Dress for the Occasion: The VMAs Vs. the Emmys

The red carpet was rolled out twice during the last days, as the MTV Video Music Awards and the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards took place in sunny California.

And where there’s a red carpet, there are celebrities and where there are celebrities there is a lot of fashion to be seen.

The VMAs and the Emmy taking place at such a short time one from the other is a great opportunity to make comparisons and to discuss how different types of events require different types of outfits.

The MTV Video Music Awards are a more youthful event; they are more very much about flash and sparkle, whereas the Emmys are somewhat more formal.  Different degrees of formality require different outfits, which is why we will break down some of the most interesting celebrity looks from the two events.


So let’s take a look at the differences between the outfits worn at the VMAs and those worn at the Emmys:


The VMAs

The 31st annual MTV Video Music Awards brought together the biggest stars in the music industry. Even though it is an award ceremony, the nature of the industry allows the attendees to wear clothes that are semi-formal or even casual.


Jack Antonoff



Jack Antonoff VMAs


Jack Antonoff was part of the group that attended both the VMAs and the Emmys. For the MTV awards, he wore a simple formal look that was very sleek and well-fitted. However, to give it a more youthful vibe, he chose to wear shorter pants and to showcase a pair of colorful socks. He also chose to pose with his sleeves pulled up to match his short-cut pants.


Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff Emmys

Jack Antonoff posing with Lena Dunham



For the Emmys, Jack wore formal attire, featuring a bow tie and a long-sleeve shirt that popped out of this jacket’s sleeve just the right amount. These small details made him look more elegant and formal and therefore more suited for an event such as the Primetime Emmy Awards.


Usher, Gregg Sulkin, Darren Criss and Jason Deluro




A mix between formal and casual seemed to be the most common look on the red carpet at the VMAs. Formal shirts paired with casual blazers and sneakers were the option for which stars like Usher or Gregg Sulkin opted.


Darren Criss


Other guys like Darren Criss and Jason Deluro kept it young by wearing semi-formal or casual pieces that featured good, elegant structures that made them appropriate for the event.


Riff Raff

Rapper Riff Raff wore an outfit that was more an expression of his vision as a rapper than an outfit thought for an event. Wearing a studded denim jacket with ripped jeans, paired with a deep-neck shirt and heavy accessories, the singer brought the club to the red carpet. One could argue that the VMAs are not a club, but then again, they are not far from being a club either.


Katy Perry and Riff Raff VMAs

Riff Raff posin with Katy Perry



Whether his look is appropriate or not is discussable. Maybe we can give Riff Raff a pass.


The Emmys

The men who walked down the red carpet at the Emmys displayed more formal looks that featured classic pieces and conservative accessories.


Matt Bomer



Matt Bomer Emmys


Matt Bomer wore a very safe look that featured sharp details such as a white pocket square on a black jacket, black buttons on a white shirt and a bow tie to complete the look. His shiny shoes and popped-out sleeves convinced us once again that the “White Collar” star knows how to wear formal attire.


Liev and Pablo Schreiber


Liev Schreiber Emmys

Liev Schreiber



The Schreiber brothers wore conservative outfits that featured black ties. It is hard to tell “who wore it best”, so we will let you decide.


Pablo Schreiber Emmys

Pablo Schreiber



What we can learn from Liev and Pablo’s looks is that a classic suit is a good way to go when you are attending a formal event. A well-fitted suit makes any man look elegant and sophisticated, which is why we advise you to own at least one go-to suit that you can always make sure is clean, pressed and ready to be worn.


Seth Meyers and Eric Stonestreet


Eric Stonestreet


TV stars Seth Meyers and Eric Stonestreet wore similar outfits: simple formal suits paired with a bow tie. What we can learn from the two guys is how to adapt a classic piece to your body. If you are a bigger guy like Eric Stonestreet, you can go for a jacket that features lower buttons. This way, you will elongate your torso and will appear to be leaner.




Seth Meyers and Alexi Ashe

Seth Meyers posing with Alexi Ashe

If you are thinner guy like Seth Meyers, you can wear a jacket that features higher buttons. Also, make sure that if you are wearing a two or more-button jacket, you leave the lower button unfastened.


As you can see, even though the Video Music Awards and the Emmys both feature red carpets, the nature of the event requires different types of attire. When you are attending an event, always make sure you know what type of clothing is required. This way, you will have a starting point on which you will be able to build your outfit according to your style and preference.


Also, don’t forget to cast your vote in our poll!


Fraquoh and Franchomme






P.S. What did you think of the two events? Whose look did you like best? Which event would you have liked to attend? Share your thoughts, questions or feedback on the article and on the collection in the comments below! For more style advice, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook or Twitter!



8 thoughts on “Dress for the Occasion: The VMAs Vs. the Emmys

  1. I’d pick the Emmys over the VMAs any time 😀 some of the outfits were lovely 🙂 you put the point out very well, they are two different red carpet events!

  2. I adored Riff Raff’s look with Katy Perry. If you didn’t know, their looks were inspired by Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake’s looks from an award show red carpet back when they were dating. Honestly I thought they were the best dressed right behind my top pick from the VMA carpet, Kylie Jenner.

    • Hy Tunisia,

      Thank you for the contribution, it’s definitely welcome! It’s good to know the inspiration for Riff Raff and Katy’s outfits!

      Speaking of Kylie Jenner’s VMA look, we really liked the fabric of the dress, it was amazing!

Your Comment and Input