Follow the Scandal starlet's rise to Hollywood's best dressed.
Lady in Red
Ten years ago, the budding actress showed a streak for fashion forwardness with red leather pants.
Washington’s customized, crystal-studded tee expresses love for New York — and for fashion statements.
Worn in 2001, this mohair-trimmed turtleneck may seem like a fashion failure now, but it points toward Washington’s willingness to take stylish risks.
Still in 2004, Washington continues to up the ante on her style, showing polish and personality with this look.
Bright Young Thing
Just three years later, Washington is still taking fashion risks in a bright green feminine frock.
In 2005, it’s clear Washington is beginning to step up her style. We’re still swooning over this Chanel jacket.
In 2006, Washington tries to keep it cute. Flaunting this — almost — conservative look at an event.
Pretty and Polished
Fast forward to fabulous! Washington is looking flawless in a recent red carpet look.
A nude lip and soft pink nail polish are Washington’s most consistent red carpet accessories, allowing her to wear colorful gowns without clashing.
Her penchant for dramatic pieces hasn’t gone away since her early days. She slowly starts to channel it into stylish stunners like this.
Short and Sweet
A key component in Washington’s style? Poise. She’s always graceful whether in a long gown or a chic mini like this.
Calvin Klein has emerged as one of the actress's favorite labels — and no wonder. She consistently looks amazing in the collection.
Washington balances bold embellishments with a simple base, like this champagne silk sheath.
Bold colors and shapes are a recurring theme in Washington’s red carpet style — all the more to show off her amazing figure.
Washington floats effortlessly between sexy minis and angelic gowns like this on the red carpet.
Black and White Affair
The full-fledged fashionista now pairs different patterns and materials in an outfit without overwhelming the eye.
Note Kerry’s classic pose for the cameras — a key milestone in the evolution of this fashionista.
Once again a nude lip and barely there nail color accentuate a stunning gown on Washington.
An absolute stunning look by Thakoon for Gap. Why? Kerry shows an expert eye for what cuts and colors look best on her body.
Warm pinks and lilacs have proven a winning favorite for Washington, who continuously selects them for the red carpet.
In this red carpet look, Washington comes full circle: vibrant prints she’s always loved transitioned tastefully and paired with her signature low-key make up and minimal accessories.
The year 2011 presented more bold color moments for Washington. At the Calvin Klein Fall 2011 show at Mercedez Benz Fashion Week, she works a blue sheath dress from the designer.
Washington steps away from her traditional soft palettes and opts for a chic shimmer in a high-collared Ralph Lauren gown at “An Evening with Ralph Lauren hosted by Oprah Winfrey” at Lincoln Center in NYC.
Washington goes electric in a day-glo Micheal Kors halter gown paired with Louboutins at the 2011 BET Awards.
Washington’s jewel-toned plunging Gucci mini, clutch and heels at the 2nd Annual Mary J. Blige Honors Concert was an ultra sexy and colorful moment.
At the 63rd Annual Emmy Awards this red hot Zuhair Murad sexy see-through gown was a stunner on Washington.
At the 2011 CFDA Fashion Awards Washington’s snow white Calvin Klein dress was pure perfection.
The Golden Age
At the “TCA Winter Press Tour” Kerry’s most recent look dazzled us. In sequined Jenny Packham she sets the tone for more fabulousness in 2013.
Washington graced the March 2012 ESSENCE cover in a Rafael Cennamo feathered dress and Tony Duquette Fine Jewelry. The look captures just how glam she’s become.
The 2012 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood honoree showed up in a leather Cushnie et Ochs peplum dress and Kate Spade clutch — one of the best looks of the night.
For Extra, Washington promoted her new show Scandal in effortless fashion.
Washington makes a simple Altuzarra LBD look anything but simple with contrast colored Reed Krakoff pumps.
Washington makes another stop to promote Scandal atGood Morning America, wearing a conservative yet stylish grey midi dress.
Kerry Washington closes out 2012 in sweet style by Carven: a tea-length dress with cut-out decolletage and cherry red accessories.
Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Washington started off 2013 strong. The actress kicked off global promotions for the movie Django Unchained in a series of gorgeous looks, this one — a floral-printed, cropped gown by J. Mendel and clutch, and earrings by Jill Milan — was one of many.
Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Sony Pictures
At the UK premiere of Django, the actress wore a voluminous ball-gown style by Giles that made for one of her best-dressed moments this year.
Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images
In Rome, Italy Kerry Washington hit the mark at the Cinema Adriano premiere in a cut-out Prada dress — a trend that's hot right now!
Photo by Elisabetta A. Villa/Getty Images & Ernesto Ruscio/WireImage
Kerry's fabulous red carpet style was endless at the Django Unchained premiere. A stop in Paris found the starlet appropriately decked in romantic florals sprawled over a strapless silhouette.
Photo by Foc Kan/FilmMagic
At another Django photocall in Rome, Kerry steps out on a limb in a risky pattern mixed style with mini cut-outs by designer Peter Pilotto. ESSENCE approved!
Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images
At the 2013 Golden Globe Awards the actress wow'd the world by not wearing the typical red carpet gown, instead she donned a chic, sheer midi dress by Miu Miu with sparkling embellishments and Prada accessories.
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage
At the 19th Annual SAG Awards Kerry made her way to the top of everyone's best-dressed list in this soft and structured corset style by Rodarte.
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for BET
Her most recent style stunner gave new life to the LBD –– a seductive lace Marchesa style and pop pink clutch with Louis Vuitton pumps for the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards Washington
Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage
There's nothing better than when Washington opts for a wild card on the red carpet. This marigold Michael Kors high-low gown is eye-catching whether you love it or not.
Black Tie Affair
At The White House Correspondents Dinner, Kerry Washington keeps it stylishly black tie appropriate in a Wes Gordon gown with a clean ebony bodice and lace motif skirt.
Photo by Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage
Kerry Washington killed the competition at this year's MET gala, wearing a silk purple Vera Wang gown with a tulle train. The leather gloves were perfectly punk –– appropriate for the night's theme.