Style

Kerry Washington's Style Evolution Is Full Of Red Carpet Risks

From "Save the Last Dance" to "Scandal" to everything in between.
01/31/2017 11:07am ET | Updated January 31, 2017

Kerry Washington is a style icon, though she claims it wasn’t always the case. She wears fresh-off-the-runway looks with ease, completely blows everyone else’s maternity style out of the water, and then does it again and again.

The “Scandal” star uses her fashion in other ways, too. She’s spread awareness of financial abuse through purse design, co-designed a clothing line based on her hit television show and, as proven as recently as the 2017 SAG Awards, uses her platform to make political statements about troubling new policies.

A look back at the way Washington’s style has evolved since those beloved “Save the Last Dance” days shows she’s always had a flair for fashion, if not quite as high fashion as she wears today. Her gowns have gotten a chic upgrade, but the boldness and willingness to have fun through fashion is definitely unchanged.

In honor of Washington’s 40th birthday, we revisit those earlier days, and celebrate some of our favorite recent moments, too.

2004
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At the 15th Annual Glamour "Women of the Year" Awards on Nov. 8
2004
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At Movieline's Hollywood Life 2004 Breakthrough Awards on Dec. 12
2005
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At the 57th Annual DGA Awards Dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 29
2005
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At the National Board of Review Annual Gala 2005 on Jan. 11
2006
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At the "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" premiere during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival on May 18
2006
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At the Premiere Lounge after party for "The Dead Girl" during AFI Fest 2006 on Nov. 7
2007
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At the premiere for the film "Ocean's Thirteen" at the Palais des Festivals during the 60th International Cannes Film Festival on May 24
2007
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At the 7th Annual Breakthrough of the Year Awards on Dec. 9
2008
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At the L'Oreal Legends Gala to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund on Nov. 10
2008
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At the Palme d'Or Closing Ceremony at the Palais des Festivals during the 61st International Cannes Film Festival on May 25
2009
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At the Young Patrons Of Lincoln Center Fall Masquerade Gala on Oct. 29
2009
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At the "Face" Premiere at the Grand Theatre Lumiere during the 62nd Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 23
2010
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At opening night at The Metropolitan Opera House on Sept. 27
2010
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At the "Mother And Child" Los Angeles Premiere at the Egyptian Theatre on April 19
2011
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At the 2011 BET Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on June 26
2011
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At the 2010 New York Film Critics Circle Awards on Jan. 10
2012
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At the Emmy Awards on Sept. 23
2012
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At "The Details" premiere on Oct. 29
2013
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At the Golden Globe awards on Jan. 13
2013
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At the NAACP Image Awards on Feb. 1
2013
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At the MTV Movie Awards on April 14
2014
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At the 66th annual Directors Guild of America Awards on Jan. 25
2014
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At the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25
2014
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At the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 18
2015
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At the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 20
2015
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At the 2015 Baby2Baby Gala at 3LABS on Nov. 14
2015
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At The Paley Center for Media Presents "An Evening with The Cast of 'Scandal'" on May 14
2016
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At the 102nd White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 30
2016
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At the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 18
2017
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At the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 8
2017
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At the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 29