WERQ: Ellie Kemper in Oscar de la Renta

Posted on March 16, 2012

This look did not inspire neck rolls and snaps up.

Ellie Kemper attends the premiere of “21 Jump Street” in LA in an Oscar de la Renta dress paired with Alexander Wang sandals. Rings and earrings by Meira T.

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2012 Collection/Model: Mina Cvetkovic

In fact, we put off posting it for a couple of days because every time we looked at the pictures we were all, “Pretty…” with just about nothing else to say about it. But maybe the coffee hit our bloodstreams in just the right way this morning, because we looked at them again and noted, “Y’know, she looks really … happy here. Pleased as punch.”

WERQing a look isn’t always about diva gowns and dramatic turns; sometimes, when a lady is wearing a very pretty lady dress which makes her feel pretty and thus gives her that “I feel pretty/Oh so pretty” glow, well… you just have to appreciate that, even if her clutch is too matchy and she made a bad lip color choice. The bottom line is, when these pics were taken, “I Feel Pretty” was playing loud and clear inside Ellie’s head and it shows.

You WERQ that feeling, girl.


[Photo Credit: Izumi Hasegawa, Izumi Hasegawa, Emiley Schweich, Andrew Evans/PR Photos, elle.com]

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  • Sobaika Mirza

    I love her and she looks adorable in this dress!

  • sarahofalessergod

    Very nice!  I think the only reason the belt works for me (since it does really chop her in half) is because it coordinates well with her clutch.  Smart styling.

  • gsk241

    Werq!  Plus, her hair looks gorgeous.  I wish my hair looked like that.

  • Since she tends to go out looking like a hot mess, this is great. 
    Ellie. Go see your friend Rashida Jones and work some mojo on her.

  • Since she tends to go out looking like a hot mess, this is great. 
    Ellie. Go see your friend Rashida Jones and work some mojo on her.

  • SewingSiren

    Beautiful. So much better without the stale shock of a navel plunging neckline. WERQ.

  • She looks ladylike without looking twee.  How refreshing.

    • Just what I was thinking – I can’t quite figure out how she averts the twee with all the pale pink matchyness, but I think it is the hair, makeup and twinkle in her eye that saves it.

  • ccm800

    WERQ? If you say so, its your blog. 

  • schadenfreudelicious

    i agree she looks very sweet…but that’s my problem with the look..just a little too sweet for me, all pink and frothy.. in fact it might be giving me a toothache, not a WERQ for me i’m afraid.

    • carpediva

      Ooooh, “Baby WERQ”- loves it! A new candidate in my ongoing campaign to have the name changed for those “WERQs” that seem a bit of a stretch, and as they mention above, have disclaimers attached.

  • So close….so close….

    She gets a baby werq from me, if only to encourage this good behavior. And as a plus, I like the shoes she’s wearing even more than the runway version. Good job!

  • TAGinMO

    I agree she looks very pretty, but if you stare at the pictures long enough, all the pink starts to become a tad overwhelming–and I’m not just talking about the dress and accessories. Seriously, with her pinkish/reddish skin tone, this is the functional equivalent of those situations when women with more of a beige/tan skin tone wear those dresses that are the color of old bras.

  • Anathema_Device

    She looks SO much better than she usually does. I would have done a different clutch, but that is nitpicking.

    And I had that hairstyle in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I mean exactly the same.

  • Anathema_Device

    She looks SO much better than she usually does. I would have done a different clutch, but that is nitpicking.

    And I had that hairstyle in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I mean exactly the same.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    If I could wear that dress as well, I’d totally be glowing too. This dress is so “romantic princess with butterflies and flowers”, I’m surprised Taylor Swift hasn’t gotten her saccharin claws all over it and made me dislike it on principle.

    • I hear Zoey D. and Michelle Williams are awaiting their turns to wear the dress. Taylor is next after them.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    If I could wear that dress as well, I’d totally be glowing too. This dress is so “romantic princess with butterflies and flowers”, I’m surprised Taylor Swift hasn’t gotten her saccharin claws all over it and made me dislike it on principle.

  • Yes! Her smile is just gorgeous! She rocks that pink dress!! 😉

  • Yes! Her smile is just gorgeous! She rocks that pink dress!! 😉

  • Tashina Savage

    I’ve really been loving her style lately. 

  • JasmineAM

    She gets a WERQ from me for just wearing these new-fangled things called jewels.

  • I know several 10-year-old girls who would love this, assuming it cost about 1/50 of what it presumably does.

  • I totally adore Ellie especially after she did this charming dance dare bit on Ellen.

  • I’m diggin it.  Agree her shoes are better than the model’s.  Ellie could have picked either the earrings or choker that the model wore (but not both! both are too much on the model) and thrown that into the mix as well.  And she could’ve gone with a metallic clutch…  But as a whole – I think it totally works for her.

  • elemspbee

    Not quite. The dress looks heavy on her, which contradicts the light and fluffy this color, material, and design is supposed to be conveying. The longer length changes the silhouette of the bottom half of the dress making it more A-line rather than slightly bubble shape. And her dark, heavy hair and lipstick just doesn’t match well with the dress’ intended airy effect. This dress fails on her body and head.

  • twocee

    I’m not sure about the WERQ, but I also wonder if this is a dress that looks much better in person than in photos.  It kinda washes her out in the photos.  But she DOES look really happy, so yea!

  • Kate4queen

    It is a bit too close to her skin colour for my liking, her middle looks quite bare, but I do cover the dress for myself. 🙂

  • Geez, what I would give for a night in that outfit.  FAB-U-LOUS!

  • nannypoo

    Um, no.

  • lrhoff

    Well said, and you’re absolutely spot on with that assessment.  When a woman is confident, feels good about how she looks, she exudes sex appeal, in my opinion.

  • Sara__B

    She’s pretty, glowing, and refreshingly ladylike. The dress, belt, and skin are all basically the same color, though, so the overall effect is a little bland.

  • I want her hair up or pushed back a little like the model but still super cute.

  • MilaXX

    I’m glad she’s confident because if this was an IN/OUT post, I’d vote OUT. Hair is too big, makeup belongs on a cadaver, matchy purse and  dress the same color as her skin. This look ages her to a 45 year old woman.

    • RWtD

       I’m with you on this. The hair and makeup are exceptionally aging.

    • MissAnnieRN

      I totally agree – completely the wrong lip color for this dress.  I think the color of the dress is paling under the lights, it looks much more pink on the runway.  The hair is too…As someone else pointed out – too frothy and 80’s/90’s for my linking.  I think I would have preferred some sleeker curls, maybe even just a soft upsweep.  The matchy clutch is weird, it’s a choice an 18 year old would make.  The shoes aren’t working for me, I have the perfect pair of swarovski encrusted stuart weitzman’s for her, but I’m sure she can afford her own.

  • Just Precious.

  • Pennymac

    She does indeed feel pretty in this dress, so YAY! It’s a pretty dress, to be sure. But *Squinting at it with one eye closed* it looks heavy, even though it’s designed to look light. Not quite sure why…

  • DinahR

    I think it looks better on her than on the model, and I love the dedication to pink she’s got.  She looks adorable and this is a def werq for me.  

  • You’re so right. That’s how we all look in the morning the days our damn hair finally decides to WERQ. Bet she had an awesome morning.

  • Cute as a button, I love the dress. It’s ultra pretty!!

  • EEKstl

    Love the dress and she looks great, she is WERQing that feeling alright.  But yes, bad lipstick and purse choice.  Good shoes, tho.

  • greatscoutm

    Totally agree.  She is fully feeling it.

  • kcarb1025

    It looks better on the model. On her it’s very ‘meh’.

  • Sophie Collier

    You know, when I first saw the photos under the “WERQ” header, I was thinking “But…but… dress matches skin, matchy matchy accessories!”  But when I read your reasoning for the WERQ title, I was like “Awwwww. You guys are so sweet!”  So yay, thank you for a lovely post.  

  • finnishmaria

    She does look really happy in this dress! Her lipstick oddly looks like two different shades in these photos.

  • guest2visits

    I love that material; but not the belt. Don’t know what to replace it with. Don’t think the shoes work either.

  • Pam Winters

    I have a really pretty 49-year-old friend who could really WERQ this…for some reason, it’s having the opposite effect for me on Ellie and seems to be aging her. Maybe it’s the hair? I dunno. I’m glad she’s happy, though.

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    Pretty in Pink!

  • suzq

    She looks better than the model.  Very fresh and young. 

  • Lilak

    Love her and want to like this more.  
    The color’s v. becoming, nice frothy pattern, and the back’s good.  However . . .  While a neckline-to-the-waist is not for everybody, if you’re going to raise the point of that V, it sure helps to have a narrower waist:  The bodice on Erin now looks kind of square, and so just a little bulky with the extra fabric.
    Also hate to see her stumpified by the skirt length + ankle straps.

    (Oh dear … do I hear a stampede of Daily Mail red arrows coming my way?) 

  • cleep1000

    I “feel happy, oh so happy” for this girl. She is as sweet and genuine as can be.

  • CatherineRhodes

    I love it, even the matchy-matchiness of it. Since there’s so much going on with the texture of the dress, the monochrome accessories work in her favor. Straight-ahead WERQ from me.

  • I didn’t even recognize her. I honestly don’t think she looks very good in that pastel blush color, but I would giver a werq just for being able to see her pretty face and not just a wall of bangs!

  • But more importantly, she looks good for the type of girl she is. Girls like her and Jenna Fischer who are cute/pretty but not sex goddesses shouldn’t feel like the have to be all sexy like Angelina or fashion forward like Tilda. It looks silly on them and much more uncomfortable. She looks good in this because it fits her personality and look and that’s why she’s happy.

  • alyce1213

    WERQ? No way, that is not her dress.  She looks like an elaborately decorated pastry, and not in a good way.
    The clutch is just gross. Like her sandals, though.She does look happy, and that’s the most important thing.

  • carpediva

    Then can’t we call these posts “I Feel Pretty!” or “You Feel Pretty, Girl!”?

    I know I’m obsessed on this topic, but I feel such a strong urge to protect the TLo “WERQ” brand and image, that the “charity WERQs” give me the sads.  🙂

    • “WERQ,” “IN or OUT,” “Girl, That’s Not Your Dress,” — these are all just framing devices to talk about the clothes. We don’t understand why readers get so worked up over which device is used. It’s not like these are official designations or anything.

      • carpediva

        Wow, I was all excited when I got notification about my first TLo reply ever…

        I do know what a framing device is; that’s why I was lightheartedly suggesting others. And I guess the answer to your implied question would be: “for the fun of sharing my assumed uncontroversial musings with the TLo reader community”.

        But it’s not a core belief or anything that I need to get “worked up over”; I shall speak of it no more.

        Thanks for your site!

  • megohd

    I love that you guys gave her a look for being happy with herself, even though the look itself isn’t necessarily the greatest. That’s the attitude that fashion needs more of!

  • In my mind, the only thing in the way of a proper WERQ here is color – I’ll even forgive the naked shoes because she’s so close to adorable.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    i like bright red lipstick but, oh, do i hate the purse. & the lipstick is the wrong shade bright red lipstick here.
    but, just like w/ ZS, the the shoes are beautiful & the dress is beautiful. & this time the person wearing it is harder to fit. so, yeah, i see what you are saying.

  • greyhoundgirl

    I often don’t like pretty-pretty femme looks but this looks beautiful on her.

  • I love the dress, but the purse is a little too closely matched, even for me, the Queen of Matchy-matchy.  Those shoes, OTOH, are awful, and her hair and lipstick are a bit aging.

  • Judih1

    I’d like it better if the dress was shorter and she was taller. She looks bottom heavy to me

  • Susan Crawford

    This is what I love about Ellie Kemper! She always looks upbeat, happy, healthy and full of real zest for life. She can WERQ that with double snaps up and a bonus neck roll ANY day!

  • unbornfawn

    Props to her for taking the neckline up. I’m so over navel plunging necklines. 

  • butter nut


  • Whitney Fisher

    idk, you guys. i think the hair ages her. usually, she’s fresh & dewy. i’m not feeling this.

  • Michelle Williams probably wants to cut her for stealing her tweedom.  😉

  • She is just so freaking cute!  Love these pics although the hair looks a bit “finger in the electric socket” for me.  The lip color seems fine, I don’t think it clashes with anything and gives a pop of color to her overall look.

  • Girl_With_a_Pearl

    Cute!  I think the dress looks better on her than the model.

  • TheRealLizardqueen

    Holy sausage fingers.

  • Bozhi

    Great dress on her.  I don’t even mind the clutch, but I do mind the lipstick.  The shoes are cute.

  • Lisa

    She normally looks like a very happy, smiley person to me, but you’re right, she does look happy.  Maybe because she just looks flat out adorable here!  Very cute look!

  • xmixiex

    i love this.  love how she toned down the front plunge, too.  

  • Her hair looks all wrong. But, she seems thrilled about the fact, so I guess it doesn’t matter. 

  • OneTwoThreeFashion