How to Score the Oscar Red Carpet Look for Less

So you just watched Hollywood's finest strut down the Oscar red carpet. They consulted dozens of people, spent weeks getting ready, and assembled ensembles worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, all so they could pose and party for a couple of hours.

It's a good thing you don't have to work that hard to get the same results.

With the help of innovative online retailers, A-list stylist tips and some pretty amazing feats of spandex, you too can shine like an Oscar star at your next big event. Because, let's face it – for those of us in the real world, turning heads at that upcoming birthday, wedding, reunion or party is a bigger deal than any Hollywood awards ceremony.

SLIDESHOW: Oscar 2010 Red Carpet

Below, check out how to recreate a red carpet look for less:

The Dress

From the moment a dress makes its debut on the Oscar red carpet, designers for brands like A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz start sketching, racing to get lower-cost replicas into stores in time for prom and wedding high season. Among the 2010 Oscar gowns bound to inspire knockoffs: Sandra Bullock's shimmering Marchesa, Cameron Diaz's beaded Oscar de la Renta and Zoe Saldana's purple Givenchy.

But you don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars to wear an Oscar-worthy dress. Sites like Rent the Runway, which launched in November 2009, and Wear Today, Gone Tomorrow, which will celebrate its one-year anniversary this month, let members borrow designer creations for up to one week for fees as low as $30. Determined to don Dior? Got it bad for Badgely Mischka? Fulfill your fashion fantasies without buyer's remorse. It's free to join both sites and for a limited time, Rent the Runway is offering readers instant access to their collection. Click here to sign up and check out their styles.

The Body

Yoga and pilates, cardio and weights, blah, blah, blah. We all know celebrities work their tails off year-round. But no matter your workout routine, if you're wearing a strapless or sleeveless gown, make time for one pre-red carpet routine before getting dressed:

"I always recommend 12 push-ups and 30-seconds to a minute of jump rope -- repeat three or four times," said celebrity trainer Kacy Duke, who has whipped Julianne Moore, Rachel Weiss, Iman, Gwen Stefani and more stars into shape. "It works the upper body and it gives you a really good sweat and a nice warm up before getting ready for the big day."

And it's not just the hours of sweat that make stars look svelte on the red carpet. They get by with a little help from their friend, the girdle.

"Every woman needs an undergarment. I don't care how skinny you are, you need an undergarment," said celebrity stylist Jessica Paster, whose past clients included Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron, Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts.

Paster swears by Victoria's Secret's Slimtastic, which shrinks the body from high waist to thigh.

"I put one on and it took three inches off my waist," Paster added. "Who doesn't want three inches off their waist?"

The Hair

Severe buns and tight curls used to be de rigueur on the red carpet. But these days, Hollywood hair's not so hard. Ethereal and romantic, let down and mussed up, the most popular styles require relatively little work.

"If you're going for the romantic waves, blow dry the hair straight and spray it with a bit of hairspray so it has some texture, some hold," said Louise O'Connor, head of New York's OC 61 salon. "Then, twist small chunks around a curling iron, break up the curls with your fingers, and spray it again. Don't fuss with the hair after that -- fussing is what makes it frizzy."

Of course, sometimes the frizz factor is beyond your control – drizzle and downpours, humidity and heat can turn the sleekest style into a puff ball. When weather threatens, O'Connor wards against frizz with FULL by Living Proof's thickening cream. It's the product that Emily Blunt and Leona Lewis put in their hair before hitting January's Golden Globes -- when the rain came pouring over the red carpet, their hair held up, and they partied down.