Grammys’ Best Boomer Looks

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When it comes to the Grammys’ red carpet, the fashion pendulum last night swung from super casual (we’re looking at you, Kanye West, in your velour tracksuit) to bombastic ballgowns (Rihanna in a giant Pepto-Bismol pink empire gown that could hide several small children underneath) to outfits that could be theatrical costumes (Madonna in her burlesque matador outfit).

But the modern music business is equal parts music, personal branding and a desire to dress-to-shock. Unlike the Oscars or the Golden Globes, where celebrities rarely take a sartorial risk on the red carpet, sticking to a tried-and-true formula of classic mermaid gowns and tuxedos, when it comes to music awards shows, there is always style unpredictability and shock value – who can forget Lady Gaga in a dress made of meat at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards?

But last night’s Grammy Awards held few fashion surprises. What was startling was how some of the young pop stars – who often flash flesh at every turn – were positively demure by their usual standard of attire. Nicki Minaj kept it simple in a fringed black gown, and Miley Cyrus in a slinky gown kept it classy – save for a few cut-outs.

As for the more seasoned performers – you know, the ones who prefer to show talent rather than titillation – marched to their own beat. Like Prince, who wore a simple tangerine tunic and matching pants – and got a standing ovation.

Went it came to the boomer-aged, we round up five of the best on the red carpet.

MADONNA, 56, in custom Givenchy

Always a polarizing figure, the legendary performer managed to whip social media into a frenzy over her outfit, creating two camps – those who loved it and those who hated it. Madonna will never go quietly into the night, so get used to it, and kudos to her for wearing an outfit that not only showed off her age-defying legs and body but also displayed her consummate showmanship.

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JANE FONDA, 77, in Balmain

The one-piece jumpsuit is a major trend this season but is often looked upon as an outfit best left to the young and nubile. But thank you, Ms. Fonda, for boldly going forward in this smashing onesie. And the key to why it looks so fabulous on her is this one simple styling trick – she cinched it with a belt, thereby giving her waist some strong definition and a focal point. The gold rainfall necklace wasn’t too bad either.

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NICOLE KIDMAN, 47, in Mugler

The actress and wife to country star, Keith Urban, went with a little black dress. But a LBD does not have to be boring. Form-fitting and with an array of punched-out holes, it made for a sexy and svelte sheath.

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With her short, cropped platinum blond hair and a sleek fitting black gown with an asymmetrical neckline, the iconic performer looked quietly elegant with just the right octane of drama.

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A class act, the legend kept studiously simple in a well-cut black suit that looked striking. This should be a primer for boy bands on how to dress when they are past their prime.