In or Out: Elizabeth Olsen in Valentino

Posted on April 17, 2012

We know what you’re all going to say.

Elizabeth Olsen attends the 2012 Grand Chefs Dinner in NYC in a Valentino gown.

Valentino Fall 2012 Collection/Model: Frida Gustavsson (IMG)

The Row Shoulder Bag

Go ahead. You know you want to.


There. Now you don’t have to say it. But we kind of like this on her, we have to admit. Like all Olsen spawn, she’s deathly afraid of looking young or sexy, so this suits her. Sure, it gives off a mature vibe and she looks like a religious cult member but sometimes you’ve just gotta let someone be themselves, you know? We wish she’d dress her age, but that’s apparently never going to be part of the game plan so she might as well wear something striking.

We have a feeling the kittens will disagree, however. And yes, the limp hair is sad.


Vote Now!


IN! She’s working within her wheelhouse!

OUT! Betty White would turn this dress down for being too old-fashioned!


Penelope Cruz’s vinyl lace tablecloth was widely debated, but the vote ultimately came down to OUT.

[Photo Credit: WireImage,]

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  • actually i was thinking Carrie post pig’s blood drenching. But all in all, it’s a sweet sort of look…I just wish it had been either the covered up collar OR covered up arms.

    • guest2visits

      My exact thought; Carrie.

  • Carrie White: After.

  • Out. Was hoping you’d cover this one. I just can’t. Too much dress. 

    • mmc

      Yes, too much dress! It’s wearing her, not the other way around.  OUT.

  • There is something about a briefcase-y bag with that outfit that makes my eyeballs bleed.


    • MoreShoes

      Thank you for saying that. As if she goes to a convention and needs all kind of documents with her. OUT

    • Judih1

      Amen. Plus the limp hair makes this horrible to look at from head to toe

  • Sobaika Mirza

    The hair is bad and I think the bag is incongruous, but I dig the dress and it suits her.

    • Exactly! Would love the bag with anything but this dress. And the dress would be great with a cute little clutch.

      • Cathy S

         I agree. The bag is wrong but I like the dress on her.

  • In. At least she’s the worldly sister wife who gets most of the attention and makes all of the other wives jealous.

  • MilaXX

    Not to be rude cause I love you guys, but SERIOUSLY? OUT!!!
    Coal miners daughter doing a bag pimp for her sister’s overpriced bags.  Rip off the sheer bits and I might be a little more kindly inclined.

    • mountainFashionista

       Yep, my first thought was Loretta Lynn.  My subsequent thoughts were also Loretta Lynn  🙂

      • It’s so “Carrie goes to the Grand Ol’ Opry.”

  • That bag reminds me of Jerry’s man-purse.

    • BrooklynBomber

      It’s not a purse. It’s European.

  • Serving Little House on the Prairie realness. Out. 

    • Alisa Rivera

      See, to me, serving LHOTP realness makes it an IN.

  • NC_Meg

    Out. Too many ruffles and just…too much. And she’s not THAT different from her sisters. I can see MK or A wearing the one the model has on.

  • BayTampaBay

    OUT! She needs to stay out of her sisters’ closet.

  • Spicytomato1

    Love this dress on her. Yes it’s got a whiff of sister-wife, but mostly it works on her. Hair could use a bit more polish but still…in!

  • benjamin478

    That’s an IN. Don’t like the hair though.

  • AWStevens

    1981.  11 years old. Me. In the same dress but in light blue.  What thrift shop did she steal THIS from??  OUT

  • If she had worn it in the original black, I could have gone for it, but very few people can pull this color off and she’s not one of them.

  • Out!!  Without the sleeves, this dress would have been spot on.  She is just the colorful version of her older sisters…down to the bag.  

  • fireontiger

    No. And why is she carrying what looks like a brief case? Really?

    • MilaXX

       Cause she’s pimping her sister’s bags. They look nice but none of their line is the delicate clutch type bag that is suited for the RC events.

  • Judy_J

    OUT.  I like the black version of this dress.  The red is hideous.  Looks like a giant blood clot.

  • Out. Drowning in medical waste.

  • Aly Light

    You don’t think the fit looks a little off…? Or that the accessories were done all wrong…? I really want to give it to her, because I agree that this dress could work on her, but something is not working here. I hate to do it to you, Lizzie, but it’s an OUT.

  • Liz

    So limp and sad.

  • The sister-wife vibe of the dress isn’t the problem.  The problem is that someone played a mean joke on Elizabeth by gluing her arms down.

  • Vaniljekjeks

    In.  She’s a chic sister wife.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    I am getting a distinct Handmaid’s Tale vibe off of this one….OUT

    • mstzilla

       You are SO right! Minus the sheer parts, of course. I say OUT also (although perhaps she’s never read it – but she should!)

  • paginatrix

    I’m too old for this stuff. I was 13 in 1977 when all the girls wore this dress (in pink or off-white or lavendar) for Special Occasions. Anything that gives me junior high flashbacks is an automatic OUT.

    • Patti Lever

      Agree!  Had a few versions of this dress growing up in the 70’s.

    • norseofcourse

      Gunnie Sax, anyone?

  • RebeccaKW

    Actually, I like it.  The color is good for her, the gown isn’t really that ‘old.’  I wish she’d done something else with her hair and maybe had a little more color on her lips, but I think she looks cute. In.

  • girliecue

    If the Amish have prostitutes, this is what they’d wear.

  • TieDye64

    Easy OUT. That’s a whole lotta retina burning ruffles there and the bag is an odd choice here.

  • Rebecca Johnson

    It’s less Sister-Wife and more Brothel-Madam-In-Training. Hence the little briefcase with all her notes.

  • I kinda like it*. I like the color, and I like the purse. I think the sheerness in the top and sleeves brings it back from the brink of being too sister-wife-ish.

    *Disclaimer: ON HER.  

    ETA: The hair looks terrible, but the makeup looks great (and that smile!).

    • TheOriginalLulu

      Yeah, I love how she’s always smiling, unlike her sourpuss sisters.

  • I kind of agree with you guys. I sort of like it on her, in the context of what she usually wears. I suppose it’s an IN.

  • dschubba

    Michelle Duggar’s lingerie

    • AthenaJ


    • Rand Ortega


  • oatmealpie

    She’s smiling. I didn’t know Olsens could do that.

  • OUT. I really don’t think I need to explain.

  • AlexisPayne


  • VeryClaire

    Horrendous. How can you even put it to a vote?

  • granddelusion

    That’s just awful. Out.

  • SusiePamudji

    She has one foot IN and one foot OUT. Why the briefcase-like bag? Sad hair is sad. Love the dress though.

  • Giant tube of lipstick.


  • Dani Colman

    I saw her at a Q&A for Martha Marcy May Marlene, and she was wearing adorable red skinny jeans and a cute pink jacket.  I think she might just be a lady who does streetwear better than formalwear.

  • The dress has possibilities, with different hair, jewelry and bag. But potential alone does not make an in, so OUT.

  • OUT! the black was much better.

  • kittenwithaquip

    Why does she look like the eldest Olsen? The twins look closer to their real age than she does, and that’s kind of saying a lot.
    Oh, and OUT. Too much dress, clunky bag (at least as far as being paired with that dress) and sad, sad hair. Take the sleeves off the dress and chop it off above the knee and she might actually look her age. If she had taken just a few minutes to even slick her hair back into a low ponytail or knot, she’d look so much better.

  • moppet

    I was always taught if you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all. So…she has a lovely smile.

  • MK03

    She’s so pretty. Why does she insist on looking so frumpy??

    • MilaXX

       I think it’s genetic

    •  Maybe it’s genetics?

  • kimmeister

    I actually like the dress on her, but the hair and bag are what are dragging this look down.

  • IN. It’s totally her style.

  • In_Stitches

    She looks happy which is going a long way towards making it work. The color suits her as well. I just think someone of her height (I assume she’s under 6′ 2″) needs SOME skin somewhere. Flash an ankle or something.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    Nah, the sister-wives would never wear such a vibrant color, especially not red. I think it it was Warren Jeffs who banned any and all red garments from his compound.

    Anywho, I think the dress would have been good had they stopped the ruffles just at knee-length. As is it’s a bit much. And the briefcase makes no sense with this sort of look. It’s a shame because the color and shape of the dress do suit her.

  • Amy Ellinger

    She has such a pretty smile.  I can forgive the dress, since she actually went for the color. 

    •  You are right about her smile – very pretty.

  • greyhoundgirl

    Sister-wife in 1975.  Awful.  Out.

  • Rand Ortega

    Prom 1978. The briefcase is totally wrong. For the dress & the occasion.

  • sweetlilvoice

    Her face and makeup look good, very pretty. Dress…could do better.

  • I think the black dress looks lovely on the model, but the red version looks cheap. And I know she is a very thin and lovely woman, but this dress makes her look wide. I guess that there are some clothes that only models should attempt to wear. And this is exhibit A, unfortunately. I really want to like this, just so I can be on team TLo – but sadly, it’s not to be.

  • mjude

    i havent been nice all week but i am going to give her an IN. i want the purse.

  • Sara__B

    The proper length and a different hair style and styling would have taken this from “sister wife” to “lovely”. As usual, the devil’s in the details. OUT.

  • OUT. Very interesting point about the Olsen sisters being deathly afraid of looking young and sexy. I never thought of it that way. I just thought they had bad taste. Why *do* they wear these whole-body covering outfits? I wonder if it’s because growing up in the limelight they were so exposed and now they just want to cover up all the time. Hmmm. *ponders*

  • Lizzie Joy

    It looks like 9/10ths of the bridesmaids gowns I’ve worn in my life.

  • For her I’m going to say it’s an IN, otherwise it would be an OUT.

  • Out. Too many ruffles. And the way she is holding that bag is just weird. It’s like she has a tiny briefcase with her on the red carpet.

  • joything

    What makes this dress age anybody who wears it – including that model – is the sleeves.  Remove the sleeves, and you’ve got a gown that’s prom-y but okay.  It’s similar to the gown Valentino made for Livia Firth for the Oscars this year (remember TLo’s immortal “her tits are being held up by two wall-mounted soap dishes”?), same color, same 1970s feel. 

  • bubbles_brule

    This dress kind of reminds me of the dress Jamie Lee Curtis wore in True Lies that she tore the sleeves/hem off of to look more like a French prostitute.


  • Judy_S

    OUT. Not so much the dress in itself but the sister-wife posture and smile she is assuming. It looks like she’s apologizing.

  • crash1212

    I actually like the dress and LOVE the bag…the hair is making me sad though. All in all – I’m going with IN just because she chose it in red and didn’t go with black. She’s the racy sister-wife.

  • BrooklynBomber

    You’re right. I thought it. At least it’s not the black version. But, still, OUT.

  • ErmengardeGreen

    No, I agree; this is good within its Olsen genre. 

  • Somehow it works on her. IN.

  • Kayceed

    She gets an out for for the lizard (wrong) medium-sized (wrong) short-handled (wrong) bag.

  • lesmaha


  • Stubenville

    It’s a 1950’s lampshade. Curiously paired with half a briefcase (which looks like a prop from Brazil.) Oh well, at least she skipped the zombie eye makeup and doesn’t look terrified of the camera, unlike her sisters.

  • SapphoPoet

    OUT. Ruffles. Limp hair. Ruffles. Incongruous briefcase bag with ruffles. Red. Ruffles. Too long. Ruffles.  

    Did I mention ruffles?

  • Joyce VG


  • In if she’d kept the black and done her hair like the model. Out because you’ll never win against R. Mara this way, E. Olsen!

  • G

    How cute she could have looked with styled hair and without a briefcase.  Beautiful smile but still very OUT.

  • IN! I think there’s something to be said for dressing in what you like and makes you feel gorgeous, even if it isn’t what is normally worn on the red carpet. You can tell she loves it, and I like that.

  • altalinda

    I’m all for modesty, but this goes too far.  And it’s old-fashioned.

  • CQAussie

    Oh geez no, OUT.

  • karena10

    Out.  It looks like an ugly prom dress from the 70s.

  • out, and shut the door behind.

  • lrhoff

    Hideous.  Bad enough in black, but the dress in red is just tacky.  I do like the bag, though.

  • Snailstsichr

    I was going to say something about how bizarre this bag looks with this dress, but I see almost every other poster has said the same thing.

  • Pannyx

    In, can’t say she looks bad, and she will definitely get heads turning.

  • JimMcC

    Some things can’t be explained. Like why I can only make arguments about why this should be out and yet have no doubt in my mind that it absolutely qualifies as an IN.

  • I’m sorry, but this girl is my age, and she needs to start acting like it. She can save the sister-wife dresses for when she’s much, much older and her skin hangs lower.

    So that’s an OUT, if that wasn’t clear.

  • DominoEstella

    Geesh!  Get a hair job for the love of christ.  Surely you can afford it.

  • Love the dress. Love the bag. Not together. OUT.

  • So, so OUT.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    If the sister-wives were running the best little whorehouse in Utah, maybe. 

  • prettybigkitty

    My first thought was expensive gunny sack.  Out.

  • PeggyOC

    Out.  Just for combining this dowdy dress with that office only bag. Yerrgh.  That’s a cute purse for going to work, not a cute purse for the red carpet.

  • sleepycat

    I like the black dress better then the neon red one. OUT

  • The dress wouldn’t have looked so bad without that odd briefcase looking bag. 

    • cleep1000

      I know, right? That briefcase ruins whatever chance this dress had.

  • j_anson

    OUT. I love the dress in black on the model, but it’s not working here. The bright red loses the sense of delicacy the black version had, and it’s either not fitting right or just not her dress, because it’s making an Olsen look… solid? Puffy? Upholstered? Whatever.

  • BeeBeauNYC

    OUT – that dress has one of Chloe Sevigny’s personalities written all over it.

  • Vanessak69

    Out. She needs a wheelhouse upgrade. 

  • LOVE that shoulder bag!  AS a shoulder bag, that is.  The dress looks like a Goodwill prom dress.

  • OUT. This was the wrong shade to pick for the dress: the flashbulbs totally wash out any detail, and the fabric of the sleeves look barely discernible from the dress, never mind one tier from the next. The hair is without effort, and the handbag feels more like a briefcase (I’d say it contains either pamphlets or the Sunday school lesson plan).

  • ballerinawithagun

    Never wear red on the Red Carpet. But she is so pretty.  Horrible bag for evening. Whoops, she was trying to be real, can’t afford another bag.

  • I like it. And yes, she dresses way too covered-up, but I like that she really cultivates her own look. Most won’t agree with me, I expect, but I’m giving her an IN on this one.

  • TSkot

    Looks like a “Gunny Sax” dress from the 70s.  OUT

  • In. Although it is too conservative at least she went with a vibrant color. A for effort.

  • StrandedFashionista

    At first I was like, ‘OH, it looks better in black…” then, after flipping back and forth for a while between the two looks I realized that nobody could make this look good. Sorry, little Olson, OUT.

  • Kyle Crawford

    The love child of Laura Ingalls WIlder and Dorothy Zbornak on her way to a business meeting at a Mormon Church.

  • Lina_bee

    She really rocks the red, but this totally underlines how completely strange this season’s Valentino is.  I mean, who is meant to be wearing these dresses?  They ALL look like late Victorian/early Edwardian-era costumes — not like something people actually wear.

  • TheOtherChristina

    Sister-wife, really? I was thinking brothel accountant.

    I don’t mind this, but I don’t like it either. And that hair is not okay.

  • Stefanos Mantyla

    Gorgeous dress on the model, but on her, it just reads as too much dress. It still has its good points, but in all, I think this is an OUT, since it is not quite IN.

  • Outer space out!!

  • bellafigura1

    Truly terrible.

  • Filing_and_giving_things_names

    Oh no. Much worse than sister wife.  Handmaid!  You’re OUT, Offred. 

  • butterflysunita

    Awful.  Easy OUT.  

  • PaulaBerman

    It looks like the thing you’d put over the toilet paper roll in a whore house. OUT.

  • demidaemon

    If she had worn the black version, I would have said it was matronly. But the red suits her and is quite vibrant. IN.

  • In, but lose the purse.

  • Sophie Collier

    I just don’t like the color.  I mean, I DO like the color, but not in this dress.  It’s just toooooo toooooo much red rufflage.  The black works better.  Also, this looks like a Florence Welch dress.  Still, it’s not ugly by any means, so I will give her an IN, limp hair notwithstanding.

  • sarct

    At least, unlike her sisters, she smiles.

  • Nayasabrina

    It would work if the waist were better fitted, the sleeves schuzzed up, the hair washed and put in an updo, the bag  miniaturized and in a different finish, uh….


  • She gets a pass from me, I think she trying to work a modern take on Ossie Clark/Biba 70’s.  It’s too  bad we’re so   anesthetized  by  “sexy” that anything else is seen as dowager fashion.

  • OUT. Just too much. It makes my eyes tired.

  • Too much sleeve, not enough cleavage. And that bag is entirely wrong. Out out out.  Too bad…I like the skirt.

  • poggi

    I like it on the model, and it’s not the red color that I dislike or the fact that it is so covered up but I do not like it on her. If you have any bust, the ruffle on top adds too much volume. I think this would be great on someone very thin to give more volume to the hip and bust. It just doesn’t create a nice shape on her. Out.

  • Lisa Kramp

    Are you kidding me? I wore that dress in blue to a senior prom in 1977! Hair, dress, bag…blech to all of it!

  • Purse looks terrible with the dress. BUT I kind of dig the dress. It is a lot of dress, but she looks good so why not? She seems to often go the Olivia Wilde route of be as covered up as possible on random occasions, but hey at least the sleeves are sheer. IN for progress!

  • PeaceBang

    That’s, like, 7 yards of ugly red chiffon of OUT. Horrible bag, too. 

  • KrateBay

    OK, TLo, why did you not pick on the bag? ‘Cuz the bag’s the worst. She’s taking a mini-briefcase to a Grand Chefs’ dinner? What, is she going to whip out a P&L statement during dinner?

  • sleah_in_norcal

    but sister wives never wear red.  unless they are posessed by satan.  also, no black.  and yeah, it’s matronly but it’s juvenile at the same time. with all the chiffon ruffles and the peter pan collar.  all of this being neither here nor there, it’s ugly.  OUT.

    eta: oops! the “peter pan collar” was just an optical illusion caused by the black chiffon folding over the runway models prominent collar bones. it must have been the hot toddy…

  • Out. It looks like something her sisters would wear, and that’s not a compliment. The handbag is an especially bad touch. The long limp hair is bad too. 

  • I really like the dress, although I prefer the black or another color, just not this garish red. I’m going to say IN even though it’s not perfect. The hair is a sad, limp mess.

  • unbornfawn


  • nancy

    Out. Way too much dress, she looks like Carrie’s wedding cake. With a mini-briefcase. 

  • Beth Kenton

    This resembles the dress I wore for my Bat Mitzvah —- in 1973!!!!


  • NurseEllen

    I was trying to imagine changing something about the dress to make it more palatable, and no matter what I changed, it never improved.  She is so OUT, if for nothing else than narrow fashion horizons.  Non-sexy & non-revealing is one thing, but this horror is an affront to all dresses everywhere.

  • lonepear

    Toilet paper cosy.

  • plinkiedoodle

    Sister-Wife!  Ohhhhh, I feel much better.  

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    OUT OUT OUT.  Yes she looks like an old hag.  Dammit. 

  • RzYoung

    That Mara-bot did it better

  • I love the purse, but the paring with that dress doesn’t work. Of course, the dress doesn’t work either. OUT.

  • jjfg

    At least it’s red – I give her some credit for that.  Might have been cute in a spring pattern without the sleeves or the bottom three tiers.  As is, no.  OUT.

  • formerlyAnon

    This IS grading on the Olsen curve: in. 

    But in WHAT universe does that purse work with the dress?

    • miagain

      I know… it looks like she brought her lunch!

  • Sad bridesmaid from 1972. Out.

  • Shoelover1512

    I don’t hate it, but I HATE the purse with it…ewww so I have to go with OUT. The purse ruins it completely for me

  • elemspbee

    Love this dress. I want it.
    oh, YES. it’s in. Her lit’l girl pose is incommensurate with the dress but this dress is prarie-rockin sexi.

  • marilyn

    Out.  This dress is strictly from the 1960’s, and not in a good way.

  • kathryn_dc

    This looks like Jamie Lee Curtis’ dress in “True Lies” before she tore stuff off to make it hot. Out.

  • Anathema_Device

    Out. The ruffles and long sleeves are way too Mandrell Sisters Holiday Special. Not that she has go the slutty Vegas partier route, but this is  SO MUCH red chiffon on her. And that bag is horrible with the dress.

  • Sad all, in spite of the color. OUT.

  • In! This is the first time I’ve seen her Not look boxy in something, it works for her!

  • Tatiana Luján

    Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman in chiffon

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    Everything is wrong.  The dress is just awful, the bag is cute but does NOT go with that dress, her hair is a mess!  OUT.

  • Patricia Gillett

    Out. It’s like that one Little House on the Prairie episode that had the brothel in it.

  • The dress is fabulous, but why the luggage?? 

  • Louise Bryan

    70s prom for shy girls

  • OUT.  I just don’t see anything in about it.  

  • CharCrop

    OUT uncles! Even her hair is dreary! What is wrong with you guys today?

  • librarygrrl64

    OUT. Sorry, there can be no other answer.

  • little9

    i concur. i don’t understand it, but i accept. 

  • ccm800

    OUT!!!!!!!!! She looks like a floor lamp

  • CatherineRhodes


  • oohsparkley!

    I kind of like it.  Don’t have to be sexy all the time. in.

  • oohsparkley!

    I kind of like it.  Don’t have to be sexy all the time. in.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    Awful. Not because it’s not sexy or skinalicious, but because it’s ugly. Like a red wedding cake that’s melting. And wrinkled.

  • bitterk