Red Carpet Trendwatch: Short Dresses at the SAGs

01/29/2007 at 06:00 AM ET

Usually when you talk about red carpet fashion, “gown” is the operative word — long, sweeping, floor-grazing gowns. But this year, there have been more frocks, party dresses and even minidresses on the red carpet than ever before! It started at the Globes with Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Jessica Parker and Renee Zellweger all wearing dresses just below-the knee. But at the SAGs, the hemlines crept up even more. From Rachel McAdams’s super-short white trapeze to Heather Graham’s gilded Oscar de la Renta to Reese’s sexy sparkling sheath, there were more than a few stars showing off their well-toned legs on the red carpet. As with any style, some were successful, while others stumbled (Heather: if you can describe them as “stripper shoes,” leave them at home). Tell us: What do you think of short dresses on the red carpet? Are they fresh-looking or inappropriate?

See all the SAG behind-the-scenes and after-party fun at our Red Carpet special!

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Showing 48 comments

KT fr Cda on

Find me old fashion, but I think that the long flowing gowns are better for this type of event. Just me. I don’t care for either of these dresses. I did not like Heather’s shoes at all. I did like Reese’s hair. It was plain, but simple but not for this type of event. If I was going to an event like this, I’d be dressed all glam like. Just me. I did like some of the dresses this time around. I didn’t care for most of the outfits at the globes. Best: Anne Hathaway. Worst: Mariska Hargaty (was that feathers from the knee down??), Eva (washed out grey), Ellen Pompeo (channeling the 60?) and there where others. I liked Chandra’s speech from Grey’s and Hugh’s speech from House. I’ve never watched the globes or the sag’s b4. Shocking, I know! It just seemed that who ever won for best actress/actor or best supporting actor/actress at the globes won at the sag’s too. Is it always like that? I loved the tribute to Julie Andrews. She is one of my fav musical actress’s. She did look nice too. Anyways, this is just my opinion. I’m not into fashion like you all are. But, I do know what I like and don’t like.

C on

I love shorter party dresses and think they are certainly appropriate for an awards show as long as they are no shorter than just above the knee, like Reese Witherspoon’s dress. She looked great. Any length shorter than that is too casual looking.

ritameyers on

I felt very little coverage of sarah jessica parker. She looked wonderfu.

Celestina on

I think they look really great on the red carpet. But I wouldn’t wear a short dress to Oscars. I think short dresses look really nice on red carpet BUT it would look inappropriate in Oscars. I love Rachel’s dress :]

zoe on

i think they’re alright if the dress is ummmm more along the lines of reese’s. hers is a great length and style…rachel mcadams’ dress is a wee bit too short and inappropriate i would think for a classy event, and heather grams just looks like a trashy semi formal dress…so yes, if you wear the dress right, then go for it…

KP on

HOT! They all look beautiful to me.

j on

i prefer longer gowns. i think joy bryant, jamie-lyn siegler, vanessa williams, and helen mirren looked GORGEOUS last night!!!!!!!


Call the Fashion Police….white shoes before Easter is a fashion NO NO….Personally they all look like they are going to a summer party rather then an awards show. They need to dress the part. TO CASUAL.

BC on

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the short dresses!

Kristin on

The fashiopn police say white is OK. No longer a fashion faux pau.

Everyone looked great!

Nicole on

I think Heather looks fantastic!

stellar ;) on

Oh,I think these frocks totally great ! If someone has beautiful legs, it looks fantastic to wear a shorter dress. I know that every award party associate with long, royal dresses…But we should also accept it ;)
Totally cool.

Sharon on

Forget the dress… What’s with Rachel McAdam’s hair??? Yikes!
Reese looks great, as always. Short, long… it doesn’t matter. She is always appropriate. Heather Graham — where’s she been? She’s as cute as can be — perhaps just “grow up” her style a bit now.

donna on

i agree with ritameyers, there was very little coverage to nothing of Sarah Jessica Parker at the Golden Globes. She is a trendsetter, anything she wears is always one season in advance than others. Perhaps at the GG, noboby mentioned about her nor showed her (I mean E! and Joan Rivers & the FAshion Police)except here at She started the short party dress trend, the metallic champagne color, the embossing pattern in the cloth material, she wore the champagne shoes with the matching purse…..

Meg on

I don’t think Rachel McAdams’ dress or hair would look appropriate on any carpet! Talk about ugly…

Trinity on

I think that the short dresses are great! They look great and not so predictable. I love Resse, she looks wonderful! You go girl!

Elda on

All three got it going on with those dresses but i love Reese, she looks more beautiful then ever!! Gosh i think i’ve seen “I walk the line” a million times! She is awesome in that movie.

Rebecca on

I think the classier looking short dress, like the one Reese is wearing, looks nice for the more casual awards shows. Rachel’s dress is too short to be appropriate for this type of event. I didn’t like Heather’s dress, shoes, etc. at all- in some of the pictures she looked awful although the picture here is not so bad.

BC on

reese was SO stuck up at the golden globes it was sick I cant stand her

abc123 on

First dress is alright, even though it’s a little too short, but I don’t like the white shoes with it. The other two dresses are nice.

mona on

I like Reese’s dress, classy and sassy, great, simple hair and makeup too (I hate big Hollywood hair-Catherine Heigle was the best example of that). Rachel’s shoes are ruining that dress, imo. I’m not hugely fond of the dress and I think she’s too pale to pull it off with blond/pink hair. She’s a lovely girl and could have looked million times better but I give her points for trying something different. Heather just looks cheap, from her hooker shoes to the cheesy flounce on this boring dress.

ak on

i can’t STAND when people say you can’t wear white before labor day. pick up a fashion magazine!!!

DP on

I like the short dress trend for shows like the People’s Choice awards that are a little more casual, but I agree that for something like to Oscars a long gown is more appropriate. Also not a fan of Rachel’s pink hair…
BC, were you at the Golden Globes? That’s so neat…

michele. on

it s the SAG awards. not the NUN awards. the more leg ,, the better.

Alejandra on

It is January, it means winter! What happened to dressing according to the seasons?

Charla Dickenson on

I love short dresses so I can’t fault people for wearing them to events, but long gowns are special and there is not a lot of opportunity to wear them. I save my short dresses for party’s and going out and I like to wear long gowns to events, you can always compromise and show some leg with a great slit in a long gown.
I really like Rachel Mcadams and like almost every woman I loved the Notebook, she is a very pretty lady. However I must say, and I really do not mean to be mean, this outfit of hers and many of her other fashion moments indicate to me that she does not really have good personal taste. Not everyone is a savy dresser. There are a million other outfits and styles that would suit her beauty much better.
They are all look lovely but the dresses aren’t really my taste, but that is just me. My favourite would be Reese’s but I would prefer the dress in a more lively colour, maybe deep purple with a more filrty hairdo.
Short or long I realy think it depends on the person, what suits them and what mood they are in. Personally I care much more about wether it actually looks good and is flattering then if it’s a gown or a short party dress. You can’t have rules about things like this, it spoils the fun. Sometimes a girl is just in the mood to show a litle leg!

jen on

I like Reese’s dress the best, and Rachel’s is okay too – although her hair could look better! She should lose the pink!!!

Susan on

I love Rachel McAdams as an actor, but I am not thrilled with this dress. She is young and has a great figure, so I don’t think a short length is necessarily bad. I just don’t like this particular dress. The best dressed (in my opinion) did have the more traditional full length gowns: Helen Mirren (stunning), Vanessa Williams (huge leap from the Globes), Cate Blanchett (another big improvement over the Globes). Can’t wait for the Oscars!

Charla Dickenson on

This picture made me think of something I would like to point out. All these women are of different heights and they all look great. I do not understand the fashion industry and their insistence on using ONLY super tall women. Look how great Reese looks and she’s a mere 5’2″, if I didn’t know better I would think she was the tallest. It’s really Heather Graham who is 5’8″. Tall women look great and elegant but so do petite women. I really wish the runways would have women of different heights, petite women always look angelic and fairylike and women of average height look so feminine. I just always thought the height requirement was so silly. It’s not something I’m passionate about but I just thought it was odd and wanted to mention it. Why doesn’t anyone in the fashion industry try to break the mold, designers think they are so unique but really they are all followers; no one has the guts to go put some so called ‘shorter’ women on the runways. (I’m just discussing height here, I know that weight is a mega issue too). My point is there is no one mold for beauty and these women show that well in terms of height. At least celebs represent women of different heights a little better than the fashion industry; even thought they are well known to lie about their height. Anyway tall, short or average celebs prove that height has nothing to do with looking fantastic in clothing. Maybe the fashion industry will get the memo sometime and change their clone world and show some actual creativity for a CHANGE(a word they may be unfarmiliar with).

michelle on

i think wearing short dresses to the sag awards is fine and the ladies look lovely in them especially rachel mcadams.
it’s not the oscars!!! they can wear whatever they want.

T Walker on

McAdam’s hair is just WRONG. I hope it is for a movie and it’s not a personal choice. Her dress also fails to show off her fantastic figure.

Graham’s dress is okay, but it is the wrong color. It practically matches her skin tone and don’t get me started on her shoes!

Witherspoon epitomizes the short dress look! She looks classy and regal in this short dress. It showcases her petite frame and her hair is divine.

jen on

Heather should “grow up” her style? Her dress is pretty classic, and she definitely has the body. I know what people mean by dressing too young, but I think a lot of people are really taking it too far…come on! The white shoes thing went out the window years ago.

Angie on

I like Rachel McAdams dress the best, with Reese’s dress next and I liked Heather’s dress the least.

Liv on

i think they all look great. they’re keeping it very nice, young and not to serious.

Katie Dewey on

I love this look…however, I also must have to comment on the shoes. The right shoes must be worn with this outfit. And I have to give props to Reese Witherspoon who looks amazing in her pumps.

mary on

Rachel McAdams is so pretty, but she oftentimes has pretty sketchy taste. That dress does nothing for her. And the pink highlights have got to go. Didn’t she get that kind of stuff out of her system in junior high?

Meg on

There were a lot of short dresses, but my favorites were longer: Katherine Heigl, America Ferrara, Jaime Pressley and Jennifer Hudson all looked Oscar-worthy, proving that the SAGs aren’t just a second rate red carpet. You can read my full best and worst dressed list here, if you’d like:

It seems like it’s been an especially good year for red carpet fashions, I can’t wait to see a lot of these younger actresses pull out all the stops for the Oscars.

rachel on

The short mini dresses are too skimpy and not that attractive looking. I like the longer and flared out gowns.

KC on

Who says you have the wear a gown? Who says!!!?? It’s not like the ladies who decided to go short are wearing denim mini’s they are wearing the shorter lengths to the appropriate and more casual awards shows. Typically the Golden Globes/SAG awards tend to be more casual (i.e. guest are seated at round tables, more reception style, food is served etc). The ladies who decided to go short all looked great.

Carolyn on

I love the floor gown traditional look but the fashion worlds always changing and if I had to walk the red carpet and had legs like those I’d want to show them!

Ellie on

Charla, I completely agree with you! Height shouldn’t matter in the fashion world! I really want to try out for America’s Next Top Model, but there height requirement is 5’7″ minimum (I’m 5’2″ at the moment but still growing). Anyways, it makes me feel better that Reese can look so good & she’s so petite :)
As for the dresses, I loooove Reese’s & Heather’s, but Rachel’s is too short for an awards ceremony, and what is up with her pink hair?!? However, I would only go short at the Globes/SAGS, not the Oscars!
Also, Reese seems to love short dresses: she wore short for the Globes and SAGs in 2006 as well.

Kristen on

Well, those three ladies right there look fabolous to me.
a mini-dress can either complement the short, to make you taller looking, or for the tall, emphasizes on your long lovely legs.

jenb on

i think they look sexy and hot i would wear those to a data if i had one!!!

Tayme on

All three of these ladies are gorgeous. I just love Reese Witherspoon and her fashion choices. I actually love Heather Graham’s dress. Rachel McAdams is young and beautiful and she’s gonna go in that direction. I love her dress and the pattern. If that was me wearing the dress, I would of made it go right at the knee or above it a little, but she looks very cute. Not too fond of the pink in her hair, but it’s just the SAG Awards. Awards like the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and the Critics Choice, are meant to be somewhat casual shows, so the ladies who wear the cocktail like dresses look beautiful, because in my opinion they suit the Award show of that night. I think the long flowing gowns are most beautiful at the Oscars. Some of the dresses are impecable (sp?). Reese is my favorite dresser at award events. I love her fashion choices. She goes soft, sweet, sexy and looks elegant as well, and she’s not boring.

Charla Dickenson on

Hi Ellie,

Thanks for your comments. I agree with your thoughts. Rachel Mcadams is great, but her look wasn’t really working. I realy liked Reese’s yellow dress at the Golden Globes and I thought it was an appropriate event, like the SAG’s, for short and long dresses. I also think the Oscars is definitely an event where long formal gowns are more appropriate.

I really think it is wrong for the height requirement at America’s next top model to be 5’7″. 5’2″ is a lovely feminine height. Tyra herself has learnt a thing or two recently about how wrong physical standards are. So many women proove everyday that height is not required to model clothes beautifully.

However tall you end up don’t ever give up on what you want in life. Women do not need to be taller, it’s the fashion industry that needs to be more open. Hopefully someday some strong and confident women will come along and help change those unecessary standards. I wish you all the best, and good luck in pursuing your goals and dreams.

The fashion industry needs to change, women don’t.

Take Care

me on

I absolute love Reese Witherspoon’s dress. Somehow, she always manages to look perfect, no matter what style of dress she’s wearing.

marie on

they look nice in those dresses, but they should dress more lorgic as in dress to kill if they have good figure it shoul much their dressing cod.

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