IN or OUT: Abigail Spencer in Valentino

Posted on January 08, 2013

This dress is pretty, but it needs some serious styling to take it away from “sister-wife.”

Abigail Spencer atttends the premiere of ‘Gangster Squad’ in Los Angeles in a Valentino dress paired with a Jimmy Choo clutch, Anita Ko earrings, and Giuseppe Zanotti sandals.

Valentino Fall 2012 Collection/Model: Sigrid Agren (ELITE)

If we were in charge, we would’ve put her in a much bolder shoe; possibly a red or a metallic of some sort. Maybe even something with a little edge to it, like studded pumps. To be fair, the shoes she has on are quite pretty, though. We just think someone should pair them with a black dress or slacks. The clutch is a total non-entity and we would have handed her something with a bit more oomph and personality than the pencil case she’s sporting.

Because the waist sits a little high and the skirt flares out, we think a thin belt to break up the look a little would’ve been a nice idea too. Don’t even get us started on the cocker spaniel hair.

She doesn’t look awful or anything. It’s just that the look feels a little lacking. Pretty, but in a “fade into the background” kind of way and no starlet on the red carpet should be going that route.



Vote Now!


IN! Disagree! Nothing wrong with old school femininity, you bitches!


OUT! Agree! Way too “preacher’s wife!”


Most of the kittens agreed that the color of Diane Lane’s total M.O.B. dress was problematic, but they also felt we were a bit too harsh on her, voting her a tepid IN.


[Photo Credit: Andrew Evans, David Gabber, Emiley Schweich, Izumi Hasegawa/PR Photos,]

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  • clevRcat

    Gunne Sax, circa 1978.  Out.

    • EveEve

      Seriously. Can we just stop with the white lace and organza frocks already?  My morning bowl of oatmeal was more intersting than this look.

  • filmcricket

    Out. I respectfully disagree with your initial statement: I don’t think this is a pretty dress at all. *She* is stunning, but but that dress is terrible. 

  • nannypoo

    With a pink sash this would make a perfect party dress for an 8 year old.

    • Aurumgirl

       As is and paired with a veil, that 8 year old would be having her first holy communion. 

  • PeggyOC

    Out.  Bad 70’s preacher’s wife.  Terrible.  Credit where it’s due – the clutch is nice!

  • Jangle57

    It’s a dull look, that’s for sure, but it’s not so bad that I feel repulsed looking at her.  A tepid IN

  • BrooklynBomber

    High on a hill was a lonely goatherd. . .

    •  Man, I wish I’d said this …

      • BrooklynBomber


  • Vickiefantastico

    In. It’s cute in a totally non-mind blowing way, but cute. I love the detailing on the dress, and the shoes.

    However, I hate the purse. And I’m not talking about the thing she has in her hand…

    • kimmeister

      Oh my.  That is some extreme lip pursing right there!

    • ecallaw1977

       What she said, exactly.

  • MilaXX

    OUT! The only thing I like here are the shoes.

    •  And those shoes are wasted on that dull dress. She could at least have put some fun colour on her nails. OUT

  • RebeccaKW

    The dress and the hair kind of give me a hippie bride vibe.  She doesn’t look terrible, but I’m going with Out.  No one wants to be on the ‘dressed so boring no one noticed you were there’ list.  The shoes are cute, though.

    • Call me Bee

      Yes!  All she needs is a ring of daisies on her head. 

    • Exactly.  Memorable styling could have made this an in for me, but not as it stands so it’s an out with a small o.  Although those shoes were a good attempt at good styling.  LOVE them!

    • charlotte

       She played the hippie-like teacher Don Draper fell for, so maybe she just goes with it.

    •  Yes. Ali McGraw FTW!

  • Sobaika

    Ooooo, this is pretty. Looks like a lovely, floaty spring/summer dress. You’re right that the styling was a missed opportunity.

  • AuntJentie


  • ralish

    Out. She looks very drab and the lines and fit of the dress are making her look wider than she is.

  • OUT a bit twee

  • TSkot

    meh.  OUT

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    IN. I like all the pieces, though I agree they don’t necessarily go together. Cocker Spanial hair seems the only correct choice to avoid full on Sister-Wife or Ann of Green Gables territory, to me. Some funky shoes and maybe one of the McQueen clutches with the brass-knuckle grips? I can’t help but like the dress on her, she’s just the girl to make it look good instead of frumpy.

  • all dressed up and ready to go into town for the big barn dance.  OUT!  i can’t believe i’m saying this, but a manicure with a bright nail color would have helped.  AND  if you’re going to wear open toed shoes, get a pedicure or at least trim and clean your toenails.  EW!

  • l_c_ann

    I love the dress on the model and what I love gets lost totally with the addition of white interlining. 

    Hate her Spaniel hair.  like her smile. 

    Out, because of so much missed potential

  • Judy_J

    Is she allergic to jewelry?  The shoes are cute, but everything else is BORING. OUT.

  • OUT on the grounds that it’s not red-carpet appropriate. That sort of look is gorgeous for everyday, though, and evokes the sixties and seventies more than FLDS for me.

  • She brings to mind Jaclyn Smith.  Meh.

  • hillmad

    First Holy Communion dress was my immediate reaction. LOL

  • formerlyAnon

    Out. This probably has less wrong with it than Diane Lane’s look (on which I voted in), but I don’t walk away from this thinking “darn, she looks fabulous!”  Which I thought about Lane.

    Color, somewhere, a bold piece of jewelry and do something sophisticated with the damn hair. Two out of the three and it might be in. If one of the two is the hair, I can pretty much guarantee it.

  • butterflysunita

    I’ll go against the grain and say IN.  I think she looks pretty.  

  • I had a dress like this. When I was 8. It was from Sears.

    It definitely needs a belt and some zhuzhing. Jewelry. Nail colour. Different shoes. VERY different clutch. That one is awful. And for the love of baby cheebus, stop it with that damned hair. 

  • jw_ny

    It’s a pretty dress, but looks to me like 2nd wedding.  Stick some baby’s breath in her hair and push her down the aisle.  I think the edge of the dress came in it’s sheerness, which was lost with the added white lining.   As is, she needed to accessorize the hell out of it, but didn’t go anywhere near far enough.  Cocker spaniel hair ain’t working in her favor either.


  • Hell Yes, I Would!

    In – only because I love the shit out of those shoes. Not with the outfit. But I want them. Now.

  • Mrs

    I feel like if you’re going to wear a sheer dress, wear a sheer dress.  This business of taking something that was entirely see-through on the runway and putting a slip under it to make it less revealing is error, in my opinion.  This particular dress needs the sheerness to be edgy at all, and that was true with the Sally Fields dress as well.  I respect a decision not to show the world everything during photo ops, but then choose a dress that covers what you want covered and don’t rely on your undergarments to do that for you.

  • Imasewsure

    WOW totally out… send this to a Fanning or put on some fetish books to fix this twee-gasm of a look. OUT OUT OUT yuck

  • ThaliaMenninger

    I don’t like the dress at all. If I were her, I’d keep the shoes and start over.

  • Czarina5 Czarina5

    OUT for Abigail, but totally IN for Miss Suzanne who leaves Ossining, NY for a big night out.

  • Out. How did she snag this dress before the Fannings did?

  • Call me Bee

    My little SIL wore this to my wedding in 1975–no lie. 
    But–I really want to like this as I see all sorts of pretty dresses out there now.  Alas–this is not one of them.  Since she didn’t want to wear it sheer, the slip with it is so church lady.  OUT, even though her shoes are awesome! 

  • teensmom99

    Out.  It looks worse the more you look at it. Great shoes but TLo’s ideas for them are better than this.

  • marilyn

    Out.  Too Sears catalog 1980’s first communion dress.  She seriously needs to step it up.

  • Out for making stupid faces on the red carpet. Did she suck on a lemon? 

  • She must have thrown elbows to get that dress away from the Fanning girls. It is a pretty dress, but I’m not fashion-savvy enough to know what would take it from preacher’s daughter to chic starlet. Brighter shoes? I like the runway look with the Heidi hair. 

  • In. It is a little sweet and sister wifey but I’m a sucker for white lace and she’s just so pretty! 

  • Trisha26

    Out. Adult First Communion dress.

  • SatelliteAlice

     Out.  It needs a belt and brighter shoes… I suggest red for both.  Oh or navy.  Navy would be pretty and different.

  • bailey debruynkops


  • Duck face. Automatic out.

  • melanie0866

    OUT.  Sister wife.  No amount of styling can save it.

  • unbornfawn

    Bland, bland, bland. And what is with all of the sucking in of her cheeks? 

  • Alisa Rivera

    Every piece of that goddamned Valentino prairie collection needs to be burned. 

  • MzzPants

     Agree.  More modern hair and a thin belt were my first reaction.  She’s OUT.

  • Joyce VG

    I adore this. It is Sister Wifey adjacent but ooh so pretty. IN. (oops I just scrolled down and I’m the minority. oh well.)

  • I like the dress, but agree that the styling is terrible so OUT

  • Sorry but the designers at Valentino need to sex it up a bit! She’s not going to communion for Christ’s sake!

  • Pennymac

    OUT. Meemaw’s curtains.

  • demidaemon

    OUT for lack of effort (either by her or her stylists) and sister-wifeness. Also, boring.

  • jmorino08

    Out! Too young for her and too Laura Ashley for the red carpet.

  • trisker

    Out. WAY out. for me only the shoes are a Maybe.

  • lalahartma


  • snarkykitten

    forget sister wife, it looks like a nightie

  • conniemd

    Out. She should have had at least some pop of color nails. So washed out looking.

  • I was so, so going to go with “IN, SHE’s DURNED PURDY” but then my mother took over my head and said, “How could you have left the house without a mani/pedi?” Seriously, just one little mani/pedi with a dark fingernail and taupe toenail could have redeemed this for me. I think she’s really cute in the dress and the shoes are j’adore. OUT.

  • altalinda

    Out.  Sister-wife needs a belt.

  • SewingSiren

    In, but I would have preferred something a little more school marmish for the hair.

  • Out. Coffin lining is not a material to be worn.
    combined with the hair? snooze.
    wait- wasn’t this hair/dress used in a tampon commercial in the 80s? Riding the back of a cable car? “I feel fresh!”

  • Louise Bryan

    OUT.  Junior prom, circa 1980, or possibly last minute bridal.  Not red carpet.

  • lesmaha


  • quiltrx

    OUT.  TAF (aka Twee as Fuck) and the little-girl hair is making it worse.  Love those shoes though.

  • I think it’s cute. In.

  • IN! I like it; I would have paired it with a gold or other metallic shoe, too, but I can’t deny that she looks great. 

  • CatherineRhodes


  • barbarienne

    Wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG. (Not you guys, TLo; this dress.)

    The worst fault is the length. It looks slightly less sister-wifey on the model because you can see her knees. But this is nobody’s dress except a girl making her first Communion.

    This dress is so far out it’s leading a colony of Mormons to another planet.

  • librarygrrl64

    A VERY mild “in.” My first thought was that it could use a belt, I agree on the accessories, and that hair is unforgivable. But it’s a lovely dress that fits her well, and her makeup looks nice. As does her genuine smile. 🙂

  • E. D.

    Out.  Would be better without sleeves.

  • decormaven

    Out. Please spring for a mani/pedi with an interesting nail color if wearing such a neutral shade. A skinny belt would have elevated this look 1,000%.


    Sister wife indeed!  Agree with you guys on all proposed changes, esp. the belt. And the hair…. ugh.

  • out

  • Question: why is it that whenever anyone under 60 wears a dress with long sleeves, she’s accused of dressing matronly or like she’s Amish? I think she looks very nice. Sure, it could have used a belt to jazz it up. But why is there this aversion to long sleeves? She’s an IN in my book.

  • Jessica O’Connell

    A little too monochromatic for me. OUT.

  • Cathy S

    The shoes are great, but the dress is horrible. Out.

  • out–keep the shoes, toss the rest, start over.

  • Out. Needs color.

  • Ugh. Out.

  • Out – she looks like a poorly put -together bridesmaid.

  • OUT!

  • Aly Light

    Jeez, rough choice here. I definitely think it could use more character, but she looks undeniably pretty. IN.

  • julnyes

    That is one bland look – OUT.

  • guest2visits

    A pretty dress that looks good on her; but i have to agree with all TLo’s checks.
    It looks more like another summer-time dress too.

  • Stubenville

    Bridgette O’Tool’s lace curtains.

  • rh33

    Perfect 3rd marriage at city hall kind of dress. 

  • suzq

    Dear Starlet about to wear that white (or black) lace Valentino dress:
    Please to note that the model wearing it on the runway IS NOT WEARING A SLIP UNDERNEATH.  Therefore, you can see all the pretty detailing.  If you where a white (or black, if you’re wearing black) slip underneath YOU WILL JUST BE WEARING A WHITE (or black) dress.  How boring is that?  Now, we all know you wish not to show your knickers underneath, but perhaps a nude slip would be better.

  • IN

  • ccm800

    OUT. And TLo one does not wear RED SHOES to her first Holy Communion!