11/21/2005 at 01:00 AM EST
For Lee Ann Womack, that walk down the red carpet is one of the greatest joys and biggest pains of celebrity. "I have fun because I've learned to love fashion," says the singer, who is up for six awards (including album of the year) at the Nov. 15 Country Music Association Awards. "But there's pressure to be perfect." At her first CMAs in 1997, she opted for an off-the-rack velvet dress from Barneys. "Obviously my style has progressed over the years," says Womack, 39, who once counted Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton among her fashion icons. Now with Carmen Marc Valvo and Richard Tyler designs hanging in her closet, "I feel sexier than I did 10 years ago," she says. Her guidelines for getting dressed for a big night: Hair can make or break an outfit, comfort doesn't matter as much as weather conditions, and "hire the right people," says Womack, who works with stylists on both coasts. "A great stylist knows the kind of fabric and cut that looks good on-camera. And what girl doesn't want to look good?"