Can We Please Break Up With Worst Dressed Lists Forever?

Yet again, the Emmys have proved that women are still under intense pressure when it comes to red carpet dressing.

Emmys aidy byrant Issa Rae Emma Corrin Gillian Anderson

by Bonnie McLaren |
Updated on

Thank goodness, after a year of us all dressing up (pyjama bottoms and a nice top) for Zoom - getting ready for real life socialising is back. For celebrities, this means they're enlisting their favourite stylists, make-up artists and hairdressers to create show-stopping looks for red carpet events and ceremonies. Within the past few days, we've been spoilt with looks from the VMAs,the Met Gala{ =nofollow}, and, last night, it was time for the stars of the TV world to attend the Emmys in person.

And boy, they did not disappoint. From Michaela Coel in neon matching Christopher John Rogers to Anya Taylor Joy in a lemon Dior Haute Couture look to Angela Basset in hot pink ruffles by Greta Constantine, those at the ceremony in Los Angeles really pulled out all the stops, following last year's very underwhelming virtual ceremony.

And, thankfully, there were some truly wild and outlandish looks, too - which is why we love awards ceremonies. (I mean, come on, we wouldn't be interested if celebs were stepping out in the same things we wear down to the pub on a Friday night.) Gillian Anderson rocked a two piece embellished with penis charms, Emma Corrin opted for a 'crucible' chic look, complete with a hat which looked more like a swim cap and Issa Rae got the memo about daring sparkly, see-through dresses (which don't seem to be going out of fashion anytime soon, see Megan Fox at the VMAs{ =nofollow}).

But, unbelievably, in 2021, it's the stars who wear fun things - or sometimes, more demure outfits, like Aidy Byrant, who wore a floral dress with OTT sleeves - who are still getting pilloried in worst dressed lists. Which, yes, we regret to inform you are still a thing.

And as Grazia's Digital Fashion News and Features Director, Hannah Banks-Walker, explains - these lists are not only outdated, and boring, but entirely miss the point of what it means to dress for a high-profile event like the Emmys.

'The red carpet offers a fun, glamorous space to present some great fashion, whether that’s incredible couture creations from some of the world’s biggest fashion houses or the chance to highlight prodigious new design talent,' Hannah says, 'it should be expressive and ultimately entertaining, not the chance to objectify celebrities and tear them down with the justification of "bad" taste.'

As Hannah points out, these articles aren't just hurtful for celebrities - who are a) human and b) do often see the things written about them in the media - but they're damaging to society as a whole, especially young women who are already subject to extreme pressure about their appearance. 'It’s mainly women who have endured these "worst dressed" lists, which have always felt insidious but now, in 2021, they’re just unacceptable,' Hannah continues. 'If society presents this binary between looking "good" and "bad", how can we expect people (especially young girls) to overcome the extreme pressures associated with appearance that already exist? And let’s be clear – we don’t, and shouldn’t all have the same taste. Where would be the fun in that?'

READ MORE: Emmy Awards 2021: See The Best Dressed Stars On The Red Carpet


SEE: The Emmys 2021 Red Carpet

Emma Corrin1 of 47

Emma Corrin

Emma Corrin wore a custom Miu Miu look.

Allison Janney2 of 47

Allison Janney

Wearing Azzi & Osta Couture, from the autumn/winter 2019 collection.

America Ferrera3 of 47

America Ferrera

Wearing a purple dress by Juan Carlos Obando.

Angela Bassett4 of 47

Angela Bassett

The actor looked incredible in hot pink ruffles by Greta Constantine, a Canadian label.

Annie Murphy5 of 47

Annie Murphy

The Schitt's Creek star wore a Valentino Haute Couture dress and Irene Neuwirth jewellery.

Ann Dowd6 of 47

Ann Dowd

The Handmaid's Tale actor wore an elegant black dress.

Amy Poehler7 of 47

Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler teamed her sequin skirt with a belted black blazer.

Anya Taylor-Joy8 of 47

Anya Taylor-Joy

Wearing Dior Haute Couture with Tiffany and Co. jewellery.

Catherine O'Hara9 of 47

Catherine O'Hara

The actor wore a look by Cong Tri.

Bo Burnham10 of 47

Bo Burnham

The comedian wore a blue velvet suit.

Cynthia Erivo11 of 47

Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo wore a custom Louis Vuitton dress with dramatic feathered hem.

Beanie Feldstein12 of 47

Beanie Feldstein

Wearing a Brandon Maxwell dress with Melissa Kaye and Briony Raymond jewellery.

Dan Levy13 of 47

Dan Levy

Dan Levy wore a blue Valentino Haute Couture suit with Cartier jewellery.

Elizabeth Olsen14 of 47

Elizabeth Olsen

The Marvel star wore a white dress by her sisters' label The Row.

Jason Sudeikis15 of 47

Jason Sudeikis

The Ted Lasso star wore blue velvet Tom Ford.

Jessica Long16 of 47

Jessica Long

Paralympian Jessica Long accessorised her dress with a gold medal, no less.

Issa Rae17 of 47

Issa Rae

Wearing an Aliétte dress and Fernando Jorge jewellery.

Kayley Cuoco18 of 47

Kaley Cuoco

The actor wore fluoro Vera Wang with De Beers jewels.

Kate Winslet19 of 47

Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet wore a black Giorgio Armani gown with Fred Leighton jewellery.

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys20 of 47

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys

Keri Russell wore Zuhair Murad Couture.

Michaela Coel21 of 47

Michaela Coel

Wearing Christopher John Rogers

Kerry Washington22 of 47

Kerry Washington

Wearing a dress by Etro.

Madeline Brewer23 of 47

Madeline Brewer

The Handmaid's Tale actor wore a full Tom Ford look, including a bronze lacquered knit tank dress with cobalt blue satin ankle strap sandals.

Mandy Moore24 of 47

Mandy Moore

Wearing Carolina Herrera.

Max Minghella25 of 47

Max Minghella

The Handmaid's Tale actor in Dior.

MJ Rodriguez26 of 47

MJ Rodriguez

Michaela Jaé (MJ) Rodriguez wore Atelier Versace

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones27 of 47

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones

The famous couple posed on the red carpet together, with CZJ wearing Cristina Ottaviano.

Mindy Kaling28 of 47

Mindy Kaling

Wearing a Carolina Herrera gown and De Beers jewellery.

Michelle Visage, Ru Paul, Gottmik and Symone29 of 47

Michelle Visage, Ru Paul, Gottmik and Symone

Michelle Visage and Ru Paul posed on the red carpet with Gottmik and Symone, both from season 13 of Drag Race.

Sarah Paulson30 of 47

Sarah Paulson

Sarah Paulson looked amazing (as always) in bright red Caroline Herrera with Mateo jewellery.

Seth Rogen31 of 47

Seth Rogen

The actor went for an orange blazer and brown trousers.

Regu00e9-Jean Page32 of 47

Regé-Jean Page

Wearing custom Giorgio Armani

Taraji P. Henson33 of 47

Taraji P. Henson

Wearing Elie Saab.

Trevor Noah34 of 47

Trevor Noah

The comedian wore Versace.

Uzo Aduba35 of 47

Uzo Aduba

The actor wore hot pink Cristina Ottaviano

Yara Shahidi36 of 47

Yara Shahidi

Wearing Dior Haute Couture and Cartier jewellery

Tracee Ellis Ross37 of 47

Tracee Ellis Ross

Wearing Valentino Haute Couture and Tiffany and Co. jewellery

Aidy Bryant38 of 47

Aidy Bryant

The SNL and Shrill star wore custom Simone Rocha

Billy Porter39 of 47

Billy Porter

The Pose star wore custom Ashi Studio with Lorraine Schwartz jewellery, rings by H.Crowne and shoes by Harry Halim

Bowen Yang40 of 47

Bowen Yang

The SNL star wore a Zegna suit

Kathryn Hahn41 of 47

Kathryn Hahn

Wearing Lanvin

Kenan Thompson42 of 47

Kenan Thompson

The actor and comedian wore a pink suit

Sophia Bush43 of 47

Sophia Bush

Wearing a pale pink gown by Markarian

Rachel Lindsay44 of 47

Rachel Lindsay

In Christopher John Rogers

Samira Wiley45 of 47

Samira Wiley

Wearing a Genny suit and Vrai jewellery

Hannah Einbinder46 of 47

Hannah Einbinder

The comedian and actor wore Prada

Olivia Colman47 of 47

Olivia Colman

The British actor wore a Roksanda dress with De Beers jewellery.

READ MORE: Michaela Coel Dedicates Her Acceptance Speech At The Emmys To Survivors Of Sexual Assault

READ MORE: Take A Look Back At Some Of The Most Striking Emmy Looks Of All Time

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