Girl, That’s Not Your Dress: January Jones

Posted on March 27, 2012

This is a look that brings out our inner Karen Walker, which, let’s face it, always lurks mere microns under the surface. We see something like this and we just want to blurt out, “Honey, what’s going on here? What’s all this?”

January Jones attends the premiere of Jules Massenet‘s Manon at The Metropolitan Opera House in NYC in an YSL gown.

Yves Saint Laurent Fall 2012 Collection/Model: Daria Strokous (WOMEN)


We just think she overthinks it so often. If there’s one consistent mistake she makes, it’s that. She’s improved her style tremendously during her time in the public eye and she’s even occasionally managed to get us to reconsider our long-held opinion that she should shy away from anything edgy, but when it comes down to it, half the time, we just look at her, sigh, and ask “Why, January. Just … why?”

Which isn’t to say that this is bad. We love this dress, in fact. It’s dramatic, it has an interesting shape, and the slit keeps it sexy. It just seems like … too much dress for her. She’s gorgeous, but she doesn’t have quite the bearing or stature to pull off a dress like this. We really like it from certain angles, but from straight on it looks a little monk-like on her.

Jan, toss this dress into the ocean where it will wash up in front of Angelina Jolie’s house. This shit’s right up her alley. So to speak.

[Photo Credit: Getty,]


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  • introspective

    the dress is hanging off her from the front view. it only looks like it (kinda) fits when we see her from the back. its not just that its too much dress for her in theory. its literally too much dress for her cause its about 3 sizes too big.

  • mini_d


  • Judih1

    As usual, agree with everything TLO says. You are the best fashion reviewers in the world!

  • MilaXX

    First of all Angie needs another black dress like she needs another kid, oh wait….
    Anyhoo, even with the slit and back this reads old, or maybe something for Swinton to wear. On Angie this would read sexy monk. On January it reads sexy sister wife.

  • HM3

    Beautiful, but one size too big for her.

    Also: WHERE is my Season 5 Mad Style post?! I’m losing patience!

  • SignLadyB

    It’s interesting, I know so little about fashion and yet with this dress I was able to see very clearly a lot of very good pieces. The first picture (actually the thumbnail) I said, wow–very nice. The back I said wow! Even the slit I said wow–a little high but not obscene. But oh dear, as you said, face on with the piping–uh uh! And no better on the model, either. So maybe it isn’t true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. hmmmm?

  • Sara__B

    I’m not sure why she so often picks clothes that require tons of attitude and energy when she seems cool and languid. I do like this gown with it’s demure front, open back, and high slit, but it doesn’t fit her properly, and I’m not crazy about the silver trim — it looks like a tacked-on afterthought.

    • introspective

      or just a tacky afterthought.

      • Sara__B

         Dang. I wish I’d thought of that!

        • makeityourself

          Somebody should have tacked that piece of trim across the zipper in back.  It looks like January’s dresser forgot to fasten a hook-and-eye, or else the trim is just falling off the dress.  Either way, if the back of the dress is the highlight, and you know it will be photographed, you might want to take a quick look in the mirror before you leave the house to make sure everything is in its place. Lesson learned.  

          • MoHub

            Thank you! When I saw the back view, all I wanted to do was sew a snap to the edige of that trim to make it lie flat across the zipper. It would take all of a few minutes to do and would save the look.

          • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

            Good catch, you two!  Not that it would help the front of this dress…

  • I actually rather like this entire look on her. It’s not a love situation, but then again I don’t love the dress itself.

    As for the comments on a poor fit, people are looking at the runway image for reference, right? I mean, it’s fitting January the way it’s supposed to have fit, meaning, it’s not a perfectly fitted design. It grazes the body instead of cleaving to it both on the runway and on Jan. Besides which, it’ll be a cold day in hell before celebrities, skinny as they are, are too thin for runway samples that are shown on size 0-2 models with no boobs, no butt and no hips to speak of. Too short, yes, too thin…not likely.

  • Adriana_Paula

    This seems like a dress that needs movement to work; so it’s fine on the runway, and the last photo with the slit visible looks quite nice, but just straight on and standing still, no.  So maybe not a great choice for the step and repeat?

  • Adriana_Paula

    Damn fine gams though.

    • Sartorial_She

      Interesting. I find the placement of that slit to be terribly unflattering!

  • I don’t hate it. The positives: it makes her look THIN. Like, tiny. It could be a little more fitted in the top, but it’s dramatic and stylish.  The lighting is doing it no favors: on the model, you can see the textures of the turtle neck, but on JJo it looks like one block of black. Overall, I’d give it a weak In if this were an “In or Out?” post.

  • TSkot

    I don’t think this would work on Angelina either.  Just too much.

  • I would think it could work on Uma…

    But I really don’t like the detailing in the back- it just doesn’t come together so well with the embellishment in the lower portion- either it is not clasped correctly, or it is flawed.  I think JJ attempts to go bold to stand out, the hope to make a name for herself, yet she keeps getting in a rut.  She is desperately trying to break free of the Betty mold, and yes, we get it, she is not Betty, but JJ, obviously you are not avant garde or edgy, I’m sorry to break that news.  She’s pretty and all, but she needs to find a style that is hers and she can own, not some other style that she is eagerly trying to hold on to. 

  • Glammie

    Love the dress, but so not Ms. Jones.  Funny, she’s beautiful and thin, but not all that versatile.  She just doesn’t do readily edgy.  It’s a brunette’s dress with all that black or possibly redhead or silver–but not that springtime buttery blonde. JJones should also stay away from the geometrics.  She’s just too delicate.

    Angelica Houston, at one point, could have rocked this dress.  Her features are strong enough.

    • I think that’s why there was the Morticia Addams comment by @mini_d:disqus  🙂

  • MK03

    I dunno, I feel like this ALMOST works. I think it would be tremendously improved if it was sleeveless.

  •  On her, it’s too much dress and too matronly.  ITA, TLo, she does not have the bearing or stature for a dress like this one.  Bea Arthur, OTOH, could rock this dress.

  • marilyn

    Another old lady dress on a young woman.  Did they have a meeting about this?  I am not particularly a fan of Angelina Jolie, but this dress is too old for her.  Meryl Streep might look nice in this.  

    This color is too severe for a blonde of the pale/pasty genre, anyway.    

    • I was thinking exactly Meryl Streep! She needs to try something like this instead of the sacks she gets about in.

  • I actually think this dress would work well on Hilary Swank, but not on JJ.  She just disappears in the dress.  

  • Nonnah

    I would like to see this on The Blanchette or The Swinton.

  • kingderella

    major disagree. not that i think its werq-worthy or anything, but i think its ok, especially given how jones often looks on the RC.

  • Imasewsure

    She just needs a tonsure and a big old bell to finish off the look… not good not good …

  • RonHermione42

    Agreed on all points. Also, who else heard that quotation up top in Karen Walker’s voice? 🙂

  • Lisa

    Actually, I like this on her – it’s not perfect, or fierce, but it’s a vast improvement.  Normally, I complain when she tries to go too edgy, because it’s just not her.  But this has enough interest in it, with just a hint of an edge, that it’s not too over the top for her.  Because her normal route of “Grace Kelly Tries Desperately To Be Gaultier’s Latest Muse” just doesn’t work for her.

  • I don’t like this dress at all and I tend to like Morticia type dresses.. I just feel like the embellishment around the waist implies a very saggy sadboob, even on the runway model.

  • Anathema_Device

    The back is nice, but she is totally lost it in from the front. And I don’t find the placement of that slit to be all that flattering.

  • Mildred20

    Not sure this is Angelina’s dress either, but at least she could rock the leg pose again.

  • I don’t know why it had never occurred to me before that you could legitimately nickname her “Jan” but now that’s all I’m ever going to call her.

  • cluecat

     Sometimes we all pick out clothes that may not be the best thing we could wear for our shape/coloring/age, we just like them.  
    I don’t think it looks horribly bad on her. It’s better lit on the model, showing the draping.  It may be one of those dresses that looks a lot better in person.    

    I think maybe the cold snap had her scurrying for something with sleeves.  (Even with that open back it would be warmer than a strapless!)

  • Thathoodwink

    That dress needs to lose the cowl neck. Give it a pretty neckline and it would be 100 percent better.

  • formerlyAnon

    I like this dress. But you’re right, somehow it overpowers her in a way that a dress slit almost up to her keister should not have the gravitas to accomplish. 

  • judybrowni

    That’s supposed to be a gown? From the back and side, maybe.

    It reads “starched choir robe” from the front

  • terilla

    So totally not her dress.
    Also … what is with that awful purple eyeshadow?

  • AzulFashion

    This dress reads W I N T E R.  And, it seems to be spring.  I think anyone wearing this heavy looking dress would look out of place.  

  • serenitynow02

    What a schizo dress. In the front, it’s a formal snuggy, in the back, a sexy dress.

    I don’t like dresses that cannot make up their minds.

  • FashionShowAtLunch

    This dress is wearing her.

    You can tell it would work on someone, because, well, the model is working the SHIT out of it. I still don’t love it on her, but at least I get it.

  • Pinup Ghoul

    Boring dress, but I think it’s appropriate for the venue.

    And I am so jealous. Anna Netrebko is fierce, and the Met’s whole season has been absolutely magnificent. I mean, it always has, but this season they’ve done so many great, big operas. I freaking love it. I love it so much.

  • Yup

  • funkypeanut

    This dress is amazing in how it changes based on the angle.
    Pic #1: Third wife at a Mormon funeral
    Pic #2: Showing off my home ec sewing project
    Pic #3: Atlantic City madame in candid shot while leaving the high rollers room
    That right there is an impressive range for any actress!

  • butter nut

    it looks like a sack on her.  i will never understand these millionaire starlets that run around in shitty dresses…

  • Girl, it never seems to be your dress.

  • Celandine1

    I don’t like the faux cowl effect and that slit is in a weird place, it shows too much of the back of her thigh. As others have said, the dress looks too big. I don’t even think the dress is that flattering on the model. But January’s hair here looks great and damn her skin is flawless. 

  • minnye

    The back shot is pretty great; love her hair like that.

  • altalinda

    Sorry (whispers), but I like it.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      (whispers back) I like it too!

  • this is a taller lady dress. And is fitted on the model better. 

  • this is a taller lady dress. And is fitted on the model better. 

  • Helen Seachrist

    Angie? This is an audreybot dress if ever I’ve seen one.

  • sleepycat

    i disagree, i think she looks stunning. if it was better fitted then I can see it working better.

  • Kathy Schrenk

    I love her hair here; it’s often pulled back so severely.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    it may not be her dress but–here i’m thinking of the silver outlining & the length & the slit–it may be christina hendricks’ dress. even w/ the cowl, cos that cowl is a small cowl, not an unwieldy large towel cowl. anyway.

    really, though, i think it’s not even YSL’s dress. it’s a poly number circa 1974, cowl & all. not a bad one, mind, but i’ve got a shorter version seriously similar about ten feet away. & ten longer versions, sans the silver business, here there & everywhere [which includes the garage]. i may have even had five times as many throughout my entirely too long life. is there a point, then, i wonder, to making new ones when the old are so readily sold?

  • A dress like this requires an actual model, or an actress who moves and can pose like a model. I almost think it would require a Dietrich to properly pull this off correctly on the red carpet.

  • lamamu

    This dress only works in movement. That’s why it looks sooo static on a girl like January… I would snark about her overcompensating here, but some things are just too obvious.

  • Lilithcat

    The problem with that dress, on anyone is that it can’t be static.  It has to move.  It’s not a stand-and-pose dress.

    • DinahR

      that’s why Jolie should have it I guess, she can stick her leg out in every photo  🙂

  • AC

    I think I’d rather see this on Swinton…

  • Inner Karen Walker! Love it! 

  • ccm800

    I wish she would have wore it backwards. THAT would have been edgy. 

  • padma sallah

    More like this shit is right up Tilda Swinton’s alley. I can see her wearing the hell out of this dress.

  • J MN

    January was a model before acting so it’s particularly strange that she doesn’t know crap about clothes or fashion.  She must have been used to having the clothes picked for the photo shoots and when it comes to her own decision making she flunks out, every time.  She needs to fire her stylist, if she has one, and find one that gets her vibe but can do it tastefully and fashionably.  Think of what Rachel Zoe or Brad or whoever could do for her (I don’t know that many famous stylists).  Maybe her and Christina H could go stylist shopping together.    

    Her hair and makeup look stunning.  Love her hair soft and down.   

  • I don’t know, I kind of like it. I wish it fitted her better, though.

  • RzYoung

    Yeh, so wrong for her…I could see it on one of the Downton girls though!

  • Why is the trim coming off in the back??

  • Mary Stansbury

    But her smile in picture two is lovely and one of the only genuinely happy smiles from her I’ve seen.

  • Scarlet39

    The dress (from the front at least) looks like something from Old Hollywood.  I could see it on someone like Joan Crawford.  A “big shouldered broad” if you will.   It’s just swallowing up JJ. She doesn’t have the personality or the build to pull this off.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      Oh yes!  Like x100.  This is definitely a Joan Crawford. She would have werq’d it!

  • southernpeach

    I love TLO even more now after that karen walker reference!

  • EEKstl

    You’re right about Angelina but Tilda would really rock this.

  • siriuslover

    It doesn’t seem fitted well. She looks like she’s swimming in it. It’s saying something when you can see the model’s shape better than the celeb wearing the gown. And the slit looks awkward with that pose.

  • An up-do. Like the model. That’s what was needed. And then primo bitch-face would have been right at home, too!

  • Judy_J

    I think this would have been dynamite on her if the tailoring was better.  It’s too big in the shoulders and the sleeves should have been taken in a bit, too.  But it’s really a great dress to wear to the opera.

  • nycfan

    I think this is a little too large, maybe, but given her history on the RC have a hard time being too critical of her effort here.  I think she would have looked great in it had the dress been tailored for her; instead, the shoulders are too broad and the dress just doesn’t quite fit.  But maybe her prior efforts have just hopelessly lowered my standards for her.

  • nosniveling

    Well I like it.

  • Meh. I can’t look at her without rolling my eyes after seeing that awful X-Men movie.

    She should really give up on the all-black thing.

  • NCDFan

    Hmm. I don’t think this is a good look for Angelina. Kate Winslet maybe. I think it needs a more statueque figure.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    Yeah definitely not her dress.

  • The front of this dress isn’t edgy, it’s old. But I understand how someone like JJ might mistake it for edgy. A cowl neck on a gown…kinda’ hard to pull off. 

  • Susan Crawford

    This is SO not her dress. I wasn’t impressed by it even in the runway shot, where it looked sort of heavy and boxy on the model, and on JJ it just looks too big all over. She would do better in a designer like Carolina Herrera, or Oscar de la Renta – those two know how to make pretty ladies look even prettier. I don’t understand JJ’s preoccupation with looking all dark and edgy. She could rock the hell out of a sophisticated frock by Carolina or Oscar ANY day!

  • Lilak

    “Bearing and stature” required … Exactly!  Gotta have something High Teutonic going on to allow this gown to do its fabulous thing.

  • marywv

    Anyone who is beaming while wearing that dress, can’t pull it off. Yes, it’s an Angelina dress if I’ve ever seen one. 

  • Jennifer Hofstetter

    I totally disagree. I love this on her.