Ariel Winter in Kate Spade

Posted on August 13, 2012

Lately, it seems like we’ve been cast – much against our will, mind you – as the Grumpy Gay Uncles, harrumphing at every under-18 starlet for dressing too old. In our defense, we’re harrumphing because these little girls look frumpy, not slutty. To be perfectly honest, some old-fashioned teen-girl trampiness would probably please us more (in an “Attagirl,” kinda way; which is when gay uncles can be AWESOME, by the way) than another babygal walking out in her mother’s dress.

But we’re a little torn on this one.

Ariel Winter attends The Songbirds’ ‘Miss Me’ Album Release Party hosted by ELLE Magazine in West Hollywood, California in a Kate Spade New York dress paired with Brian Atwood pumps.

Kate Spade New York ‘Kimberly’ Dress

Love the dress. The silhouette’s certainly youthful. And the bedazzled Peter Pan collar has a certain retro-youthful charm to it while bumping up the glam factor. But we wish she’d chosen a more fun, less serious-looking shoe. Sorry to haul out the cliche, but the much-referred-to “pop of color” was called for here. Bright pink pumps. Or silver sandals. Anything fun and light and less mature-looking. She is, after all, only 14.

And to continue our harrumphing, that’s too much eye makeup for her. Not in a “you’re too young, miss girl” sense, but in a “it really doesn’t suit your face” one.

Don’t get us wrong; she looks great. But for a 14-year-old at a record release party, she looks a bit serious and grown-up.

Note: We never really say things like “glam factor” in real life.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images, WireImage,]

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  • Gulping loudly.
    She’s 14?   FOURTEEN??????? 
    The way she has been styled she looks like a 24 year old, with a twee fixation.

    • EveEve

      Love the look, but i sincerely hope her parents made her bring flats to change into as soon as she was off the red carpet.  Poor thing is going to ruin her young feet before she hits adulthood if she wears heels like that.

    • A fourteen-year-old should not be wearing come-fuck-me pumps.  Somehow — and I may be old-fashioned on this point — it seems wrong.  Improper, even.

    •  Exactly. She looks like an old person wearing a dress that is too young for her but is really a young person wearing shoes that are too old for her.

    • Mildly funny story – my cousin is 15 years younger than I am and was digging through my make up bag. She pulled out a dark plum color and was about to slather it on when I said “oh don’t wear that.” “Why NOT!” she demanded in the “I’m a grown up and I can do what I want!” voice of kids. “It will make you look sallow,” I said. “Try this one,” and handed her a less old lady shade, that looked both good and 15 year old appropriate. Her mother couldn’t believe how good she looked without a 20 minute fight about makeup and acting her age. 

      My point being that someone should have had the same convo with little miss here. Or her stylist. 

      • Oh, the conversation should definitely be with her stylist, who is pushing too hard for the grown up and sexy thing. Chickie is 14 ferfucksakes

  • ASK26

    My  first reaction was – what could anyone complain about she looks cute… until you said she is only 14.     Agreement on all counts

  • ballerinawithagun

    You are right, of course. This calls for some “girls just wanna have fun” shoes. Love the be-dazzled Peter Pan collar, but I wish she would have gone with the original sleeves instead of the weird cap sleeve. She is adorable!

    • Sobaika

      Agreed, I love the original dress and its sleeves. 

      It belongs in my closet.

      • Actually I would rather see it on you. 😉

        • Sobaika


    • CupcakeKate

      Agree with the sentiment that the original sleeves looked better – the cap sleeve is throwing off the proportion of the skirt.  I don’t know if they’ve added a crinoline or something to bell the skirt, or if it is just an optical illusion, but the trucated sleeve and poufy skirt look odd.

  • Violina23

    It’s a little too short & “French maid” for my taste, but she looks cute

    • Patricia Gillett

      I actually think that changing the sleeve to a cap helped tone down the “maid” factor and made this cuter. Desperately needs a sparklier shoe, though. And a proper shoe, too – not one of those plastic abominations from CL’s latest line.

  • RzYoung

    Wow, I was wearing baggy tie-dye and army surplus when I was 14 🙁  – if they’re dressing like this at that age what is there to look forward to? The teen years are a rite of passage and one should look dreadful throughout!

  • Judy_J

    another 14 going on 24 teenager?  My old fogey-ness is kicking in big time.

    • Lori

      My old fogey-ness can keep yours company. When I was 14 my mom wouldn’t have even let me try on shoes with that high a heel, let alone wear them out of the house.

      • formerlyAnon

        I think the heels are too high with that dress for 14. But to be fair, nobody was photographing me on the red carpet at 14, so I’m inclined to give some leeway. Which I’ll give for the makeup, also too old for 14. But holding the line on the shoes. Heels, maybe. Those heels, no.

      • ASK26

         I had a pair of dressy shoes that I couldn’t use anymore.  My niece wanted them.  I said NO you cannot wear those until you are older.  Sadly, had I let her have them, her mother would have let her wear them.  I was not going to give in

  • Alisa Rivera

    Very cute. She looks older, but I don’t think it’s the styling. She reads more mature than her bio age. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Selena Gomez looks like jailbait no matter how you style her.

    In marginally related news, a special request for TLo: Please do a post on Miley Cyrus’ haircut. I think she looks adorable and more importantly, she looks her age!

    • MilaXX

       agreed Miley finally looks her age.

  • mjude

    i had no idea she is 14!  she looks so cute but WAY to mature now that i know her age.

  • lehen

    i loved this when i first saw it.  but i thought she was in her mid-20s.  i agree that the shoes make this look more appropriate for an older young adult.  what about a cute pair of flats for the little lady??

    • MilaXX

       I started wearing heels at 14, no way would I be at some big time event in flats. These particular shoes may be a bit too grown and serious, but flats would be too infantile.

  • call_me_schmeg

    i’m totally finding a way to work “glam factor” into a conversation today. i don’t even care how awkward it is.

  • MilaXX

    I like the look, but agree the makeup is a bit heavy.

  • Le_Sigh


    I think this look would have been more fitting on a Fanning.  

  • Are the sleeves supposed to be pleated or is that just rucked up on one side?

    I think the dress is cute and agree about the shoes and also? Fourteen?? Whoa. I have no idea who she is, but yeah, she does NOT look 14. 

  • MissAnnieRN

    If you are 14 this dress is spot on. Who wore the bejeweled Peter pan collar the other week? Anyway hated it that time. Love it here.

    But if you are 14, your mother should tell you that anything more than an inch and a half to two inch heel is the absolute upper limit. Those look like street walker shoes on a 14 year old.

  • SummerSquash

    I initially wanted to disagree with you, but as usual, T&L are correct. It is so close, but ultimately too mature because of the detailing.

  • jmorino08

    Kate Spade posted this dress on their Facebook page this morning with a caption, “perfect for drinks with a client” or something like that. I thought it looked entirely too twee on the model in that photo, but it definitely suits a teenage starlet at a record release party. I think she looks great!

  • alyce1213

    Perfect dress for a 14 year old.  The heels are too high.

  • Dress is cute, but I’m not a fan of her hair. 

  • Right on about the makeup. Not only the eye but the whole face! Way too much.

    I’m feeling the black pumps with the dress.

  • Squarah

    8 pounds too much makeup. She looks like an overgrown Toddlers & Tiaras contestant from the neck up.

  • Musicologie

    It’s pretty typical to have an outfit look better on the starlet than the model, but this was a particularly dramatic example. That collar and silhouette look cute on a 14-year-old and just silly on an adult. 

  • I think she looks adorable. I love the dress, and my only complaint about the shoes is that yawny black. I love the sleeve alteration.  I think she looks fresh-faced and young.  Grumpy gay uncles, indeed. 

    And as for the shoe height… the rule in our house is that, once you hit high school, if you can walk in ’em without slumping, clomping, leaning over, or otherwise looking like a kid playing dress-up, you can wear ’em.  They’re just shoes. Cleavage, tight clothes, rips and stains… we’re gonna have a problem.  But if you can wear the shoes gracefully, you can wear them out in public.

    • EveEve

      They’re “just shoes” until the malformed bones in her feet require painful surgery to fix them.

      •  So you are saying that no one should ever wear heels? Really?

        • EveEve

          Huh, wha?  Lord no I am not saying that!  People should wear whatever the hell they want to wear.  But a 14 year old’s bones (spine, hips, knees, feet, toes) are susceptible to damage from wearing high heels, and starting at such a young age may hasten the day when she may have chronic problems. 

          • Okay, fair enough. I can’t speak to how often Ariel Winter wears heels. My teenager wears them for 3 hours, twice a year at formal dances, and then it’s Chacos and deck shoes the other 364 days. So I think she’s probably safe. (Especially since she doesn’t care for stilettos because the fear of falling and being mortified far outweighs the interest in wearing a CL type of heel.)

            And fie on you old farts who would not let a teen wear heels ever. You’ve got to get out more. They all wear them to dressy occasions any more, and I say it’s far better to make sure the girl learns *how* to wear them and walk in them. I weep for those girls about to head off to college who aren’t being taught how to walk in heels.

            Don’t get me wrong, Ariel’s are too high. But in principle, the no-heels-on-teens crowd is living in the 50’s.

  • kikisayshi

    She is adorable, the dress is appropriate, but I do agree that she needed some more youthful shoes/accessories to make it more fun. I was thinking she was around 16 looking at this picture. In tween time, two years makes a big difference!

  • When I saw this look on another site, it instantly jumped out as a knockout look, so I’m not surprised you covered it. I personally have no problem with a young girl wearing a girlish dress, even if she’s often mistaken for a woman in her twenties. I do find it a bit weird how she either gets constantly dinged for dressing too young (like at the SAG awards), or too old (like those peal clutching cleavage dresses from the Emmys or the leather-lace number from that Max-mara party) or a mix of both (like this one). It can’t just be the clothes and the styling. Is it her body language? I remember this pose getting a lot of raised eye-brows.

  • HomeOfficeGirl

    Cute.  Dress is great for her.  That’s a lot of shoe, tho. 

  • janetjb

    My fist thoughts: 
    Ariel looks terrific in the dress, but the details are not doing her any favors: those are serious shoes, where are the fun ones?; and cap sleeves are awkward to wear. 

    You are right about the makeup, it’s not really flattering her.

    • margaret meyers

      FIST thoughts!  I’m gonna use that.

  • Kappyapp

    Yikes – she’s 14 and wearing shoes like that?!? That is truly horrifying. I’m with you – the dress is adorable, less make-up would have been nice, but the shoes are entirely inappropriate. Great…now I feel like an overprotective mom…

  • Love the dress, but lord have mercy the shoes look painful. 

  • MoHub

    No 14-year-old should be wearing shoes like that. Looks as if she raided Mom’s closet.

  • formerlyAnon

    Dress is fine for 14, but not with heels that high and that “mature.”

  • Can we get a new show called Glam Factor? But where, instead of the judges hearing you and then turning around to see you, they look at you and then turn their chair around if your outfit isn’t up to par? 
    I can just see the judges now: 
    Mila Jovovich, a little high, being like, “Girl I looooove your energy.”
    Victoria Beckham filling in the Simon Cowell role and often just staring. 
    I would love if Tilda Swinton or Cate Blanchett or someone absolutely fabulous could fill the third chair, but they’re probably too classy. I bet Gaga would do it though. 

  • SapphoPoet

    I love the dress and collar (although I wish she’d left the original sleeve), but those shoes should not be anywhere near a 14-year old’s feet. Completely age-inappropriate. She should have gone with a ballet flat or a fun silver sandal. 

  • Imasewsure

    We need to bring back the Elton-John style goldfish shoe…these are pretty but dull…

  • Shesus Christ, she’s FOURTEEN?! I am again reminded every time I see these teenagers parading down the RC how very thankful I am for my childhood.

  • lrhoff

    She’s only 14?  I would’ve been grounded for wearing those shoes at that age….cute dress but sad choice on the shoes.  She needs to return them to her mother’s closet.

    • jw_ny

       or return them to Lea Michele.  😉

  • Yep, she looks super-cute, but those shoes are all wrong. Do any women dare wear shoes without the artificial toe platform anymore?

  • Pants_are_a_must

    SHE IS 14?



    /older sister, I guess

  • muzan-e

    Oh, those eyes. Tightline, girl. Tightline only and find some delicate falsies.  Because the colour’s perfect but she’s lost in a sea of kohl.

  • nannypoo

    Someone should tell her that when you smile your whole face is supposed to be involved. If you just widen your mouth to show your teeth, that’s called a “grimace”. Be happy for god’s sake. Every 14 year old wants to be you. Cute dress, by the way.

  • Verascity

    I actually think this is the best she’s ever looked. It is a bit mature, though, I agree.

  • piecesofconfetti

    14?! Wow. Those are big girl shoes, in my opinion. I could never imaging wearing shoes like that at such a young age. Plus, too much makeup. I just keep thinking about my unborn baby girl (three months to go!) and what kind of pressures she’ll feel to grow up so fast.

    Ok, mommy (to be) rant over.

  • Laura Poehlman

    I feel like this is begging for a ridiculous heavy boot, patent pink docs-some kind of purposeful misstep for contrast. Because I feel like even on a teen, the hem is too short and full for a pump, even a maryjane with a rounded toe..although I saw a cobalt chunky heeled maryjane that might have been perfection..what I love,love,love is her lipstick color. That is perfect for her age, the dress, her face.

  • L.

    So CUTE, except for the awful shoes.

  • boweryboy

    A cute pair of kitten heels would have made this perfect and age appropriate.

    As it stands dem hooker shoes! They make her look 10x her age.

  • librarygrrl64

    Agreed on all counts. IMO, this kind of dress only works on young and petite lasses. Hate the makeup and shoes with this.

  • jw_ny

    It’s amazing how this shoe and heavy makeup took a cute dress, that would otherwise be appropriate for a teen girl, into sex kitten-ish territory.  

  • deathandthestrawberry

    Good grief, the make-up. There is fresh-faced and there is SHINY. Get that girl some powder.

    I like the dress.

  • margaret meyers

    i cannot get past the stiff hair, the bad makeup and the sneery smile. 

  • PinkLemon

    This is the cutest she’s ever looked. But THAT MAKEUP, dear LAWDY. That is not the makeup a 14 year old needs. No. Way.

  • EEKstl

    You know when even the model looks as if she is too old for the dress that she got that much right; make-up is way too mature.  They should have ditched the false eyelashes and given her some pressed powder instead.

  • SophieCollier

    Great dress, terrible makeup, forgettable shoe.  

  • JMansm

    It’s a weird combination of Betty (silhouette), Peggy (collar) and Megan (General styling, colour, the fact that it’s bedazzled).

  • Susan Crawford

    Adorable dress! Would have loved some cute silver sandals, though. And a lot less make-up. Sweetheart, you have the whole rest of your life to trowel on the foundation – enjoy the fleeting years when you can go easy on it.

  • AnneElliot

    She’s adorable, but those shoes make her feet look ginormous.  The skirt is a little short, and TOO MUCH MAKEUP.  Where are her parents?  

  • Very cute but those shoes make me say, “Yikes!” I can’t imagine wearing those. She should have picked lower heels or maybe flats.

  • teensmom99

    I know you were looking at me when you mentioned readers who cast you as the GGUs–and I want to say ‘not at all” and I totally agree with your assessment here.  This actually does not look to me like the way teens dress and looks too buttoned down even with the stupid sleeve adjustment.  A little color and fun and even a lower cut top would be much more fun. I would have loved this dress when I was 20 . . . because of jazzed up French orphan aesthetic.  In fact, I had a dress that was similar with long sleeves in white with a blue sequined collar when I was 20–I can’t believe I have forgotten the designer but it was 30 years ago which is my point.

  • l_c_ann

    It’s a good dress for the second month of mourning the joint deaths of her family, friends and anyone she ever friended.  But whoever got out the Johnson’s wax to get that shine on her cheeks should be sent far, far away from all mortal faces.

  • Call me Bee

    I was not allowed to wear shoes like that until I was well into my 20s.  Nor did I even want to!  I know–it wasn’t Hollywood for sure, but still. 

  • The shoes aged her and ruined the outfit. 

  • granddelusion

    This would have been cute in a color, with low-heeled shoes, maybe sandals. Also, too much make up. The skin of a 14-year-old doesn’t need that.

  • I’ve also been harping on the mask of gunk she’s wearing at the young age of 14.  This is the 2nd post in a row where she’s looked at least 18-19 yo.  She’s much too cute for all that makeup.

  • oohsparkley!

    She looks pretty darn cute.

  • bellafigura1

    Dress is adorbs, but working against her in black.  Just not fun!

  • guest2visits

    If not for the glittery pan collar, this would indeed read a very adult dress.
    She’s so young it could definitely stand shoes that had a little more fun and sparkle to them, less seriously sexy.

  • She looks really cute!

  • I’m not going to criticise a little girl but I’ll gladly take her parents to task; what the hell is this child doing on so many red carpets?

  • Super cute on a young lady.

  • ccm800

    NO POP OF COLOR! This is glammy Wednesday Adams schtick and she nailed it. 

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    Like all but the shoes.  But 14?  Her mother should have slapped the shit out of the person who put her in those CFM pumps.  And then scrubbed more of that makeup off of her pretty little face.