LOS ANGELES – If it weren't for the diamond earrings, it would have been hard to tell it was the Grammys' red carpet because so many of music's top male stars opted for subdued suits instead of outrageous outfits.
And the sexy songstresses? Sure, The Pussycat Dolls showed off their legs in flirty, colorful dresses Sunday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and Hilary Duff wore a sparkly lingerie-style dress by Dolce & Gabbana, but there was nothing that came close to the scandalous looks of years' past. (Jennifer Lopez's plunging Versace V-neck in 2000 was the high point -- or low point -- of "look-at-me" fashion at the Grammys.)
Beyonce wore a champagne-colored strapless dress by Giorgio Armani Prive with crystals on the bustline and waistline, and Christina Aguilera was dressed in an Ungaro white strapless gown with purple trim around the bust and a beige ribbon around her waist. Shakira's famous body was covered in a delicate red strapless chiffon gown by Carolina Herrera.
Photo Essay: 49th Annual Grammy Awards
Raw Data: Winners at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards
And Mary J. Blige looked like an elegant star in Michael Kors' nude-colored, V-neck beaded gown with a metallic belt.
"I had this plan for about three months. I walked into a Michael Kors store, and Michael Kors' mother was there, Joan Kors, and she was having a trunk show and there were models there," Blige told The Associated Press. "And I saw the dress and said put that dress on that model. The model was built and shaped like me. I said that's my Grammy dress. Put it on hold."
All three Dixie Chicks wore simple dark gowns, although Natalie Maines had on a heavy dose of gold chains. Pink had on a sleek black sequin gown with a keyhole opening.
Ludacris, Randy Jackson and all the guys from The Fray were among those in traditional suits and ties. Ludacris perfected his three-piece banker-look suit with a yellow-and-blue tie and matching pocket square.
John Mayer traded his trademark blue jeans for an Armani tuxedo, though he kept on his Nikes.
Justin Timberlake, who is co-designer of a menswear line, showed his fashion savvy in a Prada gray one-button tuxedo with a white shirt and army green tie with gray stars.
Jamie Foxx was a little bit flashy in his silver jacket, and Akon wore white from head to toe and plenty of diamonds, which he told E! came from his own mine in Africa.
Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas had a white earpiece as an accessory to his black suit and silver tie by Yves Saint Laurent, and bandmate Fergie wore a custom-made Badgley Mischka Couture silver metallic lace mini dress with black diamond crystal embroidery.
If there was a bit of a fashion trend, it was the metallic outfits, including those worn by Carrie Underwood, Natasha Bedingfield and Petra Nemcova, who escorted jeans-wearing James Blunt.
Scarlett Johansson, a Grammys presenter, wore a navy-and-black cocktail dress with a fitted corset by Monique Lhuillier. LeAnn Rimes also wore a Lhuillier design -- a dark purple, deep V-neck gown with a turquoise-and-gold beaded waist.
Jennifer Hudson played the part of a siren in a red, formfitting halter gown by Roberto Cavalli, while Mandy Moore went the opposite route, in sort of a folksy colorful gown and loose, wavy hair.
Brooke Hogan said she designed her own skintight green gown and that she did her own hair and makeup, too. "I figured it out with a round brush and a blow dryer," she said on E!'s preshow.
There were, though, two outrageous looks: The members of OK Go covered their faces with fabric that matched their bronze-and-burgundy paisley suits, and Imogen Heap's garden outfit -- complete with lily pads on her dress and grass seemingly growing out of her hair. Heap also carried with her a toy frog called Gary the Grammy frog.
"A fabulous designer from Los Angeles got in touch with me via MySpace asking me if she could make my Grammy dress, and this is what happened," Heap said.