There are three characteristics to a must-have red carpet dress for a one Toni Braxton. The dress must have an extremely high slit, as the more thigh (and maybe a little booty meat) exposed the better. If not that, the dress must be low-cut in the front. And when all else fails, there at least have to be some sheer panels on it to let her show some skin, without showing so much skin.
The Grammy-winning singer, who turns 53 today, stuck to this script for years, rocking a number of eye-popping looks that would go on to become iconic, and sometimes infamous. Looking back now, Braxton admits that what she confidently rocked in the past, she wouldn’t dare try in the present.
“Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m 50, especially when it comes to fashion,” she said in 2018. “Not that I can’t still pull off that midriff, but maybe it’s not as appropriate as when I was 20.”
But all that doesn’t mean that our good sis doesn’t still know how to turn heads. Hit the flip to check out the birthday girl’s most jaw-dropping gowns from over the years.
Toni picked up her Grammy in this unforgettable, revealing look at the 2001 show. It’s up there in the fashion books with Jennifer Lopez’s Grammy gown in being chic and shocking at the same time.
Toni Braxton with Grammy backstage at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2001. Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect
We told you Toni loves a good sheer gown. This one that she wore to the Evening of Stars event in 2015 was risque, but not too much thanks to all the embroidering.
ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 12: Recording artist Toni Braxton attends An Evening of Stars at Atlanta Civic Center on April 12, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)
With her man Birdman by her side, Toni opted for two of her faves, a sheer dress and a high slit, for the 2016 BET Awards.
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 26: Singer Toni Braxton poses for pictures in the press room during the 2016 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
Now this look was super sheer, while also managing to have some sparkle. She opted for this gown at the Grammy Awards in 2019.
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 10: Toni Braxton backstage during the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)
Come on velvet and shoulder pads! The star wore this low-cut, deep blue ensemble while stepping out for the 24th annual NAACP Theatre Awards in 2014.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – NOVEMBER 17: Toni Braxton arrived at the 24th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards at Saban Theatre on November 17, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)
This particular look encompassed all three of the criteria necessary for a Toni Braxton gown. The slit was so high the dressed turned into a bodysuit. It was low-cut. In addition to all that, as you can see, sheer madness.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 25: (L-R) LaTrice Burnette, Eric Wong, Toni Braxton, Darcus Beese, Kenneth Crear and Jermi attend the Primary Wave x Island Records Pre-Grammy Party at 1 Hotel on January 25, 2020 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Island Records)
You can’t see the slit that this dress, worn to the 2005 BET Awards, has. We would add to the criteria a bonus feature though — Toni loves backless gowns, too. This dress was so low-cut in the back that she showcased a peek of butt crack.
Toni Braxton during 2005 BET Awards – Arrivals at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Two go-to features in one gown: low-cut in the front and a high slit. The beauty wore this look to the American Music Awards in 1997. It was an early peek into the racier looks she would try out as her career progressed.
Toni Braxton during The 24th Annual American Music Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
The lady in red. That’s who Toni was when she sported this bold dress to The Carousel Hope Ball in 2000. It was so low-cut in the front that most of the images from that event of Toni, but not the one above, had a whole nip-slip going on that she either didn’t notice or didn’t care about.
THE CAROUSEL HOPE BALL (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
Her spicy ensembles aren’t only resigned to red carpets. Even when she performs, whether at award’s shows or on tour, Toni goes for daring dresses on stage, too. Take for example this sheer, peek-a-boo number worn on stage in 2016.
HOLLYWOOD, FL – OCTOBER 26: Toni Braxton performs onstage at Hard Rock Live! in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on October 26, 2016 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Johnny Louis/WireImage)