It took a while for it to build but since the 1930s, the Academy Awards has been the biggest night in Hollywood. The Awards are a key thing to be sure, the awarding of major stars and movies and the politics to get an Oscar are well-written. They are known for major events and true shocks (as proven this year when the wrong movie was named Best Picture) and it’s the one night of the year the town always looks forward to. Also looking forward to it are the fashion critics who love seeing who comes out in what and judging them. Many a little-known actress has boosted herself up with a gorgeous gown while many a great star has been saddled with a horrific outfit. Some clothes are daring, some glamorous and others (think Bjork’s swan) are just weird.
It’s thus not surprising some ladies can be a lot more daring than others. They push the boundaries of clothing even though they know the Oscars are supposed to be about class. They realize there are limits, you can’t look too trashy but some are still able to push that limit nicely. In some cases, the outfits may not have looked as daring on some ladies but on these figures, they break out into something stunningly sexy. From Oscar winners to lower actresses and even non-actresses, ladies on the Oscar red carpet love to show off. Sometimes, the hotter outfits are saved for the after-parties to cut loose and get major attention. There are plenty of examples but these ladies stand out from the pack nicely. Here are 15 major stars who showed skin on Hollywood’s biggest night and why the Oscars remain a must-watch.
15 Hilary Swank
It’s ironic Swank won her first Oscar for the role of playing a boy in Boys Don’t Cry. That’s because when she wants to be, the woman can be truly drop-dead gorgeous when she tries. She proved that the next year, coming out in a stunning light outfit that boosted her cleavage up nicely. A later dress had a pink trim that showed off Swank’s underrated legs. When she won her second Oscar in 2005, Swank wore a seemingly covering blue dress until she turned around to show her bare back all the way down to her rear end. Swank’s hottest was her 2010 dress, a lovely black number with a stunning dip in her front, showing off a body that deserves far more attention. She gets hails for her acting but Swank can also be a red carpet stunner when she wants to, especially with that mega-watt smile on full blast.
14 Emma Stone
It’s amazing to think that in just six years, Stone has gone from “the girl from Superbad” to the Best Actress winner. The gorgeous redhead is hailed for her glamorous style on the red carpet at various events and her first Oscars had her in a dress as red as the carpet to show off nicely. In 2015, where she had her first nomination, Stone wore a lovely yellow glittery gown with a bare back that got major attention. Even bigger was when a photographer managed to catch Stone adjusting the long gown to flash her matching yellow panties. Later that night, Stone changed into a great red and white outfit with a slit down the front to flash her leg. At this year’s Oscars, Stone wowed on the red carpet again with a glittery golden gown that showed off a lot of her back to accept her Best Actress trophy. At the after party, she shifted to a nice dress that flashed plenty of leg. She’s at the top of the Hollywood scene and also on the fashion front so Stone shines wonderfully at the Oscars.
13 Jennifer Lawrence
Lawrence admits she wasn’t quite sure of fitting in on the red carpet for her first Oscars in 2011. You wouldn’t have known it by her stunning red gown which seemed to fit her like a second skin and made her an instant standout. Two years later, she wore a lush Cinderella-like gown that brought infamy when Lawrence tripped on the hem on her way up the steps to accept her Best Actress Oscar. The next year she wore another nice red dress and tripped again on the red carpet. So for 2016, Lawrence showed off a new look with shorter hair, a flesh-colored top that showed off nice cleavage and a long black trim. She was a great sight but it was the Vanity Fair after-party that Lawrence really cut loose. She came out in a tube top with bare shoulders and midriff and a slit to show off a lovely leg. It was a clear reminder that when she tries, Lawrence can be one of the hottest women alive, backing her talent with fantastic beauty. For a lady who says she doesn’t like to show much skin on camera, Lawrence seems to have that talent on the red carpet.
12 Irina Shayk
She’s not an actress although she is currently expecting a child with Bradley Cooper. The gorgeous Russian broke out as one of the hottest new supermodels around, gracing the covers of Sports Illustrated and numerous magazines with her dark hair and lush looks. She has a large social media following as fans love to see the hot outfits she posts, especially beach vacations. At the 2015 Oscars, Shayk made a grand entrance to the Vanity Fair post-show party and all eyes were on her big time. The Versace gown was cut right down the middle, the half covering her body already hot. What made it better was the other half had been replaced by mesh that showcased Shayk’s astounding skin and curves. It was the highlight of the party and outdid most of the gowns worn by the movie stars on the red carpet of the main show. While not an actor, Shayk sure managed to steal the show at the biggest movie event of the year.
11 Heidi Klum
As a former supermodel, Klum knows all about how to look great. This is a woman infamous for her wild Halloween costumes and can handle everything from a bikini to the hottest lingerie with ease. So the Oscars are a natural for her as she’s rather popular at the after-parties. Her dresses have included a lush red gown with bare shoulders that flowed over her well. Then there was a silver glittery number with stretches of bare skin across the torso, hips and legs that clearly showed no underwear. A lovely pink and purple number had a nice strip across the chest to show bare midriff, looking both classy and yet hot as hell. This year’s ceremony had Klum once more wowing in a golden dress with a very nice slit at the front that pushed her breasts up in a noticeable way. At 43, the woman barely looks like she’s aged and for someone who doesn’t make movies herself, Klum is able to make an Oscar red carpet her own walkway in fine style.
The Material Girl has never been known for her shy demeanor. Even today, Madonna loves to hit the red carpet of an event with a dress that skirts clothing laws and loves the attention. And the 1991 Oscars had her going all out. First was the fact she brought as her date none other than Michael Jackson. The sight of the two biggest pop stars on the planet as a couple was gossip for weeks with some wondering if they really were dating (it turned out both just wanted to make a fuss by coming together). Meanwhile, Madonna was decked out like Marilyn Monroe in her prime, a stunning glittery white dress pushing up her chest with bare shoulders. She wore it for a performance number, teasing a striptease on stage to rock viewers. Madonna has kept it up with more fun outfits such as 2011 with a black lace number that showed off her legs majorly. She may not have the best success in movies but Madonna sure knows how to dominate when she hits the Oscars.
9 Halle Berry
Berry was always a standout on any red carpet with her gorgeous looks. As she began to shift from just a hot looker to a great actress, Berry’s style morphed with it. One of her best early looks was 1997 as Berry showed up in a light purple dress that nicely pushed up her chest. Various off the shoulder outfits followed but Berry’s most notable dress was for the biggest Oscars of them all. In 2002, she walked the red carpet in an amazing gown with a nylon top, flower patterns covering her breasts but the rest clearly showing nothing underneath. The red lower half was more solid yet a breathtaking ensemble that showed her off well. This was the dress Berry wore when she won Best Actress, overwhelmed by the historic moment. The next year had her in a golden gown with just one shoulder strap for the memorable moment of Best Actor winner Adrian Brody giving Berry a long kiss on stage. And Berry has kept it up this year, posting a video on Instagram of stripping off her Oscar gown for a dip in the pool after the show. Berry and the Oscars go together well as she makes history in more than one way.
8 Jennifer Lopez
As one of the most stunningly gorgeous women alive, it’s no surprise JLo has managed to dominate on the Oscar red carpet. Her first time was a bit low-key with her hair done up but as the years have gone on, Lopez has showcased some of the sexier outfits around. She always picks high-end material and designed to show off her amazing curves, especially that amazing rear end. The woman continues to maintain her shape well and is always done up to the nines, so no matter who her date is (Ben Affleck, Marc Anthony, Casper Smart), Lopez is always someone fashion critics love to rave about. Her outfits at the 2015 Oscars were great as she walked the red carpet in a great flesh-colored gown with a nice dip at the front to give a good twirl. Better was her dress for the after parties, almost sheer and glittery, tight across her chest with a nice open view and the fur coat a good touch. No matter what she wears, Lopez always looks amazing at the Oscars so while her movie career isn’t that notable, she wins plenty of awards for her style.
7 Barbara Streisand
Barbara Streisand gets a bad rap a lot today. There’s her infamous massive ego, various surgeries and has lost some of her looks. But when she broke out in the mid-1960s, she was a truly beautiful and even sexy lady. After taking Broadway by storm in Funny Girl, Streisand was cast in the movie version and won huge acclaim for it. In one of the bigger shocks in Oscar history, she and an absent Katherine Hepburn ended up tied for Best Actress. The audience was gasping already when Streisand walked up the steps in what amounted to a sheer satin cloth over a tuxedo collar and tied with a slip over her chest and shorts. For 1969, this was damn daring and the fact she showed up at the biggest night of the year in what amounted to see-through pyjamas was a bold fashion choice. Babs has put on more of the glamour in ensuing years but this outfit reminds her fans of the very sexy lady she once was who could take the Oscars by storm.
6 Gwyneth Paltrow
Paltrow’s first Oscar visits were as Brad Pitt’s girlfriend and showing a nice style on the red carpet. By the late 1990s, she’d risen up as a fine actress in her own right and hailed for her lovely pink dress when she won Best Actress in 1999. However, in 2002, Paltrow showed up with a dress she has herself admitted was her worst. The black hem wasn’t bad, very nice and classy. But the top was basically a tank top and almost sheer to allow a clear view of Paltrow’s breasts underneath. It was ravaged by every fashion magazine and Paltrow would admit she should have worn a bra or some sort of different top. It was too daring for her and put out the wrong message big time. Since then, Paltrow has altered her look, wearing some nice outfits that show her body off in much better ways. But this ranks as one of the worst ideas for an Oscar outfit and Paltrow even acknowledges this was one outfit she should have left home.
5 Ashley Judd
Judd never became as huge a star as most expected but she still provided some big movie roles like Kiss the Girls, Double Jeopardy and other films. However, her most famous moment may well have been the 1998 Oscars. Coming out to present, Judd had a stride in her walk that showed off the slit in her dress that seemed to go all the way up. Much more important was that it looked for all the world like Judd wasn’t wearing any underwear. There wasn’t high-definition TV back then so it was hard to tell but it was certain more than a few viewers wore down their VCRs trying to figure it out. Judd kept mum, smiling when asked if she had been wearing anything and just having a good time with it all. Judd has never really broken out in movies but is still a popular face at the Oscars and this dress is one of the hotter among Oscar history.
4 Jena Malone
The rough and tumble actress has made her career with indie movies that emphasize strong roles. She has played the blockbuster game with Sucker Punch and Johanna in The Hunger Games but maintains her own unique style. Malone showed that at the 2011 Oscars Vanity Fair party when she made a bold entrance. She basically wore just black bra, thong and heels with a lace covering over them so it just qualified as a “dress.” It was a bold choice for a major event but it did get Malone a lot more attention and showed off her daring side. Her later Oscar looks included a dress that covered much more but still showed off flashes of her skin under the garment and showed off more of Malone’s daring style. She’s not as A-list as others on this list but this outfit was one of the biggest ways any lady has shown skin on Hollywood’s biggest night with Malone nicely standing out.
3 Angelina Jolie
Jolie’s first Oscar look was rather covering as she was in an all-black tight number when she won Best Supporting Actress in 2000. Of course, Jolie is well known for her stunning beauty and sexual aura and that’s come to the fore at following Oscars. Even when she wore a white tuxedo, it couldn’t subdue her sexiness in any way. A gorgeous yellow gown made her look regal one year while another had her in a sheer satin dress that she still made look stately rather than trampy. Then there was the white flowing gown with a dip in the cleavage that made her look like a Roman goddess of the past. But the most famous of her looks would have to be the 2012 ceremony where Jolie came out in a bare-shouldered black dress that wouldn’t have been much on anyone else. But with her, it was stunning, especially when she put out her right leg in a very daring way. It was mocked by some but still showcased that few ladies can rock the right carpet look like Angelina when she wants to.
2 Pamela Anderson And Elizabeth Hurley
Here’s an odd couple if there ever was one. Elizabeth Hurley, a gorgeous British actress well known for her classy beauty, clipped accent, and lush features with Pamela Anderson, the Baywatch babe who set the record for the most Playboy pictorials. These are two women you would never think of as friends. Yet at the 2001 Vanity Fair party, there they were hanging out together. Hurley was clad in a gorgeous silver dress, sloped to show off shoulders and a nice slit at her leg, her hair and makeup perfect. Anderson, on the other hand, looked like she was hitting a club, in a jean skirt and a midriff-baring tied top that barely hid her nipples. Sunglasses and a gigantic silver chain completed the image of a lady embracing her “trailer trash” persona. Yet somehow, this bizarre mix of class and trash actually won people over, the two a hit at the party and really seeming friends. They may be an offbeat pair but no one can deny they were also a hot one.
Cher always had her unique style and the Oscars allowed her to really hang all out. The 1973 ceremony had her in a yellow dress with a bare midriff. She topped it the next year coming out in what amounted to a bikini top with sarong and dark panties. In 1986, she wandered out in what looked like a metallic bikini top, stomach bare, black sequined pants, a cloak and a massive Mohawk headdress (“as you can see, I did receive my Academy booklet on how to dress like a serious actress.”) Another year had her in a nearly sheer gold sequined dress plunging in the front. When she won Best Actress in 1988, she was clad in another nearly sheer number, glittery about her legs and pelvis and a stunning look. Cher has kept it up with other wild looks and even poked fun at herself when she came out in 2000 in a rather simple covering black dress. “You might have noticed I am dressed like a grown up. I promise it will never happen again.” Something about the Oscars brings out the wild side in this lady and always makes her a standout on the Oscar red carpet.