"They said 'it's a shirt,'" the country star wrote on Instagram: "I said 'no'"

By Tomás Mier
Updated October 21, 2020 10:35 PM
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Kelsea Ballerini
| Credit: Kevin Winter/CMT2020/Getty

It's a dress if you say it is!

Kelsea Ballerini hit the CMT Awards red carpet with a stunning discoball-looking mini dress — but took to Instagram to clarify the backless outfit was actually a blouse!

"They said 'it's a shirt,'" Ballerini, 27, wrote on Instagram Story along with a side-by-side of the blouse and her wearing the Tom Ford garment as a dress. "I said 'no.'"

The star paired the blouse-turned-dress with snake-effect silver sandals and white hoops.

"playin dress up," she captioned a photo of her outfit on Instagram.

The country singer was up for three awards, including female video of the year, video of the year and CMT performance of the year for her duet rendition with friend Halsey, "Graveyard." Though she went home empty-handed, the star had a sweet message for her fans.

"one day will be our day. thank you for voting so relentlessly," she wrote. "performing soon."

Later in the show, Ballerini hit the stage at a Los Angeles karaoke bar with "Without Me" singer Halsey to perform "The Other Girl" from her third album, Kelsea. For the performance, Ballerini swapped her mirrorball dress for a leather romper with fringed, heeled cowboy boots; Halsey rocked black leather pants, a crop top and pink snakeskin boots.

"living out coyote ugly dreams tonight with my girl @iamhalsey," Ballerini posted after the show.

In September, the star dropped Ballerini, the stripped-back version — or pandemic-friendly version — of her March album Kelsea.

"We made it for people in their living rooms, people having a glass of wine, and people who have the time and the space right now that they wouldn't have normally to actually listen to a record, probably differently than they would have, had things been different this year," she told PEOPLE. "There's just a lot more space around the production of it, and every little change that we made was to really highlight the lyrics and what each song's saying in a completely different way that's not made for people to be jumping in the pit and confetti cannons to be going off. It's really made to be interpreted differently and listened to in a more heartfelt way."

The 2020 CMT Music Awards will airing live from Nashville on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network, Pop and TV Land.