Girl, That’s Not Your Dress: Hilary Swank in Marc Jacobs

Posted on June 08, 2012

Ohhhhhhh, honey. We don’t think so.


Hilary Swank attends the 3rd annual amfAR Inspiration Gala New York in a Marc Jacobs dress.

Marc Jacobs Resort 2013 Collection

Really, our first impulse is to shriek “GIRL THAT’S NOT YOUR HAIR,” when of course, it is her hair; it’s just all wrong. Girl you need to get a queen to blow that out for you because it is looking seriously limp. Also, it’s not very flattering.

Moving down, we can admit that we gasped at the dress. It’s highly dramatic and very pretty. It also doesn’t suit her in the slightest and it’s way too long on her. Tip-toeing around this as much as we can, we’ll just say that it’s always been a headscratcher as to why she defaults to extremely retro-feminine looks like this. Honey, we don’t know how you got this far in life without figuring this out, but flirty and feminine is not in your wheelhouse. Sleek and dramatic, on the other hand; you can pull that look off like no one’s business.

Pack this dress up and ship it off to Michelle Obama. It probably won’t suit her either, but she at least can pull off the ’50s Grande Dame looks better than you can, sweetie. Go buy yourself a tube dress or a killer pants suit. We’ll help you pick out shoes for it.


[Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images,]

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  • Thathoodwink

    If the dress was about two feet shorter, it would be much better. And you can use the excess fabric to cover a lampshade!

    • MissAnnieRN

      Victorian lamp shade was my most immediate thought when I saw this. The. I realized it was another lace overlay dress and I started to twitch like I do when I see a peplum. (!!!!!11!!!!one) Only then did I think, oh, Hilary swank. Bad stylist, bad!

      • TieDye64

        Remember those frilly doll lamps? Ugh.

    • I want it to turn into a knee-length sheath dress with a pencil skirt. Sure, it’d be comparatively boring, but it’d still be that feminine look she wants with the sleekness she needs, and I think she’d look great in that version.

    • I agree – the neckline with the little sleeves has a shape that looks modern enough for Swanky Hills to pull off. Then I scrolled down and there was a direct correlation between the length of time I had to scroll through that skirt and how bad the outfit became. 

  • Lizzyisi

    What a beautiful dress. And what a terrible choice for her!

  • This is total fail. Everything, from hair and makeup, to the dress, bag, and shoes. OUCH.  Emphasizing the size of your jaw, and ears, by pushing your hair back is not a good idea for you, Hillary. 
    I love Marc Jacobs’ work, and this is not something she should ever choose. The proportions are all wrong for her, though it is a beautiful dress. its gonna be a toughie to pull off.

  • Call me Bee

    You are so right!  Girly is just not Ms Swank’s style.  Sleek menswear would suit her so much better. 
    Aside from that–I have a dumb question.  Resort collection?  This is about the 3rd or 4th “resort” collection I’ve seen here–and obviously, this clothing is not for “resorts”.  Resort used to be stuff to wear on the beach or at your summer home (or, really, at resorts!)   Is it just an excuse to release a bunch of clothing between Fall in Feb and Spring in Sept that have nothing to do with vacation? 

    • lordandtaylor

      It should be called “the LAST resort collection.

  • TropiCarla

    Ugh … the length looks awful on them both. Methinks if this had been knee-length or shorter, a disney princess could wear it on her first day as a housewife.

  • SewingSiren

    Scarlett O’Hara wearing her mother’s too big out of style wedding dress for her first “quicky” wedding to the solider leaving for war. Judging by the look book shot , that is exactly the designer’s intent. 

    • lordandtaylor

      You are too funny but your description fits sooooooooooo perfectly. You are my nominee for best comment of the week!

  • DaringMiss

    If the skirt were knee length and the dress were unbelted, I think it would have been better.

    But, just to be safe, she should send the dress to me.  I would look great in it!

  • HomeOfficeGirl

    I think you are right about what she would look better/best in…but I think this looks great too.  Love the dress and the shoes!  Not a GTNYD moment to me…

  • judith traherne

    To be fair, it looks equally bad on the model.

    • twocee

      I agree.  I’m not really sure whose dress this would be.  Definitely not Hilary’s.

      • charlotte

         Snow White’s maybe?

      • I thought Zoey Dechanel maybe.  Since she likes covering her legs so much.

        • I thought Rooney Mara could perhaps pull it off when she’s in the Audreybot twee mode.

      • CozyCat

        Maybe Michelle Williams–it’s a little twee, but also a little grown up

    • pookiesmom

      My thoughts exactly. That is just too much dress, methinks.

    • hillmad

      I agree. It looks like it’s for a cartoon of a woman, not a real woman . . . of
      any size.

    • TheOriginalLulu

      RIGHT? And with those clunky shoes? It’s not good.
      It’s a beautiful dress, but you have to be a certain type of girl to pull that off. I’m not certain what type of girl, but she ain’t it.

    • butterflysunita

      I actually think it looks worse on the model than on Hilary.  

    • butterflysunita

      I actually think it looks worse on the model than on Hilary.  

  • This dress is stunning. But not for her.

  • In_Stitches

    The model-shot looks like an old paperdoll wearing a dress from a different brand.  It just hovers around her in a highly unflattering way.  Maybe a giant patent-leather belt might help. 

    • CassieLee22

      agreed i like the black and white one sooo much more, the model one just looks awful

  • MilaXX

    Pretty dress, but not for her or Shelly. I think maybe Cate Blanchett.

    •  YES. I was trying to think who could pull this off. Cate is perfect.

  • NurseEllen

    Yikes, this is awful.  Although it is a darn sight better in black & white than in red & pink……..

  • This would look so much better if chopped off at the knee length. This length doesn’t really look good on anyone.
    Is it just me, or does the model version not have pleats?

  • At least it fits her better than it does the model, on whom it looks like a brocade potato sack.

    It’s a gorgeous gown. But no. Not for her. 

  • efishfan

    Yeah, I was thinking she was a complete idiot until I scrolled down and saw the model pic. Unbelievable that is how it is supposed to fit/look. She should be wearing something more like what Jada Pinkett Smith is wearing a few posts back, feminine but with an edge. They both have skull heads and need to be careful about how they present themselves.

  • Alyson Epstein

    And why is she standing like she just rode in on a horse?

  • JaneDC

    I actually groaned as I scrolled down on her picture. I’m not sure who could pull this off, but it ain’t her. And I’m not saying that just because the woman makes me break out in an itchy rash anyway.

  • mjude

    i laughed

  • lordandtaylor

    My goodness. What IS THAT FABRIC? It looks like something I would use to upholster a chair. And the style is kind of a mash of milk maid, amish mom and the girl on the front of the Sun Maid Raisin box. I don’t think this is anyone’s dress.

  • Anathema_Device

    Tough dress for anyone. It is a conceptual piece masquerading as a convention piece. Someone tall with really striking/unusual features might be able to work this dress. Certainly not dear Hillary here.

  • jw_ny

    I always feel bad for the designer when I see an interesting dress that is worn by the wrong person.  Now it’s not like any other celeb is going to don it, so it’s potential is wasted. Off hand I don’t know whose dress this is, but it certainly is not Hillary’s….perhaps Michelle Williams? no…idk.  anyways…the lace pattern kind of bugs me but I really like the crisp pleats and lines of this dress….pretty from the side too.   

  • nannypoo

    I agree that she should ship this off to Michelle Obama, who I am confident will have the common sense to shorten it and wear appropriate shoes. The model looks like something that should have wings and flit around in my garden after I spend the afternoon sucking down mojitos.

  • I dunno. I like it from the side view but not the front – and I really hate the sleeves (t-shirt sleeves!). I think she carries it off better than she should so props to her. It must be very hard to be a girly-girl soul in a  sleek / menswear body.
     If she was curvy like CH she’s be told to slim down, and as a athletic build type she probably gets told to be more curvy. Girl can’t win.

    • sweetestsith

       I think she could do girly, but it would need to be the tailored girly stuff. A classic fitted shape with delicate details (embroidery, buttons, small ruffles, fluttery overlays, dainty decorative seaming, etc.) would be a win pretty much every time. I love her in incredibly simple sleek lines, but if she wants girly it could be done. Without looking like this. Yikes.

  • Aurumgirl

    More than anything, this is a dress for a stick thin, seriously flat chested woman.  It’s all about those lines and folds, and anything that upsets or distorts them in any way is going to make the dress look like a box made of rags.  Hilary has too many curves so she looks awful in it.  She cannot do girly, but womanly/goddesy she can do.  That goes for the hair, too.

  • miagain

    What a beautiful dress… I suppose I’ll get slammed for this, but I think she looks lovely… and happy.  

  • Nope sorry. I am totally gettin’ it. I think she looks sweet and, um, clean. Seriously though, I really like it and it’s rather edgy with it’s big dramatic shape and the unique length. I feel like very few people could pull this off – maybe Anne Hathaway – but Hilary is holding her own.
    And if her hair was big it would have looked too princessy. Nope. I think it’s chic. Go Hils!

  • Judy_J

    The dress is gorgeous, and I like the way she looks in the side view photo.  From the front, however, the whole outfit looks strangely out of proportion. 

  • No one would look good in this dress.

  • Lisa Dugan

    It’s way way to stiff.

    • SignLadyB

       That was my first thought at well. I didn’t dislike the patterned fabric, and really liked the bodice.

  • I really think its the length of the dress (because only tall gals can really pull it off) and the volume of the skirt.  She’s just too small to pull it off.

  • School marm realness. And, I don’t mean that in a good way.

  • marjzilla

    When I saw this, I immediately thought of the playing cards who are guards for the queen in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.

  • From the waist up she looks pretty, but I agree she needs softer hair, some bangs or layering.  The dress is much too long and heavy for her or probably anyone.  It might have worked if it were shorter.


  • newleaf1

    Pretty fabric – would make a great bedspread.  

  • mmc

    The model looks like a doll wearing doll’s clothes.  Not for human beings!

  • elleg929

    Homegirl needs some bangs.

  • BrooklynBomber

    I don’t think this is anybody’s dress. Interesting. Dramatic. Yes. But very likely flattering to no one. More of a concept and a conceit than a real garment.

  • janetjb

    I’d like to see Michelle Obama try it.  She’s tall enough and her waist is high enough, but the length seems problematic.

  • margaret meyers

    Hilary Swank and Jada Pinket Smith are tough to dress.  Their physicality is so aggressive that they have to really soft-sell their fashion. Do they lack grace? Is that the issue? They always look so especially sparkly and attention seeking.

  • crash1212

    Doesn’t help that it looks several sizes too big. The model isn’t even pulling this dress off. It’s a very difficult dress and TOTALLY not in Hilary’s wheelhouse. Also…I can’t with the hair – I thought we were done with stick-straight. Jeez.

  • tired_mommy

    I love the concept of this dress, but think it might need a more fitted bodice and less fabric on just about anyone.

  • The dress looks 3 sizes too big for her. Amazing what the change in placement of the belt can do to the silhouette. 

  • TheOriginalLulu

    Also, she’s a little long in the tooth for such a princess-y look.
    You fellas may be too polite to point that out, but I don’t give a shit.

  • VanessaDK

    Honey, I shrunk the movie star!!!

  • Wendy Kaufman

    This has to be the most extreme case of “that’s not your dress” that you have ever posted. Ever. I am left gasping WTF? over and over. Hillary is a nock-out. How can she look this bad in a dress? Can’t really say that I even like it on the model. This dress needs curves–badly. Hair is a huge mismatch here too. I weep at the misuse of such nice fabrics.

    • Charmella

      Yep…WTF is right! I’m otherwise speechless!

  • LuluBI

    “scroll down fug”, to be double-derivative

  • judybrowni

    In red, it’s Not Any Girl’s Dress.

  • dickylarue

    Why am I thinking little Laura Ingalls was sold this dress by a gypsy behind Olsen’s general store? When she realized it was 4 sizes too big, Half Pint still wore it happily to the Walnut Creek town picnic and was laughed at by all the town. Later that night Pa taught her some tender life lessons about buying fashions from gypsies and she agreed to never do it again. In later seasons, Mary the blind sister, was seen wearing this dress and killing it. 

  • Lina_bee

    Agreed that the dress would be great on someone, but it isn’t her dress at all. However! 1. At least it isn’t cocker spaniel hair. 2. That neckline is made of WIN on her. She should totally look into all sorts of things with that neckline. 3. Preferably menswear lines, which have always been smack in the center of her wheelhouse.

  • OMG, I LOVE that dress!  I want (a less expensive version).

    • Mrs

       Me too!  That would totally be my dress!

  • I always think she must still be reacting against her Boys Don’t Cry dress and hair.

  • BazoDee


  • donkeygospel6

    She looks like a fancy chess piece. 

  • unbornfawn

    Oh, honey, no.

  • I don’t really think this is anyone’s dress. The wide skirt and the awkward hem length looks terrible, even on the model. 

  • Go ahead & send that on down to 
    Mia Wasikowska. 

  • understateddiva

    I kinda dig it – except for the cassock-like thing it’s doing around her ankles.  

  • guest2visits

    I think this is a goofy looking design; both for the model and Hilary. Just maybe it would have been a little cuter brought to knee-
    length.  But I do think her hair worn sleek like that isn’t a bad thing, occasionally.

  • Jellybish

    Fraulein Maria goes to the Oscars.

  • TSkot

    Looks better on Hilary than the model.  Yikes!

  • granddelusion

    The dress might be cute if it were shorter, but as it is, it just looks stupid, in both incarnations. And it’s totally not Hilary’s style.

  • EEKstl

    I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly who this WOULD look good on…

  • greyhoundgirl

    Someone’s wearing Mommy’s dress.  Does. Not. Fit.

  • Hermione_Granger

    If that dress were short, it would be adorable on Zooey Deschanel, or more importantly, on me.

  • Ship it off the Mia Wasikowska, I think she could nail this dress. 

  • megohd

    How about: Sir, that’s not your dress.

    Sorry; I actually really like her. But everything about this look is out of place.

  • megohd

    How about: Sir, that’s not your dress.

    Sorry; I actually really like her. But everything about this look is out of place.

  • What a terrible dress (on a model)

  • What a terrible dress (on a model)

  • formerlyAnon

    That is a stunning dress. But I’m stumped to think of anyone whose dress it might be. It reminds me too strongly of costume – some sort of court attire for a near eastern country which exists only opera.

    • holdmewhileimnaked


  • holdmewhileimnaked

    i love the red version. i love this whole collection, actually–in fact, i lovelovelovelovelove this whole collection–something i have never ever ever ever ever been able to say about a marc jacobs collection before. he’s finally gotten better after, i dunno, decades of pushing pulling & pumping out lines & lines of derivatives of derivatives. skoal!!

    in other news, i tend to like her but the dress doesnt work. but thats not my news, it’s yrs. i just concur.

  • She looks like a sassy NUN. 

  • Sara__B

    This isn’t a very flattering photo. I suspect she and the dress looked much better in person.

  • Girl_With_a_Pearl

    Sister Wife.

  • Laylalola

    I can’t imagine this dress or the magenta version working on anyone outside of an Alice in Wonderland production.

  • Elizabeth_10

    The dress?  What dress?  I can’t get past that awful makeup. 

  • Candigirl1968

    The dress would be great if it were knee length (and Shelly O could completely rock it).  I don’t know that anyone could pull off the ankle length version.  

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    True scrolldown fug. With a slim skirt ending at the knee this would have been a knockout. 

  • Moving the belt below the waist seam was a terrible idea. 

  • I like it better on her then on the model…I still hate it…

  • Nonnah

    All I thought was “Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland”.  

  • SophieCollier

    Huh.  I don’t even like that on the model.  That’s just about the worst length for a dress.  It’s a nice idea, though, with the panels of lace and the retro cut.  Shorter, Marc.  Make it shorter and you got something.

  • MC B

    I think it would’ve worked if it wasn’t so long.  Maybe a tea length or just above the knee hemline would’ve been better.

  • julesj

    she looks like a bobble-head doll.

  • LambeeBaby

    EEEEEEEeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww! I don’t think that is ANYONE’S dress. It is an awful Amish nightmare.

  • saanrio

    I get so much Little House on the Prairie from this, it is not even funny.  D:

  • joything

    When “Boys Don’t Cry” came out, Hillary had to doll it up to “prove” that she was actually attractive to men.  I think that has stuck over the years, since her biggest bank has come from kickass, non-girly roles.

  • quiltrx

    This really is a gorgeous dress, IMO.  Definitely not for her, though.  And the hair looks AWFUL.  Some sort of fingerwave-ish updo might have made this better for her.

    And does she look terribly thin to anyone else?  I’ve always thought she was nicely proportioned, but she looks gaunt here to me.

  • bellafigura1

    This is Rooney Mara’s dress.

  • Louise Bryan

    I’m amazed at how much better it looks on Hilary than on the model.  Is it supposed to look like that?  If so, UGH!

  • pokokpuding

     It’s so Carey Mulligan.

  • ccm800

    she had the sleek and minimalist thing working so well for her a few yesrs back….what the heck?

  • CMS

    My first thought – and even more with the red version on the model – was “playing card”.

  • Corsetmaker

    I like the dress but I don’t think it works on her. It just isn’t her style, or her dress. Although if she wanted to do full skirt and feminine this is a better option than many.
    It could perhaps have been a smidge shorter, but just a smidge. I strongly disagree with all the call for knee length, because I generally think full skirts at knee length look childish, out of proportion and twee. I especially hate when people attempt a full on 50s look with a skirt at 1o year olds party dress length rather than an adult length! The Dior New Look of the 40s and 50s was one of the most glamorous, elegant and influential styles of fashion history yet these days as soon as a skirt creeps below the knee everyone wants to get the scissors out!

  • Some_Lady

    Girl, this is nobody’s dress.  From the waist up it’s lovely, but the bottom half is absolutely ridiculous.  It looks stupid on the model–she is swimming in it.  It needs to be either floor length or knee length.  I actually cannot picture what women would look good in that.  

  • Sweetvegan

    It’s a bizarre length. It doesn’t even look right on the model.

  • Fabulolus dress, but when TLo is right, TLo is right.  That is sooo not her dress.

  • suzq

    It’s funny because it looks better on her than it does on the model!  The side shot is stunning.  Front on….not so much.

  • golspie

    Hillary’s head is shaped like a quaalude.

    • PeaceBang

      I just laughed so hard my dog’s head fell off my lap.

  • PeaceBang

    I would have expected to see Maggie Gylennhaal in this. 

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    That dress is hideous no matter who you might put it on.  Too stiff and the proportions are just bad.  But on Hilary, who is tall and skinny, it just hangs!  Hair is bad, but the makeup is good.  I like the shoes.