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Katy Perry Style Breakdown – What’s Right, What’s Wrong, and How to Fix It

Katy Perry
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Katy Perry (and her twins) get a lot of attention for how they dress. She’s known for her candy-coated, confectionary costumes, but we’re narrowing our focus to Perry’s red carpet and casual attire since it’s more indicative of her personal style.

While it’s true that some elements of her stage wear creep into her ensembles, in her off-hours she’s much more subdued and far less cartoonish.

The well-endowed singer’s red carpet dresses, like this black Elie Saab she donned at the 2012 MTV VMAs, always have an element of quirk. In this case, it’s the splash of color sprinkled along the front, the sheer skirt and capped sleeves.

Katy Perry Elie Saab VMAs 2012
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Sometimes Perry goes a little too far, like with this hideous Christmas sweater dress, the irony of which we have failed to grasp. A holiday sweater is never stylish, especially in full dress form or on one of the top pop stars working today. It’s time to put coal under her stocking for this affront to fashion.

Katy Perry Xmas Sweater Dress
Astrid Staiwarz, Getty Images

What’s Right:

Her pale blue encrusted Elie Saab Grammys dress in 2012 was powdery in hue, as was her hair (Perry clearly couldn’t resist adding an “out there” component to her look). On other celebs, the matchy matchy hair-dress combo would be an epic fail. On her, it gets a pass, since we’re used to her look being part of the “show.”

Katy Perry Grammys 2011 Elie Saab Blue
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Mixing a champagne beaded Marchesa gown with black goddess-like waves in late 2012 was the most normal we’ve seen from her in a while, but we loved it. Less can be more in cases like this, and she earned a bazillion extra style points for the gold ball clutch on a string.

Katy Perry Gold Marchesa
Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

Once again the, uh, carpet matched the drapes. In this ensemble, Perry’s hair color (and vampy lipstick) coordinated with her gown. She’s rocking that lavender and white Blumarine dress at the 2012 Billboard Awards, pairing it with purple hair. Oh. So. Regal.

Katy Perry Blumarine Billboard Awards
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

She fired on all cylinders here, with a hot pink Oscar de la Renta dress in a cut that gripped her curves and had ladylike accents. But the details weren’t too femme — she still had an edge. More of this, please.

Katy Perry Pink Oscar De La Renta Billbaord
Pacific Coast News

Perry does not avoid color — and this citrusy, clingy Alexander McQueen, worn to a pre-Grammy party in 2013, was a high watermark for her. Doesn’t she look like Courteney Cox’s little sis?

Katy Perry Orange McQueen
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Now that’s an LBD. Her aqua hair looks best when paired with a muted or basic color. But this Alexander McQueen party dress has life.

Katy Perry Alexander McQueen Black Dress
Jeff Bottari, Getty Images

What’s Wrong:

The color-blocking trend was big in 2012 when Perry wore this outfit. We loved the aqua blue angled bob, but when paired with this bright outfit, she resembled a box of Crayolas.

Katy Perry Colorblocked
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Perry’s homage to flapper girl chic is well-intentioned, but she stumbled when trying to make it too punk rock. There’s a lot of disconnect here. The color of the dress and her hair don’t mesh with the overall ’20s energy she was trying to convey.

Katy Perry Flapper
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Hmm, this is another questionable ensemble. It’s see-through, messy, and sloppy. A girl can mix sheer fabrics, combat boots and a leather topper and come out the other side a chic rock chick. Not so here …

Katy Perry Sheer Black
Pacific Coast News

With a D-cup rack, Perry can’t wear a dress like this Temperley London frock sans support. It’s lovely, but it’s not right for her body. This is a wardrobe malfunction in the making.

Katy Perry Temperley
John Heller, Getty Images

This Valentino, worn to the 2013 People’s Choice Awards, felt a little frumpy, thanks to the milkmaid hair.

Katy Perry Valentino People's Choice Awards
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

How to Fix It:

Perry’s love of color and fabric is best evidenced by this Dolce & Gabbana cocktail dress.

Katy Perry Red Velvet Dolce & Gabbana Part of Me Movie Premiere
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

The same can be said for this lemon yellow number, with a daring cascade of strategically placed cutouts accenting those famous boobies. When paired with her black bob, it’s chic and elegant with an edge — a look Katy aims at and hits about 75 percent of the time.

Oh, and those ruby red pumps? Aw, hell yeah.

Katy Perry Yellow Cut Outs
Pacific Coast News

We never want her to stop wearing outrageous and sexy shoes like these McQueens. This not footwear. This is art.

Katy Perry McQueen Shoes
Jeff Bottari, Getty Images

We also adore her when she’s sassy in designer duds, like this Versace mini. The opaque tights keep the look wintry and wearable. Ditch ‘em and its sexy and springy. That’s the versatile Katy Perry we like to see a lot of, style-wise.

Katy Perry Versace
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

She should always show her fashion flair and her curves, like she did in this white and gold tulle frock.

Katy Perry White Gold England Premiere
Ian Gavan, Getty Images

While this mint green Gucci gown isn’t ugly — it’s actually vintage-y chic — the fact that it cannot contain the girls made it a big ol’ mistake. Support, Katy! Who cares if your bra looks like a sack required to transport boulders? Defying gravity is a more critical issue and makes or breaks a dress.

Gucci Grammys 2013 Katy Perry
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

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