style. It often involves a lot of black -- and sometimes clingy -- fabrics. But even Morticia Addams would dress it up a bit when going to the Oscars. Especially if she was going to walk away with the best supporting actress award, as Jolie did in 2000. LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images
To begin with, we're not fans of knockoffs, so that was strike one against "South Park" creators Trey Parker, left, and Matt Stone, who went to the 2000 Oscars dressed as Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow. And strike two is that we actually liked Paltrow's bubble-gum-pink princess dress from the 1999 Oscars -- even if her own mother hated it. Scott Nelson/AFP/Getty Images
Thanks to this now-iconic swan dress she wore to the 2001 Oscars, Bjork will never get off the worst-dressed list. But is that really a bad thing? Several of you probably have no idea who won what at that year's ceremony, but you do know that there was a lady on the red carpet wearing a bird. In the industry, we call that a publicity win. LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images
Kate Hudson's 2001 Oscars dress was so bad, it still haunted her a decade later. "It was my first and only nomination," Hudson told Vogue UK in 2011. "I was 21 years old, and to have Stella McCartney dressing me, well, I felt like the hippest, coolest girl in the world." Hudson woke up the next day, turned on the TV and learned she "was on every worst-dressed list possible. So I called Stella and we just laughed ... and she said to me, 'Look babe, it was the hair wasn't it?' " Getty Images
At the time, Cameron Diaz's Asian-inspired floral gown may have seemed unique and progressively on-trend. And perhaps it would have been, had she worn it anywhere other than the Oscars in 2002. Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect/GETTY IMAGES
Whenever we stumble across this photo of a frumpy, braless Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2002 Oscars, we want to pat her arm and tell her: "It gets better. You find Goop." Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect
We've looked at Faith Hill in this multicolored frock multiple times, and the urge for a bowl of rainbow sherbet never goes away. Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect/GETTY IMAGES
Jennifer Connelly, who won the 2002 Oscar for best supporting actress, arrived at the ceremony that year fully prepared in case the theater was chilly. That turned out to be a very, very bad idea. LEE CELANO/AFP/Getty Images
Before Hilary Swank set a new standard for Oscar dresses in 2005, she wore this gauzy pink gown to the 2003 awards. We can see its appeal -- it's breezy! it's bright! -- but it left many critics turned off. Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Diane Keaton clearly wanted to channel "Annie Hall" for the 2004 Oscars, but she went too far back in time. Instead of a '70s, feminine menswear vibe, she looked like a Charlie Chaplin impersonator. Vince Bucci/Getty Images
We love Sandra Bullock to bits, but we don't love all the extraneous parts on her 2004 Oscars dress. Did it really need to be tiered and feathered and have bows? Vince Bucci/Getty Images
When Uma Thurman attended the Oscars in 2004, she was smack in the middle of promoting Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill Vol. 2." Critics probably would've gone easier on her had she worn her character's famous yellow bodysuit instead of this "Heidi"-esque costume of a dress. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
We're pretty sure Charlize Theron attended the 2006 Oscars, but it was hard to tell thanks to this forest-green gown nearly swallowing her whole. Timothy A. CLARY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Faye Dunaway's 2007 Oscars dress was so out there -- crazy tailoring, oddly placed ruffles reminiscent of a clown's collar -- that we're going to applaud her for even having the guts to wear it. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Jennifer Hudson's 2007 Oscars outfit is one that you simply love -- or love to hate. The "Dreamgirls" actress picked up the Oscar for best supporting actress that year, but some people couldn't see past the metallic, structured bolero jacket she wore on the red carpet. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Tilda Swinton has a notably unique sense of style, and we're used to not always fully understanding some of her sartorial choices. But, you know, it's Tilda Swinton, so you go with it. And yet we're not sure even she could explain her 2008 Oscars dress. ROBYN BECK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
In 2010, Charlize Theron's daring sense of fashion struck again when she thought having rosettes placed directly over her breasts would be a good idea. Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Do you think Jennifer Lopez noticed that there was an unnecessary monster ruffle attacking her otherwise acceptable dress at the 2010 Oscars? Or was she just choosing to ignore it? Jason Merritt/Getty Images
The pleated skirt of Cate Blanchett's pale purple 2011 Oscars dress was beautifully delicate, but we hated the bodice. Something about the beading of the gown's top half reminded of us of the kind of outbreak you'd see in a sci-fi movie, and it still makes our skin crawl. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Angelina Jolie's right leg at the 2012 Oscars: Never. Forget. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Meryl Streep's awesomeness can't be tarnished by one bad dress, but the gold wrap she wore to the 2012 Oscars -- you remember, the one that looked strangely like spray-painted aluminum foil -- tried mightily to sully the Oscar winner's rep. Kevin Winter/Getty Images
We love Melissa McCarthy so much that we've pre-emptively pledged to see each and every one of her movies, including the poorly reviewed ones. That is why it pained us to see her wear this awkward dress to the 2012 Oscars. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
We didn't mind Jennifer Lopez's sleek, form-fitting gown at the 2012 Oscars all that much ... until we realized that it was cut so low it was a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images
Anne Hathaway was obviously going for elegance at the 2013 Oscars, but due to some unfortunate tailoring -- or the weather, we're still not entirely sure -- she spent the evening looking like she needed a pair of pasties. Jason Merritt/Getty Images