The Rules for Just the Right SAG Dress

2012-04 FEA SAG Dress Penelope Cruz
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Cruz's cocktail dress in 2010 did have beading, which was subtle black-on-black, but the tea-length hem kept it from being too fussy. A simple Chopard diamond bracelet added just the right amount of sparkle.

A Golden Globes dress can be trendy, an Oscar dress must be timeless, but SAG is the only awards show where one's talent actually is supposed to trump one's glamour quotient. No socks should be blown off by those partaking in the SAG arrival red carpet -- that's part of the criteria. Any actress going to SAG in a showy hue with tulle and lace ruffles might as well carry a placard saying, "Last chance for me to glam it up; I'm not going to the Oscars." A lot of jewelry, a big showing of diamonds, would be superfluous as well as superficial.

A SAG dress isn't a voluminous ball gown. It doesn't have sequins or feathers or a slit skirt or a long train. Ideally, it shouldn't have any train. "It's way less froufrou than the Globes and not as formal as the Oscars," is how stylist and E! Fashion Police pundit George Kotsiopoulos describes it. "Gowns, for sure. But no embellishment." Think of it as "black-tie casual." A cocktail dress is acceptable, as long as it has some razzmatazz. Standing out too much at the SAG Awards is simply, well, a fashion faux pas.