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The Oscars In Colour: Discovering the most popular colours worn at the Oscars

23 Feb | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
The Oscars In Colour: Discovering the most popular colours worn at the Oscars

Does dressing gold help you to win one of the much-coveted gold statuettes, or is there nothing better than a simple black dress? The Oscars in colour are officially here.

The Oscars are one of the most celebrated and prestigious events of the year, with many celebrity attendees using it as a chance to show off their style with the clothes they wear on the red carpet.

Ahead of the 2022 edition of the Oscars ceremony, Betway online casino have taken a look at the most popular colours worn at the prestigious event down the years.

We have gathered all of the dresses worn in the last decade by producers, performers, actresses and actors to determine the true colour of the Oscars, as well as assessing the colours worn by the winners.

We have also taken a deep look at the data to assess any significant trends in dress colours in the last decade – possibly even sussing out 2022’s most popular colour trends in the process.

Does dressing gold help you to win one of the much-coveted gold statuettes, or is there nothing better than a simple black dress? The Oscars in colour are officially here.

The most popular colours in the last decade of the Oscars

And the Oscar is awarded to the colour black. Yes, black is officially the most popular Oscars dress colour of the decade with 34.4 per cent of attendees photographed wearing a dress to the ceremony in the past ten years opting for that colour.

In fact in almost every ceremony since 2013, the most popular dress colour has been black. The only exception was in 2018 when the colours blue and white reigned supreme, with 39 per cent of Oscars dresses captured by photographers at the event being split equally down the middle between these colours.

Over the last ten years, the next most popular dress colours have been white with 17.67 per cent, followed by gold with 12.97 per cent. Just behind is silver with 12.59 per cent, blue finishes fifth place with 11.47 per cent and finally red secures sixth place with 10.90 per cent.

Red’s relatively low percentage could be put down to performers fearing a clash with the famous red carpet – the more popular black, white and gold colour choices could well be a cunning ploy from Hollywood’s stars to stand out from the pack.

However, opting to wear red is a risk that can merit great reward, as both Viola Davis and Alison Janney found out when they picked up their respective Oscars for Best Supporting Actress at the 2017 (Davis) and 2018 (Janney) Academy Awards ceremonies.

The colour gold has endured perhaps more ups and downs at the Oscars over the last decade than any other colour. While the much-coveted Oscar statuettes themselves have always remained gold in colour, dresses of the same colour are only the third most popular colour at the celebrity-studded ceremonies.

The colour gold reached its peak in popularity in the year 2017, when it tied with black as the popular dress colour with 27.03 per cent of the share each. The year 2017 also saw the Best Actress Award handed to a performer dressed in gold, namely Emma Stone for her role in La La Land. Other Best Actress winners to have collected the award in gold include Meryl Streep in 2012, Cate Blanchett in 2014 and Frances McDormand in 2018.

The most popular colour at the 2021 Oscars

At the most recent Academy Awards ceremony, the colour black again proved to be the favourite among actors, with 31.17 per cent of dresses photographed walking the famous red carpet in 2021 being black.

While black has been a popular choice of dress colour in the last decade at the Oscars, sporting the classic colour had proven costly right up until the year 2021, when both the Best Actress Award and the Best Supporting Actress Award went to a performer wearing a black dress – with both Frances McDormand for her role in Nomadland and Korean actress, Youn Yuh Jung, picking up wins while wearing a black dress.

Before this star duo, no black dress-preferring performer had been awarded the Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress Award for over a decade.

The next best performing colour was gold, with the colour accounting for 15.38 per cent of Oscar dresses snapped. Not only was gold a popular colour at the 2021 ceremony, but it also proved to be successful, with Nomadland director Chloe Zhao going for a gold dress to pick up her three golden statuettes for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director.

Purple saw a sudden surge in 2021 to become the joint-third-most popular Oscars dress colour, with 12.31 per cent of the share, after scarcely making an appearance on the red carpet before then. Some significant star names who shined in the colour purple in 2021 include Halle Berry and R’n’B singer, H.E.R.

Other colours that fared well at the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony were blue and red, which tied with purple to make up 12.31 per cent of dresses worn a piece. The colour white was able to sneak onto the 2021 nominees list, with 10.77 per cent of the share.

Keeping up with trends at the Oscars

Over the last decade, it has proven almost impossible for any colour to knock black off top spot. The popularity of the colour did see a dip in the year 2015, with its popularity falling from 38.71 per cent to 22.22 per cent, but this was still not enough to knock it off top spot.

The popularity of black dipped in popularity significantly in 2017, when gold managed to match its popularity, and again in 2018, when blue made a surprise surge to top spot after spending a few years in obscurity.

However, the popularity of the colour black on the Oscars red carpet has dramatically increased since that brief blip, returning to near-record highs of 36.92%.

While black has proven to be a popular colour, it has not always been the most successful for those nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. Despite the winner of the most recently awarded Best Actress Oscar Frances McDormand sporting a black dress, there has been no other black dress wearing Best Actresses in the last ten years.

In fact, gold and white have dominated the Best Actress category during the last decade of Oscars ceremonies, with four Best Actress winners going for gold and three claiming the win in a white dress. Frances McDormand’s first Best Actress win in 2018 was claimed in a gold dress.

The success of the colour white has spread further into the Best Supporting Actress category, however, with four white-dress preferring performers in the last decade. Bizarrely there have been three occasions at the Oscars in which both the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress winners have each worn a white dress. This anomalistic event has occurred at the 2013,2015 and 2020 ceremonies – meaning that in the last ten years, every time a performer in a white dress has won the Best Actress Award, so too has the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress been given to a white-wearing performer.

Another noticeable trend in Oscars dress colours down the years is that whenever white goes up, silver must come down – and vice versa. Early in the decade, the colour white was at the peak of its popularity with 25.35 per cent, with silver way out in the wilderness with just a 9.86 per cent share of Oscar dress colours.

However, the next three years would see silver’s popularity gradually increase, while the colour white went down, and in 2016 the colour silver was the second most popular Oscars colour with 18.63 per cent, while white had to settle for 14.71 per cent.

Just one year later in 2017 and the colour white was back, usurping silver to claim 18.92 per cent of the Oscars dress colour share compared to silver’s 16.22 per cent. The colour silver briefly fought back and in 2019 the two colours shared an equal level of popularity on the red carpet at 12.12 per cent each, before silver dwindled away into obscurity at the most recent ceremony where just one star showed up in a silver dress – with white not faring too much better, securing 10.77 per cent of the share.


Using historic red carpet photo collections from the Vogue archive, we identified the main colours worn by Academy Award attendees in the decade between 2012 and 2021.

As a black-tie event, people wearing suits overwhelmingly dressed black. To avoid results being skewed significantly towards this, we have only counted the predominant colour worn in outfits that were not a traditional suit.