Katharine McPhee's Red Carpet Style Evolution

Our February cover girl, Katharine McPhee, has come a long way since being named American Idol's fifth season runner-up. She's released three albums, starred opposite Anna Faris in The House Bunny (one of those feel-good comedies we can't help but watch every single time it airs) and established herself as a bona fide TV superstar with a leading role on NBC's Smash. And as her star has risen, Katharine's also stepped up her style game, trading bootcut jeans and super-short minidresses for glamorous gowns by Donna Karan and Dolce & Gabbana. Click through to witness just how dramatically her look has evolved over the past six years.

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Back in her American Idol days, Katharine was all about flared denim and "going-out tops." Cute and youthful, sure—but not quite worthy of her killer voice and fab figure.

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Jewel tones are generally flattering—except when they come in the form of an overly-ruched satin dress.

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Kat's hair looked fantastic at the 2006 Billboard Music Awards, and we like the softly-draped neckline and classic peeptoe pumps—but that hemline could stand to be a few inches longer, no?

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That's better! At a 2007 Golden Globes party, Katharine showcased her curves in one of the most va-va-voom LBDs we've ever seen. Ah, the magic of savvy draping.

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At the premiere of The House Bunny in 2008, Kat went for an ultra-feminine look—from the sweet white ruffled dress to those blunt-cut bangs. Lovely.

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Holy hair change, Batman! Katharine paired her new peroxide-blond crop with a sexy, strappy lavender gown in 2009.

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In this shimmering Moschino LBD, Katharine went for a rockabilly vibe in early 2010.

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At the 2012 Golden Globe Awards, the singer and actress left us speechless in this stunning nude Donna Karan dress—the first of many top-notch red carpet looks.

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The Smash star was an absolute knockout in this coral sequined Elie Saab at the 2012 Met Gala.

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This past May, Katharine looked flawless in this floral Dolce & Gabbana dress at the NBC Upfront Presentation. Those sideswept waves are the perfect finishing touch.

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