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Carrie Underwood Style Breakdown: What’s Right, What’s Wrong, and How to Fix It

Carrie Underwood
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

When we first met country queen Carrie Underwood on the fourth season of ‘American Idol,’ she had crunchy gelled hair as she used her big voice to ultimately score the winning title. The Oklahoma native has since developed into a legit superstar — and a head-turning fashionista.

Underwood’s style is usually an often-difficult-to-achieve mix of sexy and elegant, and she tends to choose designers you’ve not yet heard of for her red carpet attire. Her stage clothes also have a high-fashion edge, and she nails all of her looks with killer heels and bangin’ accessories.

But as with everyone, even she’s had her off days.

The singer wore an eggplant lace column gown with a high collar by Abed Mahfouz — we know, “who?” — to the 2012 AMAs and she stood out in the best possible way. The bright pop of the gown’s hue was perfectly paired with her platinum hair, and there’s a hint of skin in the bodice. The silhouette was made for her body, too.

Carrie Underwood Eggplant Abed Mahfouz AMAs
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

At the Grammys earlier this year, the ‘Before He Cheats’ songbird wore a dress by Theia Couture that doubled as a de facto movie screen — proving her stage clothes are part and parcel of her performance.

Carrie Underwood Grammys Theia Couture
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Her jewel-toned, belted and geometric Sarli Couture dress, which she also wore to the 2012 AMAs, was equally loved and hated by style critics, but it’s quintessential Carrie. It’s not a household name designer. It’s bright. It’s fun. It has edgy detailing. The color is unusual — in this case, cornflower. And … it’s not for everyone.

Carrie Underwood Sarli Couture
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

What’s Right:

At the 2011 Golden Globes, Underwood was elegant in a blush sparkly Badgley Mischka column gown with a sweetheart neckline. The bouffant hair wasn’t familiar for her — she’s known for big, country gal waves — but the dress shape is a silhouette she favors.

Carrie Underwood Badgley Mischka 2011 Golden Globes
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

When she performed on the ‘TODAY’ show in summer 2012, Underwood wore shorts, usually a celeb no-no. But she made even that look good, since she picked hip designers like Alice + Olivia for her peachy-beige top and 7 For All Mankind for her patterned Daisy Dukes. When she goes semi-casual, she goes big.

Carrie Underwood Alice + Olivia Top 7 For All Makind Shorts
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Her white Reem Acra gown with gold leafy detailing on the bodice at the CMAs was breathtaking. She was a goddess and showed just a hint of skin and sideboob, upping the mystery.

Carrie Underwood Reem Acra CMAs
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Her black Roberto Cavalli at the 2013 Grammys accented that killer figure. It had the same silhouette as the above-mentioned Badgley Mischka, but it’s a totally different look. That said, both are stunning.

Carrie Underwood Roberto Cavalli Black Grammys 2013
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

This black and white frilly frock with ruffled edges from her Blown Away tour was sexy and girly. We wouldn’t recommend that she wear it to an event (she’d risk looking costume-y), but notice her adept accessorizing. It works for the stage.

Carrie Underwood
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Those legs! In a sparkly micro-mini by Lorena Sarbu, another unfamiliar designer whom Underwood wore to the ‘American Idol’ finale in 2011, Carrie showed off the kind of gams we spend hours in spin class trying to get.

Carrie Underwood Lorena Sarbu 11
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

What’s Wrong:

The big ’80s football shoulders on her sparkly gold Zuhair Murad dress were too much. Was she trying out for the reboot of ‘Dynasty’?

Carrie Underwood Gold Shoulders Zuhair Murad
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Carrie is country royalty, but she misstepped in this regal purple Jean Fares Couture gown with excess embellishment.

Carrie Underwood Purple Jean Fares Couture
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

We don’t love the draping of this cream-colored Abed Mahfouz gown. The sheer bottom, where you can see her leg without relying on a slit, is mysterious and sexy. But overall, this looks like a cinched bag.

Carrie Underwood Abed Mahfouz White ACMs
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

These fringed gold heels are sexy, but not with these shorts. Casual is fine, and she has enviable legs, but these heels don’t go. As an accessory to an LBD, we’d be all about these heels. But not with short shorts.

Carrie Underwood
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Here, Underwood went the rocker route in a leather jacket and herringbone tights by Eisenhower. But we can’t see her shorts or skirt or whatever she’s wearing. Less isn’t always more.

Carrie Underwood Leather Eisenhower Herringbone Tights
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

How to Fix It:

We love how Underwood accessorizes — and no, not with an oxygen mask. She often wears fingerless gloves, gobs of bracelets, statement rings and heels that mean bidness, and it usually works for her. She should never stray from her ability to effectively accessorize.

Carrie Underwood Accessories

We love her in a sparkly mini and adore her penchant for unique footwear, both of which are on display in this CMT outfit.

Carrie Underwood CMT
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

She also puts her own spin on things by doing something different, like she did with the menswear trend by wearing thigh-highs and heels. It’s a bit of a young look, but she still works it.

Carrie Underwood
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

See the Selena Gomez Style Breakdown

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