Jessica Chastain Needs a Style Intervention

Posted on February 23, 2012

Our hearts really go out to Jessica (as much as they can for a well-paid Oscar nominee living the high life and wearing an endless succession of free clothes worth more than our car). It just that the girl, bless her, has got to be one of the least consistent red carpet denizens we’ve encountered in ages, veering back and forth wildly from looking pretty good to looking like a disaster. We don’t know if it’s a case of a new star trying to figure out her style, a lack of a stylist, or the hiring of more than one stylist which is causing it, but sometimes, she looks like an entirely different person in appearances only a day or two apart.



Jessica Chastain attends a celebration for the 40th anniversary of Sir Charlie Chaplin’s honorary Academy Award in an Elie Saab gown.

Elie Saab Spring 2012 Collection/Daga Ziober (ELITE)

Putting a redhead in a brilliant green gown isn’t exactly the newest idea in the world but there’s a reason it’s such a classic look: it works like crazy. Her makeup and hair are good, but not great.

“Good, but not great” seems to be the high end of the scale for her; the best she can shoot for 9 times out of ten. We think she can do better, but these ladystars are stubborn and don’t always listen to our shrieking.

But really, that’s a whole ‘nother discussion. Let’s talk about what happens when she hits the low end of the style scale. Brace yourselves.

Jessica Chastain attends the Vanity Fair and Juicy Couture ‘Vanities’ 20th Anniversary in an Alexander McQueen dress.

Alexander McQueen Spring 2012 Collection/Sara Blomqvist (VIVA)

YES! That is the SAME person! Swear to god! Except unlike before, where she looked pretty good, here she looks disastrously bad. Is this  perhaps another case of MPD on the RC? Is this her angry alter? Because she sure looks pissed to us. Then again, who wouldn’t be pissed if they went out with their boobs looking like two grapefruits in a sack, chav hair, no eye makeup, clunky shoes and in a suit that clearly belongs to someone else?

Sweetie, may we suggest that experimentation with your style is off the table for now? You need to establish a look and sell that look every time you go out. You’re not a household name yet and if you continue looking like an entirely different person every time you dress up, you never will be. Stick with the uncomplicated pretty-girl dresses with soft hair and makeup for now. McQueen is not for you. Neither is the chav hair.

[Photo Credit: Michael Buckner, Frederick M. Brown, David Livingston/Getty Images,]

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  • That McQueen suit looks horrendous on her. Anyone with boobs would look god-awful in that.

    • tired_mommy

      I can’t imagine anyone who would fit the cut of that suit. The weird high waist doesn’t even look good on the model really.

    • Ms_Flyover

      Actually, the first dress looks off, too, since it is made for someone who is a negative A cup (slightly indented rather than having a chest with positive dimensions.)  There’s so much wrong with the second look, I can’t narrow it to the chest area.

    • Yes. That’s her thing maybe, for I don’t think the Elie Saab works with boobs, too.

      • miwome

         I dunno, he worked pretty well with Halle Berry’s. (I recognize that Halle does not have the biggest boobs in the world, but they are noticeably there. And Jessica Chastain’s are no bigger.)

  • That McQueen dress isn’t for ANYONE- it looks like a couch with ugly upholstery mated with a tacky ruffled lampshade.

  • CPK1

     nooooooooo Jessica. Terrible. And sporting the Croydon facelift too!

    • P M

       Croydon facelift?! 😀 What’s that?

      • introspective

        its the high slicked back ponytail that pulls your hair so hard it looks like a facelift.  

  • isn’t that FloWe?  haha.  Honestly, I like her face better with the second photo’s styling….she has dramatic features, she needs to werq that.  But that McQueen ensemb is not doing her any favors and she looks way too severe.  She either needs a stylist or a new one. 

  • Pupioso

    Ugh. Honestly I did not care of either look. The first dress and look was “meh” for me but that second one was hideous.  You guys are right though, at least her hair was done right on the first look. That made it passable.

  • Sam Corbett

    Her style makes me sad. This is her year! She starred in literally every movie made this year and has walked the commensurate number of red carpets! And THIS is what she’s learned to serve up? Please, TLo – give her some unsolicited advice and outfit suggestions, and FAST.

  • From one extreme to another.  Disaster. 

  • nancy

    Just awful. I’m not crazy about the green dress either, but the whole second look is terrible.

  • I agree 100%. BUT. If someone proffered up some McQueen for me to wear- even if I knew I’d look like crap in it- I would still be terribly tempted to wear it anyway. I mean, who says no to McQueen? I don’t know that I could do it! But this McQueen is not the McQueen for her. 

  • (gasping for breath)  YIKES.  The things she does to that McQueen suit! Not a one of them is good.  Wrong style, shape, proportions, patterns, colors and length for her.  If she spent years of trying, she would be hard pressed to find a more “Honey that is not your dress” moment.  The Elle Saab dress?  Lovely and effortless looking on her.  Her hair should ahve been more controlled with that look, though, and much more dramatic make up.

  • Bridget212323

    I don’t get the hype, she’s good but not THAT good. I can think of other actresses i’d rather see on screen and on the red carpet. You’re right though – she needs to go the Renee Zellweger route for a while and wear one designer or the same shape til she can ‘break the rules’. Not everyone can pull off haute couture like Cate Blanchett. 

  • the McQueen is terrible on her. I love her a lot— she’s a fantastic actress, but I pray to god that she turns out in something great for the Oscars.

    • The Oscars!  Am I the only one that doesn’t give a damn who wins what awards but will keep refreshing my browser the next day and waiting anxiously for TLo’s posts to see who wore what?  It’s ALL about the fashion, dahlings.

  • nannypoo

    When it already looks bad on the model, don’t even try.

  • butterflysunita

    You can tell from the expression on her face in the photos that she knows when she looks good and when she doesn’t.  The smile on her face in that first picture makes her look even prettier.

  • TAGinMO

    Whatever happened to “If We Were Her Gays”? I think she’d be an excellent subject for the re-launch of this feature.

  • Judy_J

    That McQueen dress looks unbelievably bad on her.  And those ghastly shoes!  It’s going to take some doing to remove that image from my brain.

  • crash1212

    Best dressed person in these photos is the blonde in the black dress behind Jessica, third picture down. Maybe Jessica could go home with her and they could discuss style. Better yet, perhaps she should’ve tackled her and switched dresses.

  • I don’t believe you… she must have an angry sister who looks vaguely similar and just wanted to be on the red carpet… There’s no way that’s the same person!

  • lrhoff

    Oh good grief….seriously?

  • CassandraMortmain

    That McQueen dress is simply hideous.   It wouldn’t look good on anybody but especially anyone with breasts, as she so clearly has.  And she compounds the error with the horrible shoes, hair and lack of makeup.

    Love the Elie Saab dress.  She looks gorgeous in it.  I hope she can pull off something decent for the Oscars because she really is quite beautiful and is a fine actress to boot.  I read that she, along with Rooney Mara, is highly sought after by the design houses.  They all want her to wear their clothes.  If so, they need to help her choose the right dress and help her with the styling.  Otherwise, she’s just going to make their work look like crap.

  • CatherineRhodes

    Hate the McQueen dress, hate the green one too. She should hire Rachel Zoe as a stylist.

  • vmcdanie

    She looks pretty in the green dress but even there, something about the big boobs and the intimation of sheerness make it a little vulgar for me. I don’t feel that way when I look at the model.

    She has some fashion boob issues.

    (I do not, for the record, hate boobs. I have boobs. I just dislike seeing them flopping about and vulnerable in the big wide open unless they are sliding down a stripper pole.)

  • minnye

    Great advice, per usual.

  • serenitynow02

    I don’t like either one. She has chosen two dresses that are meant for boobless, ultra skinny models. On anyone else, they miss the mark. And that McQueen is especially hideous.

    • another_laura

      I dunno, I think I disagree on whether the dresses can be work by anyone other than ‘boobless, ultra skinny models.’  The Saab dress would look good on many women (although I couldn’t pull off the color) and the McQueen just isn’t a good look, period, end of sentence.

  • Anathema_Device

    That McQueen is somehow aging her. Maybe it is the way it gives her old-lady boobs. I do think the MqQueen could have worked, with the right fit, hoisting, and styling…but I guess that is your point. She needs a stylist to help her with such things.

    She is absolutely stunning in that green gown. Wow.

    She seems like someone who is playing with fashion a bit now that she access to the really great stuff. I think she can work it out. If she wants to. She has a body that works with a multitude of styles.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Oh, god, I think the gown is terrible. As a light-skinned redhead, I’ve learned that it can’t be just any green; it has to be the right green, and this one isn’t it. 

    Well, look, you’ve launched Jennifer Aniston, so you can take up Jessica now.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Both of the looks aren’t good. I’m sorry, but any dress that calls for a nipple pasty intervention is not a good dress.

    I think it’s a classic case of “jumping over the pupik”. She’s still new to the RC, and she jumped several stardom scales up inhumanly fast. This calls for a really experienced stylist to reign her in, and she obviously doesn’t have one.

  • Good analysis.  I like her in the green (in the second picture she looks like my daughter-in-law! or vice-versa, anyway, lovely smile) though maybe she needs some jewelry. The McQueen look is bizarre. Perhaps she is just so deep-dyed an actress that she is willing to take on any “role” or disguise…? She is so beautiful it seems a waste that she can’t play Jessica Chastain consistently.

  • Snailstsichr

    The green is one of the best looks I’ve seen from her in a while and I agree with you that it is good but not great. Usually I look at her and all I see is squandered potential. Her fairy godmother needs to give her a stylist – or send her a link to your blog. Or at the very least give her a full length mirror. The sadness needs to go away.

  • Wait–theres a celebration for an anniversary of Charlie Chaplin’s Honorary Oscar??!?!  This is something to have a big formal party?   

    • twocee

       I did a double-take on that one too.  They’ll throw a party and stick a red carpet on anything these days.

  • lilibetp

    Maybe her stylist needs to read “Looking Your Best with Color Me Beautiful.”  Putting a redhead in silver should really be illegal.

  • “difficult color, green” and some other pithy Maggie Smith line to go with the other one.

    • schadenfreudelicious

      ” i cannot find the words to say how i feel” or…”now i’ve seen everything”….

  • JDreesen

    oh good heavens – two grapefruits in a sack?!  are you two trying to get me to change my avatar again??

  • Jessi03

    She might be ready for a “If We were her Gays” post…

  • jw_ny

    omg…girl should have worn the head veil with that McQueen dress, so nobody would recognize her.  disastrous, head to toe!  

  • guestela

    Boy, if there’s one theme uniting these looks, it’s: PLEASE LOOK AT MY BREASTS! 

  • cluecat

    Hmmm.  The green dress seems matronly.  Maybe it’s the lace, which oddly dips down past the decolletage.  (I’m surprised people aren’t complaining about her unsupported boobs!!)  It looks a lot better on the model, too, like it would be perfect for someone older and very thin, like Iman.  Skinny belts are pretty unforgiving.  The make-up is a bit powder-y and the hair a bit frumpy, but, overall she looks OK.

    In the second look, I don’t hate her make up as much as TLo.  She is wearing eye makeup, it’s just much lighter than the typical black dark/brown eyeliner.  A light, natural touch on the eyes for blonds and fair skinned redheads with a brighter lipcolor can be pretty interesting – it was used often on ’90s runways.  I guess it’s just a matter of taste.  The hair is horrible, and is the top part of the suit.  I agree that it’s more of a couture piece and doesn’t really fit anyone’s body type.  I like the skirt, though, and with a different top and shoes it might have worked.

    And, to all the boob snarking (old lady boobs!  grapefruits in a sack!) These are what normal, large natural breasts look like.  Agree that she needs some support, but let’s focus on the clothes and leave the ladies alone.  

    • TheOtherChristina

      I really don’t think “grapefruits in a sack” was meant to criticize her body at all. The illusion is created by the garment.

      • cluecat

        Well, I think there are ways to describe unflattering looks that don’t disparage the body part, and normally TLO takes the high road.  For example, they would never say, “unfortunately that gown makes Gabourey Sidibe look like she swallowed two pillows.”  There are better, more tasteful ways to address ill fitting garments.

        • TheOtherChristina

          Gabby Sidibe is fat. And there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that.

          Nobody is saying Jessica Chastain has saggy tits. People are saying that the shape of the neckline creates the illusion of saggy tits. Nobody’s even saying there’s anything wrong with saggy tits. They’re saying that a garment which gives someone the appearance of saggy tits, especially to someone who does not have saggy tits, is an unfortunate garment.

          And now the phrase “saggy tits” has lost all meaning.

          • k op

             It’s not the dress, it’s the lack of a bra…or a good bra.  The dress would be sensational with good posture and good undergarments.

          • TheOtherChristina

            Do you mean the Elie Saab? Totally agree. I think she looks pretty fab as-is but would look even better with a little more lift and definition in the bust.

            I think the sack of grapefruits in question was the McQueen, though. And there is no bra powerful enough to save that suit.

  • Stefanos Mantyla

    That McQueen is meant only for professional dress-wearers. Who else could make that work in real life?

  • Jessica Goldstein

    Oof. I don’t love the green dress; specifically I don’t care for the lace placement or the belt. But she overall looks really pretty and comfortable in it, so it’s a good look for her. The McQueen, though, is a disaster. I can see it on Cate Blanchett or Tilda Swinton, but I don’t think it’s a dress for a pretty young thing still finding her style. Especially not when the color is off for her, the shoes all wrong, and the fit and cut doing violence to a nice figure.

  • elleg929

    Absolutely could not believe that was the same person.  Yikes.

  • formerlyAnon

    You remember the Olympics when one of the Eastern European countries put their female athletes in floral dresses/suits that made them look like a cartoon of a mid-century British char on a bus outing to the shore? (Americans of the right age, think of the Mrs. Harris books by Paul Gallico.)

    This looks as if they were informed that the money ran out and they’d have to earn their food money & return fare by hooking.

  • granddelusion

    Girlfriend needs a good bra, no matter what she wears.

  • jenno1013

    Not going to discuss the suit or the hair, but I really prefer her with less eye makeup than more.  The lack of eyeliner allows the her-ness of her face to really show.  With heavy eyeliner, she looks generic.

  • girliecue

    For the love of Oprah, Hollywood press, stop trying to make Jessica Chastain happen!

  • another_laura

    “brace yourselves” – just ruined yet another keyboard.  Thanks, TLo, for the morning giggle!

  • another_laura

    “brace yourselves” – just ruined yet another keyboard.  Thanks, TLo, for the morning giggle!

  • MilaXX

    Wow the green is a really good look for her, but that McQueen is horrendously bad. It’s barely working for the model, what on earth made her or her stylist think she she could wear it?  The person who did the hair & makeup needs to be taken out back and shot.

    • leilah

      “Taken out back and shot” works beautifully just about anywhere, but exceptionally-well here….

  • MilaXX

    Wow the green is a really good look for her, but that McQueen is horrendously bad. It’s barely working for the model, what on earth made her or her stylist think she she could wear it?  The person who did the hair & makeup needs to be taken out back and shot.

  • Kayceed

    I love me a peplum, I really do, but placement under the bust line is one of the worst design ideas I’ve seen of late.

  • TSkot

    McQueen isn’t for anybody.

  • sagecreek

    OMG, I’m pretty sure you can get that McQueen dress at Ross Dress For Less.

  • cleep1000

    My eyes! OMG, that second number is so awfully awful. How could she leave the house looking that way? A plain black tee would have looked better with that skirt.

  • PastryGoddess

    Why does she wear those ugly shoes.  How is she able to find the ugliest and chunkiest shoes in the whole city..nay the world.  Does her stylist have a hatred of the Ginge?  Is she only able to wear Dr. Scholls approved heels?  The universe must know

  • egl48

    Seems consistent — she likes to have her breasts on display.

  • HAHA!  Only in Hollywood would they have a party for the 40th anniversary of someone getting an award.  Especially someone who has been dead for 35 years.  Any excuse for a celebration, no matter how obscure!  HAHA!

    And I think that McQueen creation would look best if worn by a dumpster.

  • HAHA!  Only in Hollywood would they have a party for the 40th anniversary of someone getting an award.  Especially someone who has been dead for 35 years.  Any excuse for a celebration, no matter how obscure!  HAHA!

    And I think that McQueen creation would look best if worn by a dumpster.

  • k op

    She needs better foundation garments in both dresses.  The Saab would be just fine, actually might be great, with bigger breasts IF Jessica were wearing a better bra and something to slim her waistline.  It would take much, a little hoist and pinch.

    The McQueen isn’t going to work on anyone who wears it off the hanger.  It needs some personal, over the top, touches or it looks like granny’s bedspread.  Why hasn’t Jessica got her hands on her hips, elbows and shoulders back, and a proper bra on?  She looks so slouchy.  I’d wear that suit with hot pink or bright red accent, probably around the waistline.

    Something tells me that Chastain understand little and appreciates less about fashion.     I don’t know if her stylists can convince her to stand up straight.

  • GorgeousThings

    Jessica Chastain attends a celebration for the 40th anniversary of Sir Charlie Chaplin’s honorary Academy Award

    Okay, let’s just stop at that line. A celebration of the 40th anniversary of an honorary award??? Excuse me? That’s like celebrating the 10th anniversary of an honorary doctorate. Tinseltown, now you’re just being ridiculous.

    The less said about that McQueen with the Ood from Dr. Who peplum the better.

  • oohsparkley!

    So many are commenting that they don’t like the green dress, that I just have to say I think it’s very pretty on her and I like it. The McQueen look is tragic.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    maybe the real question is why do designers insist on creating garments that can only be worn by women as thin as the thinnest models on their runways?

    cos thats whats wrong w/ the second outfit–it doesnt translate to any woman, any bigger than the one wearing it in the runway shot. if someone the size of JC, up there, is too big for an outfit need that outfit even be made? cos the market for it is a mighty small one, no pun intended.

    although i guess JC mightve had it altered to look better. but in this case too much would only equal enough alteration. & w/ too much alteration the essence of the dress would be lost. w/o the deep squared collar & the puffy peplum, both of which JC needs to lose & quickly, what else is there? what else dramatic? anyway.

    it’s even more surprising that sarah burton would design & cut in this manner. she is not a small woman herself, not by a longshot. & she cant even wear her own clothes! why cant she, of all people, understand she needs to expand, no pun intended redux, her range?

  • Sara__B

    For a dress like the McQueen to be worn successfully, the wearer has to COMMIT. Tons of energy and attitude, great posture, practiced posing skills, proper fit, perfect styling. Jessica is just standing there, invisible inside an odd, ill-fitting gown. That is NOT her dress.

  • Susan Crawford

    I speak as a dedicated lover of McQueen here: this is a design that needs a woman really ready to werq it for all it is worth. A Daphne Guinness. A Kate Moss. A Naomi Campbell. In other words, a fearless and uber-confident woman. Jessica looks terrified of this design, and well she should, since she appears to be deflating rapidly inside it. And if someone told her the scraped-back hair would offset the complex gown, they should at least have given her the fierce headpiece.

    And yet another woman with boobage from the Acme Baby Head Company. Why, God? Why???

  • ccm800

    Honey  – you are SO far out of the skill set required to pull off McQueen…Stick with Klein until you get it right – or DVF or Kors – then work slowly towards the McQueens. 

  • miwome

    Oh, dear. I like that green thing better than I think I should–the lace boob windows are weird, and yet…I like this on her. I dunno. I really like her hair like that.

    The second, of course, is terrifying, and that scraped back ponytail is truly horrendous for her. She has very sharp features; softer hair complements her better, I think.

  • k op

     Right you are!  Yeah, I meant the Saab.  Sorry, been talking all day and my head’s a’rattling.

    I think the McQueen suffers because all you see are Chastain’s boobs. 

    Okay, imagine this suit on Le Blanchette.  Cate would have her arms winnowed behind her, or have her hands on hips, so as not to not flatten the peplum.  Chastain smashes down the peplum, so yeah all you see is boobs.

    Cate would see that this dress could outline her bust and face like a Nefertiti portrait and would leagthen her neck (I see fabulous sparkly long metal earrings)  rather than hunch over her shoulders.

    Cate would pose so the photogs could see the small fish tail slit in the back and the flair of the hem.  Then you wouldn’t notice so much boob.

    It’s not my favorite McQueen ever but it does have qualities that Chastain isn’t exploring at all.