Marisa Tomei in Peter Pilotto

Posted on March 14, 2012

Y’know what we love most about Marisa?


Marisa Tomei attends the British Fashion Council’s LONDON Show ROOMS LA opening cocktail party in a Peter Pilotto dress.

Peter Pilotto Spring 2012 Collection/Model: Daiane Conterato

She never picks the easy way to dress.

In fact, we’re pretty sure we’ve used some variation of the sentiment “not every woman could pull this off” or “that’s a tough dress to wear” every time we’ve written about her. Silhouette-wise, this isn’t so difficult. You just need a Marisa-shaped body for it. It’s all the competing graphic elements that make it so tough. Very eye-catching, but it risks breaking the wearer’s body into components. Here are the hips. Here are the arms. Here are the breasts. And we honestly think many women wouldn’t be able to carry it off. Now, why is Marisa able to? Allow us to postulate a theory. Please get out your No. 2 pencils.

For one: She’s not wearing one damn thing to detract from or fight with the dress. Almost non-existent earrings, no other jewelry and a fairly bland pair of matchy shoes. That’s smart. But what really allows her to wear this is her confidence. She exudes it every time she’s dressed up. You can tell she’s a woman who likes to wear interesting and challenging things and you can tell she likes the way she looks when she’s wearing them. And finally, she’s got that Italian-to-the-core earthy sexiness; all tousled hair and minimal makeup. That’s kind of her thing: really showy clothes, but very played-down face and hair. It’s sexy, but we also think it’s pretty smart. She’s an actress in her 40s who doesn’t seem to have had any major work done on her face. She’s essentially aging like a normal person and that’s exceedingly rare in Hollywood. We caught all of about 3 minutes of Cougar Town last night and there was a scene with 4 characters sitting around a table. Not one of them had a normal, human face – and 2 of them were men.

Don’t get us wrong. We don’t think she wears showy, difficult clothes to take the focus away from her face. On the contrary. We think she’s highlighting it. It’s a “I’m sexy and gorgeous without fucking up my face” message and it seems to be serving her pretty well.


[Photo Credit: Getty,]

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  • minnye

    Great dress, and I heart Marisa.    

  • guestela

    She really is sexy and gorgeous! Luv huh.

  • SewingSiren

    Why is she wearing a bandolier? Is she expecting trouble?

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      **laughs out loud, spitting coffee on keyboard**

    • ballerinawithagun

      Now I know why I thought that dress seemed a little strange the first time I saw it. Thanks Sewing Siren!

      I love Marisa. She looks fabulous.

    • Rand Ortega

       SPEW. ALERT!

  • greyhoundgirl

    She looks fantastic, but the mom in me wishes she’d put her shoulders back.  The slight slouch really shows.  Love what you said about the faces of Hollywood–Marissa looks beautiful and normal.  

    • lesmaha

      I wrote my comment before I read yours–totally agree.

  • Pupioso

    Love it but she slouches. Tits out and shoulders back.

    • Farthingale

      Tits up, shoulders down (as per Miss Jay).

  • StillGary

    You hit it — she’s a great looking lady who is not desperate in the least!

  • ccinnc

    The woman never ages. She’s fabulous.

    • Jennifer Coleman

      Actually, she is aging – quite gracefully and with mega confidence. She looks exactly like what a woman in her 40s in 2012 should: intelligent, interesting, proud of her life story and no interest in trying to replicate her 20s. This weekend, I watched ‘My Cousin Vinny’ (1992) and ‘Lincoln Lawyer’ (2011) back to back. To see her 19 year transformation, how she changed, how she remains the same was fascinating. We should all be so lucky.

  • Yes, yes, a thousand time yes! 🙂 Love the dress (on her), love her figure, love the dress on her figure, and love that her face still moves. Gorgeous!!

  • Judy_J

    It is an interesting dress, and she wears it well.

  • Wow what a great dress.  Aside from the wonderful color and patterns, for the right woman, this dress could actually perform miracles, giving a gal more of what she wants to have, where she wants it most, since its clearly designed to make the waist look tiny, and the bust, and hips, to look womanly. Marisa has the perfect bod to play it up, without going over the top.

  • Jecca2244

    Cougar Town is awful. I don’t know how it is still on the air. 

    • It actually really isn’t awful. I love it. But I have been watching it from the beginning, and I think it needs time to grow on a person. Like a fungus. A really funny fungus. A fungi!

      The plastic surgery on the actors is really getting out of hand, though.

      • mshesterp

        Sara, I’m with you–I think it’s actually a pretty great show, very quirky, very funny, but for a certain type of humor. But I have a friend who won’t watch it because of Courtney’s “duck lips” and she’s not wrong.  And I love Christa Miller, but it’s the same thing.  The weird thing is–those women are funny enough on their own, and the facework makes them seem…desperate?  But the show is pretty charming, if you watch more than a few minutes (or episodes of it).  

        • Adriana_Paula

          Christa Miller breaks my heart.  When I watch Scrubs reruns I date them, carbon 14-wise, by the seismic changes to her initally unaltered lovely face.

          • Compare her to how she looked when she was on The Drew Carey Show.  She started w/ the “fixing” when she was on Scrubs.  Sad to see.

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    She is definitely owning that dress.  She looks good!

  • serenitynow02

    The squid tentacles are the only things holding me back from all-out enthusiasm.

    • littlemac8

      I immediately thought of Spiderman 2: remember Alfred Molina as Doc Ock!  I don’t care, I still think Marisa looks fabulous!

  • Fordzo

    Still pissed that her hula hoop DVD didn’t pan out.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Damn, that’s one ugly dress. And the green shoes on the model should never, ever be seen again, anywhere. Except in a garbage truck.

    • Pennymac

      Agreed BB. The dress is schizophrenic and those model shoes are back of the fridge science experiments on heels.

      • BrooklynBomber

        “back of the fridge science experiments on heels.” 


      • BrooklynBomber

        “back of the fridge science experiments on heels.” 


  • adoreadora

    I just love her. 

  • MissAnnieRN

    This is a really great dress.  Kudos for aging naturally, as well.  One quibble – I don’t like the zipper element in the cleave.  Looks like a wet suit to me.  

    • lifetime_student

      I agree with you about the zipper, but at the same time I love how she has it unzipped just enough to look sexy without being at all slutty.

      • dress_up_doll

        Not loving the zipper either. However, I guess you could say that the teeth of the zipper kind of echo the tentacle design on the dress. I think I’d like it better if the zipper were smaller and less obtrusive.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    Three cheers for not fucking up your beautiful face!
    I love the dress and it really does suit her, but I have a problem with her posture. She’s all hips forward and slouchy shoulders. Come on, girl. The tousled hair and minimal make-up I can deal with, but would it kill you to just stand up straight?? Oy.

  • Great post, great woman in a mysteriously wonderful dress.

  • I don’t like the dress but I think she looks beautiful. It makes the model look disproportionately wide in the hips though.

    • Looks much better on Ms. Marisa. 🙂

  • BeeBeauNYC

    Great dress, but I do wish she would have at least brushed her hair. Is that asking too much?

  • Major props to her.  I like the fact that she’s aging naturally even more than the fact that she’s pulling off a tricky dress (figuratively, not literally). 🙂

  • It looks like she’s being hugged from behind by an alien, but damn does that dress look good on her.

  • crackineggs

    A sophisticated twenty first century mermaid dress.  She looks way better than the model.   I just want to reach into the photo and move that one strand of hair from her face….

  • fringebenefit

    I know you weren’t asking the question, but IN!

  • KateMaryC

    I hope she sees this. I just watched Lincoln Lawyer this weekend and couldn’t stop thinking how refreshing it was to see someone play a lawyer and mother of a 12 year old who looks like a lawyer and mother of a 12 year old, but is still hot enough that Matthew McCaughnahey wants to bang her. She’s awesome.

    • I haven’t seen it, but what you just said makes me happy.

  • quiltrx

    FABULOUS dress, and she looks great.

  • Farthingale

    Real face. Real hair. How refreshing. I’d like more lippy and a bit more color in the face.

    • 3boysful

       Agree.  How about a hair brush and better posture while we’re at it.

  • aimee_parrott

    She looks fantastic.  You’re so right about her down-to-earth but fundamentally sexy vibe.  Love huh.

  • Agreed, but the hair’s a mess.

  • Sunshine16


  • Sunshine16


  • rketeckt

    That’s one bossy dress…and does she own a comb, brush or mirror?

  • poggi

    Couldn’t agree with you and the rest of the rest of the comments more. She looks real and beautiful and interesting.

  • mjude

    totally agree. 

  • Pants_are_a_must

    That’s a pretty badass dress, and she’s WERQING IT. She looks way way better than the model in every way imaginable.

  • Judih1

    Love the dress, but the hair and make up are terrible. Makes her look like she just jumped out of bed, put on the dress and went out in public.

    Do LOVE the fact, that she has not done major work to her face regarding plastic surgery, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t wear make up

  • Lilyana_F

    Couldn’t agree with you more, guys.

  • Wild dress, but she looks like she’s slouching & that ruins the line. Not bad, over all.

  • Spicytomato1

    Perfection from head to toe…except for one minor detail. She seems to be slouching a bit. Other than that, I can think of more than a couple Hollywood types who should take a page or two from her book.

  • Anathema_Device

    I loved this collection. But I’m a total whore for prints.

    I also love Tomei. I agree with all your observations. She is rocking this look for all it is worth.

  • WERQ.

  • I really like that dress and I actually wonder if, because it’s so complicated, it could end up hiding or distracting from figure flaws and be a surprisingly wearable dress for a pretty wide number of women. And she is just getting sexier and more interesting as she goes. Even though she didn’t look good in it, I give her major props for wearing a Charles James dress to the Oscars (was it the Oscars) last year. Someone knows their fashion history. 

  • sarahofalessergod

    She looks absolutely fantastic!  I adore her (especially because she looks startlingly like my aunt).

  • Dan_In_NYC

    I dare say better on her than the model.  You WERQ that crazy frenkendress, Marisa!

  • You WERQ that shit, Marisa Tomei!
    (but I don’t love the hair)

  • altalinda

    I’d like it better if her hair were combed.  But otherwise, agree!

  • Dejah_Thoris

    Someone should give her All the parts in All the shows. She was one of the best things in “Crazy, Stupid Love.” Her and Ryan Gosling’s anatomy.

  • lesmaha

    I love Marisa, and I love this dress.  However–is she slouching a bit?  I don’t mind that tousled casual look, but she needs to stand up a little straighter–otherwise, it looks to me like the dress is dominating her.  She doesn’t seem just tousled–she looks a little—tired?

  • DeborahLipp

    I love this dress. It looks like it’s hugging her.

  • Well said.

  • MilaXX

     Yup, confidence goes a long way towards selling any look. I like this dress on Marissa. I wish she had worn a different shoe & maybe a smidge more color on her lips, but other wise no complaints.

  • LittleKarnak

    Love the dress, love Marisa, love your commentary!!!

  • judybrowni

    Marissa wears that dress soooo much better than the model.

    (What malnourished, depressed country do they rescue runway models from? You’d think it would cheer the girls up a bit to be out of there, and able to grab a sandwich now and then. But no.)

    • She really does! I think it’s because she opened the boob-zipper a little … there’s that Italian zaftig whether thin or not thing TLo was talking about.

  • Marisa is a fantastic actress and still totally gorgeous.

  • miagain

    What a fabulous dress!!

  • bluefish

    She looks WONDERFUL.  Love the dress and how lovely is she?  Lovely and likable. 

  • I was gonna say she just. doesn’t. age. – but you nailed it.  She’s aging naturally and that’s almost unrecognizable in someone who appears before a camera for a living. WERQ.

  • newleaf1

    She looks great – much better now than twenty years ago.  She’s showing Hollywood how to age.

  • CatherineRhodes

    Love the dress, and she looks fabulous. However, I think it looks better hitting the model just below the knee rather than mid-calf. So, shorten a couple inches and perfection.

    Before you sing her praises for a plastic-free face, are you sure she hasn’t had work done? She looks pretty fresh for someone in her mid-forties.

    • judybrowni

      If she’s had work done, it’s subtle.

      No duck lips! No, shiny skull tightness, with cheek implants!

      I thank her for that, she still looks human.

  • CQAussie

    I see what you’re saying and I agree 100%.  The non-human faces of celebs these days are the stuff of night terrors.  But every time I see Marisa, I just wanna tuck some hairs in place!  It’s a little too disheveled for my taste.  Minor quibble, obviously.  Love the dress, although it is reminding me slightly of fish scales….LOL  

    • judybrowni

      Like my mother, I want to scream, “Get your hair out of  your face!”

      But she otherwise looked so cute ,I wasn’t going to mention it.

  • alyce1213

    Maybe she should have combed her hair.  It looks like she slept on her side and just woke up, jumped out of bed.
    And the dress, which is very cool, could be a couple of inches shorter on her.

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    I love her and agree with you 100%, TLo – she knows who she is, and she isn’t afraid to let us all see her.  Love her styling choices almost every time.

  • I love the dress, but really hate the shoes. I think black shoes would’ve been much better and sleeker. 

  • siriuslover

    She does look great. And I’ve loved watching her films for years. Love her hair.

  • butter nut

    love the dress on her.  but the hair is a mess.  looks like it needs to be washed. 3 days ago.

  • formerlyAnon

    I couldn’t analyze it as you guys do, but she complements the dress and I think on a lot of women the dress would just look weird.

  • In theory this dress should be ugly ugly ugly, but Marisa makes it work.  Love her!

  • Sophie Collier

    It actually looks better on her than it did on the model.  Props, Marisa!

  • Love the Cougar Town reference! I’m actually surprised you two don’t discuss it more since it pulled a 180 away from the offensive cougar material. 

  • S R

    She’s ageing beautifully and looks fabulous!

  • Absolutely stunning! When I first saw it I gasped, then my shoulders sank as I realized that if I loved it, you guys probably hated it. I’m so glad I was wrong about that. That dress is fantastic and she looks incredible in it! WERQ!

  • lucasuk82

    I love it when your commentary goes that in-depth, it challenges me to evaluate fashion in the same way.

  • Rrroza

    Brilliant commentary, sirs!  Love her, her look and this unusual dress. Sort of to your point, I was thinking that for all its complications, this dress actually causes you to look at the woman wearing it. Your eye gets dragged around by all the gorgeous patterns and then alights on simple skin and face and lingers. Very clever.

  • It’s weird because when I look closely I can tell she’s aging naturally, or at least way way more naturally than Hollywood standards, but damned if I don’t see her every time and go “DOES THIS WOMAN EVER AGE?” Woman is nearly 50, been famous practically my entire lifespan, and I think she still looks gorgeous and young.

  • Right.  That dress isn’t for everyone, but it really does work for her.  Really nice to see an actress over 40 without trout pout and that surprised expression.

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    What?  She needs to fix her damn hair.  I love her but am surprised you are not all over her for that hair.

  • bitterk

    There must be a buy one get one free sale on the putty shoes.