IN or OUT: Jessica Lange in J. Mendel

Posted on January 28, 2013

We’re passing the final call of this one off on you guys because we’re wimps.


Jessica Lange attends the SAG Awards 2013 in J. Mendel navy silk chiffon gown with pleated panels and full panel skirt.

J. Mendel Resort 2013 Collection/Model: Bette Franke

But we suppose we might as well be honest about it: Our first impulse was to say that sleeveless isn’t her friend. Our second impulse was to think, “Oh, Jesus. We don’t want to be those guys.” We’ll point out when something doesn’t flatter a wearer’s shape but we draw the line at espousing the idea that women outside the 25-year-old/size 2 beauty norm are required to cover themselves for the sin of being, well… outside the 25-year-old/size 2 beauty norm. Not our bag. But put it this way: if we were granted a wish by a genie and found ourselves employed as Jessica Lange’s stylists, we’d probably steer her away from sleeveless dresses, but we wouldn’t criticize her for wearing one.

Even so, we don’t think this dress works as well as it should for her. The color and the shape are great, but all the foofaraw going on in the bodice is distracting as hell and possibly a little bit too much for her to handle, and the straps broaden her top half.

Still, we’re throwing this one open to y’all to have the final say:


Vote Now!


IN! Rock it, Sister Jude!


OUT! Girl, That’s Not Your Dress.

The Bitter Kittens really dug Rose Byrne’s simple elegance and voted her IN.

[Photo Credit: Andrew Evans/PR Photos,]

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  • Annabelle Archer

    Out.  Out of respect for one of my favorite actresses alive, I’ll not elaborate. 

    Sigh. That gave me a sad.

    • I agree with the out, and I deeply respect Jessica.

      Let me say I have no idea who the designer is, wouldn’t know them from a bar of soap, so I can safely say WHAT THE? What is going on with the seam between the bodice and the skirt? Why is part of it at a different height to the rest?

      I dont understand why any designer would do this to someone else, unless they were the first one voted off Project Runway. 

      This may be a big call, but this is the worst dress I have seen in a long time. Perhaps a decade. I can’t remember anything this unflattering. For the next decade, this dress is in my dictionary next to the word unflattering.

      Even Queen Helen could not pull this one off. 

      • “Glad” to see that I am not the only one bothered by the mismatched bodice/skirt seam height. The color would be great, and I like the skirt, but the bodice looks wrong and unflattering, while I am not bothered by the sleevlesness.
        Sadly, it’s an OUT for me…

        • Jessica Rowe

          OUT for me too! I don’t like when I can see the boning on a support garment.  Or maybe those are just the wrinkles of the sheer fabric.  Colour, makeup and hair, though… thumbs up.

      • BrooklynBomber

        J. Mendel is a “go to” gown designer. Based on this, though, you wonder why. The waist detail is just terrible.

  • Allyson Wells

    OUT Pretty color and the bottom half of the dress is pretty, but the whole top half is very unflattering.

    • Agreed.  The wrinkles in the sheer looks like old, wrinkly skin.  OUT. Too bad cuz that color is great on her as a solid.

      • Kimbolina

        I totally agree.  Color is fantastic but that bodice is just gross.  The black version on the model looks much better with less of a contrast in the bodice.

    • KateShouldBeWorking

       Out for being a casualty of the dress. I don’t think this dress would be flattering on anyone’s torso; the photograph of the model even shows her from the side.

  • ghopping

    It’s an IN; the bodice is a little busy, but it’s modern and make-up/hair looks good. I like it’s just enough glam crossed with modern elements that she needs.

    • Lizzyisi

      I’m going to side with this assessment. My quibble is that the sheer/white parts are so blindingly white. The black dress on the model looks more tone-on-tone than sheer, so I wish this bodice were lined with something darker, albeit something lighter than the detailing on the bodice.

      But, wow, is her hair and make-up beautiful. I mean, she’s beautiful, but that hair and make-up are lovely.

      • sojourneryouth

         So agree!  I love that she seems to be aging naturally (she might have tweaked a while back, but her face looks pretty normal now) and doesn’t have chipmunk cheeks or duck lips.  And I love how soft and youthful her hair looks around her face.

  • I gotta vote OUT.  She just doesn’t look good in the photos and if I were her agent I wouldn’t be happy seeing these all over the internet.  Sadly, image is everything nowadays.  I’d like to think that at the awards itself, she was such a brilliant and ebullient conversationalist that everyone forgot what she was wearing…..she’s that good an actress.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    it pains me to give Sister Jude an out…Jessica Lange can do no wrong, this dress however is doing her no real favors…

  • eowyn_of_rohan

    Out.  I wouldn’t like it any more if it were on a young’un.  That midsection is just unfortunate on anyone.

    • kimmeister

      Out for the same reason.

  • karenbttc

    Out… the mid-section panels, either nude or sheer (can’t tell), just make her look extra wrinkled and by proximity, draw attention to her arms.  

    Sleeves and a darker midsection panel would’ve helped the look a lot..

  • Sobaika

    IN! I don’t care about her arms or broadening her shoulders or whatever. She looks good overall, and even better considering she’s 60+

    Werq it, Jude!! Sorry Julianne Moore has been stealing what’s yours this awards season.

    • AudreysMom

       Agreed! IN. While I can think of dresses JL would and has looked better in, I give her major points for boldness and going on trend. As much as I love Meryl Streep she would NEVER wear something like this, regardless of what her body looks in it (compared to JL or to a 20something/size 2). The color is great on her, too. And come on! Look at the picture where she’s looking to her left. She is just DARING us to give her an out.

  • geans

    Oh, out. It’s not sleevelessness that’s not her friend, it’s sheer folds that aren’t her friend. 

  • decormaven

    That’s ok, boys. I’m a woman of age, and I’ll call it for you. Darling, that’s an OUT. Your upper arms are no longer your best asset, so it’s best they not be displayed. A wrap would have softened the effect. Let the younger ones have this look. You still can act rings around the lot of them. Be secure in this fact.

    • ballerinawithagun

      You are so correct.

  • AnnPopovic

    IN. She’s old. She’s beautiful. She’s not afraid to be either. Yay! 

    • Vickiefantastico

      Well said! And I agree, IN!

    • xmixiex

      love this.

    • Totally. I think it’s good for people to see that movie stars age too. Her figure is still bangin, wrinkles and all. We should all be so lucky.

    • Karen Maslowski

       She’s only 63, and that’s not all that old. But I love that color on her.

      The dress would be much prettier, in my opinion, with a self-color lining, instead of whatever that is. Besides, you can see the boning of her foundation garment through it.

      • Aly Light

        When I was a kid, my grandmothers were in their 60s. They didn’t look nearly this good. The fact that people are living longer/getting more cosmetic surgery to hide their age doesn’t mean that we should extend the age range in which people are supposed to look youthfully perfect.

    • Here Here – IN

  • Jecca2244

    IN. but only because I am named after her. 

  • minnye


  • bailey debruynkops


  • Out. I love the color on her, and it is commendable for her to go a less easy route towards a more artistic choice…but the bodice detailing is so unflattering.

    Also, it is interesting to note that the dress looks so much better on the model in the middle of flowy movement- when the dress is on someone standing still it just doesn’t work. 

  • tereliz

    The detailing on the bodice just draws the eye right to her midsection. Not a good idea unless you’re the runway model. Would a belt have helped? A really wide one? The shape of the neckline is great on her, though. 

    Final call, gonna have to be OUT. She can do better!

  • Veronica Russek

    In… I like the dress, but those “see through” parts are weird… Plus she needs jewelry!!!

    What was up with the jewelers last night? Why so stingy??? Or only the startlets of the night like Jessica Chastain deserved to wear some sparkle???

  • sweetestsith

    Out. Hair is pretty, makeup is nice, color is great for her, bare arms look fine to me, but the cut & fit of the bodice is awkward and unflattering. She could do much better.

  • lehen

    I think sh elooks pretty.  IN.

  • moppet

    I vote out because of the bodice, not the sleevelessness, and certainly not as criticism of the powerhouse actress in the dress. But the dress is too bandagey looking.

  • OrigamiRose

    Out, but more because I dislike the way the folding in the midsection looks.  I think had that been a bit more taut, I would have signed off on it because of well she is wearing it.

  • Sara LaBatt

    The color is lovely but the top is so complicated I just don’t even know what I’m looking at.  I didn’t even notice the lack of sleeves, I was too busy trying to sort out what was happening in the bodice.  I say out and shame on her stylists for not stepping back and realizing this dress is sort of insane.

  • butterflysunita

    OUT.  She looks beautiful but she has a face on her chest.

    • Out – frayed neckline. Never do that to Miss Jessica. How dare you, designer.

  • I think she looks good! Hair and make-up are age appropriate, her figure can still carry off the shape of the dress easily, and it’s a good color for her too. But you’re right, she could have added a light stole around the shoulders to cover her upper arms if she wanted, but obviously, there’s no shame in her game!

  • The OUT I give has nothing to do with her arms and everything to do with the bodice of that dress – which is atrocious.  That would be distracting and unflattering on anyone of any size.  I have zero problem with her arms, and every problem with that god-awful midsection of the dress.  Rock sleeveless, Jessica, just not on a dress-o-lantern!  

  • IN. Beautiful dress on a beautiful woman. I can’t ask for more.

  • IAmJ

    I don’t know, I’m actually ok with this look. I think she looks pretty good. I do like the bodice and the color is beautiful. The hair and makeup look good too. IN for me.

  • OUT. Luv this fierce bitch but even she shouldn’t wear a dress that literally looks like it’s going to attack someone.

  • OUT.  No one’s said it but there are too many lines going on here.  In the dress and on her and it just isn’t flattering on a woman of her age. Also, what’s going on inside that bodice?  Is she wearing an ill fitting slip underneath? Did her stylist actually look at her in the dress?  Anyway, the dress is beautiful but not on her.  

    On an unrelated note…she may look better if she put on an extra 5 lbs.  Just sayin’.  

  • Sadly its an Out.  As you so wisely pointed out, WAY too much action on that bodice.  The color, however is one of her best friends.

  • shirab

    I love that she’s letting her face and neck and yes, arms age normally, which in her case is gracefully. I just wonder if it will ever be OK for women of a certain age in Hollywood to let go of the blond hair, too. (Helen Mirren is pulling off the silver beautifully, of course.)

    • xmixiex

      errrr I’m not so sure that that face is “aging normally.”  but she’s still gorge.

  • Ruth Preston

    Ahem, ma’am, I might respectfully suggest that that is not your dress. Please have a nice day.

  • pippitypup

    Let’s face it: The model isn’t even pulling off that bodice. Cate Blanchette couldn’t make that work. Hell, Madonna wouldn’t even try that bodice. So it’s an OUT, but only for the dress and not Ms Lange.

  • Out. Didn’t notice the sleeves because I was so distracted by the fooferaw. Disappointing.

  • I think that is a very nice statement you lads gave. One is fast to dash out of the gate and have it out. But in the future, I will remember your words and not judge so hastily. 

  • tessasouthworth

    I’ll put it this way, Jessica Lange is ALWAYS an in. That gown OTOH is a decided OUT at any age.

  • ConnieBV

    This dress looks like it was sewn by a monkey who was provided access to a low-resolution gif of the runway version. Out. 
    Her stylist should be slapped on both cheeks for letting them give her Spam instead of veal.

  • Jennifer Coleman

    Can’t make up my mind if it’s a ‘Close to an IN’ or ‘Close to an OUT’ Age issue aside, the bodice is best for a long-torsoed woman, who Miss Jessica is not, so it makes her look thicker than she is. And if only those sleeves went to somewhere around elbow-length. Her makeup/hair is flawless; she has mastered that comfortable-with-aging-European-bombshell look.

  • Out, because there’s just too much going on in the bodice of that thing. It’s distracting and not in a good way. It looks overworked and underwhelming.

  • Jangle57

    No, just no.  OUT

  • ojosazules

    Too much awkward looking foofaraw at waist and bodice but she looks good, so In. She’s consistently brave about her arms and that’s an In, too.

  • I hear you about the sleeves, but I think Jessica is actually making the statement of “I can still rock a dress like this, even if I don’t look like a 14-year old photoshopped cutie”. You go Jess, you are IN

  • Nope, don’t like it. OUT.

  • alyce1213

    Love her, but OUT because foofaraw.

  • alaskahyoung

    Out. That bodice is really weird/distracting. It took me a long time till I could get over it and start looking at her face.

  • Michael_Jones

    OUT. I don’t like the (sheer ?) panels in the bodice at all…

  • Sadly, OUT. And I love a brown-eyed blonde in blue.

  • out. it’s not AWFUL, just not her dress.

  • She is a beautiful woman with a great figure.  There are so many dresses out there that she could rock; however, as we age, there are certain fashion choices that should be avoided.  I wore a thong swimsuit in my 20’s, as well as very short shorts and leather short minis, but at 49, there is no way in hell I would attempt those outfit choices today.  TLo, you don’t seem to want to type what is obvious–She is too old to WERQ that dress. 

  • formerlyAnon

    Out. It’s an odd dress. I don’t mind that her wrinkles & some loose skin show (this is what the early 60s looks like for many) – but they don’t look glamorous, and the hair and neckline are definitely glamour girl. Call me bound by the prejudices of our age-hating culture, I’ll admit it. (And it’s sad since those prejudices now affect how I view my own aging self. *sigh*)

    I might have gotten around it, but the part of the dress which covers her is unflattering to her midsection and I think makes her look dumpier – or at least less elegant – than necessary.

  • I have no objection to an older actress acknowledging that her skin continues to exist. The sleeveless is not the problem.

    The foo-faroo busy pleating would look like shit on a 20 year old. This dress just isn’t right.


  • The dress bothers me less than the fact that the color of her hair doesn’t match the age in her face. I applaud her for not going the botox/lift route, but when your face has the natural sags and bags of that age, and the hair is young-adult-blonde, it’s disconcerting. She’d look much lovelier if she had age-appropriate gray/white, much like Helen Mirren does.

  • Mexxoo

    The idea is lovely.  The shape is lovely.  The execution just doesn’t work.  Those ragged edges, the heavy gathers over the illusion, the lop-sided part on her left hip?  It’s just not working.  Perhaps this is a dress designed for movement, not portrait photographs.  OUT.  Sorry.

  • mmc2315

    I don’t love it, but I’m not voting it out.  So, IN.

    Playing virtual stylist, I’d experiment with her hair in an total or partial up do, then I’d see how a necklace or choker would add to the look.  I’m not sure about the lip color she has on, or maybe it’s the wrong lip liner or lack thereof?

    I have no quibbles with sleeveless on a woman of age.

    My (strong) personal preference is that older women let their hair go grey.  When one gets to a certain age, the youthful hair looks odd in juxtaposition to a normal aging body.  


  • barbarienne

    First, kudos to her for not going under the knife. That is a natural face, and she looks great. That said, what is with the crazy expressions? I will assume that the photographers were just having bad timing and she in fact was smiling beautifully most of the time.

    I actually like that the dress broadens her across the shoulders. She still has a great figure, but the inevitable thickening around the waist hits us all unless we pay doctors to tuck it. Broadening the shoulders accentuates her hourglass, whereas narrower shoulders might make her look like a column.

    The dress is another of those “visible structure” dresses that I mostly hate (there are exceptions). They always look as if they’re being worn inside-out, and that unfinished edge around the bust, and the way the skirt attaches, just contribute to that feeling.

    Her makeup is appropriate, her hair is a bit flyaway but fuck that noise–we should all be so lucky to have that much hair when we’re 63–and while the clutch is a bit matchy, I love its simple elegance.

    So I’m gonna say that while the dress is an out by itself, Ms. Lange elevates it and I’ll give her an IN.

  • Sadly, OUT. Love the dress but not age appropriate.

  • In! I think it’s sexy and more interesting than some of her Awards numbers past, and I like her hair a lot. Not crazy long and sexual (the mistake all the real Housewives make), but a length she’s had since the start and is flattering.

  • Alyssa

    Out…that bodice is doing her no favors! She is far better than this…great color though.

  • RebeccaKW

    Out.  The sleeveless thing has never bothered me.  Actually, I love the fact that she isn’t afraid to show herself off and show that aging naturally is beautiful.   She’s beautiful.  I love the color on her and I don’t mind the skirt.  The biggest issue I have here is the wack-a-doo bodice.  I know why she wanted it lined, but couldn’t they come up with something better?  Navy lining instead of white?  Beige?  Whatever that is. 

    She’s an IN, but the dress is OUT.

    • A little hint of sparkle on a navy blue fabric might have worked for the lining. Though I am not sure anything could save that bodice which you so correctly call wack-a-doo. 😉

  • l_c_ann


    I am older than she is and I know there are skin issues that come with age (damn it).  But If she’s chosen the stay thin at all costs route, then she must know that not all thin is created equal and some looks better demurely covered.
    That dress, from the side, however looks as if she’s wearing my late Grandmother’s corset under it with too thin a petticoat. (There, I said it, “Petticoat”.  When was the last time you heard that word?)

    • formerlyAnon

       When I couldn’t remember the word “crinoline” and was describing what I meant to my daughter. Who laughed at me. Before that, why, Petticoat Junction of course! What was that, the ’60s? (even as a kid, I thought that was a stupid show.)

  • I feel like I *shouldn’t* like it for all of the reasons mentioned above (and in the comments), but I kind of love it. I think Queen Helen and Ms. Lange here are among the few older ladies of Hollywood who could pull this off. It’s a gorgeous color, and I think she looks beautiful.


  • AceOn6

    Out and not because of the wearer. The original version is dark and edgy on the size 0 model. The lined version just looks like a school project.

  • tallgirl1204

    I think it would have been better in a better color.  The dark sad blue does her skin no favors.  A beautiful, I dunno, sea green?  would have played up her blondness and still rocking body. 

  • rumcg66

    OUT, and not for the bare arms but for the ugly, weird bodice. I love the color on her, though.

  • Caitlin Rain

    OK, honest question here:

    Is there a point at which even modern, flattering, modest-yet-sexy clothing and hairstyles starts to look like “young person drag”?

    By which I mean, it’s kind of a “full-on Monet” thing — from a distance, I’d believe she’s anywhere from 30 to 50, but get up close and it’s a bit jarring. I think a lot of it’s the hair — not that that’s not a beautiful honey shade, but imagine how much more striking and natural-looking this would be if her hair was silver. And the dress — lovely, classically feminine shape (but for the middle), but, again, could be on someone half her age.

    Am I narrow-minded and age-ist? Is there a missed opportunity here for some Silver Diva-dom? Or is the point of being “sexy at any age” actually “being that one kind of sexy everyone else is, as best you can, at least from a distance”?

    • AmeliaEve

       You’ve nailed it. From a distance, the shape is great, and I like the way the cap sleeves extend the hourglass effect, but the closer you get, the more of a disaster it becomes. I applaud her choice to keep her skin natural, but the fussy frills and pleating conspire with the loose hairstyle to emphasize her wrinkles. Sleek hair and a tailored dress would suggest a smooth line that would be much more flattering.

      And she isn’t selling it all. I think she looks awkward and uncomfortable, which will bring down any look, no matter what.

    • Drew Macaulay

      I agree with you about the Monet effect.  My personal pet peeve is politicians’ wives who are brunettes and then suddenly go blond at a certain age (see Ann Romney for a prime example).  But a lot of us don’t get silver or white hair naturally…we get dirty dead sheep grey.  It is easier to turn grey hair blond than white/silver, although with the seemingly naturally aged face, light blond is jarring up close. 

      • formerlyAnon

         “dirty dead sheep grey” ! Perfect. That’s what I got, and I’m staying blonde until my face will no longer support it, since I’m obviously going to have to try to “adjust” the color of my grey.

        I only hope I realize when it’s time.

  • IN! I give her MAJOR props for not going the tired wrap-around-the-shoulders route.  I think she looks stunning, comfortable and confident. : )

  • I’m surprised that the first thing you noticed was the arms! That bodice is too strange.

  • RedRaven617

    Out. The dress is not age appropriate. It just looks like someone younger should be wearing it. I think of Jessica Lange as a “Grande Dame” and that she could be much more regal. 

  • Super_Red

    I didn’t actually notice her arms until you mentioned them. I was way too distracted by the ugly dress. Hate it on the model, hate it on her. I’m also not a fan of her hair and makeup, but I don’t hate it- I wouldn’t have given it an out on that basis, but that dress is not hers. I’m not sure it’s anyone’s dress. So.. Out.

    • spititout

      I did not notice her arms either!  I was too distracted by the incongruence of her upper face around the eyes as opposed to her nose, mouth and neck.  To me, it looks like the “work” has focused above the cheeks, so although she will always be beautiful; the youthful eyes and hair don’t match the rest of her.

  • Sorry, but OUT. That gap in the foofaraw right square in the middle of the bodice is awful, like some weird tucked napkin effect, otherwise she’d probably be IN. Yeah, I’m that OCD.

  • The arms are fine- she’s old, so you gotta let that ride, you know? I personally hate the “mother of the bride” wrap- you aren’t fooling anybody, and it adds bulk where you don’t really need it.  
    But the bodice is awful. it looks like electrical tape. I wouldn’t like it on anybody half her age. So OUT on the dress, but I’m cool with the arms. 

  • Scott Isaacs

    Out. Full stop. That busy dress would do no one any favors. It’s almost like it’s a sun dress constrained to a funeral. Or vice versa.

  • Dot

    Nice shape, but that bodice is way too fussy for its own good.

  • xmixiex

    I love it, she’s fierce, snaps.  I didn’t notice anything ‘wrong’ with her arms at all until you guys pointed it out and forced me to go back and scrutinize.  maybe over-scrutinizing has its limits…

  • Tracy_Flick

    OUT. And nothing to do with her figure, skin, or anything else. It’s the dress. That top looks like a girl scout camp craft project. Take the dress off, and it becomes a sit-upon!

  • Frank_821

    yeah Out

    it’s too complicated. Her work for ryan murphy is complicated enough 🙂

  • Seeing her here makes me realize how seldom we see women in Hollywood allow themselves to age naturally.  She’s always been beautiful, and is still.  I don’t love the dress (OUT) but I do love that she doesn’t look like a plasticized cartoon version of a woman.  She’s lovely and real, and that takes courage in her world.

  • carolynmo

    Out. Not a great dress.

  • I don’t like the mummy wrap and weird boob cutouts.

  • Goddess.

  • unbornfawn

    Frankly the arms don’t even catch my eye. The cut outs and see through is just wrong for her. This cut of the dress and all that drapy stuff on the bodice isn’t working and she could use a necklace or some pop of color from the waist up. Being a woman of a certain age, I can without guilt call this an OUT.

  • xmixiex

    is that a STAMP on her wrist?  or a tattoo?  I hope to god that Jessica lange doesn’t need a HAND STAMP at the SAGs.

    • OrigamiRose

      Thank god someone finally asked this, I’ve been wondering as well.  Maybe she’s planning to sneak into the Reggae Lounge later without having to pay a second cover.

    • I thought it was a tattoo, gone blurry from sun damage.  

      • formerlyAnon

         I seem to remember some story involving getting a tattoo with her daughter. I could be wrong.

  • jw_ny


    Honestly didn’t notice her arms because of all the “foofaraw” at the bust and mid section.  This is a case where the dress is just over-complicated for its own good, but somehow overall, I think Jessica pulls it off.  I like the shoulder straps and see the placement as more of a balance with the rest of the gown, and I think her hair and makeup are really pretty. 

    • mhleta

      Yeah, I love the hair and makeup. She’s still got it. 

  • It’s not her. It’s that this dress needs a wind machine to look presentable. On the model, it looks ethereal because it’s being blown around. On a real person, with a lining, and not moving? No. OUT.

  • marilyn

    Out.  This dress was changed so much that I was surprised to see the runway version of it.  Nothing works for her.  The way it is cut makes her look short-waisted.  The strange folding of the fabric may have made the runway dress look mysterious.  But it does not work in navy with a flesh colored liner.  That is an odd color combo.

  • susan6

    Yeah, this dress is too fussy.  Whoever is wearing it basically needs to be a blank slate….no wavy hair, no jewelry or heavy makeup, because the frippery on the dress will compete with all of that. Rooney Mara in Bot-mode might be able to pull this off.  But the dress would still try to upstage her.  It’s….just not a good dress.

  • random_poster

    Out.  The sheerness and contrasting colors are odd and unflattering. I do like the general shape of the dress.

  • alinana

    OMG NO! By all that is holy and right….NO!

  • afabulous50

    I adore her – but OUT.  The sheer panels do not do her any favors…and she needs a bolder color choice.

  • MintaHallWriter

    I’m actually going to give this an IN.  It’s not fabulous, she could have used a shawl or something similar to hide the upper arms. But the bodice…it’s fussy and intricate, but I think she’s pulling it off if only because the skirt bells gracefully around hips and legs. It’s not my favorite look on her, but both the color and the overall shape look great on her. And she still has a great body at the age of 63!   Hair and makeup are lovely. So…an IN.

  • warnerave

    IN from afar, OUT when seen closer

  • twocee

    Out.  I’m fine with the sleeveless, but whatever is going on around the waist (sheer? panels) needs to stop.

  • mixedupfiles

    OUT. A dress’s primary role should not be to inspire close examination of one’s midsection to figure out what in the heavens is going on there.

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    Small “out” because I concur about the sleeves.  Her hair is lovely.  But the dress makes her look OLDER than the 63 that she is.  Which honestly, isn’t THAT old.  It’s unflattering.  But I love her.  But nope. Out.

  • sarah jacobs

    The gathered wrinkled-ey texture  makes her face look more wrinkled.The sheer is just unfortunate.

  • mhleta

    This is so close to an IN for me, but it definitely isn’t because of the nudy-illusion bullshit going on with the bodice. This absolutely murders the look. If it were all one color without the see-thru nonsense, this would have been an unequivocal IN for me. I don’t have a huge problem with the sleeveless, either, but I get what you’re saying. It’s time for Jessica to lunch with Helen Mirren and get a few pointers in Badass Elegance, because that’s where Ms. Lange, (at whose altar I have worshipped since “Francis”) should be focusing her style choices.

  • PeggyOC

    Out.  The color is lovely, and her hair and makeup are well done, but the puckering that the sheer is doing around her midsection is doing her no favors.  No woman of a certain age wants the word “wrinkled” to be on people’s minds as they look at her, even if that word was started by the fault of fabric.

  • Out. Not because of the sleeves (or her), but that bodice is way too complicated. My eyes keep trying to see a face in it.

  • YolandaHawkins

    Forgive me Sister Jude, but this is not your dress.  Out.  (Sigh, sad face).

  • Scarlet39


    The color is gorgeous, but I’m not a fan of the shoulders, and the midsection just looks sloppy. 

  • Cathy S

    It’s the bodice. It’s terrible. The sleevelessness doesn’t bother me. But that bodice is a crime. Out.

  • FlamingJune1967

    In.  I see nothing wrong here.  I only pray I look half this good at her age.

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    I appreciate your sentiment about the ‘age’ rule with fashion. And Jessica just gets mightier as she gets older but sadly, this look is not doing her any favors. Out.

  • The bodice is so awful and unflattering that it outweighs all the good things happening (hair, makeup). It makes it an OUT for me.

  • BrooklynBomber

    OUT, but only because it’s an overworked, ugly, unflattering gown.

  • Out, but only marginally–a simpler bodice would have knocked it in the other direction. (I’m thinking jack o’lantern.) Nice color, length, styling. 

  • IMNAngryLiberal

    This almost doesn’t look like the same dress at the runway version.  The panels on the bodice on the runway version are angled in to a narrow point at the waist (I think) instead of out.  That being said, Jessica, this is not your dress.  The color is fine, but everything else is a miss.

  • phrenk

    I think she looks lovely.  IN.

  • AlexisPayne

    Out. She can go sleeveless, it’s the sheer panels I find distracting and unflattering. Beautiful color on her but that bodice is not her friend and that unfinished bust line doesn’t work. 

  • suzq

    Out and here’s why (and it has nothing to do with her arms.)
    1. The straps, while nice, are too far apart, which pull in her shoulders.
    2. The cap effect rounds her shoulders too much, making her look slouchy.
    3. The sheer around the midriff just expands her waist.  Not an effect I think she wanted. 

  • Just because she has wrinkles on her arms doesn’t mean she can’t go sleeveless! 

  • lalahartma


  • halleygee

    I don’t think she shouldn NOT wear sleeveless if she wants to wear sleeveless, she should just not wear THIS sleeveless. Sorry but that is an awful dress for anybody. OUT.

  • Kenisha Hill Phillips

    In. I think the color is beautiful and the bodice is interesting.

  • Clueless_Jock

    In. Totally.

  • thecitysleeps

    It’s out for me, but not because of the sleeveless issue.  I think her arms look fine.  My problem is that crazy bodice and the way it seems to be straining away from her stomach.  It’s just unflattering.  I like the colour however.

  • Judy_S

    In. The dress is a bit complicated but she appears to be carrying it off. And as for her arms–I want to kiss her hem. Maybe if she starts a trend I can wear sleeveless again.

  • A sad sort of OUT.  

  • Zippypie

    Marginal IN.  The color is great and I like that she went with a soft, floaty material.  I don’t mind her arms being bare at all.  Who cares?  My issue is with the bodice.  All that criss-crossing folderole makes her look boxy and makes the boobage look 20 feet wide.  I also don’t care for the hair.  A soft updo would have looked nice. And a rosier lip, perhaps.  Her lips looked completely washed out with her hair color.

  • SublimatedRage

    Out.  Completely not her dress! Love her though……….

  • Kristy Evans

    IN. I kind of love it. Kudos to her for basically being like “Fuck it, these are my arms.” And while the dress is a bit over complicated,  she helped by having little to no jewelry and fairly simple hair. The color is great too.

  • I think she looks beautiful and the dress is interesting. IN for me.

  • Julie Fountain

    Out. All that business in the bodice is just awkward looking – I don’t even like it on the model. Also I would have liked a bit more polished hair.  

  • Jessica O’Connell

    I don’t like how overcomplicated it is. She’s obviously in great shape but this dress just isn’t doing her any favors. Out.

  • I think the look is confusing, because part of me looks at her and is amused because she just doesn’t give a crap, and then another part of me looks at her in that dress and thinks she’s trying way, way too hard.  

    My other issue  is that she didn’t put a bracelet over what I am assuming is tattoo on her wrist, which looks all blurry from sun damage.   

  • she reminds me of my equally nutty artist of a grandmother who curses like a sailor and drinks like a fish.  i feel like they would be good friends.  in.

  • EEKstl

    OUT, but boy is she gorgeous.  She just needs to take a cue from Queen Helen’s playbook about age-appropriate-but-still-sexy-and-knocking-it-out-of-the-park Red Carpet attire.

  • clevRcat

    Out.  I don’t mind the sleeveless-ness and but truly dislike the confusing froofraw of the bodice.

  • the bodice looks like a transformer’s face

    • MilaXX

      ……and now I can’t unsee it, making it even more of an OUT.

  • She’s just a little too old for this look – in the past it would have been smashing on her, and it still isn’t awful.  I don’t think sleeveless is so bad, but it does make her look a little bunchy in the middle. 

  • OUT.  Her hair and makeup are lovely and you can tell that she still has a great figure but that dress is not at all flattering.  Having said that, she’s either shaved ten years off her age (officially 63) or she’s been rode hard and put away wet one times too many.

  • sunflwrmoonbeam

    The top half is just awkward. The lack of sleeves doesn’t bother me, and I think the neckline is pretty nice, but the sheer and the odd seaming and the just..ugh. 

  • nannypoo

    She’s also too old for the hair. She looks like she’s going to play Miss Havisham, this time in blue.

  • shayna61

    Horrifying. Inappropriate. UGLY dress. Sorry, but I think you guys were trying too hard not to offend and missed the mark with this one — this belonged in a “GIRL, that it NOT your dress” post.

  • Imasewsure

    I liked this one although I was afraid that a closer look might downgrade it a bit (it did but it’s still an IN for me)

  • snarkykitten

    I don’t think it’s anyone dress. It’s a bandage dress! It’s nearly the same color blue bandaids that food service peeps wear

  • Aly Light

    IN. When 63 years old you reach, look as good you will not.

  • Lewis Smith

    In. She rocks. Period.

  • Oh man. Sleeveless isn’t even in the top 5 issues here. So much bad going on, and she knows it.

  • subwaycars

    I don’t mind the sleeveless, and I love the color, but I hate the sheer paneling in the bodice- on Jessica and the model. It just makes the bodice look too complicated.

    Out, sadly.

  • OUT. It just looks sloppy on. Sleeves or no sleeves, this is horrible. 

  • stagmania

    OUT. The bodice is what’s really bugging me. It looks like it’s creating the illusion of bulges.

  • Lewis Smith

    In. So in.

  • Out. Her hair is amazing and the color of the dress is great on her, but the shape/bodice are problematic.

  • trisker

    IN.  Wearing her age, and a pretty but problematical dress with PRIDE.

  • MilaXX

    OUT watching last night I thought it was an okay look. The lack of sleeves didn’t bother me, but the two toned bodice did.  Now I see it’s sheer and that’s a bridge too far.

  • Snailstsichr

    The dress is OUT. It makes her look like she is melting.

  • it’s not egregious enough to be an “out,” so she’s “in” by default.  i’m really more interested in the guy to the left, behind her in the last picture.  i want to see what HE’S wearing.

  • appliquer

    Out. Just not an attractive dress, and I don’t think it would look good on anyone, either. Color is nice, though.

  • OUT. The bodice looks like a sad Tiki face.

  • mjude

    i think she is beautiful BUT its an OUT

  • Out: the bodice is unflattering on her, the sleeveless thing is doing her no favors, and the hair doesn’t look as sophisticated as she is.  A woman over 25 can go sleeveless granted they have the arms to do it right (a good garment should highlight your assets not your flaws), but it’s def not for everyone.  A great big NO to this one!

  • Out. I like everything here but the bodice, but the bodice is so bad it kind of kills everything else that’s nice about the look.

  • crash1212

    OUT. Not because she shouldn’t be showing her arms…etc. I just don’t think it’s a very flattering dress for her shape. I also don’t think it looks great on the model.

  • bluefish

    Out — dreadful.

  • warnerave

    gotta change my tune…just rememberd her fabulosity in The Name Game..she’s Jessica Effing Lange! INNNNN !!!

  • Call it what it is A Beautiful Woman in a FUGLY dress

  • Fordzo

    When I first saw it, I thought that sheer netting had been added to give her arms some coverage.  And then I realized that it was her skin.  

    And then I realized that my arms probably look very similar, so I just concentrated on her beautiful face and kick-ass attitude.  

  • LaSylphide

    Out. Ugly (the dress; JLa is gorgeous, as always).

  • Tatiana Luján

    I don’t like the wrinkles on the bodice, but the color flatters her, I like the hair and her neck looks long. Small in for me.

  • janierainie

    In. I think she looks pretty. 

  • In. the dress is fine, and I like the fact that her face and body haven’t pinned nipped and tucked into oblivion.

  • ChelseaNH

    There is something not pleasing about the execution.

    On the other hand, it’s suitably deranged-looking, in a fashion sort of way.

  • Sara__B

    OUT. She can show her arms if she feels comfortable doing so, but the bodice of that dress is downright ugly.

  • Buffy

    never even noticed the lack of sleeves but all the fooferaw of that bodice is what makes it an OUT to me

  • This reminds me of a conversation I had with my husband about a photo he took of me. I said, well it’s OK, but I don’t like the wrinkles. He said no one notices their own except in photos (I’m 44). But I feel that way about Jessica. I first have to say, OK, she’s 63, so of course she doesn’t look how she did 20 years ago. I just haven’t SEEN much of her lately. And she’s gorgeous. And the arms are fine. But the bodice isn’t. So it’s an out for me.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    I actually like the straps and the shape of the neckline on her, as well as the color. But the little frayed edges, all that rickety-rackety happening, the surgical straps and seat belts and… It’s very unflattering across her middle. It’s NO for me, with nothing to do with the sleeves.

  • meowing

    Entirely too much straplessness going on the RC, so I’m fine with the thickish straps on Jessica.  I’m also good with her going sleeveless (I wouldn’t, but her choice is her choice).  The mid-section foofoo isn’t needed–go simple, I’d advise.  But, she’s lovely (just had to look up her age, and whew, she’s older than me) and aging gracefully. In.

  • demidaemon

    OUT. That bodice is just too complicated for it’s own good. Sorry, Miss Lange. 🙁

  • RocknRollmom

    This is a J. Mendel fail, NOT a Ms. Lange fail.  The dress has numerous issues which would be a problem even on a 25 year old, size 2.  Unfortunately the only thing that works for Ms. Lange is the color.  All the other issues as noted by TLo (thank you gentlemen for not being “those guys”) are directly on point.  As someone correctly noted, even Queen Helen couldn’t pull this one off.

  • Merneith

    I don’t like the dress. I think the almost-opaque over the not-quite-sheer panels make it look like the wearer is bursting at the seams. She’s still got IT – but it’s not the dress. Out.

  • UglyTalents

    The dress alone makes it an OUT for me: it looks sort of tattered (in a bad way) and mummy-ish. 

    The fact that it’s also wrong for La Lange only seals the deal. 

  • j_anson

    Out. I didn’t even notice the arms, and I don’t think they make it an out. But that bodice is just weird. Perhaps a 20-year-old model could carry it off, but I’m unconvinced even of that. I notice they photographed the model version in a somewhat obscuring way.

  • Jessica Goldstein

    OUT. Too much foo-faw up top. I keep looking for a face in that mess. 

  • Allison Woods

    I agree on the wide straps and the busy bodice not being great, but I also think the black is a titch too severe for older women. Having said all of that, I’ll go lowercase in.

  • Judy_J

    I love her, but OUT.  Upper arm issues aside, the bodice just isn’t working for me.

  • I’m not bothered by the lack of sleeves, by whatever the hell is going on in the bodice. Out.

  • snich11

    WHY did she choose that gown, over the hundreds she must have had to choose from???

  • altalinda

    Out, but only for the weird stuff going on in the bodice — it looks cheap.

  • The bodice skeeves me out in that from the front (where you can’t see the boning) it looks like the fabric from the top goes under the skin and then comes out again. Yuck.

  • Janet B

    That’s an ugly dress.

  • Oh, no way, Hon.  I am older than she is and I will call it – add sleeves on the red carpet.  Leave this to someone who doesn’t care how they look.  That sheer underlining is NOT attractive for any age.

  • Wendi126

    I’m giving her an IN. Because she is Jessica and makes this hideous dress look less so

  • OUT. There are a lot of things that look great (the color of the gown, her hair and makeup) and I have no issue with her arms, but when your girdle is visible in the sheer panels that’s just not good for the look, whether you’re older or not. If the panels weren’t sheer or there was something other than a girdle underneath I’d say in.

  • teensmom99

    I am giving this a surprise IN.  When I saw this, I thought it shouldn’t work and it is too “high fashion” for a woman of a certain age but somehow it does work because . . . because Jessica is a goddess model and can somehow pull off things that don’t work on mortals.  It’s wrong in every possible way and yet . . . she looked good so it’s an IN.  But, kittens, don’t try this at home.

  • voter1

    There needs to be a balance between this and Diane Keaton’s turtleneck, cover every inch look.  There comes a time when we women just have to suck it up and say “I’m not 30, or even 40, anymore.”  

  • MzzPants

    While I’m all for a mature lady rocking a sexy look, this dress is not her friend.  The midriff area looks awkward and unlined/nude lined sheer areas look wrinkled and ill-fitting.  I think the dress might actually be too tight at the waist. 


    Talk to Helen, honey.  She’ll hook you up.

  • librarygrrl64

    This is a beautiful dress, especially in navy. It’s just not HER dress. So that’s an out.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    Out.  I love the color on her, and full skirts should be more common everywhere, but this particular bodice doesn’t flatter her.  (Contra Mizrahi, that’s sort of important.)  The neckline is great for her, but yeah, sleeveless isn’t her friend.  It’s not age so much as sun exposure.  The dark color of the dress sets off enough contrast that it’s obvious.  A sheer sleeve would have been just about perfect here.

    And why does the photographer hate her enough to take pictures with those expressions?

  • kaycem

    OUT because foofaraw.

  • I think it’s OUT, but more because the sheer panels thing has been done to death than any issue with her arms. 

    And if I haven’t said it before, I will take a moment to say how much I love the hardline stance against body snarking on this site.  Reason eleventy billion TLo are the best.

  • I could maybe deal with the dress, but her makeup is awful.  I don’t mind that she looks like an older woman, but she looks like an older woman in makeup she slept in.  OUT.

  • DCSheehan

    Out.  Her figure is a total in and I like the silhouette but that bodice kills the dress dead. 

  • carolclark12

    I can’t even look at the dress because I am so enchanted by her face.  She really looks great, like a real however-old she is.  No botox, no facelift.  I even love her neck, because it is exactly what happens when a person gets older.  She has aged so gracefully and beautifully that she has earned the right to wear whatever the hell she wants. 

  • Out. The lining really kills the beauty of the dress, in my opinion. Not that I think Ms. Lange should have gone lining-free, but it’s a total “that’s not your dress” moment, even though she’s divatastic and unstoppable.

  • Jessica Knoch

    In. I think she looks fine.

  • pookiesmom

    I don’t mind the sleeves, but I think the bodice is too fussy. Maybe it’s that the wrinkles on the bodice mirror (& thus call attention to) the *ahem* other wrinkles? 

  • boomchicabowwow

    IN!  Those wrinkles are EARNED!

  • MaryanneGirl

    I don’t personally think it has anything to do with Ms. Lange – it’s the dress itself. I just think it looks…complicated?  Either way, out. Just not working here. 


    OUT and not for sleeveless but for the sheer illusiion crap going on in the bodice/midriff area.  And not to suggest a woman of her age can’t expose her midriff or give the illusion she is.  Rather, the lining of those areas is such an unnatural color that it just draws the eye to the oddly shaped “exposed” sections that ruin the line of the dress.  It just wouldn’t be flattering on any woman, young or old.

  • Sue_Asponte

    IN. I like the foofaraw. It’s a fun dress. Love the color. 

  • Sharon Weiner

    Out, the dress has too many lines, rather wrinkly folded lines, kind of like one’s neck once one passes a certain age. I am sure my neck will get like that one day, heck it may be lke that now but I wouldn’t choose a dress that matches my neck so closely.  Not to say that Jessica doesn’t look beautiful, just that she should a chosen a different dress.

  • kolokOlchik

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Very bad.  

  • in. but it looks a bit purple, and a bit blue. :S

  • Renaissance_Man_ATL

    IN!  And she was robbed last night!

  • oohsparkley!

    Definite IN.

  • OUT. Very unflattering and it gave me a jolt of ‘oh, she got old’, which is probably not what she was aiming for.

  • Synnamin

    Out. totally not her dress. And I didn’t notice the sleeves until you said something: that’s the one thing that’s working for me, actually. The color is matronly, but the cutout styling is best suited for a younger woman.

  • editrixie

    I have no opinion on the look, only that I am glad to see the little peek of Sam Shepherd there beside her — I’ve wondered for a while if they were still together. So happy to see that!

  • Louise Bryan

    I’m not clear that’s anyone’s dress, since it doesn’t even look good on the model.  It looks like her underthings and she forgot her dress, so all we see are petticoats and corset.  OUT.

  • Trisha26

    Out. It’s not her, it’s definitely the dress – what’s with all the bunched up lining? And the fuzzy trim being asymmetrical below the waistline? Lovely color and fabric but really overdesigned and impractical with anything other than skin underneath.

  • OUT. The sheer panels in the bodice look like wrinkles. There. I said it. 

  • Disagree about her and sleeveless, I think she could actually pull it off if it was completely strapless versus those odd straps. Overall I think it’s mostly that this is a pretty ugly dress, it doesn’t even look that good on the model. The sheer panels are in odd places and bunch so awkwardly.

  • Tigerfly

    Out. I don’t think that’s anyone’s dress. Oy.

  • SophieCollier

    Not her dress.  There is an elegance to dressing age-appropriately.  Although she is beautiful, this is just not flattering.  

  • Check out the Fabio-haired dude in the background over her right shoulder.  Douche alert! 

  • Hire the Queen of Fuckingfantastica’s stylist, pronto. Nice try, but OUT.

  • m0r0


  • CatherineRhodes


    I truly appreciate TLo’s sensitivity on this issue (must be 24/size 2 to wear fashion). However, I’m not so sure that’s the case here.

    We all have figure “flaws” that we aim to minimize through our clothing choices. One woman may feel she’s too generous in the bust and avoids ruffled necklines, another might feel her ankles are a little thick and opts for slingbacks to elongate the leg. 

    This is what we do when choosing a “flattering” outfit. It doesn’t mean we hate our bodies or think they’re too old or too fat — we just want to play up our strengths.

    In this case, Jessica needs to look in the mirror and realize that her arms are not her best feature, and that in order to wear a flattering outfit to an event where she will certainly be photographed, she should opt for sleeves.

    • LittleKarnak

      ITA and Out!!!

  • fursa_saida

    I actually have no problem with the shape, the straps, or the sleevelessness. I just think the traffic jam on her stomach is making her look thick-waisted, and therefore I cannot endorse this. OUT.

  • alwaysanswerb

    Is that visible shapewear, or is it just part of the bodice? Either way, poor choices were made by somebody. OUT.

    Sorry, Miss Thing. Still love ya.

  • Anniebet

    Ah, it’s hard to be an aging woman in the spotlight. But, it would be easier if one had good advice about one’s attire. The bunched up lining, especially in the bodice, adds bulk to an already unwieldy look. She’s lovely though. And is that Sam Shepard… her uncredited  date/former-or-current amour…in the first pic?

  • lrhoff

    Good for her.  She looks just fine….

  • Damien W

    Frayed edges on any garment for me is right up there with shiny men’s suits — throw it all on the bonfire.

    OUT – but if it were a little more finished I’d have said IN.

  • katavina

    I’m thinking In. Somehow the bodice is just the right amount of cray cray. While I don’t often subscribe to “more is more,” if anything here I wish she’d worn some grande dame E Taylor diamond necklace or earrings and gone full-blown diva. I think that would’ve sold the dress more.

  • BeaDee

    She’s old enough to know better than to go along with the horrible part-sheer trend.

  • Out. That bodice is wayyy wonky.

  • This isn’t doing her any favors, but she still doesn’t look bad. That says a lot. She needs some jewelry and color in her face.

  • It’s the too much going on in the bodice that is bad. The rest is lovely. I didn’t mind the sleeveless at all. I certainly like the color and skirt 🙂

  • kategs

    I am so sorry because I think she’s terrific but this is an out.

  • zelavie

    OUT.  Not a good dress.  If I didn’t feel like I was looking at Spanx under the bodice, it would be better.

  • ok

  • butter nut

    OUT.  looks like chiffon arrows pointing at a very specific portion of her torso.  it’s all i can see.  miss jessica deserves so much better than this.

  • girliecue

    In. Not the best choice of frocks, but not bad enough to call it out. And the overall effect is fine.

  • neofashionista


  • Cautia

    I have no issue with her arms, in fact I find her fearless display of them refreshing. It’s not fun to go through life always worrying about what you should be hiding.

    I just don’t like the dress. Particularly the fuzzy fringe at the neckline. Still, the overall effect is not bad – I do like the shape. So an unenthusiastic IN.

  • ccm800

    In –  She is one gorgeous lady

  • Kathleen B

    sadly I have to vote out, it’s just not a pretty or interesting  or flattering look.

  • OUT. I don’t think that dress in that colour would look good on anyone.It looks weird and moulting cause of the colours. If the dress was in all navy I think she would look quite beautiful 

  • Claudia Fernandes


  • I like it. I’d like it more if she looked happy and confident in it. 

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    Too busy! Too unflattering. OUT.

  • Ann

    Out. The color is gorgeous, but nothing else about the dress works. It just isn’t flattering. Also, I have no problem with a woman staying away from plastic surgery and allowing her age and wrinkles to shine. That said, if you are going to botox the crap out of your forehead, you ought to get a little work done on  the rest of your face as well. She looks so oddly lopsided – she has the forehead of someone 30 years younger. It just doesn’t fit with the rest of her.

  • shelley514

    IN!  I think Jessica looks fantastic.  It looks better on her than it does on the model.  And wrinkles are not a sin.

  • fashionzombie

    OUT. It’s weird and unflattering.

  • Rebecca Jay

    I want that color for my bedroom drapes.  Actually, the dress itself would make perfect bedroom drapes.

    Love so much that color!

  • libraangel

    It looks as if the dress is ripping apart, so a NO. But Jessica keeps it real – no Botox – so for her personally, a definite YES!

  • Lisa_Cop


  • Out.  Sadly this just isn’t working.  From the front, those cutouts make this dress look like it’s haunted by some evil, and with fangs. From the side, it makes her look very wide. I agree with TLo that they color and shape are both great for her.