The Fashion Evolution Of Carrie Underwood


10. American Idol

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Carrie Underwood on American Idol (photo from People)

It isn’t exactly virgin birth, but Carrie Underwood’s fashion evolution is pretty miraculous. She began her career with her audition on American Idol, and what we saw was quite different from where she is now–to say the least. What started as a cute, small-town look became envious glam over the years. Here’s a look back at her fashion evolution, and her hits and misses along the way.

In her 2005 American Idol audition, the star showed only a vague foreshadowing of her future big-city glam. Though definitely cute, she also looked a bit frumpy. Her jeans didn’t fit all that well and her shirt did nothing for her figure. She didn’t have any of the polished makeup we are used to seeing today. Also, she lacked her sleek locks that have become so trademark. 

9. That hair

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Carrie Underwood on American Idol (photo from E! Online)

Speaking of sleek locks, Underwood’s first step in her fashion evolution wasn’t exactly in that direction. Her stylists definitely “played up” her curls, giving Underwood the biggest hair since the 1980s television series Dallas. And her figure, though trim, certainly didn’t have the tone we are so used to seeing today. Plus the outfit was just, well, there.

8. Closer

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Carrie Underwood (photo from Just Jared)

Mid-2006 definitely saw a Carrie closer to what we know her as today. Her long hair was polished (and significantly flatter), and her makeup begins to look more sophisticated. Still thin, she still hasn’t quite achieved her trademark rockstar body. Her fashion is a bit more interesting, however, and she was starting to experiment with her clothes.

7. Swing and a miss

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358163 Clive Davis Hosts Annual Grammy Bash, Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California. Carrie Underwood. Please [email protected] Rico/Fame Pictures FameFlynet, Inc – Beverly Hills, CA, USA – +1 (310) 505-9876

Here is Underwood at the 2006 Grammy Awards. There isn’t anything wrong with the dress, per se. It just doesn’t do much to show Carrie’s svelte figure. And there’s just something a little un-glamorous about it. Plus the jewelry doesn’t really work. The necklace interferes with the neckline of the dress, and the bangles are distracting against the busy print.

7. Whoa

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Carrie Underwood at the 2007 ACM’s (photo from Just Jared)

May 2007 saw Carrie as we know her now. Her tiny, trim figure is on full display, with full-on glam hair and makeup. Her short metallic dress is also far more couture than her American Idol choices. Plus, she has significantly simplified her jewelry, something that became a consistent look for her from this point forward. Here, she is pictured at the 2007 American of Country Music Awards.

6. Country Awards Couture

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Carrie Underwood at the 2010 CMAs (photo from Sounds Like Nashville)

This is all-out Hollywood glam– CMA style. Not everyone could pull off this dress because it would look like the dress was wearing them. But Carrie definitely wore the dress. Photographed at the 2010 Country Music Awards, Carrie turned heads on the red carpet and showed that she can wear serious couture. 

5. The Lady in Red

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Carrie Underwood in December 2010 (photo from Billboard)

Carrie was all-out fashionista in her red stunner of a dress in December 2010. Once again, she pulls off amazing glam with a gorgeous scarlet gown. It’s a sophisticated look that shows off her tiny figure in all the right places. And as was previously noted, she keeps her jewelry simple and un-distracting.

4. Sparking in White

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Carrie Underwood at the 2012 Grammy’s (photo from PopSugar)

In one of her most sophisticated looks of her many red carpet appearances, Carrie’s 2012 Grammy gown was something else. A simple gown that would stop traffic, it could certainly be the envy of the Jackie O’s of the world. Plus, she perfectly accessorized it with statement earrings and a simple clutch. A serious step forward in her fashion evolution.

3. The Verdict is Out

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Carrie Underwood at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards (photo from PopSugar)

Underwood‘s 2014 gown at the Billboard Music Awards is definitely one to debate. On the one hand, it’s quite fashion-forward. But is it a step in the right direction? The colors are interesting, but it’s oddly futuristic (Star Wars meets haute couture?). Her tan is also a bit excessive, giving her skin a fairly unnatural look. Unlike some of her universally-appealing looks, this one is far more subjective.

2. Mini Me

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Carrie Underwood at the 2015 CMT Awards (photo from Zimbio)

At the 2015 CMT Awards, Carrie showed up sporting one of her signature mini dresses, and some new bangs. Once again in white, the mini showcased her signature gams. Interestingly, the dress almost looks like it has shoulder pads. Whatever the case, the proportion of shoulders to waist to hips is pretty near perfect. Also, her skin looks dewy and fresh.

1. Knockout Blue

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Carrie Underwood at the 2017 CMA Awards (photo from E! Online)

At this year’s Country Music Association Awards, Underwood proved just how far she has come in her fashion evolution. She arrived on the red carpet in a dazzling blue dress that was all-out sophisticated glam. With a low hemline and mermaid bodice, the dress accentuated all the gym time she puts in. It was paired perfectly with a few statement rings and gorgeous chandelier earrings. Her hair and makeup were also on point, making her cover-photo-ready. No wonder she ended up on everyone’s best dressed list this year.

Certainly, it’s difficult to achieve the level of fashion evolution Carrie Underwood has. Between her trainers, stylists, and makeup artists, she has quite a bit of help. Plus she has jewelers and designers creating fashion just for her. It may be unlikely that most of us can achieve so much. However, it also goes to show what hard work can do. Carrie didn’t achieve that figure through luck. That’s some work and time put in.

But whether you want to emulate Carrie or not, it’s simply fun to go back and revisit her fashion changes through the years. No doubt she’ll continue to surprise and amaze us, whether it’s with hits or misses.