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Fashion face-off: Gorgeous gowns of ACM Awards past

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Who's the queen
of country couture?

Long gone are the days when glamour at the Academy of Country Music Awards meant big hair and leather fringe. Today, stylish country stars draped in Roberto Cavalli and Badgley Mischka bring the South to the forefront of fashion. But which country cuties top the ACM best dressed?

Taylor Swift vs. Miranda Lambert

Who's the queen  of country couture?

Taylor Swift routinely rules the red carpet these days, and the 2012 ACM Awards proved no different. In a sleek, gold and white J. Mendel gown, Taylor stole the show. Miranda Lambert worked the gold and white modern goddess look in Lorena Sarbu at the 2011 ACM Awards the year prior, pairing it with a sweet swept-back updo for an altogether timeless style.

Kimberly Schlapman vs. Allison DeMarcus

Who's the queen  of country couture?

Why don't more stars opt for shorter hems? Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman had legs for days at last year's ACMs in a sparkly off-the-shoulder cocktail dress. In 2011, Allison DeMarcus — the wife of Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus — showed off her great gams in a flapper-inspired number. Both women proved that going short at awards shows can be equally as chic as donning a ground-draping gown.

Julianne Hough vs. Jennifer Nettles

Who's the queen  of country couture?

While neutrals and metallics seem to pop up the most on the red carpet, Julianne Hough and Jennifer Nettles brightened up the ACMs in vibrant coral hues. Julianne chose a cheery orange-coral, floral-print gown— designed by Randi Rahm — with a daring backless halter-bib style at the 2011 ACM Awards. Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles hit the 2012 ACM Awards in a pink-coral, custom Max Azria Atelier gown embellished with a sunny yellow sequined belt.

Carrie Underwood vs. Kimberly Perry

Who's the queen  of country couture?

For the 2012 ACM Awards, Carrie Underwood looked utterly ethereal in an Abed Mahfouz couture gown — which she smartly paired with metallic Oscar de la Renta heels and Johnathon Arndt jewels. In a wash of beaded mauve tulle, The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry brought romance to life in a mermaid gown by Cengiz Abazoglu.

More on the ACM Awards

ACM Awards: Those singers' names are so made up!
Hello! Country singers who look good shirtless
ACM Awards: Match the cowboy to the hat

Images, L to R, courtesy of: Judy Eddy/, Judy Eddy/ (1st row); Judy Eddy/, Judy Eddy/ (2nd row); Judy Eddy/, Nikki Nelson/ (3rd row); Nikki Nelson/, Nikki Nelson/ (4th row)

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