Costume Institute Gala. Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Tina Fey is and actress and comedian known for her quick wit, one-liners, and spot-on Sarah Palin impersonations. But now that the former SNL writer has become so successful, she's making appearances on some of the world's biggest red carpets, and suddenly her style has become a topic for discussion.

Though Fey is not a fashionista, she's made a valiant effort to dress the part for public appearances. Unfortunately, she wasn't always able to please the fashion police. Her most recent look at the Costume Institute Gala (read: a night of fashion royalty in their best dresses) raised eyebrows for being edgy, risky, and notoriously hard to pull off.

Costume Institute Gala, May 3, 2010

Riding high from her Oscar style win (we'll get to that later), Fey showed up at the 2010 Costume Institute Gala, a mega-event for the fashion industry. She made a bold outfit choice with a zippered jumpsuit, and critics were quick to scold her for stepping out of her comfort zone. "Navy is her color... but she looks like she's wearing someone else's clothes," explains Anya Sarre, head stylist for "The Insider" and "Entertainment Tonight." "She should have jumped from this jumper as soon as she saw it," says Philip Bloch, celebrity stylist and author of "Elements of Style."

CFDA Gala. Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images


Here's a look back at how Tina Fey's red carpet style has evolved over her past few years in the spotlight. These are the biggest style moments that led Fey to the fashion choices she's making now:

CFDA Fashion Awards, June 2, 2008

Fey was just starting to make her rounds on the style circuit during the 2008 CFDA awards, shown here. Her impersonations of Sarah Palin leading up to the 2008 election widened her existing SNL fan base to a national level. This was the beginning of Fey's big moment.

"I love the strapless. It's very flattering for Tina because she's a bit pear shaped," says Bloch.

Fey's confidence shows in her outfit choice: "She obviously doesn't feel the need to borrow big, bold jewelry to sparkle and shine." After this appearance, Fey would be thrust into the real spotlight with a big year ahead.

How would she fare at the Emmys, Golden Globes, and the infamous Oscars? Let's see...


Emmy Awards. Jeff Vespa, Wireimage.com




Emmy Awards, September 20, 2009

While Fey chose a very classic, "safe" look for the 2009 Emmys, she ended up getting lost in her long black gown. "The black is a little too harsh for her beautiful skin tone, and the dress is slightly too long," says Bloch.

Sarre points out that if you ever wear all-black like Fey did here, it's important to have a pop of color somewhere. "Try adding a colored clutch," she suggests.

Luckily, it wasn't Fey's fashion that was up for an award, and she ended up a winner that night where it counts.

Still, Fey is a human being, and having that many eyes on her (and mouths yapping about her the next day) must have some effect on her fashion choices.

So what would her next move be? Something classic? Crazy? A little bit of both.



Golden Globes. Jason Merritt, Getty Images







Golden Globes, January 17, 2010

When Fey showed up to a very rainy Golden Globes red carpet, the umbrellas weren't the only thing to raise eyebrows.

Her bold statement dress was a definitely "look." And one that didn't necessarily put Fey on the fashion map.

"Tina got a lot of flack for this look," says celebrity stylist Anya Sarre. Bloch explains that "from a distance it looks great, but up close... a bit of an eyesore," and describes the patterned, poufy dress as "Mary Poppins goes to Hollywood."

Something simpler (but not black!) would have been the better choice. And after seeing herself on many best and worst dressed lists (in the latter category), Fey was likely to take note for next time.



SAG awards. Kevin Mazur, Wireimage.com




Screen Actor's Guild Awards, January 23, 2010

After the negative press surrounding her Golden Globes outfit, Fey made a more simple, elegant choice for the SAGs, and was welcomed with open arms by the style-a-razzi.

"I love the color of this vibrant blue. It was a big color this season and really pops for the cameras," says Bloch. Though it may sound silly, this dress was a "comeback" outfit for Fey, and showed she could hold court with some of Hollywood's best-dressed actresses. Some very big magazine covers (Vogue, anyone?) followed.

This dress showed us that Fey's enviable figure could handle an even tighter fit and skinnier straps in the future. We'd love to see her in a curve-hugging bandage dress by Hervé Leger, or something equally sexy.

Sarre agrees that the jewel toned look was a good choice, but wishes Fey (who shuns heavy makeup and accessories) added one little thing: The extra oomph of "a light spray tan or a bronze-y lotion."

Oscars. Jason Merritt, Getty Images




(In Fey's defense, her peachy-colored skin does look pretty great under those bright lights and paparazzi bulbs, which could capture any imperfection.)

Academy Awards, March 7, 2010

Just to drive home the point that she was not in fact trying to rebel with her fashion, Fey got back at critics one last time on the Oscars red carpet. She chose a shapely dress that showed off a little skin in a classy way. Bloch thought the one-shoulder Michael Kors gown "hit the bullseye" and named this "one of my favorite Tina Fey looks."

Indeed, this gown was a stunner, and though a fashionista could always find a few things to be improved upon, Fey had finally hit her stride with a look that was definitely Worst Dressed-proof.

Whether the critics love or hate what Fey wears next, we can't wait to see what she picks out.