People Staff
September 30, 2013 12:00 PM

“THE TRAIN MADE THIS MICHAEL KORS DRESS FEEL FORMAL AND SPECIAL, BUT THE LENGTH AND COLOR MADE IT EDGY. IT’S A GOOD BALANCE”

“This is one of my favorite looks. The gown had a horse on it, which was just right for the Django Unchained premiere.” In Giles.

“I rarely wear black because it can be missed, but there’s no way you were going to miss the texture, detail and personality of this Marchesa dress.”

Hairstylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew created a look that “would allow the bow to be sweet but have a level of maturity.” In Louis Vuitton.

“In Jason Wu’s showroom, I saw this dress and said, ‘I have to wear it.’ No one had seen it on the runway yet! It became the Kerry dress.”

“There are a couple of dresses I now own, and this Miu Miu gown is one. I love the color – so bright and happy. I felt really special in it.”

“I was looking for a Prabal Gurung moment. He’s supertalented. This dress is so chic and sexy without being over-the-top.”

“When I put this Miu Miu dress on, it just felt right. It needed no alterations! And there was something so romantic about the sheerness.”

“You can always count on Oscar de la Renta for old-school elegance. I was receiving an NAACP award, and I wanted to honor its history.”

“I didn’t need any jewelry. And I knew it was okay to go short and funky at the Teen Choice Awards.” In Stella McCartney.

For the Met Ball’s punk theme, “I imagined, ‘If Audrey Hepburn had a punk moment, what would it be?'” In Vera Wang.

“I wore an eclectic and colorful dress during the day, so we wanted to change it up with this sleek and simple Prada. It was elegant.”

She plays the fashionable fixer Olivia Pope on Scandal, charging through the Capitol in pantsuits and opera gloves. But offscreen, Kerry Washington’s style is decidedly different. “I don’t wear a lot of pants!” Washington says. “You won’t see me in a power suit. That’s Olivia, not Kerry.” Instead the actress, 36, is more glam than gladiator, working with her stylist of two years Erin Walsh to create standout red carpet moments. “When I go somewhere I want to know I’m going to be comfortable and I’m dressed appropriately for the event,” she says. “You’re not going to dress the same way at the Inaugural ball as you would at the MTV Movie Awards.”

There are, however, consistent qualities in Washington’s wardrobe no matter the occasion: She favors closed-toe pumps over strappy sandals (“they’re a little more comfortable for me”) and strays from anything that’s skintight. “It just doesn’t really fit my personality. I’m not overexposed in my life, and I tend to not be overexposed on the red carpet,” says the famously private star, who wed NFL pro Nnamdi Asomugha, 32, in a secret ceremony this summer. “It’s not dressing like a nun, and it’s also not dressing like I’m in a swimsuit competition. It’s finding the middle ground.”

To achieve that balance, Washington relies on her friendships with designers such as Jason Wu and Vera Wang and her thirst for learning. “She’s very curious,” says Walsh. “She has an encyclopedia of knowledge in terms of fashion history.” Adds Washington: “I’ve had moments where I’ll e-mail Erin four looks from a couture show, and she’s like, ‘Get off the computer, you’re on vacation!'” When she’s in off-duty mode, Washington says, “I’m a big sneakers person. I have a few pairs of Nikes, and I love my Isabel Marant wedges. That’s the Bronx in me coming out!”

BEST HIGH FASHION STYLE

Jennifer Lawrence

NET-A-PORTER’S HOLLI ROGERS PRAISES THE 23-YEAR-OLD DESIGNER DARLING (SHE’S THE FACE OF DIOR) FOR HER ‘REFRESHING FEARLESSNESS. THIS YEAR SHE’S TAKEN HER STYLE TO A NEW PLANE’

“SHE ADEPTLY PULLS OFF A WIDE RANGE OF LOOKS. THE FIT AND FLARE DRESS DELIVERS A RETRO ELEGANCE THAT IS STILL APPROPRIATE FOR HER AGE.” IN DIOR.

“It’s the bold white lapel and plunging neckline that hit the right notes of youthful sex appeal,” says Rogers of Lawrence. In Lanvin.

“The eye-catching color and clean design of this dazzling gown really command attention. Jennifer is perfection in the look.” In Dior Haute Couture.

“Just when Jennifer’s red carpet style seemed to be trending black, she wowed us with a bright brocade dress.” In Valentino Haute Couture.

“This striking midnight blue and black satin jumpsuit fits Jennifer like a glove and really flatters her figure.” In Stella McCartney.

“The angular cutouts near the waistline add an edge. She has mastered how to show off her shape without being revealing.” In Lanvin.

“There’s a rush to find a gown that’s dramatic for an Oscar nominee. The voluminous skirt fills the need for immediate impact.” In Dior Haute Couture.

HOLLI ROGERS tracks the season’s chicest trends as fashion director for the luxury retail site net-a-porter.com.

BEST RISK-TAKING STYLE

Solange Knowles

BLOGGER AIMEE SONG ADMIRES THE 27-YEAR-OLD SINGER’S ECLECTIC ENSEMBLES BECAUSE ‘IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT SHOWING SKIN OR BEING SEXY. SHE’S A PRO AT MIXING UNEXPECTED PIECES’

“SHE’S A RISK TAKER IN THAT HER OUTFITS AREN’T EASY TO PULL OFF. AND SHE’S ALWAYS MAKING A STATEMENT WITH HER HAIR AND MAKEUP.” IN ETRO.

“She didn’t make the outfit busy by adding too much jewelry. Not wearing a necklace highlights her neckline,” says Song of Knowles (in Jill Stuart).

“Solange will do simple but she’ll never do basic. She’s essentially wearing just a white shirt and still makes a statement.” In Azede Jean-Pierre.

“Most people would pick a matchy-matchy heel, but she chose a black-and-white sandal, taking colors from her suit.” In Just Cavalli.

“This is a pretty simple print for her! Everything has a black accent, so the look is well-thought-out.” In Kenzo.

“I love this jumpsuit. She pulled it off by matching her shoes to the outfit. Even her manicure matches!” In Zero + Maria Cornejo.

AIMEE SONG blogs about her favorite personal looks on songofstyle.com and has garnered more than 1 million Instagram followers.

BEST RED CARPET STYLE

Jessica Chastain

BERGDORF GOODMAN’S LINDA FARGO SAYS THIS 36-YEAR-OLD OSCAR NOMINEE ‘PERSONIFIES WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MODERN MOVIE STAR’

“I ADMIRE HER RANGE IN ROLES SHE TAKES ON AND DESIGNERS SHE WEARS. SHE UNDERSTANDS HOW TO STAND OUT ON THE RED CARPET”

“Whoever said redheads shouldn’t wear red was just plain wrong. Jessica radiates in this Alexander McQueen,” says Fargo.

“The teal sets off her hair and skin brilliantly in this strong, feminine goddess dress.” In Lanvin.

“I like when Jessica mixes up her silhouettes like this one-shoulder shape. The dress is short yet still glam.” In Lanvin.

“This lushly colored gown is regal and positions her as a modern-day queen in Hollywood.” In Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci.

“A stunning choice! Elegant to the core, not too much jewelry, a classic red lip, her signature side part. A true star.” In Giorgio Armani.

“The Bulgari necklace was once owned by Elizabeth Taylor. She knows what pantheon she belongs to.” In Versace Collection.

LINDA FARGO is the senior vice president of the fashion office and store presentation for the legendary store Bergdorf Goodman.

BEST PREGNANCY STYLE

Jenna Dewan-Tatum

PREGNANT IN HEELS STAR ROSIE POPE APPLAUDS THIS 32-YEAR-OLD NEW MOM’S MATERNITY WEAR FOR BEING ‘PUT TOGETHER, TAILORED AND INCREDIBLY ON TREND’

“JENNA FOLLOWS ALL THE MATERNITY RULES. THIS DRESS IS FIGURE HUGGING, SIMPLE AND INCREDIBLY CLASSIC.” IN RACHEL ROY.

“The sparkle around her bust draws attention to her face instead of her bump, says Pope of Dewan-Tatum (in Temperley London).

“Everybody likes to wear maxis when they’re pregnant, but they have to have a great print – like this great dress – to make them special.” In a Tucker dress.

“I love the combination of the silk and floral with a denim top. The casual-formal mixing is done really well.” In an Alice + Olivia dress.

“These wide stripes look great on pregnant women. They make you look small, not big. The trendy jacket brings together the look.” In a Topshop jacket.

“Jenna finishes off a basic T-shirt and leggings outfit with a bedazzled shoe and great scarf that makes her look put together.” In a Calypso St. Barth cardigan.

ROSIE POPE designs a line of maternity clothing and accessories, Rosie Pope Maternity, and starred on Bravo’s Pregnant in Heels.

BEST CLASSIC STYLE

Emma Stone

WITH A WARDROBE THAT’S ‘YOUNG AND FRESH BUT WITH A CLASSIC TWIST,’ DESIGNER DEBORAH LLOYD APPLAUDS THE STAR, 24, FOR HER TIMELESS LOOKS. ‘SHE’S CHIC – BUT ALWAYS SURPRISING’

“THE PEEKABOO HONEYCOMB TOP IS AN UNEXPECTED WINK ON A CLASSIC. SHE EMBODIES THE ALL-AMERICAN GIRL IN A MODERN WAY.” IN GUCCI.

“It’s the classic combination of black and white, but she’s gone a little edgy with her hair, makeup and offbeat jewelry.” In Lanvin.

“There’s nothing wrong with a little matchy matchy. She’s showing some skin, but the dress is a sensible length.” In Lanvin.

“This could look very old, but the prim color, transparent sleeves and the whimsy of the cuffs are a good mix.” In Valentino.

“With the nude pump and simple earring, it’s all about the splash of color and bright lip.” In Stella McCartney.

“This has a vintage feel, but then she adds cheeky pink shoes and the bag as a quirky twist.” In Miu Miu.

“Lace is timeless but looks really modern on the pants because of the slim, clean silhouette – and it’s paired with a sexy shoe.” In Michael Kors.

DEBORAH LLOYD is the president and chief creative officer of Kate Spade New York, which counts celebs like Taylor Swift as a fan.

BEST DENIM STYLE

Zoë Saldana

WHETHER THE JUST-MARRIED ACTRESS, 35, OPTS FOR DISTRESSED, SKINNY OR COLORED JEANS, MODEL CHRISSY TEIGEN APPROVES. ‘SHE DOESN’T GO WITH THE TREND. SHE WINS BY KEEPING EACH LOOK CLASSIC’

“THE ROLLED-UP SLEEVES, THE JEWELRY, THE CROSS-BODY BAG, THE SUNGLASSES. THIS IS ONE OF HER MORE FASHIONABLE DENIM LOOKS. IT’S SUPERSEXY YET COVERED UP.” IN A BELLA DAHL SHIRT.

“Zoë is always casual but cool. I love the surprise element of black denim and a brightly colored sweater.” In Rag & Bone.

“Gray is hot for this season, and I love that she’s sticking with neutrals. The ankle boot makes it look a lot cooler and still put together.” In light gray jeans.

“The tight henley and jeans show off her body. She looks sexy, even with a more masculine boot on.” In Joe’s.

“I love the mix and match. The ripped jeans are awesome, and she loves a biker boot, but with this blouse and scarf, it looks so feminine rocker.” In Rag & Bone.

CHRISSY TEIGEN is a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED swimsuit model who is set to star as a judge on MTV’s new reality cook-off show Snackdown.

BEST STREET STYLE

Kate Bosworth

THE NEWLYWED, 30, EARNS RAVES FROM X-FACTOR JUDGE DEMI LOVATO FOR HER OFF-DUTY OUTFITS. ‘KATE’S STYLE IS EFFORTLESS AND BASIC YET CHIC’

“KATE KEEPS IT SIMPLE YET DETAILED. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS COLLECT BASIC PIECES AND TAKE NOTES FROM HER ON HOW TO SPRUCE IT UP.” IN ELIZABETH & JAMES.

“I really like the zipper on the jeans that adds detail to the all-black outfit. The winter vest gives proportion to her one-color look.” In J Brand Jeans.

“This outfit is simple but enhanced by the belt, which ties in all the colors.” In an Isabel Marant belt.

“A button-up and sneakers can create a tomboy look. The floral skirt and wedge shoes add the perfect touch of femininity!” In Topshop.

“I love how she gave this all-black ensemble depth by playing with fabric, textures and prints.” In a Topshop coat.

“This look is timeless, but she makes it modern by wearing jeans with unique pockets and pointed stilettos for a bit of edge!” In Mulberry jeans.

“The details – buttons on the dress, metal on the belt, heel exposed clog – add style to what is a basic outfit.” In a Derek Lam for Kohl’s dress.

DEMI LOVATO returns to the X-Factor this fall and guest stars on Glee starting Oct. 3.

BEST TRENDSETTING STYLE

Nicole Richie

TV HOST LOUISE ROE SAYS THE 32-YEAR-OLD HOUSE OF HARLOW 1960 DESIGNER ‘TRIES EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN AND NAILS IT. ALL THE STUFF SHE’S WEARING IS WHAT WE’LL BE BUYING NEXT SEASON’

“THE PANTS FEEL MOROCCAN INSPIRED, AND THE SHIRT AROUND HER WAIST IS LIKE A CAPE. KEEPING THE TOP SIMPLE IS KEY. SHE NEVER LOOKS OVERDONE HEAD TO TOE.” IN GIVENCHY PANTS.

“She looks like a ’90s supermodel with the slicked back hair and red lipstick. This is not the type of dress she normally wears, yet it works.” In Marc Jacobs.

“The baggy dress and the low boots are so downtown N.Y.C. Every part of the look is cool. It’s glamour in a low-key way.” In a Raquel Allegra dress.

“This is completely ’60s Edie Sedgwick. Between the dress, the bob, the makeup, it’s very retro and mod.” In Stella McCartney.

“Other celebs wore that crop top in an obvious way. This is very sexy, but only a hint of midriff is showing. And the pendant is a hint of goth.” In Alexander Wang and J Brand.

“What makes this chic are the earrings and the hair. The belt adds a bit of rock and roll.” In Made by Dawn top and Saint Laurent belt.

“She looks very French. The shape could easily drown her, but she kept everything simple, so you only focus on the ruffles.” In Givenchy.

LOUISE ROE is a British TV Host and contributes to PEOPLE STYLEWATCH as a member of its Celeb Style Council.

BEST UP & COMING STYLE

Lily Collins

PHOTOGRAPHER NIGEL BARKER PREDICTS THE 24-YEAR-OLD ACTRESS (AND DAUGHTER OF PHIL COLLINS!) WILL RISE AS A RED CARPET ALL-STAR THANKS TO HER ‘WHOLESOME YET SEXY AND CONFIDENT LOOK’

“LILY HAS BEEN ROCKING THE FASHION WORLD. SHE’S NOT AFRAID TO SHOW A BIT OF SKIN HERE AND THERE”

“Even when Lily keeps it simple, she is still chic – and just slightly naughty with the semi-sheer top.” In Bec & Bridge.

“This flirtatious open back paired with purposefully messy hair and red lips is a knock-out!” In Paule Ka.

“She makes this risqué two-piece outfit look classic by doing her hair in vintage waves.” In Houghton.

“White pumps and slicked-back hair create a perfect imitation of the look from the runway.” In Cushnie Et Ochs.

“She looks radiant wearing this gown with a classic bun to show off her sapphire earrings.” In Zuhair Murad Couture.

“Lily looks as if she had this Victorian- inspired nude ensemble painted onto her.” In Zuhair Murad.

NIGEL BARKER is a renowned fashion photographer and the host of the reality modeling competition The Face on Oxygen.

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