The Oscars are mere days away at this point — and while celebrities are getting their spray-tans and teeth whitened, we’re planning our snack picks for Sunday night and reminiscing about our favorite Oscar moments from years past. Everyone knows which are the best dresses (and the most horrifying style moments) from the past decade or so, but what about those major moments that somehow get overlooked in everyone’s roundups? This Thursday, PEOPLE StyleWatch editors are giving special shoutouts to the most memorable moments — in our minds, anyway — and that you should add to your “Remember when?” Oscars nostalgia tour.
Brittany Talarico, Associate Style Editor: Remember that time a bow almost ate Charlize Theron‘s head on the Oscars red carpet? I didn’t either until I came across this photo of the actress at the 2006 Academy Awards. The bow in question was attached to Theron’s forest green Christian Dior gown, designed by John Galliano. This was right before Twitter launched, or Theron’s extra appendage would no doubt have been immortalized with its own handle and account. (By the way, can you imagine an award show without Twitter?) While I’m all about a “Wow” factor, I think the ginormous embellishment was just a bit too over-the-top. (I’m more in favor of the tie on Nicole Kidman’s famous Balenciaga design.)
Andrea Lavinthal, Style and Beauty Director: The year was 2003. 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” was the hot jam, Juicy Couture sweatsuits were so on-trend and there was only one celebrity couple that mattered: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Between his cameo in “Jenny From the Block” and her massive pink diamond Harry Winston engagement ring, the world couldn’t get enough of Bennifer.
The ill-fated couple had one of their most memorable moments at the Academy Awards where she arrived in a stunning mint green vintage Valentino gown inspired by a look Jackie Kennedy Onassis wore in 1967, and he sported self-tanner. All of it. Yet, all the bronzer, body glitter and hair pomade in the world couldn’t keep Bennifer together.
Zoë Ruderman, Deputy Style and Beauty Director: While looking back at old Oscars photos, I was struck by two things: One, Jennifer Lopez has attended a lot of Oscars for someone whose biggest movies are Maid in Manhattan (not nominated) and Gigli (also snubbed). And two, there was a period of about four years in the ’90s when almost every woman on the red carpet wore one of those oversize silk shawls draped over the crook of their elbows. I had almost forgotten this was a thing! And not just at the Oscars, but at proms, too.
Kate Winslet, in a pre-Titanic 1996, wore approximately 80 yards of a deep-pink fabric that matched her scoopneck princess gown and certainly didn’t match her red hair. In PEOPLE StyleWatch magazine, we have a feature called “Everything Old Is New Again,” but somehow I don’t think Kate — or any other star — will show up this year carrying that ’90s fabric swath.
Bronwyn Barnes, Senior Style Editor: This is the look that proved Cate Blanchett was a force to be reckoned with on the red carpet. The actress’s bespoke knit John Galliano for Dior gown — which she helped design — featured an intricate back panel with hummingbird and floral design done in Lesage embroidery. She could easily have overdone it with the hair and makeup, but instead went with artfully mussed bedhead and a red lip and came out looking effortlessly cool. That’s why she’s the best-dressed badass in Hollywood.
Alex Apatoff, Style News Editor: Do you know who else has scored a ton of invites to the Oscars despite also being cruelly overlooked for films including Honey and Good Luck Chuck? Jessica Alba. Not that I’m complaining — she always brings it, big time, on the red carpet, sometimes even more so than the nominees.
Case in point: This ridiculously delicious plum Marchesa gown, worn with Cartier jewels and that radiant mom-to-be glow (yes, this is what she looks like in her third trimester) in 2008. And of course, that braided hairdo set the gold standard for formal braids long before it became a Thing — I’m pretty sure this is still getting pinned to bridal hair inspiration boards. We may never see Alba holding one of those golden statuettes, but I’m willing to keep awarding her “best dressed” trophies as long as she keeps going.
What’s your favorite overlooked Oscars style moment? Which of these gets your vote for best TBT? Tell us below!