It turns out the best dresses came after the ceremony, namely at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California.
The proof is in the photos, and we've got nine of them below. Why these celebrities chose to swap into these looks and not wear them to the biggest award show of the year itself, we'll never know.
1. Mindy Kaling
The Mindy Project star looked physically uncomfortable in her off-the-shoulder Elizabeth Kennedy gown, like the blue cape would whisk her away to a glorious place where pantylines don't exist. Mere hours later, Kaling let her hair down and looked freaking amazing -- as in, one of the best looks we've ever seen her in -- at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. That peek-a-boo print on just one side of her low-cut Salvatore Perez gown? Brilliant.
The fairy godmother turned into the evil stepmother at midnight, and we've never been so excited to see a fairy tale go rogue. We have no idea what the German model was thinking with that fluffy chiffon Marchesa, but we do know that we're stoked about the dazzling geometric Atelier Versace she wore to the Oscars after party.
3. Alicia Vikander
Being a Belle dopplegänger was cute and all, but when the Best Supporting Actress winner swapped her pale yellow Louis Vuitton dress for a much more grown-up, low-cut black sequin number from the same design house, eyes were on way more than her gold statuette.
The sparkly, cleavage-baring strapless Marchesa gown was pretty, but it fit Vergara's M.O. almost too well. How many more times were we going to see her in a dress that could take her from Hollywood to the prom? But the shimmering white Mark Zunino gown she swapped into for the after party hugged her curves so perfectly that even Jessica Rabbit would have been jealous.
5. Rachel McAdams
The Spotlight star looked pretty in a backless jade August Getty Atelier halter gown, but she could have stopped traffic in the baby pink Naeem Khan dress she slipped into after her film won Best Picture. The low-cut neckline, sky-high slit and sparkly texture were pure perfection.
The Scandal star's leather Atelier Versace look was daring, but that racy, sequined column gown that was just barely held up by bright yellow strings she donned after the Acadmey Awards? Even Washington knew she looked fierce.
7. Jennifer Lawrence
She may not have won Best Actress for her leading role in Joy, but Lawrence still scored high marks on Oscar night. She nearly missed the red carpet for the award show, where she happily rocked a nude-and-lace tiered Dior gown once she made it there. She then did a 180, pulling a Taylor Swift in a bold, almost punky black two-piece with the requisite high slit for the Vanity Fair fête.
The royal blue hue of Larson's Gucci gown felt like the exact dress you'd expect to see on the Oscars red carpet, especially with its gem belt and ruffled skirt, but the pink velvet Grecian-inspired Monse she sported after bringing home Best Actress left the Academy Award winner positively glowing.
9. Chrissy Teigen
We are in no way knocking the pregnant model's flaweless floral-applique lined Marchesa gown, because we are in love with the look, but when it comes to glam factor, the black sequined Talbot Runhof gown she wore after the ceremony took the sparkly crown.