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From Rhinestones to Red Carpets: The Evolution of Reba McEntire’s Fashion

Did you know that Reba McEntire’s very first performance outfit was a hand-me-down rodeo queen dress, complete with rhinestones and fringe?

It was a sign of things to come, as Reba’s journey through fashion would become as iconic as her music career.

From her early days rocking floor-length sequined gowns with cowboy boots to her current reign as a red-carpet royalty,

Reba has consistently redefined country music style with a unique blend of glamour, confidence, and a touch of whimsy.

Reba has been named on “Best Dressed” lists by publications like People Magazine and Country Music Television (CMT) multiple times throughout her career.

This exploration of Reba’s sartorial evolution reveals a story that goes beyond just clothes – it’s a testament to her ability to embrace change, stay true to herself, and always add a little bit of sparkle.

Reba McEntire speaks onstage during the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. / Getty Image
Reba McEntire speaks onstage during the 48th CMA at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. / Getty Image

From Fashion Oblivian to “Best Dressed” and Launching Her Own Brand

Reba McEntire, the iconic country singer, has always been known for her big personality and even bigger hair. But even the queen of country music has had a few fashion missteps along the way.

In a 2016 interview with People, McEntire admitted that she has some regrets about her past fashion choices.

“I look back at some of those outfits and I’m like, ‘What was I thinking? But you know, fashion trends come and go. What’s stylish today won’t be stylish tomorrow.”

She said

One of McEntire’s most famous fashion moments is her appearance at the 1982 Grammy Awards. She wore a sequined gown with a plunging neckline and shoulder pads that could have doubled as airplane wings.

While the dress is certainly a showstopper, it’s not exactly what most people would consider to be classic. McEntire herself has said that she doesn’t regret wearing the dress, but she does admit that it was a bit of a fashion risk.

“I wasn’t afraid to take chances with my fashion,” she said. “And I think that’s important. You should always have fun with fashion and express yourself.”

Of course, McEntire’s fashion sense has evolved over the years. Today, she is known for her more polished and sophisticated style. She still loves to wear sequins and rhinestones, but she does it in a way that is more age-appropriate and flattering.

“I’ve learned a lot about fashion over the years,” she said. “And I think I’ve gotten better at picking out clothes that flatter my figure. But most importantly, I’ve learned to just have fun with it.”

In one interview, McEntire revealed she was completely oblivious to fashion trends when she first started.

Screenshot from Rolling Stone
Source: Rolling Stone

Early Days: Cowgirl Chic with a Glam Twist (1970s-1980s)

Reba’s early career was steeped in the rodeo world, and her fashion reflected that.

Think fringe, denim, and plenty of rhinestones. But Reba wasn’t afraid to add her own spin. She rocked floor-length sequin gowns with cowboy boots, a signature look that would become a running theme throughout her career.

Her signature red hair, often styled in voluminous curls, added a touch of Hollywood glamour to her cowgirl aesthetic. The red jumpsuit with the plunging neckline that left audiences speechless at the 1982 CMA Awards. Pure Reba – a touch daring, a whole lot of fabulous.

Big Hair, Big Dreams, Big Shoulders (1980s-1990s)

The 80s were a time of bold choices, and Reba embraced them wholeheartedly. Think teased-up hair that rivaled Dolly Parton’s, sequined dresses with architectural shoulders, and enough fringe to give a disco ball a run for its money.

One can’t forget the iconic red dress from the 1993 ACM Awards. This fire engine red number, with a plunging neckline that defied gravity, became an instant sensation.

It was a bold statement that showcased Reba’s confidence, proving that country music glamour was all her own.

Reba Restyled her iconic Red Dress on ACM Awards
Reba Restyled her iconic Red Dress on ACM Awards / Getty Images
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Refined Elegance with a Hint of Whimsy (1990s-2000s)

As Reba’s career matured, so did her style. The 90s saw a shift towards a more elegant look. Think flowing gowns in jewel tones, often with a single, statement piece of jewelry.

She still loved a good sequin, but they were now incorporated more subtly, adding a touch of shimmer rather than overwhelming the look.

This period also saw Reba experiment with different silhouettes.

She embraced the mermaid gown, the halter top, and even the occasional pantsuit, always adding her own personal touch.

Check out the video where Reba McEntire looks back on her iconic 1993 CMA Awards red dress:

Reba McEntire looks back on her iconic 1993 CMA Awards red dress

Embracing Modernity (2000s-Present)

The 2000s ushered in a new era for Reba’s fashion. She continued to favor classic silhouettes, but the fabrics became more luxurious and the cuts more modern.

Think sleek gowns with daring necklines, bold pops of color, and a touch of sparkle that never went out of style.

Reba McEntire at 2018 Grammys Awards
Reba McEntire at the 2018 Grammys Awards

Red carpets became her runway, and she owned it. From the shimmering gold gown at the 2010 CMAs to the stunning black dress with a mermaid skirt at the 2018 ACM Awards, Reba consistently proved that age is just a number when it comes to rocking a red carpet-look.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum featured her in a special exhibit called “All the Women I Am” Which not only pays tribute to her music but also her fashion evolution over the years.

Screenshot from billboard website about Reba Fashion
Source: Billboard

Building a Fashion Legacy

Reba’s influence extends far beyond the red carpet. In 2007, she launched her own clothing line at Dillard’s, offering a range of styles that reflect her own sense of timeless elegance with a touch of Western flair. The line caters to women of all ages, proving that Reba’s style is truly for everyone.

The collection was described as “modern, versatile” and inspired by Reba’s signature style – a blend of timeless elegance with a touch of Western influence. The line reportedly offered a range of styles to cater to women of all ages.

Reba McEntire’s Fashion Evolution: A Timeline

DecadeSignature StyleKey PiecesNotable Red Carpet Moments
1970s-1980sCowgirl Chic with GlamFringe, denim, rhinestones, floor-length sequin gowns with cowboy boots1982 CMA Awards: Red jumpsuit with plunging neckline
1980s-1990sBig Hair, Big Dreams, Big ShouldersTeased hair, sequined dresses with architectural shoulders, fringe1993 ACM Awards: Red dress with plunging neckline
1990s-2000sRefined Elegance with a Hint of WhimsyFlowing gowns in jewel tones, statement jewelry, mermaid gowns, halter tops, pantsuits1999 Grammys: Sunshine yellow ensemble with feathered sleeves
2000s-PresentRed Carpet Royalty: Embracing ModernitySleek gowns with daring necklines, bold pops of color, luxurious fabrics2010 CMAs: Shimmering gold gown
This table provides a timeline of Reba McEntire’s fashion evolution, highlighting key looks and trends from each era.

Celebs and Artist on Reba McEntire’s Fashion Impact

Here what celebs and fellow artist has to say about Reba McEntire Fachion impact:

“Reba’s early look in the 70s and 80s was a fresh take on country music fashion, She wasn’t afraid to mix traditionally feminine elements with a Western flair. It was a bold statement that resonated with cowgirls everywhere.”

Wynonna Judd, a fellow country music legend.

“Reba’s 80s style was a perfect example of country music embracing the era’s love of excess. The architectural shoulders and sequined fabrics were a playful nod to trends, but the floor-length gowns ensured a sense of elegance that remained distinctly Reba.”

Shannon Faulkner, fashion historian specializing in American costume design. “

“Reba’s shift towards a more elegant look in the 90s was a natural progression. The use of jewel tones and statement jewelry added a touch of sophistication while details like the feathered sleeves showcased her playful personality.”

Melissa Sizemore, celebrity stylist who has worked with Dolly Parton and Carrie Underwood. “

“Reba’s red carpet appearances are a masterclass in timeless style with a modern twist. She embraces daring necklines and sleek silhouettes, but never forgets the touch of sparkle that has become her trademark.”

David Peck, fashion director for a leading country music magazine.

“Reba McEntire’s influence on country music fashion is undeniable. She’s redefined what it means to be a fashion icon in the genre, proving that you can be glamorous, confident, and true to yourself, all while adding a little bit of sparkle.”

Candace Nelson, curator for a country music exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution.

The Final Takeaway: A Fashion Icon for All Seasons

  • Reba McEntire’s fashion journey is a testament to her confidence, her ability to evolve, and her unwavering love for a little bit of sparkle.
  • She’s shown us that country music style can be glamorous, bold, and always true to oneself.
  • Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just appreciate a good fashion moment, there’s no denying the impact Reba McEntire has had on the world of country music style.
  • From her rhinestone-studded rodeo days to her red carpet reign, Reba has consistently redefined what it means to be a fashion icon in country music.
  • She’s shown us that age is just a number when it comes to rocking a statement piece, and that a touch of sparkle can add a whole lot of personality to any outfit.
  • More importantly, Reba’s influence extends beyond the red carpet. Her clothing line offers a chance for fans to embrace her signature style, proving that her love for fashion is meant to be shared.


Q: What are some of Reba McEntire’s signature fashion elements?

A: Reba is known for her love of rhinestones, fringe, and bold colors. She also favors classic silhouettes like flowing gowns and has a knack for adding a touch of whimsy to her outfits.

Q: How has Reba’s fashion sense evolved over the years?

A: Reba’s early style was heavily influenced by her rodeo roots. Over time, she’s embraced a more elegant look while still maintaining her signature flair. She’s incorporated modern trends while staying true to her timeless sense of style.

Q: Does Reba McEntire have her own clothing line?

A: Yes! Reba launched her own clothing line at Dillard’s in 2007, offering a range of styles that reflect her own fashion sense.

Q: What are some tips for incorporating Reba’s style into your own wardrobe?

A: Don’t be afraid to experiment with color and texture. Embrace a classic silhouette and add a touch of sparkle or fringe for a Reba-inspired twist. Most importantly, wear what makes you feel confident and beautiful!

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