Renée Zellweger's 20-Year Oscars Style Evolution

Renee Zellweger Oscars 1999 2003 2004 2013 - Gettty - H 2020
Getty Images (4)

The 'Judy' nominee returns to the Academy Awards for the first time since 2013, when she donned a gold Carolina Herrera gown.

Renée Zellweger is making her grand return to the Oscars on Sunday. The Cold Mountain Oscar winner hasn't been to the ceremony since 2013, when she wore a gold Carolina Herrera dress. Seven years later, she'll walk the red carpet as the frontrunner in the best actress category for Judy.

So what's in store for Sunday's show? Stylist Petra Flannery has been dressing Zellweger in some gorgeous colorful gowns this awards season, including pink Prada at the BAFTAs, royal blue Maison Margiela at the SAG awards, pastel blue Armani at the Golden Globes and lavender Emilia Wickstead at the London premiere.

Black also had its moment — at the Critics' Choice Awards (Dior), the Governors Awards (Erdem), the Hollywood Film Awards (Awake Mode) and the Palm Springs Film Festival (Jason Wu). However, Flannery and Zellweger won't be deciding the final Oscars look until Saturday.

Ahead of the 2020 Oscars, take a look back at Zellweger's eight past appearances at the event. 


For her first time to the Oscars, she chose a purple L'Wren Scott silk gown with lace detailing and tasseled trim. She did her hair in an effortless curly hair look on the red carpet (note the cameo by Steven Spielberg).


The presenter was ahead of the fashion times, debuting a vintage dress long before sustainable style and thrift hauls were cool. Zellweger was bright yellow in a 1959 chiffon dress by French designer Jean Dessès. His gowns were "inspired by the drapery of early Greek and Egyptian robes," according to the book Virtual Vintage.


The Bridget Jones's Diary nominee went simple in an elegant, black strapless gown. A sign of the times back when worst-dressed lists were all too common: she was frequently asked in 2001 and 2002 about her weight on red carpets, saying, "When the film was coming out, the question I was asked the most was regarding my weight." From 2002 onward, Zellweger stuck to an Old Hollywood color palette of white, black, red and metallic at the Oscars. 


As a nominee for Chicago, Zellweger stayed on theme of the crime musical in a red Carolina Herrera gown. She showed off a new sleek blonde bob and red lip to match her embellished, strappy dress. 


For her big Oscars win for Cold Mountain, it was a Marilyn Monroe moment for the actress. Zellweger donned a white column dress with cape train and pearly pointed-toe pumps. 


In a look reminiscent of Judy Garland in Judy, Zellweger donned a red satin strapless dress with tulle-trimmed train to go with her dark pixie cut and diamond necklace. 


It was another embellished Carolina Herrera gown for Zellweger in 2008, this time a silver strapless number. She accessorized with a Cartier bracelet and brooch.


She has clearly established a favorite designer by 2013, opting for a custom liquid gold dress by Venezuela-born designer Carolina Herrera once more. The back featured a beautiful detail: two surprise crimson velvet bows. The pop of red complemented her Van Cleef & Arpels bracelets, including a Twin Ruby vintage cuff from 1960, encrusted with 464 rubies.