Oscars Countdown: Mary J. Blige-ology

Posted on March 02, 2018

And now for the fourth in our Oscar-ology posts, where we take a look at some of the more stylish actress nominees and what they wore all through awards season, in order to make informed predictions about how they might dress for the Main Event on Sunday night. Click through to read our Margot Robbie-ology, Saoirse Ronan-ology, and Allison Janney-ology studies so you can stay totally well-informed and up-to-date!

The word for discussing Miss Mary is “DIVA.” It not only describes her but her style preferences as well. And when we compiled all of these pictures by going through the past six months of our coverage of her, we were a bit embarrassed to admit just how many times we slung that word around. Literally every time we wrote about her we used that word. Normally, we’d be upset that our writing on one topic had become so formulaic, but in all honesty, there is no better word to describe her style.


At the Mudbound UK premiere in Elizabeth Kennedy and Dennis Basso

Going through these looks, we can tell you right now we’re not going to find consistent style elements or themes. The one thing she consistently goes for is drama and a sense of luxury. She has clear preferences for wearing black and for metallic gold touches, but she’ll break out of that mold repeatedly in order to prevent herself from getting boring or stale. You really never know what to expect from her.

Case in point:


At the Governors Awards in Cushnie et Ochs

The sweep, sense of drama, and high leg slit are all pure Mary J., but the springtime color scheme is a bit of a surprise. She also likes an exposed arm – it plays into this image of strength that she likes to project – although even that comes and goes as a motif.



At the Hollywood Film Awards in Zuhair Murad

Bottom line: When it comes to her style choices, her first criterion is impact and her second is surprise. She really doesn’t like being predictable at all. This look tends to play into that strength thing that she likes, but it also serves up serious drama. It’s not at all what an actress on an Oscars track is expected to wear, which is exactly why it’s so perfectly her. She doesn’t do “expected.”


At the Gotham Independent Film Awards in Temraza

Black and metallic gold with a slit to the hip. Pure Mary.

The other aspect of her style is her hair, which she changes up constantly, in the manner of a diva.



At the Palm Springs Film Festival in Elie Saab

In some ways, this is a bit off-brand for her. She’s very covered up, in a head-to-toe pastel lace. That description alone makes it sound wrong for her, but it works, partially because the color is (here’s that word again) unexpected and partially because it looks really great on her. She’s not completely averse to bold colors, but she has a clear preference for black and metallics.



At the Golden Globes in Alberta Ferretti

It’s sleek, dark and luxurious, with an exposed arm and heavy touches of metallic sparkle. It’s her style in a nutshell.


At the Critics’ Choice Awards in Vivienne Westwood

Metallic gold, exposed arms, a new do and killer earrings. Even as she switches things up, she’s still working within her own preferences. It’s part of what makes her red carpetry so discussable; the way she and her team come up with variations on her style. Even though she sticks to what she likes and what she likes is somewhat limited, she still keeps it fresh by mixing up the details.


At the SAG Awards in Jean-Louis Sabaji

It doesn’t get more dramatic than this. This is Diva Style with the dials turned up to eleven. The only thing that could’ve made it more diva-esque would’ve been a turban and a diamond-encrusted cigarette holder.



At the Producers Guild Awards in Elie Saab

Switching it up once again by returning to her occasional but still somewhat rare preference for bold colors. Despite the Blige-esqye details like the exposed arms and the bold belt, we tend to see this look as something of an outlier.

When it comes to predicting her Oscar ensemble, it’s honestly anyone’s guess. We think sleeveless or one-sleeve is likely. Lots of metallic elements are also likely. And we can expect her hair will be something worth talking about on Monday morning. It’ll be sleek and powerful. It may be black, but that color’s been over-used throughout this season and we suspect the Oscars red carpet will be fairly colorful. Sparkle, fit and killer hair are near-definites.

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