Beyond the Best Dressed

A Cultural History of the Most Glamorous, Radical, and Scandalous Oscar Fashion


By Esther Zuckerman

Illustrated by Montana Forbes

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$28.00 CAD



  1. Hardcover $22.00 $28.00 CAD
  2. ebook $11.99 $15.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around February 1, 2022. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Explore two dozen of the most glamorous, scandalous, and history-making Oscar looks in Beyond the Best Dressed, film and culture critic Esther Zuckerman's personality-filled romp through red carpet fashion, complete with original fashion drawings from illustrator Montana Forbes.

From the show-stoppingly elegant (Halle Berry winning the award for Monster’s Ball in a breathtaking Elie Saab) to the decidedly kooky (Adam Rippon in a formal harness), the Academy Awards Telecast is one of the few nights of the year devoted entirely to glamor (in all its forms). Even in the age of streaming, millions upon millions of people sit down at the same time, turn on their televisions, and watch celebrities strut down the red carpet (and, sure, win some awards). Now fans can relive the glamor, drama, and lasting legacy of some of the most influential outfits from more than ninety years of the Oscar in Beyond the Best Dressed: A Cultural History of the Most Glamorous, Radical, and Scandalous Oscar Fashion. In twenty-five essays, culture writer Esther Zuckerman explores the iconic fashion choices that made history on the most elegant stage of all, and analyzes the cultural impact of wardrobe decisions both absurd and wonderful. Beginning with Hattie McDaniel’s historic and trendsetting turquoise gown in 1940 (worn at a table segregated from her white agent), Zuckerman goes beyond the “best of” lists to shine a deserved spotlight on the truly unforgettable outfits–and deciphers what those outfits represented.

Beyond the Best Dressed is a first-of-its-kind commemoration of Oscar fashion that perfectly captures the glitz and the glamor for anyone who has ever been to an Oscar watch party (or texted their friends while they watched alone). Fully illustrated with whimsical fashion drawings of the outfits–including Michelle Williams' golden Versace, Sharon Stone's iconic Gap t-shirt, and Rita Moreno's groundbreaking dress worn in both 1962 and 2018–this book is a joyful and vivid odyssey that doesn’t stop at the hem of the dress, delving deeper into the cultural effect of these fashion flash points with research and original reporting.

On Sale
Feb 1, 2022
Page Count
240 pages
Running Press

Esther Zuckerman

About the Author

Esther Zuckerman is an entertainment journalist whose work has appeared in publications like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, GQ, the Hollywood Reporter, and many more. She is the author of Beyond the Best Dressed and A Field Guide to Internet Boyfriends. Esther lives and writes in New York City.

Learn more about this author