In case you missed the 2018 Country Music Awards last night, here are the highlights: Kacey Musgraves (deservedly) was awarded Album of the Year, the Backstreet Boys performed “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” for some reason and the fashion was, as always, mostly conservative—you couldn’t find a gown that wasn’t floor-length. Most had full-on trains. Cowboy hats were plentiful, so were tragic belt buckles. Some looks were better than others, and I’m here to criticize all of them. Let’s do this.
A very pregnant Carrie Underwood kicked off the mermaid train trend in a floral-print, toupe-y pink gown. (She also revealed she’s having a boy.) Something tells me Brittany Kerr and Kellie Pickler are a bit embarrassed they showed up next to their basic black suit beaus (Jason Aldean and Ben Aaron, respectively) in the same mustard dress.
More mermaids, I warned you there were a bunch: Lori Wilshire brought the glitter glam next to a muted tux-toting Micah Wilshire; Kelly Lynn got the sequin memo and Chris Janson’s jacket detailing compliments her beautifully; Kimberly Williams-Paisley looked a dream.
Back in black... poof: Katie Stevens had one of the highest hems of the night, believe it or not, Martina McBride went old-school Hollywood and Carly Pearce’s is teetering on an empire waist here. Please, god, don’t bring that back.
Maren Morris’s side slit will meet you in the middle; Bebe Rexha, always extra, actually stunned here. Sharna Burgess’s gown was a bit too bridal for me—even will the thigh-high gam peek.
I call this group “the prom pals”: Lauren Alaina’s gown is like if the movie Frozen were a person, Lauren Akins kept it simple but, you know, as a nurse and Thomas Rhett’s wife I love to see this lady shine on a red carpet and Stephanie Quayle’s dress is of a bygone era. Like, Sex and the City, or something. I hate it?
My pattern kings: Jordan Davis’s deep Catholic school plaid is so so good, Mason Ramsey should wear floral print blazers always, and Jimmie Allen took a page out of Lil Rey Howery at the People’s Choice Awards and wore almost the exact same suit, which is fine, because it’s the most beautiful suit in the world.
They call it cowboy country for a reason. Justin Moore’s white lid jazzed up a rather bland navy suit, in contrast, Jon Pradi’s black headwear balanced out a handsome blazer (and Summer Duncan’s floofy black, mermaid tail.) Aaron Watson.... jeans, my guy? In 2018?
More rims: Dustin Lynch’s gold Vegas coat came back to Nashville with his headwear, legend Garth Brooks wore all black because he can (and Trisha Yearwood’s gratuitous fur kills me. Bich, it’s Tennessee). Someone get Cody Johnson a stylist, please.
Velvet was big, and I was big on velvet. Russell Dickerson’s deep maroon can get it, Tyler Cain’s pale pink bolstered Meghan Linsey’s royal blue, Ross Cooperman’ deep black velour was subtle and boy, did Kaitlin Cooperman shine.
Just some nice blazers: a shiny Scotty McCreery, a patterned Lionel Richie, a detailed if not ill-fitted Mitchell Tenpenny.
They call this good, BAD, ugly for a reason: Dennis Quaid forgot where he was supposed to be, Cody Allen phoned it in and Luke Bryan came from a wedding. I am falling asleep.
But the winner,
the best look of the night,
This suit, that detailing, coat, no coat. It’s cowgirl goes to Milan, or something less corny, and I’m extremely into it. I will say, though, at a pop music-centric award show this would be subtle at best but in this context I wanna give Musgraves another prize. Yeehaw.