For the longest time, tuxedos were reserved for men on the red carpet. But over the years more and more female celebrities like Rihanna and Meghan Markle have been stepping out in suits and tuxedos on the red carpets. You may call it the Hillary Effect – Hollywood’s leading ladies of both big and small screens are putting on the ritz on red carpets.
Power dressing may be having a moment now, but this equal opportunity sartorial statement has been making the rounds since 1966, when Yves Saint Laurent designed the first haute couture tux suit, Le Smoking. (Think luxe black velvet, a matching vest and a white shirt with ruffled cuffs.) Perfection then—and now.
Rihanna, Metropolitan Museum Of Art 2009
Rihanna is known as the queen of the Met Gala, from her omelette-like dress in 2015 to her flower-inspired ensemble in 2017. But one of her lesser known looks was at the 2009 Met Gala, where she wore a sleek black tuxedo, with exaggerated shoulder pads and black gloves. The theme that year was “The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion,” and who is a better embodiment of fashion than Rihanna?
Angelina Jolie, British Film Academy Awards 2014
Jolie matched with her then-husband, Brad Pitt at the 2014 BAFTAs with a sleek and sexy tuxedo. The skinny-fit suit featured a slim belt and an open blazer, but what made the look especially memorable was Jolie’s unbuttoned shirt and undone bowtie, which she wore draped over her net. The actress’s suit sure made her husband’s look like child’s play.
Zendaya, Grammys 2016
Zendaya Coleman showed up to the 2016 Grammys looking fierce. The actress and singer arrived at the Staples Center in a getup channeling David Bowie, who passed away in January of that year, after battling cancer. Zendaya’s tuxedo-style suit and ’80s mullet wig were seriously reminiscent of the iconic performer.
Blake Lively, A Simple Favor Premier 2018
For her film, A Simple Favor, Lively made it her mission to only wear suits to promote the film. The decision was a nod to her character, a mysterious mom who goes missing, who almost exclusively wears pantsuits in the film. There are lot of memorable looks from Lively’s press tour to fawn over, but one of our personal favorites is this off-white one from A Simple Favor‘s London premiere in September 2018.
Janelle Monae, Grammys 2016
From the music video for her 2010 single, “Tightrope,” Monáe established herself as a suit-wearing boss. She almost exclusively wore the look for red carpets and performances, and well-tailored, beautiful suits soon became synonymous with her brand. But that doesn’t mean that Monáe’s suits were boring. From flower embellishments to dramatic lapels and coattails (as seen here at 2013 Grammys), Monáe proved that suits are anything but boring.
Madonna, Grammys 2014
Madonna is no stranger to wear suits. One of her most badass looks was in 2014 when the singer attended the Grammys in a witch-reminiscent tuxedo with a full-on cane. Madonna paired the look with a bedazzled glove, a black fedora and a bejeweled cross pin on her tie for that extra glam.
Jennifer Aniston, Critics Choice Awards 2015
Not too long after hiring Lupita Nyong’o’s stylist, Micaela Erlanger, in 2015, Aniston made some noticeable changes to her usually safe outfits. One such look was at the 2015 Critics’ Choice Awards, where the actress showed up in a crimson Gucci suit with body chains and matching red shoes.
Tilda Swinton, Doctor Strange Premier 2016
Ever since she came onto the scene 30-plus years ago, Swinton has been known for her androgynous style, so it comes as no surprise that she has worn some memorable suits over years. One that’s especially loved is her structured dark suit she wore on the premier of Doctor Strange in London. The suit featured some mini details on both Swinton’s jacket pockets and dramatic rouched shoulder pads.
Diane Keaton, Academy Awards 2004
Along with earning Keaton an Oscar nomination in 1978, Annie Hall revitalized women’s fashion in the disco era. Keaton’s titular character—a gloves-wearing, fedora-loving comedian with a knack for pairing vests with patterned ties—provided a much needed break from the disco era’s flamboyant and extravagant wear. It makes sense that Keaton would channel her iconic ’70s character with her look at the February 2004 Oscars above, where she was nominated for her role in Something’s Gotta Give.
These ladies know the power of a sleek, tailored tux and are completely rocking it!