Kerry Washington will have to wait to see if she'll take home her first-ever Emmy during Sunday, Sept. 22's telecast, but the Scandal actress has already crossed off one painstaking pre-show to-do with time to spare: She already has The Dress! "When I put it on, I just knew," Washington -- whom Us Weekly readers voted as their Celebrity Style Crush -- told Us Sept. 17 during the pre-Emmy Dynamic & Diverse reception hosted by the TV Academy and SAG-AFTRA.
Citing look, comfort and color as three criteria when searching for the perfect red carpet gown, newlywed Washington, 36, tells Us her Emmy ensemble has all three. "This dress, I just knew [it was the one]. I put it on and was like, 'I'm done.'"
Topping many a best dressed list both personally and professionally (her Best Actress Emmy nod is for her role as the always stylish fixer Olivia Pope on Scandal), Washington tells Us she dresses to impress . . . herself! "It's important to always dress to make yourself happy, because if you're always trying to please other people you're never going to feel fulfilled," the actress -- who works with stylist Erin Walsh -- explains. "You have to make sure that when you walk out of the house that you feel good about yourself."
Opting for classic elegance over trends of the moment, Washington says her secret to crush-worthy style success is simple: Become BFFs with a tailor you trust. "Everybody needs to have a really good tailor! That's the biggest thing. It's unfortunate that women feel that in the store things should fit perfectly because that's when you leave feeling like you're imperfect in some way. And it's not true!" says Washington. "Everybody should have a good tailor because everybody's body is different."
Washington also strives to come up with a fashion story when she's dressing for a specific season or event, telling The Hollywood Reporter she collaborates with stylist Walsh to search for those jaw-dropping dresses that'll keep fashionistas talking. "Is it a fashion 'moment' or not?" says the star, citing the equestrian print white Giles gown she wore to the London premiere of Django Unchained (accessorized with Christian Louboutin heels, of course) as one big style win.
Always hitting it out of the park in outfits from Prada, J Mendel and Giambattista Valli, Washington is an open book when it comes to fashion, her stylist tells Glamour. "Kerry is pretty open to at least trying everything," says Walsh. "It might not work sometimes and we only see it in a fitting, but she is always game to try!"