Jessica Brown-Findlay at the “Warhorse” Premiere

Posted on January 10, 2012

Oh dear. Lady Sybil doesn’t quite know how to dress herself without help.

Jessica Brown Findlay attends the premiere of “War Horse” in London.

We chose these pictures because she looks pretty and because the Downton-philes are a rather large group of kittens and they just can’t seem to shut up about the show. But the more we looked at her here, the more we realized she looks pretty because she is pretty, not because she’s dressed well.

The red is a pretty color on her, but she’s 22 and this dress is pretty frumpy for someone so young. You’re a hot young actress having a fantastic year because your TV show is an international hit and now you’re at the premiere of a Spielberg film. A perfect time to dress like a Sunday School teacher, amirite? And if the sort of pretty/frumpy dress wasn’t sending enough mixed signals, this little English teacup of a girl is sporting a pair of ho shoes that look like they belong to Cleopatra Jones. Sweetie, if you can’t afford a ladies maid, a stylist is the way to go, because neither of them would ever have let you leave the house sporting a pair of shoes that look like they belong in a bin at the Goodwill or on someone in an overnight holding cell.

[Photo Credit: Tim Whitby/Getty Images, Landmark/PR Photos]

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  • Yikes it looks like she went to the Goodwill store, or to her grandmother’s spare bedroom closet, to find something to wear.  How does this happen to a pretty 22 year old?!

    Now that i look at it again, the Lawrence Welk show comes to mind…

    • Anonymous

      Lawrence Welk…YES! She’s a pair of tiny little hands and a five-head away from being Dooneese, here.

    • Haha! I was thinking my grandma would love that dress!

    • Anonymous

      …”grandmother’s spare bedroom closet”…I should have looked at the comments before I posted. I said Grandma’s closet, too. 

      You really hit it on the head with Lawrence Welk. Exactly.

  • Anonymous

    The color is so great on her but everything else is awful. Love the makeup.

  • Sara__B

    Young Miss Brown-Findlay is gorgeous — even my curmudgeonly husband, totally lost watching Downton Abbey for the first time Sunday, was smitten by her — but this is indeed a frumpy dress. And those shoes! Crushed velvet ankle strap platforms with metal antlers? Oh dear.

  • Anonymous

    A perfect dress to meet your boyfriend’s grandparents and attend midnight Christmas mass with them.

    • Anonymous

      And perfect shoes for what you intend to do to him after the grandparents are gone.

  • CQAussie

    She is a pretty girl and my fave Downton lady but yikes, that is not a good dress for her.  I love the colour on her but that is about it.  It’s a bit….granny….isn’t it?  And the shoes….bloody awful.

  • “overnight holding cell” – tee hee!

  • I think she’s the most beautiful of all the women in the Downton cast.  Yes the outfit, hair and makeup are atrocious but she has a good foundation to start over and get it right the next time. 

  • Jessica Rowe

    She doesn’t look like herself!

  • Anonymous

    What is going on with her hair? Ouch.

  • Crushed velvet wedges make me nostalgic for the 90s.

    • foodycat

      Or the 70s. My aunt had a pair in blue in about ’76 and god I wanted those shoes.

  • Anonymous

    It also looks like she has old very chipped polish on her toes?

    • Anonymous

      Another reason to miss hose. They make your legs look good and  your toes, well, you can’t really see them!

      • Hose would have certainly concealed her splotchy legs (as well as that nice inch long vertical cut on her right shin). 

  • Anonymous

    I had that dress about 40 years ago.

  • Shoulda had a V-8! She’s a bit….leany…

    But what a gorgeous girl she is! And I lover her in Downton.

    • Sophie Collier

      Good, I’m not the only one who noticed she seems to be tipping over to the left.

  • Even the jewelry is frumpy… Too bad. Really pretty girl. 

  • Anonymous

    sisterwife streetwalker…….

  • Anonymous

    Oh, dear.  Oh, my.

    Quite a tragedy.  A frumpy dress that makes her look fat, a pair of shoes that should be killed with fire, a bad pedicure, and legs that require hosiery.  On a woman who is breathtakingly beautiful.

  • It looks so much like the Rooney Mara dress from earlier today that everyone raved about, but it’s off somehow.  I don’t think that neckline is very flattering on her because she doesn’t have the typical scrawny neck bobblehead that a lot of the actresses have.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, it’s not the dress here but rather the styling and the hair.  Loose, wavy hair and better shoes would have made this dress work.

  • Anonymous

    cringe-worthy — so sad for such a pretty girl! 

  • Christina Brennan

    She is pretty but everything about what she’s wearing is hiddy.  The dress, the SHOES oh god the shoes, and her makeup are not attractive.

  • Gah. Pretty 22-year-old shouldn’t be wearing a dress that looks exactly like the one I wore when I was the maid of honor in my mother’s wedding in 1982. Same sheer sleeves, same neckline, same belt, the whole smash. Except mine was teal blue.  I even had a necklace like that. Unfortunately, I think I sent it to the Goodwill long ago. Too bad. I could have still been wearing it. Who knew?

  • Color is great – style of the dress is way too old for her.

  • Anonymous

    i actually said “AHHH!” aloud when i saw the closeup of the shoes.

  • MilaXX

    That dress should be given to Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren. The shoes look like a pair of Huggy Bear’s old cast offs.  Good color for her, bad everything else.

    • foodycat

      It is exactly Meryl Streep’s dress! But she is very pretty from the neck up.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, that’s traditional British frumpy! We’re really good at it 🙂

  • Anonymous

    yes, frumpy is the word. and those sleeves look weird. kinda dig the shoes, in a campy-fabulous way, tho.

  • Anonymous

    I’m wondering if they just don’t use stylists over there. There, actors don’t get paid nearly as much as they do here, and they also aren’t as caught up in the trappings of Hollywood. 

    Over here, most of the actresses who look good on the red carpet have designers giving them clothes and stylists dressing them up. It’s sort of like the fashion/red carpet equivalent of steroid use.


  • Pennymac

    *shoes on someone in a holding cell over night* Snort! Hahaha!

    (Edited to add that I work in a place with a holding cell) Haha uhum, gasp, *wipes tear*

  • Anonymous

    I think O’Brien picked out this outfit for her.  

  • Anonymous

    Oh, my.  Girl, we had such high expectations.

  • Different belt, better shoes, sexier hair, and this would have worked.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, I think a wide, striking belt would have made this work just fine.  And I actually like the shoes, but only to wear with jeans.  But then, they remind me of Kork-Ease platforms and I’m a sucker for those…

      • Anonymous

        And yes, better hair, yipes…

      • Anonymous

        Good thought about a wider belt.  I’m in a minority in thinking the dress is quite pretty but the hair and shoes did her in.

  • Anonymous

    Oh dear, are those crushed velvet shoes?  D:

  • Judy_J

    Her legs make a strong case for the return of nude hose.  Looks like she ran through a briar patch on the way to the premiere.  And that dress looks like it would be perfect for the grandmother of the bride.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s cut her some slack. Maybe she wanted to relax with a little ballroom dancing after the premiere. 

    What a pretty girl she is, in spite of the frump.

  • Marie Dees

    Oh, I don’t know. It would downright daring if she were Margret Thatcher. Maybe she’s just channeling Lady Sybil’s political side. 

  • She’s having a Downton hangover–except that she couldn’t find the right style of shoe for that dress! If she wanted to go that vintage, she should’ve gone all. the. way. Otherwise she really is beautiful, but yes. Get thee to a stylist.

  • bloodshothalfblind

    holy fuck are those shit-brown crushed velvet open-toe platform sandals?!?! with a red dress?!?  who did this craziness to her?  

  • Anonymous

    Howdy dowdy.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s fabulous. I teach high schoolers, and clothing like this is quite popular now. She looks fresh and cute. Well done, Sybil.

  • As somebody who has taught Sunday School for several years, I object to that comparison…passionately!  =)

  • Anonymous

    If I’m not mistaken, my mother wore that dress to my Junior High School graduation. Needless to say, she was NOT 22 at the time. She also didn’t further frumpify the look with a dowdy updo.

  • Anonymous

    If I’m not mistaken, my mother wore that dress to my Junior High School graduation. Needless to say, she was NOT 22 at the time. She also didn’t further frumpify the look with a dowdy updo.

  • Anonymous

    What a shame. What a sweet, pretty face, so much potential. She needs help.

  • Anonymous

    the dress looks like a cheesy but moderately [not inexpensively] priced knock-off of various fabulous early 70s items, as per: it looks like radley though not ossie clark for radley. neither cheap nor daring, something someone who either didnt want or couldnt afford [or both] the actual item so bought something reminiscent of it in the same store, c1971.

    the shoes look like cheesy & inexpensively priced knock-offs of other, similar knock-offs made around the same time. once in awhile you see very similar shoes on ebay–although usually theyre blue–too heavy velvet covering too heavy platform heels.

    hereupon, however, i dont know who made any of this stuff or when & i have no idea why she’s wearing it.

    edited for grammar & typos, i am really tired.

  • Call me Bee

    Oh my.  This woman is 22 years old??!?   Frumpy indeed.  I like the idea of this dress for someone like myself–more mature (cough, cough…) But all I can think of is Diane Keaton wering this dress in the movie “Sleeper”–34 years ago!!  

  • Anonymous

    Not great, no. BUT she looked gorgeous on the Jonathan Ross show at Christmas, so she can do it.

  • Anonymous

    She looks like a hostess in a family style restaurant in Amish country

  • Anonymous

    OMG She looks like a Mormon.  A 1982 Mormon.  And her legs look like she’s been playing in the yard with a pack of puppies.  Nope.  

  • Anonymous

    The color is so pretty on her. Too bad she raided Grandmama’s closet.

  • Jessica Goldstein

    Oh my. I agree with all you have said and would like to add that I also hate the hair and makeup. She’s a beautiful woman; it’s almost shocking how wrong this whole look (save the color) is for her.

  • Anonymous

    Ditch the sleeves and the jewelry, edgier belt, non-ridiculous shoes, aaaaand we’re good.

  • fallen_ikon

    with better tailoring the dress might’ve worked for her. If it had fitted elbow-length sleeves, a wider belt, and a more fitted bodice, it would probably have looked a heck of a lot better.

    The shoes, though…nothing can save those..and she needs some hose to hide whatever it is she’s done to her legs. I can’t tell if it’s the red reflecting off the carpet and the dress onto her skin or if she’s sporting some bruises in addition to the scrapes, but whatever it is doesn’t look good.

  • Anonymous

    I’m 47 and I wouldn’t wear that dress because of its frumpiness potential. She really needed to add some edge or funk to this to make it work (big statement jewelry, edgier shoes, hair, makeup…).

    Damn she is pretty, though. It it to her credit that she still glows in this get-up.

  • Lisa

    Yeah, that’s a Gran dress.  Not good.

  • Anonymous

    That photographer needs to learn to hold his camera straight.  She looks about to tip over in all the pictures.  This is an almost.  I don’t mind the hair, but the closeup of her face makes me think of Stockard Channing.

  • Anonymous

    When I was 22 the only way to get me into that dress would be to put a gun to my head. 

  • Sarah Thomas

    Yes, because no 22 year olds ever shop at the Goodwill or admire the aesthetic of those who do. 

  • She’s so pretty, but that dress is totally frumps.

  • Hmm, I sort of don’t mind the dress, with some killer shoes and a wicked pose it might have worked in a sort of disco way…with better hair and make up too…so if she changed everything it could work. I give up. Out – wait is this an in or out?

  • Anonymous

    What’s with the Goodwill hate?? I just found a fabulous Christian Dior jacket at my local Goodwill and never leave without some awesome piece of clothing. I am not sure where she found those velour shoes and dreadful dress, but it wasn’t Goodwill!!

  • Anonymous

    This is a dress for Meryl Streep.  Not for Jessica Brown Findlay.  

  • Anonymous

    She is such a pretty girl, I don’t mind the dress so much.  The shoes do look tired and cheap though and I think her hair down and loose would have served the dress much better.  A pair of gold strappy snadals and she would hve been fine.  I still love her….

  • She needs help – manny, pedi (for sure!), hair, her make-up is god-awful. She is SO gorgeous on DA – help her Stylist Gods! Help her!

  • Anonymous

    Girl ten. Everything she is wearing, two.

  • Oh, I thought those were a pretty metallic at first.


  • Anonymous

    So not her dress.  Not sure who’s dress it is – maybe Betty White?  At the risk of also sounding like an old frump, while there was not much they could do for the outfit, a pair of nude hose would have evened out the skintone on the legs a bit.  (Perhaps she kept in character and shaved with a straight razor?)  

  • Her neck is too thick for that kind of neckline, thats why stylists are supposed to guide…..