How to work frocks and suits from the Oscars

The Oscars. It’s not just an awards show. The red carpet is the opportunity for Hollywood stars and studs alike to showcase their marketability in the interest of securing roles either on the silver screen or perhaps even more lucratively to become the face of a perfume/fashion/accessory/cosmetic/skincare line.*

Further from Hollywood, some of you are lucky enough to work for employers who host suave shindigs that warrant a fancy frock or suit. Need inspiration for what to wear? Here’s my pick of the frocks and suits from the Oscars that I think would translate well to an employer’s swanky soiree.

Glenn Close in Zac Posen

I know, Meryl Streep wore a fabulous eco-design from Lanvin! However that gold pleated sun-ray sweeper would be OTT for a workplace event whereas I think Close has hit the nail on the head with this structured number.

Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture with pussy bow detail

Emma Stone – I love you and while I’m not quite loving this dress on you – I can see it being copied for ladies to wear to school formals and swanky work events and as bridesmaids dresses. Such is the versatility of a pussy bow…

Maya Rudolph in Sydney designer Joanna Johnson

Pardon the puns but this frock is bridesmaid-chic but I wouldn’t mind seeing it if at a work ball, either.

Tina Fey in Carolina Herrera

Anyone who knows me will know I’m a die-hard fan of Tina Fey. Her frock choices usually less so but I can see this one in a swanky work setting and I like her hair – bring on the backcombing ‘do, I say!

Milla Jovovich in Eli Saab

Now I’m not sure I’d ever really advocate wearing white to a work event but golly this style is really something! It’s a lot of sequin but the one shoulder and perhaps just Milla herself is all elegance!

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford

I’m partial to an asymmetrical neckline and long-time readers of BusiChic will know of my affection for capes. I’d love to see more necklines like this in work evening wear and while a cape of this length might be OTT, a shorter version would be most welcome but be careful to not end up looking like Red Riding Hood!

Octavia Spencer in Tadaschi Soshi with Tate Taylor

Oh Octavia – the pleating on the skirt of this frock is divine, ultra-feminine and flattering. I’d definitely like to see more of this at work events.

Maria Manounos - not sure who she is wearing but I love this neckline and colour that flatters her skin tone - nice work!

Gary Oldman in Paul Smith

Great character and panache in this ensemble, style inspiration for blokes of all ages really!

Tom Hanks in Tom Ford

I never really thought I’d advocate Tom Hanks as a style icon but if you are a silverfox of a man in Finance needing to show some suave – the shawl collar tux is for you.

Zachary Quinto and J.C. Chandor

I think that these gents look super cute; props for the funky specs too.


I feel like this suit is so close to really nailing it but it is way too tight in the body for me to be really comfortable to say that.

THE HAIR - I concur with esquire's call: Dujardin for BEST HAIR!

P Diddy - not the greatest facial hair but points for lint-alert

Is it really true that P.Diddy showed up to the Oscars with a person whose role it was to keep him lint-free?


Yes I did research. So I can tell you that the best wrap up on Oscars 2012 make-up (but also in general) goes to make-up artist Megan Harrison. Some nice little make-up pointers and general lols. Thank you Megan!

Thank goodness also for Esquire’s Style Blog for their wrap-up of men’s Oscars 2012 fashion.

*To that end, for me the evening belonged to Rooney Mara in ethereal white Givenchy that reminded me of a darker Audrey Hepburn and Rose Byrne in a sequinned Vivienne Westwood frock that I know will spawn imitation after imitation but know will be very hard to beat elsewhere.

What did you think of the fashions at Oscars 2012? Whose style inspired you and any thoughts on my wrap-up??


  1. I would love to be able to wear dresses as pretty as this to a work event! they are stunning!

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