In or Out: Rachel Bilson in Alexander McQueen

Posted on July 31, 2012

Here’s a sentence we never thought we’d type: We have to give Rachel Bilson all the credit in the world. Why? Allow us to type another sentence that shocks the hell out of us: She’s really working the shit out of those peplum’d pants.

No, really.

Rachel Bilson attends 2012 TCA Summer Tour – CBS, Showtime and The CW Party in a blouse by By Malene Birger paired with Alexander McQueen pants and Shoemint pumps.

Alexander McQueen Peplum Viscose Leaf Crepe Trousers. By Malene Birger ‘Laurensa’ Necktie Crepe Blouse. Shoemint ‘Kathryn’ Pump.

Our first thoughts upon viewing this outfit were not particularly complimentary. After all: a pussy bow, peplum’d pants and beige shoes? Darlings, it’s our celebrity nightmare outfit come to life.

And yet, it’s all really working for us, for some reason. We’re always inclined to give a lady on the RC in pants a second look, just because we’re all about discouraging the idea that women must always wear skirts when they are presenting themselves to the world. Ladypants can be chic as hell when they’re deployed correctly.

Now, we’ll grant you that this is all a little drab from the color perspective, but there’s nothing wrong with a two-tone look and there’s nothing inherently wrong with a neutral paired with black. Our issue with neutrals on the RC revolve around the idea that it’s a safe choice made by far too many starlets because they’re afraid of being criticized. And sure, the shoes are pretty matchy to the top, but we honestly don’t think the oft-mentioned “pop of color” down below would be an improvement. This is clean and chic the way it is, and the pussy bow and peplum are more than enough for one outfit to bear. You start adding glitter and color to this look, and it falls apart. We kinda dig the hair, but our one and only real quibble is her lip color, which looks too pink to our eyes


Vote Now!


IN! Chic as shit!


OUT!  Dull as dishwater!


Poor Cat Deeley has been waiting breathlessly for an entire week to hear what the T Lo Minions think of her outfit. Rest easy, Cat. Those little bitches voted you IN.


[Photo Credit: Andrew Evans/PR Photos,,,]

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  • ugh, looks like forever 21

    • Sobaika

      The outfit definitely looks cheap. But I think she is pulling it off against all reason. Those are difficult proportions for anyone, especially someone so wee. Hair is terrible.

      • SassieCassy

        Seriously the hair is so stupid. Shes trying for edgy or something and FAILING

    • EveEve

      It’s not just bad. It’s TJMaxx deep discount rack bad.  OUT.

  • Hate makeup, hate hair.  Outfit’s fine, styling is so dreadful the whole thing’s an OUT.

  • BazoDee

    IN -it is sooo hard to pull this off. Not sure I could really give it an in. Hate the hair though and she needs to borrow Nicole Kidman’s shoes from yesterday’s post stat! 

    • Judy_S

      My thoughts, yes. So, another modified-rapture IN.

  • Boys, apparently you’ve lost your sight. Let me help you: She’s dressed half in black, half the color of dirty underpants, and she looks like she stole her little sister’s skirt and wore it over pants that are not even tailored (too long, and way too loose). Then she let aforementioned little sister do her hair and makeup.

    She looks like a paradoxical combination of utterly boring and hideously weird. OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT.

    • DCSheehan

      You had me at ‘dirty underpants’. Out.

    • Cathy S

       I approve this message.

  • OUT just for wearing a black bra under sheer, light-colored (pink? silly putty?)  top.

    • AmandaCathleen

       Seriously. That’s never not tacky.

    • Catiline

      The visible black bra is what killed it for me too.

    • Excellence_and_Elegance

      And I thought I might be the only one to notice that.

    • tereliz

      IDK, I think the black bra gives it some edge. Much-needed edge. 

  • It’s cute, but I agree with @facebook-1476660048:disqus that it looks a little cheap.

    I give it a marginal ‘in,’ though because this may be the first and only time that “McQueen peplum’d skinny pants” actually work on someone. The hair might be cute except that it looks that her bangs are completely fried. Perhaps a hot oil treatment or a deep conditioner?

  • The outfit isn’t that bad.  HOWEVER, what is with the arm holes hanging down nearly to her elbows?  Hair is terrible!!

    •  Funny, I noticed the arm holes too, and I tried really hard NOT to consider the too much in my assessment. Glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks that is really off.

  • Wench

    I love me some peplums, but that one is just so limp and ugh. It looks like a tacky, poorly-done hip scarf. It needs to be about an inch shorter, or a bit more stiff so it stands out more and you can tell what it is when someone wears it.

    I think she’s doing as much with this outfit as she can, and I agree – ladypants can be faaaabulous – but the shitty peplum makes this an OUT.

  • Jessica O’Connell

    None of this should work but somehow she still looks good. IN.

  • IN with the caveat that she is the only person in the world who could pull this off.

  • MilaXX

    IN, the outfit works. Minor quibbles; lip is too pink, almost fuchsia & I hate the hair.

  • In. Love it!

  • IN. It’s boring and a bit outdated looking, but it isn’t hideous.

    • It sucks that in some cases, our expectations are so low that “it isn’t hideous” equates an “in.”

    • janetjb

      You are right, it isn’t hideous but boring won’t get an IN from me.

  • cleep1000


  • FlamingJune1967

    I can’t hate this even though I want to.  My first thought was that she looked  like a fashionable Ihop waitress 😀  Anyway, I’m giving it an IN because I can’t give an outfit this fun and out.

    • tereliz

      Yeeeaaah… but I would have gone more rose than pepto pink. 

  • AmandaCathleen

    Out. The peplum on the pants makes her look like she’s wearing one of those little waitress aprons. Not chic.

  • PinkLemon

    My vote is one hearty MEH.

  • raeb23

    In…most couldn’t pull it off but I think she’s making it work.

  • Catiline

    Droopy flight attendant.  OUT. 

    Although she does get my respect for wearing a peplum I don’t hate, and over pants no less.

  • I may have some quibbles, but the girl is a television starlet pulling off Alexander McQueen peplum pants. That alone warrants an IN. 

  • LongTall_Sally

    IN, though it defies explanation.

  • Coralie Legister

    She looks great. IN!

  • jilly_d

    In!  want that blouse.

  • I don’t know about cheap, but I do think that this ages her a lot.  She kind of looks like she should be at a cocktail party on a yacht in the 80’s.

  • Joyce VG

    ugh the pants only work on her because she’s teeny tiny.  Cant’ stand her hair and makeup. the shirt is cute. It’s fine whatever IN. 

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    it’s okay, you can stuff me into the yes column–but what really strikes me enough to write it down is that betsey johnson created an almost identical pair of pants, say, twenty five years ago maybe.

  • MissAnnieRN

    Out.  I can’t with the peplum.  predictable, I know.

  • Jangle57

    It’s funny; you declared the shoes and blouse ‘beige’ but my first thought was that both were light pink – perhaps the red carpet is playing tricks on me.  Regardless, as much as I despise the peplum look, I think she’s pulling it off and for that alone she deserves an IN

  • Yikes. OUT

  • formerlyAnon

    Out. Too much stuff that looks like it’s just there because somebody was trying to be “different.”

  • nannypoo

    Hair and makeup are not working for me, but I like the outfit. 

  • deliadee

    Pussy bow + peplum + droopy armholes + limp hair = OUT.

  • Cute! In!

  • butterflysunita

    OUT.  Looks like a waitress.  

  • call_me_schmeg

    beige pumps? nope. OUT.

  • Sara__B

    OUT, but almost IN. I just can’t give an “in” to those MOB shoes and the black bra.

  • Honestly, she looks great. I don’t want to like it but I do. IN.

  • Lizzyisi

    Pants look good–on the one hand, that’s a shocker because they are pants with a peplum; on the other hand, not so shocking because she’s about as tiny as a human can be and still have an actual pelvic bone. But the shirt is terrible: colorless, limp, poorly fitted and showing off the wildly inappropriate black bra. The shirt looks completely dated and does nothing for her. Shoes are boring. I say OUT because those pants could have been the start of something striking, but this look is sort of wan and sad.

  • tereliz

    I think she’s one of three people (including Zoe Saldana and Tilda Swinton–those bitches can wear anything) on the PLANET who can make these pants look chic. Props, l’il one, props. 

  • belfebe

    IN.  She looks great.

  • Jill Roberts

    LOVE.  She gets an IN just for those AMAZING pants.  Sorry for the shouting, but j’adore those pants.  If she’d put on a brighter lipstick this would have been overwhelmingly wonderful.

  • margaret meyers

    Dull.  Those pants would be cute in a flashier color.  The blouse is so dreary,and it goes beyond the color.  The scale of the details and the limp fabric are doing terrible things together.

  • EEKstl

    I have no idea how she accomplished this, but…IN.  It probably has something to do with her being so small she’s basically a human hanger, so even cray cray peplum pants somehow work on her.  Not crazy about the shoes but not a bad choice.  An interesting black sandal might have been better…

  • IN! Chic as shit says it perfectly. 

  • OUT- I’m sorry, it’s a good try and she’s doing the best she can with that outfit, but it’s boring and… weird. It’s just weird. Out. 

  • OUT OUT OUT. I won’t even say “dull as dishwater”: this is just plain bad. neither piece fits, the hair is hideous, shoes are boring, and overall the look is sloppy and cheap-looking. 

  • alyce1213

    OUT. Not because it’s dull, but because the pants are dopey (leggings with a peplum), and I don’t even hate peplums.
    A black bra under sheer white is NEVER in.
    Also, what’s with her hair? And those shoes with this outfit?
    The shirt’s cute (without the tie), but OUT OUT OUT.

  • mjude

    i tried….OUT

  • Beth G

    In… mostly because her bra isn’t showing through the arm hole.

  • kittenwithaquip

    Out. I hate peplum anything and putting a peplum anything with pastel pink shoes just doubles the wrong.

    Plus, she’s beginning to look a bit like Rose McGowan. After the incident-of-which-we-do-not-speak.

  • butter nut

    IN.  chic, young, cute, trendy.  and on anyone else in the known universe, this would be a catastrophe.  she’s rockin’ it.

  • neadsie

    I have to give it an IN. It’s different from the usual red carpet fare and she’s actually pulling it off…I also really like the hair *ducks*.

  • j_anson

    IN. She’s committing. It looks good. Not great, but good.

  • Judy_J

    I like this, I really like it, right down to the pink lip.  She looks smart and sassy.  IN.

  • Totally in! Not in love with the hair, but she looks like a confident grown up, a self-possessed woman. How often do you see that? 

  • TheOriginalLulu

    The bow looks pretty sad hanging there and I don’t like the fact that she’s wearing a black bra under a sheer pink blouse.
    Take away the bow and put a nude bra under there and I think it would look pretty chic.

  • vintagion

    I actually kind of wish the pants were tighter – a la the “model.” But I’m weirdly digging it too. Kind of wish there just wasn’t that chunk of hair hanging out – but I like the idea of a sleeker hair look + volume. And definitely a different lip.

    I’m gonna go IN. Gotta give the girl some credit for trying something on the edgy side without heading over to crazy.

  • MarissaLG

    I don’t love the hair, but other than that she looks cute. I agree with everyone else in that this does NOT look like a McQueen- it looks like Forever21. Also, is the blouse too big on her? 

    I’m conflicted. I guess it squeaks by as an IN. 

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    Peplum And The Pussy Bows.  another band name.  check out their debut single, Paisley Tit Flap.

  • Annie Leung

    The top is cute, and is it bad that I could barely see the peplum on the pants? The lighting’s a little weird because everything just looks so dull and kind of dark, I feel like this top should pop but it doesn’t. She still looks good though so it’s barely an IN.

  • DaveUWSNYC

    Stewardess. Out.

  • crash1212


  • Dhammadina

    In. Cute and put together. 


    Hey, if you can pull this off, a world of credit goes to ya. IN.

  • PeggyOC

     No, no, no.  Out.  Even if the outfit rocked the casbah, which it don’t, that hair is terrible and should not be rewarded.

  • Alexis Keller

    In love it for some reason

  • ringthing

    Out because of the pants. That peplum gives the pants the exact look a half apron worn by a banquet waitress over her standard black work pants.

  • SapphoPoet

    Out. Too restaurant-hostess-y. I keep expecting her to say, “May I show you to your seat?” And I really dislike her hair. And lipstick. 

  • phrenk

    Makes me wish I could vote OUT more than once.

  • ChelseaNH

    IN.  It shouldn’t work, but it does.

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    Dislike the top, hate the peplum’d pants (never thought I’d type those two words together!), hair is bad, and makeup looks too heavy or sweaty or something.  Gotta give this an OUT.

  • kimmeister

    I’m on the fence.  My biggest problem with the pants is not the peplum, actually, but with the cut of the pants.  Those tapered but not “skinny” pants will never not look 80’s to me. 

  • l_c_ann

    Out because her hair reminds me of the world’s worst combover. 
    Now if you’re giving the blouse away…..

  • ballerinawithagun

    In! I’m a peplum fan! I make pants, jackets and sashes with attached peplums. The top is normally not my style but in this case I like the sexy secretary look. 

  • Cynica

    She looks like a waitress at a chic bistro, which is the closest the word “chic” comes to that outfit. And the shoes–I just can’t.

  • Out. I don’t think that particular shade of beige is flattering to her skintone. 

  • librarygrrl64

    OUT. I just can’t with her, ever. She’s so…meh. Boring, bland, vacuous, etc. I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me in a satisfactory way why she is famous.

  • CassieLee22


  • LP

    In.  Although until I googled, I thought she was the one who’s with David Cross.  Different person.  

  • In. Prettiest she’s looked in ages, so much better than on her silly show!

  • The summer heat has addled you. OUT.

  • Vickiefantastico

    Hate the hair, really dislike the shoes, and she looks uncomfortable. For that alone, OUT!

  • mom2ab

    All it needs is to be covered in candy and you have Quentin Sweetcrackers crapfest.  Out.

  • random_poster

    Out.  Put a little cap on her head and roller skates on her feet, and I expect she’d take my order at Sonic.

  • Out – Peplum pants are an automatic DQ. 

  • PaulaBerman

    Boring and droopy looking. OUT.

  • guest2visits

    Although she doesn’t look horrible, no way do I want to see peplum pants. Skirts, dresses, fine.
    How much cuter this would have been without the apron. In fact, I think the blouse would be nicer un-tucked.

  • marilyn

    shoes matching lipstick + black bra showing through light colored blouse = OUT

  • demidaemon

    I don’t know. There is something here I just don’t respond to. Perhaps the color palate? But my gut instinct is OUT.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Those pants should be shot.

  • Kathleen B

    In! she looks very stylish

  • quiltrx

    I was almost going the other way, then I really looked and have to say OUT.  The blouse is cute but WAY too big on her.  Her hair looks horrible. I don’t mind the style of the pants, but the fabric looks cheap to me.

  • IN. I love that she took the chance with peplum pants, which is daring enough for Bilson. Cut her some slack because she is really working the shit out of this outfit! 

  • i vote in.

  • bailey debruynkops

    cute as a lil doe-eyed button! IN

  • Susan Crawford

    That top is a couple of sizes too big, and I’m on record as saying that I hate the whole concept of a peplum generally speaking, so I’m surprised that I’m voting IN on this look. It’s probably because Rachel Bilson is working SO hard to make this work that . . . it kinda does. (Those messy hairdos many starlets are sporting? T & Lo, can we organize an airlift of emergency combs, brushes and hair product to the deprived denizens of LA-LA Land? The situation seems dire.)

  • Not working for me. OUT.

  •  OUT. WTF are you guys thinking?

  • All of the “trends” that no one actually likes, all at once. She looks cute, but I still have to say OUT.

  • Samantha Irene

    Surprise IN!

  • bellafigura1

    Love the blouse, love the pants, but no, OUT, the shoe ruins it for me, takes it from couture to suburban. She needed a caged sandal or the bootie as pictured. With these, I almost expect her to be sporting full-on control-top pantyhose under the pants too.

  • sagecreek

    Oh, so in! She looks clean, and fresh, and very chic. And I hate peplums in general.

  • JennaMarieS

    IN. If she were Annie or Michelle this would be too twee and boring but it’s a surprise from her.

  • Jennifer Hofstetter

    I’m picking up what you’re putting down, but it’s still an OUT for me.

  • Dan_In_NYC

    OUT.  I am actually leaning more IN overall, as it’s an outfit that grows on me.  But I’m with others who can’t support a black bra being visible with this type of get-up

  • Those pants are the rebuttal to “Leggings are not pants.” OK, you win, but they are still stupid. And they belong on a toddler.

    And the hair is bad. Very bad.

    OUT, which is a shame because she looked decent in the thumbnail. I almost didn’t even open the post.

  • n a

    i looks like something my insurance agent would wear. very chic for Sonia, while she suggest I upgrade my policy, but alas…maybe hot so chic for a PYT on the red carpet.

  • jennifervney

    I applaud her for trying something different, but OUT, because of the peplum, which looks like it’s fainting, and the totally assy hair.

  • Sunshine16

    IN, she looks better than usual

  • cute; IN

  • Trisha26

    Out. Can’t believe those pants have the McQueen name.

  • pdquick

    I think I saw this girl on Muni today.

  • mila_8

    Wake me when peplums are over.

  • aristida_girl

    I may be too late, but IN, peplum or no, she looks cute..

  • Meh.

  • ccm800

    out. Uniformish and dull. 

  • RzYoung

    IN i also love it. No many people can wear peplum pants