Julianne Hough in Houghton

Posted on February 28, 2013

You know what? We’ve just been struck by a bolt of empathy, out of the blue. Don’t worry, it’ll likely pass very shortly. But something about these pictures just clicked with us and now we don’t feel like going straight for the bitchy joke.

Julianne Hough attends the premiere of ‘Safe Haven’ in Dublin, Ireland in a Houghton embroidered and sequin gown.

Houghton Bride 2013 Collection

It’s this: She never stops TRYING. We don’t like this look any more than any of her other looks, but it struck us while looking at these pics and struggling to come up with another joke at her expense that the poor dear really does put the effort in on looking good and looking presentably put together for pictures. That’s kind of sad, because she almost never looks good or presentable for pictures.

This isn’t the worst we’ve seen from her. As with most of her outfits, it tends to read a little mature to us. We could see Helen Mirren rocking the hell out of this dress. We just don’t think it suits her very well. And besides, the column of white in the lower half throws the visual balance off. She looks a little like she’s hovering.

Believe it or not, both that hair and the makeup are improvements. They’re not GOOD, mind you, but we can see some effort being made to course-correct. The hair is sloppy, but at least it looks youthful. Or at least, youthful if it was 1999 and barrettes are all the rage. As for the makeup, if she would just get her people to tone town the eyebrows a little (and possibly the eyeliner), it would go a long way toward softening her face.

This is us, darlings. Full of love and warm feelings in our hearts. Enjoy it while it lasts.


[Photo Credit: WENN, houghtonnyc.com]

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  • Little_Olive

    I’ll do the joke: Side table at my granny’s! 

    • Aly Light

       I’m seeing a shower cap and shower curtain combo, myself.

      • Little_Olive

        Completed by a toilet paper cover.

        • I’m thinking balloon valence, which I never liked, even as a window treatment.

  • mmc2315


    • Aly Light

       To be honest, I feel sorry for the poor bride who gets roped into wearing this.

    • Ms_Flyover

      based on the collection photo, it’s for the bride three minutes away from dying of consumption.  Exactly the look I know I wanted on my wedding day.

    • No, this looks much more like a bride’s maid’s dress. You know, the kind she swears you can shorten and wear again, but you know you’ll just stuff it in the back of your closet and curse her for making you spend that much on such an ugly piece of crap.

  • paginatrix

    She’s so pretty. That’s why it bugs when she fails.

    • Mistie Holler

      Yes, it’s not as if she has a difficult canvas to paint on.

  • Jackie4g

    That peplum looks like such an afterthought. Had it been an interesting belt or form fitting cumberbund kind of drape, it would look better. I don’t mind the rest and I like how her eyebrows punctuate her face. This is not the best she could look, but it’s not bad. Not bad a’tall.

  • marilyn

    The dress might have looked a little more youthful if the sideways peplum had been left out. 

    • aeb1986

       i was thinking that too. i think no peplum but using that fabric for the skirt maybeeee would have worked better? i think the dress itself is actually pretty

    • Sobaika

      It would have looked a little more youthful if it hadn’t done… that to her boobs.

      • YES! I was scrolling to see if anyone was gonna mention it. There is a shelf of boob-ery way too low on her ribcage, and it is not helping things.

  • If it were knee length or shorter, the dress would work.

  • Frank_821

    I was just thinking if the skirt was just short above the knee. hell above the thigh, it would be a far more youthful and fun look

  • LadyCelia

    The bodice photographs to look like cheap velour or stretch velvet.  The peplum looks like the flounce on an early 90’s show-house window treatment and the skirt, well, it just doesn’t go.

  • There is not enough coffee this morning to get me through the mess that are the first three looks posted today.

  • Annabelle Archer

    And an ill thought peplum ruins yet another dress.  When will it stop?
    As for Juliane, I’d give her a pass if she would just fix those brows.  She will never stop picking dresses that are too mature for her, it must be how she perceives “class” and “non sexy”.  I give up on her finding a more youthful aesthetic.

  • Can someone tell me why this wealthy young woman needs to be wearing the valance from the drapes in a Days Inn?

    • StellaZafella

       Side thought, Kiltd:

      Does it sound like T & Lo are primed to rip Project Runway a new one this week? (I SOOOO live it when we’re all rested and bitchy, bitchy, bitchy!)

      • Well, there has been plenty of heavy duty training going on this past week, with the Oscars, and all. So I would say that we are in for QUITE the rip roaring ride.

    • Vlasta Bubinka

      snort. Everything she dons to snore.

    • ashtangajunkie

      HA! I just about spit out my coffee. 🙂

  • If this hit at the knee it might be fit for a 40-year-old rather than the 60+ set.  But I will agree that this make-up is a massive improvement.  

  • Janet B

    I’m always struck first by the contrast of her hair and eyebrows. 

  • sablehunter

    Why did she tie a valance around her waist?

  • I think this is a BIG improvement for her. I kind of love this and love the hair. I think if the dress was short instead of long, it would be a pretty great effort.

  • She needs a better bra. Or just a better dress. Does she just wear anything that is given to her without wondering if it looks shit?

  • deltabronze

    Whoever is advocating those eyebrows should be shot.

    • 3boysful

       Once for each eyebrow.

    • I personally LOVE the eyebrows

  • Eva_baby

    This is a prime candidate for the Fug girls’ unfug it up.  Remove that awful peplum floral disaster, shorten the skirt, give her sharp pumps and she looks 100% better.

    Right now she is a hot steaming mess.

  • lilibetp

    Oh, I thought you were going to say “Hough in Houghton.”

  • StellaZafella

    So that’s where all the old Laura Ashley scraps disappeared to.

  • Monday1900

    That peplum is 6 kinds of awful.  Take that off and the dress is actually pretty nice. 

  • imperfectlaura

    I can see a way in which I wouldn’t be offended by this.  Take off that fart of fabric at the waist, but use that pattern instead of the plain white for the bottom.  I don’t think I’d love it, but it wouldn’t be as laughable as this.

  • Indigo54

    The poor thing’s boobies are just SMASHED.  Stuff like that drives me crazy!  Does the skirt look like a totally different shade of white than the top?  Sure it does!  It also looks like somebody hand gathered that peplum and just tacked it on for kicks. This is a tragedy.   

    • RebeccaKW

       It looks like 3 pieces.  A top, a skirt, and a belt made out of curtain valance.  Nothing goes together.  Plus, the foundation garments (or lack of) that are doing nothing to help her out.  I actually don’t mind the hair and makeup (well, the brows are ridiculous).  I think this poor girl needs to get a new stylist.  A new one can’t be worse than the one she’s got.


    That poufy flounce/peplum is awful but I blame the designer for that.  But really, she should have known better but she is trying.  Too hard….

  • karenbttc

    She needs to realize that Joan Crawford should not be her eyebrow role model.

  • Le_Sigh

    You know what – she’s the fashion / movie version of trying to make “fetch” happen.  I just don’t get it. 

    • A.


    • I thought that was Jessica Biel.

  • The eyebrows are super draggy,  as a blonde myself I understand the point of adding a little color to blonde brows (esp when being photographed) but this is too much.  

  • Judy_J

    The top is kind of cute, but that skirt throws it off completely.  Perhaps if the skirt wasn’t such a stark white….color would have helped, I think.

  • Roz

    This is a category of dress that makes me think of little girls creating dresses for Barbies out of scraps of fabric and ribbons. The peplum is totally a hair scrunchie.

  • Remove the peplum (grandma’s bathroom window “treatment”) and add a simple band of gold colored thick satin or raw silk, and it would be quite nice.

  • another_laura

    Peplums are the work of Satan.  You can no longer deny it, people!  I don’t  know what’s up with this lovely girl but man, she needs a style intervention, STAT.

  • teensmom99

    This is a classic scrolldown fug.  I was going to like the dress-I even thought the peblum worked–when I thought it was short.  And I’m very confused why it is so hard to get her hair and make up right when she is pretty.

  • SewingSiren

    Not bad. I’ve seen worse. The bodice looks a little over embellished and the skirt a little under embellished. Plus the bodice is a little too tight under the bust, creating a nasty fold line in the last picture.

  • homofascist

    I guess today’s theme is ‘mature dresses that are TOO LONG’.  Shorten Michelle Williams dress and it would be youthful disco fabulous, shorten this one at it wouldn’t be great but it would certainly be better.  

  • A.

    ‘As for the makeup, if she would just get her people to tone town the eyebrows a little (and possibly the eyeliner), it would go a long way toward softening her face.’
    This is dead on.

  • ashtangajunkie

    EYEBROWS. I’m sorry. They’re all I see when I look at her.

  • julnyes

    minus the sad lopsided peplum, that dress would be lovely. 

  • mellorcr

    That peplum looks like a crafts project gone wrong, or maybe when they come up with a “twist” on Project Runway and the contestants have an hour to come up with a second look.

  • Susan Crawford

    Is she wearing a window valance around her waist?

  • MilaXX

    Te face would be passable if they would lighten the brows. That dress in addition to being aging doesn’t fit well. Something is happening between the waist and the peplum that makes it feel like her breast are sagging, which I am sure they are not.  Is the top too tight?
    I think she is one of those who needs to just go simple, clean lines. She lacks the fashion skills for fussier looks.

  • susan6

    That peblum looks like some 5-year old’s idea of a girly toolbelt to strap around your waist.  There’s probably a rubber hammer and pink-handled screwdriver in there somewhere.

  • miagain

    When did long dresses get soooo long? 

    • l_c_ann

      They are designing to cover eight inch heels, perhaps? 

  • decormaven

    I first thought that wretched peplum was some type of unfortunate drawstring clutch, then I scrolled down. If there is a stylist behind this look, I beseech you – please, please, PLEASE quit dressing this woman and go into another line of work. Same goes for the MUA.

  • stubbornthoughts

    Agree with you, Uncles. One thousand percent.

  • ellabob

    Oh dear god – someone get her a mirror

  • fringebenefit

    I will never understand.

  • holy eyebrows, batman

    • Its one of the only things I see when I look at her. You don’t have to color them in like a coloring book. 

  • The make up is noticeably better, eyebrows excluded. If this was a knee length or just shorter, she would have done better. The things done to this woman on a red carpet by her handlers is always tragic. 

  • I think her hair and make-up look great, actually.  The dress is mature, but that’s her deal, I guess.  I say, good job.

  • mhleta

    In the early 90s we lived in a cookie cutter subdivision in a really depressing town and everyone’s bathroom looked just like this–flower stencils on the walls and nasty flowered curtains and/or sink skirts. Oy vey, this is dreadful.

  • I like this dress, but I think it belongs on someone a little more statuesque.

  • jmorino08

    Those eyebrows are a crime against humanity!

  • Interesting that this dress is from a bridal collection, yet looks much less bridal than so many dresses we’ve seen during the run-up to Oscar marathons.

  • Mistie Holler

    Julianne Hough has a sense of humour,
    Hanging round her waist like a floral tumour.

    … that’s my creative writing done for the day. And people say blogs lessen productivity!

    Other than the growth round the midsection I think she looks pretty fabulous.

  • Alyssa

    I’ll take trying and failing over not trying any day. I think her eye makeup looks awesome here (the liner is a little thick, but I personally love thick black lined eyes myself). Her hair is better than most of her appearances. I just hope one day she figures out how to dress mature without being matronly, and that she can dress sexy without looking skanky.

  • Dot

    Why does her makeup artist hate her eyebrows so much? Ginnifer Goodwin has the same problem.

  • peachy

    ALERT: TLo Has Fever; Speaks Irrationally; Medication Ordered

  • werika

    It’s almost as if her midsection is spewing stuff.

  • FancyPhilly

    I think in light of her recent comments on abuse in her past and how she was highly sexualized in the dancing world at a young age (not to mention the very risque costumes she wore while on Dancing With the Stars) I will decide to lay off any “old lady” comments to her manner of dressing. If I would have one complaint about her style it would be that she just doesn’t seem to have any fun with it.
    And totally on the side, but when I first looked at this pictures I thought she could play Helen Mirren’s younger self in a movie.

  • Tracy_Flick

    Oh gawd, the peplum! Where did she find my discarded throw pillow cover project from Home Ec. in 1991?

  • DiverK

    Also, it’s okay to wear a bra.  It happens to all of us, some later, some sooner.  If they aren’t hanging in the right place, wear something that puts them there.

  • unbornfawn

    There is a good look in there under the mess. Rip off the peplum. Shorten the dress. Get a decent bra and send her to someone who actually knows how to do hair and you would have a great little look here. There is a glimmer of hope. She needs a week at my imaginary TLo”s “How to dress for the red carpet” boot camp and she could be knocking it out of the park.

  • Poor sweetie needs to fire her colorist and her makeup crew. Or, you know, hire someone if she’s been doing all that herself. 

  • schadenfreudelicious

    does that peplum come with a matching shower cap??

  • Two words:  Foundation. Garments.

  • MaryAtRealityTea

    Why can’t she look young to save her life? Why?!? The dress needs to be kneelength to look remotely youthful and probably with a much smaller dust ruffle. A skirt that compliments the top half would also help. It’s all just an awkward mess. 

  • libraangel

    What is that alien thing growing out of her waist?

  • She looks like a bust of herself on a plinth, that dress is bizarre. 

  • Kristy Evans

    That skirt looks like an afterthought. But yes, her hair is more youthful at the very least.

  • Markatha

    How come she looked Drop Dead Gorgeous week after week when she was a fabulous dancer on DWTS
    Now that it’s been decided (?) she’s an actress & Ryan’s true love she’s a hot mess.
    The transition is so calculated & off-putting. I loved her before, now I can hardly look at her.
    And not just because of the hideous hair, make-up & clothes.

  • butterflysunita

    That peplum is truly pitiful.  And she looks so pleased with herself, too.  

  • Lisa Salmon

    That is one of the ugliest out of proportion dresses I have ever seen.  It reminds me of one of my hand made Barbie dresses I attempted years and years ago. 

  • actually, the top might look cute with a leather plum-colored pencil skirt!

  • lrober03

    If you’re gonna wear a dust ruffle around your waist, at least make it even all around!

  • formerlyAnon

    What is WITH her hair? It looks like mine (ahem, *I only wish*) when I’m growing it out and am too lazy/rushed/fed up to do anything much to it.

    I don’t like the dress on the model, either, so I can’t comment on that part.

  • sk8tfan

    The trash mags would have it that she’s Ryan Seacrest’s beard, and also that he picks her clothing. If the latter is true, than it is the most compelling argument I’ve seen that he’s straight, because no self-respecting gay man would allow his female BFF to go out in public looking like she does. And the strangest thing about it is that she’s naturally pretty and has a lot of good raw material; it wouldn’t be hard work to dress her to look cute because she IS cute. It’s like it’s hard work to make her look as bad as she does.

    • conniemd

       Ha. My straight daughter who has a gay husband and gay fairy godfather, not mention gay hairdresser, and gay elbow candy for all events laughed at this. Her gay entourage is ALWAYS trying to make her over, taking her on shopping trips, make-up, etc.

      • sk8tfan

        I’m so jealous of your daughter! I want a gay entourage! And I especially want a life where I have to attend events that require gay elbow candy. Alas, I am unlikely to achieve those lofty goals at this point. Jeans and sweatshirts it is.

  • Conversely, if she were to dye her hair a little darker shade of blonde, or even a brown, I think it might better fit the drama and contrast she seems to desire in her face. 
    The dress looks like she stole her grandmother’s pillows and curtains to make it. “Yes, Cinderella, you CAN go to the ball!”

  • nannypoo

    My grandmother had a clothespin bag that she wore around her waist when she hung out the sheets. I did not know that they are still available.

    • carolclark12

       That’s it!  A clothespin bag!

  • MoHub

    1950s cocktail apron.

  • SistaT

    I’m not feeling nearly as charitable.  She looks awful.  Her hair is what one would do if just running out to the supermarket and the top of the dress made me wanna do the “What is that – velvet???” joke from “Coming to America”.  Poor dear.  She’s young and pretty and yet she always goes out looking hellafied.  I don’t understand.  And honestly … she needs to kick her makeup artist.  What is going on with her eyebrows???

  • carolynmo

    Another hideous dress. She’s a beautiful gal–I don’t understand why she always dresses so poorly. I’m baffled. Again.

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  • warnerave


  • but didn’t you hear ryan seacrest today? bold eyebrows are IN! lol. he had his eyebrow waxer on the show (i only heard this b/c i happened to be driving my kid to speech therapy & all the other stations were commercials) to confirm that this is a fashion trend. all i could think was “he’s inventing this to try to excuse his girlfriend’s brows.”

  • I hate to say this, but she kinda looks like Derek in Drag to me and I think it has to be the eyebrows that is doing it…

  • Imasewsure

    Don’t hate the hair or makeup… kind of cute actually but that dress is hiddy and I wouldn’t make anyone else wear it… bodice is promising the the rest blows

  • after she put on her little hostess apron, she realized she had forgotten her skirt and so she just wrapped the tablecloth around her hips.  now that’s ingenuity!  why does her hair always look like a shipwreck? 

  • Wow, that dress is a freaking mess!

  • Lilithcat

    This is us, darlings. Full of love and warm feelings in our hearts. Enjoy it while it lasts.

    Who stole Tom & Lorenzo?  Has anyone checked their basement for pods?

  • jw_ny

    Her stylist, hair dresser and makeup artist are obviously hack amateurs, and she’s obviously clueless.  

  • Anniebet

    Can’t even see the dress,  I’m blinded by those eyebrows. Hmm, now that I squint and cover her face with my hand the dress isn’t that bad, other than the peplum, and the embroidery, and the shape, and the blah color. Did I mention the peplum? 

    Gonna have nightmares about those eyebrows.  

  • Zippypie

    Does someone get paid to do those eyebrows?  Seriously?  FIRE THEM.

    I just can’t with this girl.  Why is she starring in a movie in the first place?

  • MissAmynae

    SO CLOSE!!!  the top, hair, and makeup are super-cute. The skirt, though….ugh.

    Kids got grit, and a whole lotta try.

  • LinXGUA

    Can the peplum thing go already? This one looks like it had been stung by a bee and died on her.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    She’s starting to look like Ryan Seacrest’s identical twin. Which has a creepy factor all its own.

  • Nancy Dunn

    I just don’t get peplums. The dress has nice lines on top and bottom, she is thin so it looks very crisp and clean, and then BAM, this horrid curtain sticks out in the middle!!! Why? I understand the history of peplums, but I have ever sen one I even remotely like.

  • Zyxomma

    Time to stop listening to the damned stylists and wear something she owns, loves, and looks great wearing. FAIL.

  • elemspbee

    h’shit the eyebrows. nightmares. must. not. close. my. eyes.

  • mom2ab

    So that’s what you do with the valance from you 1990’s bedroom curtains!  What is the original intent of this dress- says Bridal but they can’t think a bride would wear it- no I think this frock was designed to be worn by the most tortured creature on earth-the bridesmaind.  For that it is totally perfectly hideous.

  • What an ugly dress. *sigh*

  • stacey avelar

    Granny’s kitchen valance for the waistal area.

  • kathrineb

    I hate the gathered floaty peplum thing.

  • ccm800

    its the brows. I’m convinced if she just downplayed the eyebrows some.. not so much pencil or stop tinting them – they age the hell out of her face. That and terrible taste or instincts or no gay –  but  if she would  lay off those brows she would freshen that face up  immensely