The 54th annual Country Music Awards took place—in person!—on Wednesday at Nashville’s Music City Center, and it was a bit of a mess: Lee Brice and Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard were forced to cancel their performances last minute, after testing positive for covid-19; all the while, the CMAs requested its performers stay apolitical during the election year, presumably to maintain the appearance of being a “no-drama zone,” according to their official Twitter account. Needless to say, the country performers who tested negative still attended, and they looked mostly good, but I really hope other awards shows don’t try to follow suit.
Anyway, back to the clothes: Little Big Town, pictured above, always makes it a point to dress somewhat incongruently from one another, but their looks were delightfully balanced: an a-line mini dress and a body con gown, light and dark suits. They looked sharp! So sharp, in fact, I’ll forgive them for writing and recording “Girl Crush.”
I’m well aware that there is no shortage of sequins in country music, but Ingrid Andress’s two-toned elbow-length gloves are not it. It takes her bold fit from cool crystal to.... well, costume.
Ashley McBryde always looks like she’s moonlighting as country Evanescence, and it’s dope as hell. More lingerie and black leather trench coats in Nashville, stat.
Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey’s two-toned leather shirt-jacket is doing it for me.
Look, Jimmie Allen’s classic tux doesn’t inspire much creative commentary, but he does look great—a modern country superstar rocking clothes strikingly similar to what the country greats before him would’ve worn. And also, those dimples.
Covid-king Morgan Wallen always looks like he’s doing a parodic impersonation of himself, and his henley/mullet/flannel shirt vest certainly proves my point.
As much as I love her, Kelsea Ballerini’s performance look was... unfortunate. She wore a deconstructed tux jumpsuit, complete with voluminous bell-bottoms and at one point, there was a matching top hat. There’s such a thing as too much camp!
I can’t get over how gorgeous Carrie Underwood looks in this candid crowd shot—she’s no enemy of a glamorous, floor-length gown with strategic cut-outs, but I’m also bummed she’s not wearing a mask.
Reba shone bright like a diamond, so bright I almost missed Thomas Rhett’s black silk bowtie. He looks fine, but Reba’s a gem.
Reba looked so nice, I’m including her twice: that black body-con Elvira fit! The sleeves that double as fingerless gloves! She’s the perfect goth, so much so, even Darius Rucker knows to stand outside of her light. (His outfit was much more understated, after all.)