Does the Academy Awards ceremony have a dress code?
The Academy Awards ceremony does not have an official dress code though clothing is as formal as you would expect.
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Awards ceremonies have already been held this year for some of showbiz’s biggest occasions. If you have been on social media in the last two weeks it is unlikely you have managed to stay away from some of the outfits worn at the Golden Globes or the recent Brit Awards, held in London.
The Oscars have a much less extravagent outfit policy, if it can be called that.
The event is considered formal or black-tie, which means that men are expected to wear tuxedos or suits, and women are expected to wear formal gowns. The dress code has evolved over the years, but attendees are generally expected to dress in a manner that is appropriate for a high-profile, red-carpet event.
For the 40th Academy Awards in 1968 famed costume designer Edith Head sent out a memo to attendees, advising them on what would, and would not, be acceptable for the event.
“Actresses are requested to wear formal evening gowns either maxi or floor length, preferably pastel shades since the setting is very formal and done entirely in white and gold,” she wrote.
“As you know, long dresses (no mini or day length) are more graceful on stage and on camera in this type of background.”
The reason for this was quite simple, it was thought that smartly-dressed attendees would reflect the Academy’s values more favourably. Appearances clearly matter in Hollywood and the notable occasion of the 40th Oscars deserved to be marked.
Head wrote, “The Academy feels that the dignity of traditional affair on our 40th Anniversary deserves formal dress.”
While there is some flexibility within this dress code, the spirit of ‘68 has continued to modern day. No one wants to pick up an award in their pyjamas, let’s be honest.