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When it comes to going glam, she's the mouse who roars, pulling out edgy designers and accessorizing with ease. It's the rare red-carpet stumble for this new mom.
A big fan of flip-flop fashion, the 25-year-old actress prefers young, laid-back gear when she's off-screen.
No room for fab as the poor-but-intuitive wife of Heath Ledger's Ennis. Her character's clothes echo the life of a struggling working mother of two in Wyoming.
NOMINATION: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
as June Carter
Embodying the country singer was no stretch for the Louisiana-born Witherspoon. The biggest challenge was her switch to brunette: "When you change your hair color, it's hard to find something to wear."
The 29-year-old actress is a style straight-arrow, rarely veering far from simple fashion with feminine touches from big-name designers. She also prefers formfitting pieces, which add a little sizzle to her sweet.
The mother of two is classic and practical when it comes to her streetwear. Her outfits are young and accessible whether she's running errands in heels or picking up her kids in track pants and sneakers.
NOMINATION: BEST ACTRESS, WALK THE LINE
The most downtown-looking of the bunch, Knightley is equally at home in uptown gowns and dresses. Her selections are sophisticated and mature, but she still keeps her youthful vibe.
Her funky fashion choices run the gamut from boyish to pretty. With her versatile choppy locks, the 20-year-old British actress pulls off punk or pixie looks with equal amounts of success.
as Elizabeth Bennet
From Pirates of the Caribbean
to King Arthur, Knightley knows her way around a costume drama. Her turn here as a clever girl in plain-Jane clothes lets her acting skills—and killer bone structure—shine through.
NOMINATION: BEST ACTRESS, PRIDE & PREJUDICE
as Bree Probably the most dramatic of the nominees' transformations. She inhabited—and dressed—the role of a man who wants to be a woman with such accuracy that "my 2-year-old cried when she saw me," Huffman has said.
"I always feel like someone's gonna come up and go, 'Who the hell do you think you are?! You're not pretty or glamorous or thin!'" the actress has said of getting dolled up for Hollywood events.
When she's not playing a slightly frazzled working mother on television's Desperate Housewives, she plays one off-screen, and her wardrobe fits her busy lifestyle. Huffman, 43, puts high fashion in the backseat, behind her kids.
NOMINATION: BEST ACTRESS, TRANSAMERICA
Few rival Theron when it comes to award- show fashion. Hers is a "timeless glamour," says her stylist Lisa Michelle Boyd. "It's about the night and how she's feeling and what looks right on her."
Sleek and stylish even when she's running errands, the 30-year-old is a bit of a chameleon off-screen too, trading easy togs for designer jeans. "She's into fashion but not trends," adds Boyd. "She just buys pieces she loves."
as Josey Aimes It's dingy coveralls and helmets for Theron, who plays an iron miner in Minnesota's North Country during the 1980s. We've seen Theron undergo this kind of metamorphosis before (Monster
), and it won her an Oscar.
NOMINATION: BEST ACTRESS, NORTH COUNTRY