The Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMs), which took place last night, is the first of the approximately 65 acronymed trophy ceremonies the genre brings to us annually. As such, we wondered if they are the Golden Globes of Nashville — specifically, whether everyone hauls out their unfettered, Western-wacky-best for this one before slowly taming the beast in time for the year-ending CMAs. The verdict: While country music’s reputation for outlandish fashion is passé, we still saw plenty of sparkly missteps and some very large hats. This slideshow singles out the ACMs' most noteworthy red-carpet looks, from the fabulous to the April fools — which, by the way, were too few. People! The opportunity for a hilarious fashion prank was handed to you on a silver platter. Weak sauce, Nashville.
In December, we noted that Taylor Swift was in serious need of some sartorial spice this year — or failing that, at least a slight change of approach to snap us out of our neutral glitter/curly updo-generated comas. Swift promptly came out with an adorable Vogue cover that did just that, and her ACMs outfit is another step in a good direction. It’s sleek and feminine instead of princessy, and the smoother, darker blonde hair keeps a gentle wave but adds sophistication. All that’s left is for her to stop pretending she can’t believe it when she wins something — again — and we’ll be in business.
Worst Case of Déjà vu
How many celebrities have you seen in this dress already? Off the top of our heads: all of them. It's not like anyone really thinks of LeAnn Rimes as being a talented singer anymore — not after the Brandi Glanville/Eddie Cibrian soap opera unfolded all over US Weekly, and LeAnn seemingly decided to take up tweeting photos of herself in a bikini as a profession — but this is still an event that she's ostensibly attending as a country artist rather than a plus-one. So you'd think she'd go for something less tired-feeling than a frock that's already been sported by everyone from Brooklyn Decker to Nicole Kidman.
Most Welcome Sight
Usually, the answer to this one is, “Reba McIntyre doing anything” (which explains the time she crossed the street in front of our car at a stoplight and we screamed and flailed), but in this case, it’s “Reba McIntyre being sassy while looking super foxy.” These red sequins are a delight on her. Whatever she’s doing — be it surgical, spiritual, or dietary — we hope she keeps it up because it’s working. Can we advocate for a talk show? We’d watch That’s So Reba in a heartbeat.
Best Meeting of Expectations
On a night when we really wanted hats by the gallon and some shiny jackets, the men of Big & Rich — Big Kenny Alphin and John Rich, who are, conveniently, also both big and rich — did not disappoint. One of them looks like the manager of a Barbie-themed C&W group, and inexplicably, the other is channeling Tom Petty doing yoga. It’s both strange and exactly what we needed, a reminder that country still has some special flavor even though half the artists are trying to dilute it and go mainstream. Keep it up, Big & Rich.
We can't decide exactly how we feel about Martina McBride's cocktail-length frock — it's got a fun, Palms Springs–y vibe, but it also looks like she rolled around in a vat of pastel Dots. One thing we do know is that the three-dimensional beading makes us want to dive head first into our Easter baskets. Mmm, Cadbury eggs.
We’re not sure what Laura Bell Bundy was thinking, except perhaps that she misunderstood the concept of draping a dress and thought you actually just drop fabric onto your body and then leave the house.
With apologies to Kimberly Perry for using a weird backstage photo, if your bland, poorly cut, dishwater-hued dress looks that abominable when you’re in motion, then it has no place in your big red-carpet moment. Or even your big carpet-cleaning moment.
Jennifer Nettles is traditionally a hair more fashion-forward than her country brethren — and while there's no way you'd ever call this look "directional," the touch of neon at her waist is an on-trend touch, freshening up what would otherwise be a run-of-the-mill pretty pink dress.
Poor Beth Behrs. At this very moment, Joan Rivers is working on a joke for Fashion Police revolving around a pun calling Beth's boobs the "2 Broke Girls in question." We'll leave that gag for the professional and just note that Beth would be better off not wearing her hotel sheets out of her room.
Most Plus-One Appropriate
It'd be easy for Nicole Kidman to come swooping into one of these events like a mega movie star, but while Nicole's LBD is flattering, it never draws focus from the nominee she's escorting. It's a credit to her sense of occasion that she wore what is essentially a woman’s version of a basic suit to stand by her man — including a collar that recalls a bow tie.
Even Carrie Underwood looks underwhelmed by this, and she's wearing it. Strapless? Check. Sheer overlay? Check. Half-hearted beading? Check. Wake her — and us — up when it's the CMAs.
Most Viewed Stories
Why We Objectify Men Without Guilt
Gwyneth Paltrow Is Also Impressed Her Ex Is Dating Jennifer Lawrence
This 1 Weird Trick Will Give You Huge Boobs for 24 Hours
Dating Naked Leads to Getting Married Naked!
The Hadids Could Be the Next Supermodel Dynasty
Fucking on the First Date? How It Worked Out for 8 Women
6 Easy Styling Tips for Layering Fall Jackets
My Boyfriend Used a Penis Pump
Rita Ora and Chrissy Teigen Ate Doughnuts in the Park
Who Knew the KIA Hamsters Were Such Little Pervs?
From Our Partners
Kate Upton Was An Adorable 15-Year-Old
10 Ways To Royally Piss Off Your Wedding Guests
10 Wedding Trends That Need To Be Retired (And What To Do Instead)
Lipstick of the Moment - MAC Retro Matte All Fired Up
Latest News on The CutWho Knew the KIA Hamsters Were Such Little Pervs?
Creepy.Coming Soon: A Computer That Knows How You Feel
Potentially better than your roommate and/or mother.‘Fat’ Leo Has Been Bread-Shamed Into Submission
After fat-shaming comes carb-shaming.How Jenna Lyons Determined J.Crew’s Boozy Scent
The creative process behind their debut scent launch.Dating Naked Leads to Getting Married Naked!
Wait, does this mean the experiment is working? God help us.Whoa, Christopher Bailey Just Sold £5 Million of His Burberry Stock
That's almost half his holdings in the company.Gwyneth Paltrow Is Also Impressed Her Ex Is Dating Jennifer Lawrence
"Her take is, 'Hey, he could do worse.'"The Hadids Could Be the Next Supermodel Dynasty
Gigi's sister Bella just signed with IMG.Rita Ora and Chrissy Teigen Ate Doughnuts in the Park
Plus Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio, and other highlights from this week’s parties.This 1 Weird Trick Will Give You Huge Boobs for 24 Hours
A to C cup in a day.
Her preference for pajamas continues.6 Easy Styling Tips for Layering Fall Jackets
Inspired by street-style looks we liked.The All-Natural Beauty Product of Summer
A Danish highlighter to best all highlighters.Romance Is Alive and Well and Can Be Expressed With Hot Dogs
A thousand and one frankfurters for a hand in marriage.Why We Objectify Men Without Guilt
The Dong Watch will continue until morale improves.Cara Delevingne and Zoe Kravitz Have Friendship on the Sidewalk
Message tees and short-shorts.Cathy Horyn Finally Admits Hedi Slimane Is ‘Clever’
Damning with faint praise, or praising with faint damnation?Was Yoga Invented Just for the Comfy Pants?
Sales of athleticwear soar; exercise does not.The Official Shirt of Boyfriends Has Its Own Instagram
J.Crew navy gingham.College Men Finding Not Raping Really Quite Burdensome
“Do I deserve to have my bike stolen if I leave it unlocked on the quad?”
NO, Taylor. NO.The Chair Workout That’s Not for Couch Potatoes
You'll be lunging, not lounging.Dating Naked Sued for Insufficiently Blurring Someone’s Junk
The hard consequences of a dating revolution.Invite 150 Guests to Maximize Your Wedded Bliss
Big weddings, happy marriages: just as the rom-coms promised.When Should We Start Believing the Beyoncé–Jay Z Divorce Rumors?
A case study.Report: Anna Wintour Has a $200,000 Clothing Allowance
And more fascinating facts from T's "By the Numbers" series.Kim’s Monokini-Jumpsuit Defies All Physics
And precludes all movement.Jared Leto Looks a Little Bit Less Like Jesus Today
"You trimmed my bush really good."Lindsay Lohan Does the Ice Bucket Challenge at the Club
With Champagne buckets.White Flats for the Beach or Boardwalk
Stylish flat sandals for the waning days of summer.
It’s like Free the Nipple and a seventh-grade slumber party had a baby.The Best Summer Fling of 2014 Comes to an End
Improbable pairing, Zac Efron and Michelle Rodriguez, split up.Men Can Now Get in on the Prada Fun
Banana prints for the fellas.Hermès Bandit Bandanas: For the Stylish Cowgirl
And for less than $200!Drake Is Nicki Minaj’s Video Vixen
Non-rapping eye candy.Kelly Rutherford Talks About Her Miserable Custody Battle
A court order sent her kids overseas.Finally, a Song About Idiot Exes That Gets How We Talk About Idiot Exes
I remember Beardie.And Now, a GIF of Anna Wintour’s Ice Bucket Challenge
Just put it on repeat.18 Stylish Basics to Buy on Sale Right Now
Getting a jump on fall’s biggest trend with Giuseppe Zanotti, Alexander Wang, and more.Report: Cara Delevingne to Star in Beach Boys Musical
With John Stamos producing.
And the claws can come out.How to Correctly Apply Eye Cream
Something a little more complicated than smearing wildly.Eva Chen to Have World’s Best-Dressed Child
She announced it on Instagram, natch.Chris Pratt Is Your Boyfriend’s Celebrity BFF
J.Law, male variation.The Rich Even Google Differently
It's all foam rollers and jogging strollers with them.Madonna Continues to Avoid the Sun in Ibiza
No tans here.A Stackable Gold Bracelet That Shines
Not your average knot.Women Were Really Into Shark Week This Year
L.L.B.S. (Ladies Love Big Sharks)Courtney Love and Jenna Lyons Are Very Different People
Especially when it comes to their stances on politically incorrect pitchers.Adam Driver Wears a Questionable Vest on GQ
He's on the September cover.