(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
I had my Glam Radar set on high at Wednesday night’s (Nov. 9) CMA Awards — on the red carpet, during the show and at an exclusive after-party. And certain looks kept showing up over and over. Here are the Top 10 looks that I saw the most and loved the most:
1. Eyelash Extensions: Trust me when I tell you I can spot an Xtreme Lashes Eyelighting job a mile away. No mascara can make a woman look like that. And false eyelashes tend to look, well, false. Eyelash extensions are permanent, until they fall out. And they are pricey. But they were everywhere last night.
2. Dresses With Trains: Faith Hill, Jennifer Nettles, Taylor Swift and so many women wore dresses with short trains that dragged behind them a couple of feet or so. Unless you had a little entourage to walk behind you and carry it. It was very old-school glamour, but not at all practical. I saw footprints on quite a few of them by the night’s end.
3. Lace: It was everywhere. Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry had the prettiest white lace halter dress from the Ralph Lauren vintage collection. It was made in 1905, she told reporters after the awards ceremony. And then Taylor Swift wore a black lace cocktail dress after the show. It’s impossible to look unpretty in lace, so I’m glad it’s making a comeback.
4. Sequins: So many sequins. I’d love to know how many were swept up by the cleaning crew at the Bridgestone Arena last night. Jennifer Nettles, Lauren Alaina, Martina McBride and Hillary Scott (in a heavenly gold Reem Acra gown) all had some level of sequin embellishing their bodies.
5. Deep V-Backs: Not just the artists, but even the fans chose to bare their backs in these dresses that cut all the way down to their lower back. And when that much back is showing, it makes me wonder what kind of invisible bras they were wearing.
6. Pashmina Wraps: I thought they were out, but I was wrong. And the ladies who had these cozy shawls wrapped around their shoulders were the smartest — and warmest — ones of the night. A shawl says, “This is part of my outfit,” as opposed to a coat, which says, “I’m going home.”
7. Cowboys Boots: Women never wear cowboy boots to these events and men rarely do. But last night, I saw hundreds on the guys. And not just the Sheplers basics. These were animal skin, embellished, embroidered badass boots. Brantley Gilbert’s even had crosses down by the toes.
8. White Neckties: I don’t know whose idea it was to lose the run-of-the-mill patterned tie and go for the solid non-color of white, but it looked classy on every man who was rocking one.
9. One-Shoulder Dresses: Much like the pashmina wraps, this was a look that was about as hip as it was practical. On a cold night, the hundreds of women wearing one-shoulder dresses and tops at least kept half of their bodies warm.
10. Flattery: Flattery may be not a style, per se. But it sure does make a person seem pretty on the inside. How nice that so many of the artists took time to acknowledge that everyone else was looking fabulous, too. Hillary Scott told me she loved my dress, Jennifer Nettles said I looked beautiful, and Taylor Swift said she loved the whole Breakfast at Tiffany’s thing I had going on. If I steal any style tips from the night, it will be this one.