Backless Oscar Dresses

Crystal Schwanke
Anne Hathaway in a backless dress

Backless Oscar dresses allow stars to show some skin without looking as if they're trying too hard. Baring skin in front could be scandalous, while wearing a dress that scoops down to expose the back instead can look elegant and polished. Some stars even manage to show skin on the front and back without causing a fuss. Backless dresses have been a hit on the red carpet for years and almost always leave people talking.

Celebrities in Backless Oscar Dresses

Celebrities from many walks of life and several types of films have stepped into backless gowns for the Oscars in the past few years. Some are more daring than others, and some were more well-received than others.

Nicole Richie in a backless dress
  • Jennifer Lawrence, 2011: This red dress from the Calvin Klein Collection looks simple from the front with its scooped neckline and no additional embellishments, but the back had an open back with crisscrossed spaghetti straps above the cutout.
  • Scarlett Johansson, 2011: Scarlett's look was smoldering. She wore a lacy purple backless dress by Dolce & Gabbana. Though the top was sheer in spots, the back was almost completely open, and the scalloped edges of the lace added visual interest along the inside edge of the opening.
  • Hilary Swank, 2010: This dress didn't leave much to the imagination in the front or the back, but somehow Hilary managed to pull it off. The shiny black gown was cut to the navel in front, held in place partially by the thick straps that extended over her shoulders to connect with one of two fabric bands that made up the back of the dress.
  • Diane Kruger, 2010: Off-white and black, ruffled and cinched at both the waist and the knees, Diane's backless Oscar dress certainly turned heads. This Chanel creation was full of contrast and texture.
  • Nicole Richie, 2010: Nicole looked all covered up at the 2010 Oscars, at least from the front. The sparkling Reem Acra gown draped her frame beautifully, leaving nearly everything to the imagination in front. The boatneck, long-sleeved top and shades of glistening white, black, and charcoal gave the dress a conservative spin, but the back was open to the waist.
  • Hilary Swank, 2005: Hilary must love showing off her back! It looked great in 2005 as well, in the navy blue dress that was extremely low-cut in the back and revealed next to nothing in the front. The form-fitting design was by Guy Laroche and features not just long sleeves, but a very high neckline, as well.

Find Your Backless Gown

Even without a celebrity budget, real women can find backless gowns to wear to formal events. Try:

  • Prom Girl: Not all of the dresses at Prom Girl scream high school dance. Women can find unbelievable open back styles at reasonable prices here.
  • Simply Dresses: Enjoy a wide selection of dresses here, perfect for weddings, cocktail parties, and more.
  • New York Dress: These glamorous dresses would be right at home on the Oscar red carpet.

From Red Carpet to Real Life

If you love the look of the backless gown on the red carpet, you'll be glad to know that the average woman can pull them off beautifully as well. An adhesive bra can give you the support you want without wrecking the image of your backless dress from behind. Women who don't feel comfortable in these bra alternatives may opt for a backless dress with a supportive shape. A halter style, for example, offers some extra reinforcement on top. A backless dress is one look that can move seamlessly from Hollywood to real life.

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Backless Oscar Dresses