In or Out: Nina Dobrev in Rachel Zoe

Posted on March 12, 2012

Sometimes, a little frill, an LBD, and some decent accessories are all a girl needs.


Nina Dobrev at PaleyFest 2012 Presents “The Vampire Diaries” in a Rachel Zoe dress paired with Jimmy Choo sandals.

Rachel Zoe Resort 2012 Collection

This is a clear IN for us. In fact, we were going to make it a WERQ post. But then we thought maybe she wasn’t really WERQing all that hard and that this was a bit too simple and pretty for snaps up. Plus, we have a feeling some are going to say that this dress is just a bit too much on the frilly side. But we think she’s exactly the right kind of gal to work frilly, girly looks and besides, the black, as well as the KILLA animal-print shoes take it away from being too “I’m just a girl.” At least in our heads. Also, we love the pop of blue with the clutch.

And just to be a little bit negative, we’re not really liking the hair, which does more to tip this over into twee than the dress does.


Vote Now!



OUT! Too precious!

Michelle Trachtenberg’s lesser attempt at the “pop of color” rule is still open for voting, darlings.


[Photo Credit: Emiley Schweich, Tina Gill/PR Photos,]

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  • MarissaLG

    I don’t love the blue clutch with those shoes, but otherwise she looks super cute. IN.

    • Jill_3

       AGREE. IN. Katherine Elena Gilbert Pierce is working the shit out of this- one half sweet, the other half killer.

  • TheLaurenJean

    Out. It’s just dull and boring.

    • TheLaurenJean

      And also the material looks super cheap.

      • kittle


        • shirab

          I think the fact that you can see the zipper under her armpit adds to that impression. I feel like ladystars’ zippers are usually more discreet.

          • JosephLamour

            Oh lord this is so OUT for me I don’t know what to do.

          • Very sadly agreed, and terrifying that T & Lo were so close to giving this a werq… both fabrics look cheap and that ruffle, in those proportions, should not have made it past 1986.  Of course Zoe put her name on this stiff, icky mess.  The shoes are just the nail in the coffin – with another outfit they could be fine.

            OUT.  Emphatically.

      • Ms_Flyover

        My first thought was “cute, looks cheap.”    Also, I irrationally dislike Rachel Zoe and her in need of a root touch up hair.

        Kinda love the shoes, though.

  • halleygee

    It is a little frilly but like you said, it works for her. The last photo sold me. IN

  • crash1212

    IN. Although the side-hair almost put this in the out category…that’s how much I hate it. LADIES: Side-hair = NEVER a good idea. I love the rest of the look though.

  • OUT – tooooo much frill. They are amazing shoes though.

  • fireontiger

    I think the sandals save it from being too precious. In! She looks fantastic.

  • sherrietee

    Totally IN.  I want this dress.  Not the shoes as my feet hurt just looking at them, but the dress, yes.

  • Meh… not horrible but not stunning. I’m ambivalent. In, because if a coin toss.

  • IN – love the shoes, like the purse, think the whole thing works well for the type of event it is.

    Also, after just looking at the Paleyfest pics for Revenge, have to add – LOVE the posture.

  • Vaniljekjeks


  • TropiCarla

    IN. She looks WAY better than the model.

  • mozzer0906

    Don’t like the hair, but I love the dress, shoes and bag, so she is an IN

  • This song plays in my head:


    • Susan683

      OMG.  This made me laugh so hard.  

      Love the shoes.  But that’s all.  The dress looks like a cheap bridemaid dress (especially with that hair) and the clutch is a blah shade of blue. OUT

    • JosephLamour

      LMAO. You literally made me do so too… so feel good about that, Susan.

    • Scott Isaacs

      Ah, the beauty of the internet. Enabling me to declare a new BFF for turning me on to such an amazing video. And in such a perfect context! LYLAS, Susan! Furreals, don’t ever change.

      Oh…the outfit? Okay dress, HIDDY shoes, pretty awrsome clutch, hair…uh…

      GAAAAH! Drat it all! I was ready to declare this out. But the more I look, the more I like. Just like the video, oh-so-’80s…but in a good way. In, butjustbythismuch.

  • serenitynow02

    The dress is cute, but I think those shoes cheapen the look. I hate them. She also needs a better color on her lips. The shade she is wearing washes her out amidst all that black.

    Is the version the model is wearing a dark blue? It looks like it on my monitor and I like it much better in the blue shade I see.

    I vote In, but a little half-heartedly.

  • A clear in for me, but I wish the clutch had a bit more ‘pop’ to it.

  • Elizabeth Davis

    Funny how she selected a dress modeled by an actual vampire. I don’t like the clutch at all — maybe if it were a brighter blue. But the rest of the look is great. The shoes are killer.

  • PeaceBang

    I hate the side hair a lot. The dress is too frilly and those amazing shoes don’t redeem it – they just feel like they belong to another outfit. OUT.

  • the organza used for the ruffles looks a bit cheap – I am sure it can’t be silk –

  • DeborahLipp

    In. I love it all.

  • StrandedFashionista

    I like the idea of the leopard print and the clutch is good, but it’s not deployed as well as I’d like. I think leopard pumps would have been better than the over-complicated booties. But, it’s cute enough… so IN. 


    The frill could be downgraded just a little bit, but this is cute as hell. Although I’m not quite as sold on the clutch here, both color and design. IN.

  • sleah_in_norcal

    no no no.  she’s all ready for the square dance.  i’ll take the shoes, though.

  • Jasmine Moten

    It looks like a Halloween costume.

  • sarahofalessergod

    She looks like a guest at my sister’s bat mitzvah in that dress.  And the shoes just make me cringe.  She looks pretty, but this is really nothing special.  She gets a MEH.

  • TonyGo

    Maybe its the way it photographs, but the fabric looks cheap, and sheer ruffles with piping will always read “dance recital” to me. OUT!

  • Looks better on her than the model. IN

  • BrooklynBomber

    I like the idea of mixing unexpected fabrics, but I’m not crazy about the result. And those shoes –  awful!

  • Who is this girl’s stylist because she KILLS it every time! And she doesn’t just stick with pretty – she pushes the envelope and wears pieces that wouldn’t work on everyone. Her Donna Karan dress from the Emmys remains one of my Top 3 RC moments ever. 

    • sarahofalessergod

      I loved her Emmys dress and like her style, but how is this pushing the envelope?  It seems like a standard frilly LBD to me.

      •  I agree – this is pretty standard, but other outfits she’s worn are, imo, more unique.

  • Yulie29

    In, but she needs better hair and makeup next time.

  • DinaSews

    IN.  The first pic makes it look (almost) like cheap organza but the close up pics show otherwise.  The shoes are so awesome that they eclipse the bad hair choice for me.

  • AlexisPayne

    The hair with the ruffles starts to head into flamenco territory for me, but she’s cute and making it work. IN.

  • IN. She looks like herself which I think is important and the pop of blue is great. I think the shoes are a little busy, but otherwise WIN. She chose a dress that suits her frame perfectly – nice job!

  • NasserShaheen

    Out. Looks cheap. Also, not her dress.

  • The neck ruffle just makes her shoulders look really broad.  An OUT from me…

  • sweetlilvoice

    In, it’s a vast improvement over how the model looked in the original. 

  • Martha Deutsch

    OUT. Weird hybrid of mother of the bride and little girl tea party dresses. Not digging it.  

  • I actually really don’t like this.  Too cheap looking – like KMart Smart.

  • IN. She has really been killing it on the RC lately.

  • I didn’t really love it, but the last picture sold me on the look as a whole.  IN!

  • The shoes MAKE this outfit.  In.

  • janetjb

    The messy side bun thing seems to have some staying power.  I don’t mind it (too much).


  • I saw this on another site earlier and loved it. I still do! The dress is great, nothing wrong with being girly when you temper that with some sophistication. 

  • miagain

    IN….This young lady certainly makes the right choices… she has looked fabulous in just about every photo I’ve scene of her.  I have no idea who or what she is… but I recognize the name. 

  • IN. She looks adorable. Though I think a pair of earrings and a ring would’ve added to the look without killing its simple elegance.

  • Tashina Savage

    Out-Dress and Shoes do not go together. Neither does the hair. She looks like she just left a wedding and put on a different pair of shoes to sex up for the reception. 

  • karena10

    In although I’m not sure about those shoes with that dress.

  • Pupioso

    In. she looks great. I even like the hair.


    • Anathema_Device

       Thank you! I kind of got tired of posting that all time. So glad someone else feels the same way.

    • Jasmine Moten

      Lindsay Lohan…?

  • Violina23

    Love it, wish I could pull it off myself

  • momato

    Out.  Too frilly.  Fabric stiff and cheap looking.

  • OUT. The dress is not cute. At all.

    Like the shoes, though.

  • Judy_J

    I think she looks great.  And I kind of like the way the curls in her hair echo the ruffles of the dress, but then I’ve always been kind of a “girly-girl”.  The shoes are fierce enough to balance out the preciousness of the ruffly dress.  IN.

  • Out.  Shoes help, but the ruffles and material feel too “David’s Bridal” for me.

  • In.  Way to show up that cheap-looking model, Nina!

  • In! She still looks like an Amazon to me, but I watch her show, too.

  • Anathema_Device

    The ruffle at the bottom and up the skirt is a ruffle too far for me. If the bottom or top ruffle was more subdued, I could buy into the sweetness of this.

    As it is, I expect her to start tap dancing down some steps a la Shirley Temple.


  • TheDivineMissAnn

    Love the look of the shoes from the side but from the front,  not so much.

    Otherwise, J’Adorable.

  • BazoDee


  • Renaissance_Man_ATL

    IN!  I think she looks fabulous!

  • Joyce VG

    I was going to go with OUT but then she’s so pretty ans skinny and the shoes are just to die for. IN.

  • ballerinawithagun

    Out! Why did Rachel Zoe use polyester organza intead of silk organza? Really cheap looking! Love the shoes except for the ankle ties.

  • IN.

  • guestela


  • twocee

    In.  But my love for Nina Dobrev is probably coloring my judgement.

  • SpcilK

    From afar she look great! The dress looks inexpensive, the shiny fabric and ruffles make it look like a prom frock. Everything else the hair, shoes, make up and accessories are major!

  • Christina Brennan

    IN for sure.  The model in the photo is styled terribly (make up and hair wise). Nina looks much better.

    • Anathema_Device

       The poor model was styled to look like Rachel Zoe, don’t you think?

  • SatelliteAlice

    I really actively hate her hair but the rest is working. In.

  • allisankelly

    IN. She’s adorable.

    I want those shoes.

  • jw_ny


    Those ruffles just look too cheap & bridesmaidy or old west saloon girl to me…all kinds of wrong imagery.  I don’t care for the shoe choice either..don’t think they go with this ruffly dress, her twee hair and fresh faced girl next door look.  It’s like she thought her killer leopard print shoes would edge the look up…just looks forced to me.

  • saanrio

    IN.  I like the clutch and the dress is adorable.  The hair is okay for me, though I would have added earrings to the look.  What I can’t get behind is the shoes.  I like the shape of them, and in the first picture, for some reason, I thought they were some kind of rhinestones or something, but then I realized it was an animal print.. I almost gave this an out for that alone.  I am not a fan of the animal print, except on the animals.

  • JackieOBlue

    Out – dress is too juvenile looking and the material is ugly.  I’ll give a big IN, though, to those KILLA shoes.

  • J’Adorable!! IN

  • She should trade clutches with Michelle Trachtenberg. THEN everything will be right with the world!

  • It’s IN because it is pretty darn close but the hair is getting all a bit waitress in a Flamenco-themed restaurant for me with the dress.

  • MzzPants

    Nothing a trip to the mall couldn’t pull together.  She looks nice enough.  Meh.  It’s  toss-up.

  • gsk241

    The shoes aren’t to my taste, but she gets an IN anyway.

  • Mary Pressler

    OUT–Charlotte Russe Prom Collection

  • In, she looks adorable. 

  • gdougs

    uhhh, am I missing something here? That dress is terrible, looks like something a twelve-year-old would wear.

  • AthenaJ

    IN!! Nina herself is not giving off any twee vibes, and she’s werq-ing it even better than the model, with enough attitude to make the dress sexy and not cutesy. Not even minding the hair either… I could be crazy here, but I kinda like it.

  • CQAussie

    Borderline bridesmaid here, perilously close.  I also think the shoes are wrong but love the clutch.  Sorry but I gotta vote OUT.

  • loverungay

    Some simple earrings and bracelet would have been nice.  But she’s IN

  • altalinda

    Yup, she can pull off a sweet look like this.  In.

  • I don’t mind the dress, but did she leave too late to at least grab a pair of earrings?  Oh,  and I think a big ring of some sort would have been a nice touch, just to add a dash of color. 

  • lalahartma

    She is in, for me!

  • mjude


  • Stephen Bornstein

    I agree with TheLaurenJean comment about the material on the dress looking cheap as well as the ruffle trim…but, it is a cute silohette and looks better on the model. she’s in, the dress is out.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    good dress, very late 60s cocktail waitress but RZ pulled it out anyway, modernized it by making it black & fiddling w/ its form. everything but the hair is pretty great too. most days i think allen ginsberg’s first thought, best thought needs a little further thinking to be of any value but this time i think yr original idea was the correct one.

  • mellorcr

    Looks cute on the model, but the fabric really looks cheap in Nina’s photos.  To me this says the dress only looks good when profesionally lit.

    • Sara__B

       Exactly! The professional lighting makes the ruffles look crisp, translucent, and expensive. Not so on the red carpet.

  • Pannyx

    I like this dress a lot, but wish the ruffle going up the dress was looking more like the model than it does on Ms. Dobrev. The ruffle seems pretty messy on her.

  • lizajane1776

    In. The bag should be a clearer color, but it isn’t really *bad* in this dusty blue.

  • piecesofconfetti

    I’m a little torn on the shoes, which are veering into Kardashian territory for me. I think I’ll have to go with OUT.

  • prettybigkitty

    IN!  This should have been a WERK IT!    LOOOOVVVVEEE the shoes.  

  • because of the shoes, OUT.

  • that dress should not be allowed on anyone older than 12.

  • DinahR

    IN – it’s a cute look for her

  • SewingSiren

    It is precious and it is IN.

  • Stefanos Mantyla

    A clear IN for me, too.

  • mike__tv

    I love me some Debrov, HOWEVER, this dress is wearing her, an if it’s wearing her it would wear anybody, OUT! 

  • NurseEllen

    Love it.  IN.  I like the hairdo but I would have put the bun behind her OTHER ear, just so all the “frill” wasn’t on the same side.

  • In and I want those shoes (although I have no place to wear them, I covet them anyway)

  • NCDFan


  • Bozhi

    IN.  Love the dress, hair, makeup and shoes.  I would not have gone with that clutch.  It’s a great clutch, but I never would have paired it with that dress and shoes.

  • I hate this. Dress looks cheap and personally I don’t think the shoes go. OUT.

  • sagecreek

    In. Adorable. I hate the shoes, but I hate most shoes that are in style these days. I iz old.

  • CatherineRhodes


    The only way for this dress to work is the way the model is: sexpot hair, True Blood lips, and a whole lotta attitude.

  • marilyn

    IN for the dress,OUT for the shoes.  

  • turtleemily

    In but barely. My feet hurt looking at those shoes, I don’t like the way her hair matches the neck frill of the dress, and it makes her head look wicked small in the face close-up shot.

  • stilly001

    That dress looks like it’s from Forever 21. Does Zoe have a Forever 21 line? Also, it reminds me of that scene in True Lies where Jamie Lee Curtis rips all the tragic ruffles off her dress and becomes a killer hooker/secret agent. 

    AKA, out.

  • Sara__B

    Out, but not for being “precious”. The dress doesn’t seem to fit quite properly, the ruffles are too shiny and limp, and her hair is total bridesmaid.

  • ri_dic

    I don’t love that dress; in fact, I don’t like it. It would be a killer little lbd without the frills.

  • I don’t like the hair either (or the shoes, that much) but she looks stunning. Love the dress.

  • IN. Whoever has been styling this girl since she got on TV deserves a raise, because almost every time she goes anywhere she looks fantastic.

  • Out.  The dress is so, I don’t know, the stuff of 4-year-old girlie-girls’ dreams.  Just cuz it’s black does not make it less precious.  LUV the shoes and the purse.

  • tired_mommy


  • Pants_are_a_must

    Cheap-looking, ill-fitted in the middle and those shoes look like she’s gonna need a foot surgery just for wearing them. OUT.

  • Sunshine16

    Love the shoes, the rest is good enough or an In

  • Susan Crawford

    IN. The dress is really well-fitted; love those leopard shoes; and although I’m starting to be a little but over the “pop of color” thing, the bag is perfect. Hair? Not so much. Make-up? OK. But still an IN – she looks totally put together and cute as a button!

  • MilaXX

    IN! She looks great even though she’s got a monkey toe thing happening.

    • Peeve

       Okay, I’m ignorant–but what’s a “monkey toe”?

      • MilaXX

        Those toes that are hanging so far out of the shoe that they look almost prehensile.

  • S R

    IN. IT’s a WERQ for me, in fact. She rocks the frills.

  • I don’t like the dress; it looks like a Target/designer collaboration to me – a little too young and a little too cheap. But she does look pretty cute and I really like the accessories, so I’ll give her a tepid IN. Much to her relief, I’m sure.

    • bellafigura1

      I completely agree.  Everything except the clutch looks cheap to me. 

  • hearkentoit

    In. The shoes make it work.

  • allj

    I can’t figure out why I don’t love this dress. It’s black. It has ruffles. Ordinarily these two qualities would put it in my closet without hesitation. (In a world where I have infinite money and infinite occasions for frilly black dresses.) I’m giving her an IN because she looks adorable, but I don’t envy her outfit at all.

  • Werq.

  • Great shoes. But dress could be worn to waitress in a Mexican restaurant. Out.

  • Rokesmiths

    In. Cute as a button.

  • SO IN! I love it all. RZ needs to make this dress in cream so I can rock it for my wedding. 

  • In. The girl is ridiculously beautiful and the dress is cute as hell.

  • rainwood1

    In.  I don’t love the blue clutch because it seems too random but the dress is great.  

  • elzatelzabelz

    IN- Nina is quickly becoming the new Zoe Saldana. The chick can wear the S&*t out of clothes.

  • It’s a clear IN. Probably not a werk, but IN all the same.

  • rumcg66

    Totally IN.

  • Julia McLean

    OUT. Material looks super cheap, too much frippery. Straight out of Filene’s Basement. Killer shoes though, I want them…

  • Sophie Collier

    Well, here’s the thing: it’s a cute dress but should be worn only by someone under the age of 20.  She looks to be older than that but maybe not.  Too Little Miss Pageanty for an adult woman.  Also, blue clutch AND leopard print shoes?  No.  Not on the same look.  

  • IN

  • Closer to CUTE than JADORE, but still, she looks great. Could do with a bangle or a small necklace. IN.

  • Love the shoes, but the rest is too twee. OUT.

  • aristida_girl

    IN, love it, but would have liked some jewelry somewhere..

  • lucasuk82

    Ugh – goth quinceanera.  OUT

  • No, I hate that dress. She’s only making it work because she looks like a ballet dancer. OUT.

  • finnishmaria

    I like it, but the dress looks like something I could get at a Marshall’s. 

  • lrhoff

    Very nice — IN.

  • Out. I would have thought that was Nina D. in Sears instead of Nina D. in Rachel Zoe.

  • Those shoes wrecked the look for me. OUT.

  • I want to like this a lot, it should be cute, but the materials of the dress and the frills at the hemline clash. Each makes the other one look cheaper. Again, I want to like it, but… OUT.

  • crackineggs

    Any time a starlet manages to pose on the red carpet without looking like she’s gagging for it, gets an IN from me. 

  • Judih1

    Shoes are IN. But the twee dress paired with those killa shoes and fugly hair is an OUT

  • ccm800

    IN but the corset front for the sandals are NOT going to save her feet from burted blood vessels. Why the foot torture ladies? Are we in Elizabethan England or Old China again? 

  • ccm800

    IN but the corset front for the sandals are NOT going to save her feet from burted blood vessels. Why the foot torture ladies? Are we in Elizabethan England or Old China again? 

  • demidaemon

    IN. I pprefer the far away shots for the shoes more, as the up close does make the pattern a bit too aggressive and overwhelming. Still, an excellent effort.

  • Yes it’s frilly, but pretty and the shoes are so fun. I too prefer the far away shots for them but still like them on the closer one. Really, it’s an IN for me.

  • I didn’t like this at first glance, but immediately grew on me, especially in the close-ups. I really like that dress now, and the hair doesn’t bother me. Like the pop of color, and up close those shoes ARE killah. IN

  • fashionablylate

    I don’t like the blue clutch. The dress is very cute and the shoes are fabulous, but I’m not sold on them together. The styles are too disparate. OUT.

  • benjamin478

    So IN!

  • Lilyana_F

    IN! Fantastic dress/shoes pairing for me. Love that girl, she always looks so fresh!

  • miwome

    I’ma say IN. Also, it freaks me out how obviously they styled the model to look exactly like Rachel Zoe. Like, we get it, dial it down.

  • Out.  those frills remind me of dresses that the toddlers wear for pageants.  

    • If they weren’t all black, they wouldn’t work, but given her stature and the non-matchy shoes and bag, I like it.

  • Samantha Irene

    OUT. Like the bottom half – but the hair and the ruffle on top – I just can’t with that.

  • IN, love love love those shoes on her.

  • boweryboy

    I hate everything – the hair, the dress, the beartrap shoes – but she somehow manages to pull it off.


  • In – very cute!

  • Those shoes + that dress = absolutely not.  OUT.

  • Cathleen Francis

    It looks like a dress she could have picked up at Ross Dress for Less.

  • Jessi03

    WERQ!  She looks fabulous!

  • I was waiting for TLO to comment “that ruffled slit looks like a vagina!”

  • It’s IN but oh-so-boring. Thank goodness for the shoes. 

  • kentiesgirl

    I am SO buying that dress. Love it. Too late to vote, but gotta say it. Adorbs.

  • kentiesgirl

    I am SO buying that dress. Love it. Too late to vote, but gotta say it. Adorbs.

  • formerlyAnon

    IN. Still young enough for the frills.

  • Thank you for using my photos for this piece 🙂


  • EEKstl

    IN, but I’d like the dress better without the frill crawling up the side of the skirt.  LOVE the shoes.

  • Cute girl.  Cute dress. Cute shoes, although I’m not so sure they go with the dress.  Still, I give her an in.

  • She can do no wrong… I friggin love her.

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle


  • Louise Bryan

    You guys nailed it, fer sher!!  I was just thinking, the hair was wrong, but otherwise she looks cute.  I’ll give her an IN just because I feel good about getting it, for once.

  • bitterk

    Cute.  The shoes work with this dress.

  • butterflysunita


  • random_poster

    Super cute!  I especially like the last picture, but I’m not sold on the blue bag.  IN.

  • I just don’t see the ruffles, animal print and subdued blue going together or complementing each other in an “opposites attract” kind of way. OUT

  • Brandon Peters

    Out. It looks like Jaime Lee Curtis in True Lies. At least before she ripped the crap off.

  • frankystein123

    I’m all IN for this look.