IN or OUT: Kerry Washington in Jason Wu

Posted on March 25, 2013

This is pretty. Not earth-shattering or fashion-forward, but there’s nothing wrong with some straight-up old school elegance.


‘Scandal’ start Kerry Washington attends the 2013 Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala in a Jason Wu gown accessorized with a Bottega Veneta clutch, a Monique Péan ring, and Christian Louboutin pumps.

The dress is only so-so. Don’t really love the vertical lines running down the bodice or the way the skirt attaches, but she brought this to another level with some excellent jewelry choices. Beautiful ring and earrings, but that headband really makes the look.

We don’t know, you guys. We feel like we should be a bit more critical here because it’s failing to elicit gasps from us, but like we said, there’s nothing wrong with shooting for elegance.



Vote Now!




OUT! I don’t know. Looks kind of tired to me.


Christina Ricci’s “pinball wizard” dress delighted the Bitter Kittens, who voted it IN.


[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • She’s lovely but I find the detail on the bodice to be a bit half-assed. OUT.

  • I’ve started following her on twitter and I love her so much that my critical faculties aren’t firing properly. IN.

    • nancymae

      Her HRC pics were so cute!

  • Kathy_Marlow

    Sorry guys, but I hate the headband..I don’t like much about this whole look. She usually is so so pretty and I’m not seeing it today. (this is probably related to the bout of insomnia I had overnight..I’m a right snitch today)

    • siedhr

      I hate the headband too.

  • I think it is very pretty, and I agree about the headband. I think this is an elegant ensemble.

  • Vickiefantastico

    IN. She’s gorgeous. I’m not sure why there’s even a question!

  • rockwithyourleft

    I’m underwhelmed. Out

  • StellaZafella

    IN. I say it’s not her that’s ruining the moment…it’s that hideous, eye-hurting backdrop.
    She looks like what little girls want to be when they dress up pretty.. the head band and fluffy tulle skirt make it just enough adorable but the rest is all grown up… and she’s damn flawless overall.

    • DinaSews

      IN. I was pretty ambivalent about this so decided to agree with the person who most accurately described my feelings. You won. 😉

    • Stella for the Win! In for the same reasons. 🙂

  • IN! Like you said… nothing wrong with understated, simple elegance.

  • Highly flammable mother of the bride gown but her face is wow!

  • Lizzyisi

    *She* looks beautiful and her accessories are gorgeous. That ring alone is almost a whole outfit! But! The dress is boring. It’s not that she’s an Out as much as she just isn’t an In.

  • In

  • Hate the dress. This is not elegance in my book. It looks cheap. OUT.

  • MilaXX

    IN! I do wish the bodice set just a teeny bit higher though

  • It’s an okay dress with excellent styling. In.

    • Snailstsichr

      Just what I was going to say. IN. And I love her nails.

  • Julie Fountain

    I agree about the great accessories but I’m still voting out because of the dress. It makes her look thick-waisted which she most definitely is not!

  • lalahartma


  • PeggyOC

    In. She’s set the bar pretty high, and she’s not actually meeting her peak, but there’s nothing wrong with it.

  • mellorcr

    Oh, please, Miss Washington! This dress looks like someone found an old one-piece bathing suit at the thrift store, bedazzled it and glued on some tulle for a skirt. As Nina says; “this looks like a craft project!”

  • Janet B

    Kerry looks beautiful, but the skirt and the transition from bodice to skirt are awkward.
    Glad to see she’s wearing the default shoe of the day.

  • Jangle57

    nothing exciting here, keep moving, keep moving… it’s not hideous, just boring – which would be enough to be kicked off of PR but instead I will give her a tepid IN

  • Super_Red

    I can’t say Out…and I do love me a headband…. But what the heck happened to her face? It’s like the MUA was gesticulating wildly while brushing her face with blush. Maybe’s it’s just the lights, but in the straight-on picture, she looks like her entire face is pink.

    Hm.. Yeah. It’s an IN. I like the dress, and love the accessories (can we please have headbands everywhere always?)

  • Trisha26

    OUT. This looks like a witch costume from Oz the Great & Powerful. And that’s sad.

  • Sobaika

    IN. It’s not the level she’s usually operating at but she doesn’t look bad at all.

  • crash1212

    IN. I wonder how weird it is for Kerry to happen upon a gigantic CLOSE-UP of her ear. Being a celebrity must be such an odd life.

    • JasmineAM

      As someone with weirdly dry ears (seriously WTF?) this freaks me out because mine would look disgusting at this angle.

  • I like the earrings but the rest of it is just boring.

  • IN. I’m a sucker for those style dresses.

  • Monday1900

    Elegance? It looks like she has rhinestones on a string hot glued to her bodice and alice headband. Her hair and makeup are very tired as well. I really like Kerry but this is not a good look. Out.

  • IN. Very very pretty, and lets her face do all the heavy lifting.

  • Warrior89

    I love it. In.

  • barbarienne

    She looks beautiful and I do love the jewelry, particularly the earrings. Nothing to gasp about, but definitely not bad in any way. If you forced me to find something negative to say, I would suggest that the bodice isn’t great–maybe a hair too low and I don’t dig on the stitching detail.

    Doesn’t matter. In.

    The ankle-length black skirt under the sheer tulle(?) skirt, and the barely-there gray stilettos makes it look as if she’s levitating in that last photo. It’s a cool effect!

  • marilyn

    Out. Boring. The top is too tight, and looks like it is squeezing the life out of her boobs. Other than that, it is totally forgettable.

  • IN- I feel like the understatement is perfect for the event, and she looks perfectly pretty. If it were the Legends Ball, maybe a bit meh- but for a gala about Human Rights one does not show up dripping with diamonds and sparkly things.

  • mjude


  • oohsparkley!

    The dress might look cheap and tacky on someone less poised. She’s selling it and looks so pretty. In.

  • sweet_potato

    It’s not her, it’s the dress. The dress is proportionally problematic.

  • karena10

    Okay – not wonderful- but okay enough to be in.

  • Lilithcat

    In, but I must disagree about the headband. It’s too schoolgirl-ish.

  • ankali

    OUT. The dress looks cheap, the earrings are ugly, I don’t like her lipstick, and I think her hair is coming down in an unflattering shape.

  • formerlyAnon

    In, because “just a little tired” isn’t enough for it to be all the way out.

  • conniemd

    Dress is rather boring. However, the overall look is elegant and I love the headband, too. IN

  • OUT. I think its dress is quite ugly and cheap looking. Unfortunate.

    • drdarke

      OUT – She’s gorgeous, but WTF is that corset made of, an old black denim jacket? And the tulle dress just looks like a drugstore Halloween costume. This is like a Bottom Three entry in PROJECT RUNWAY’s “What’s in the Recycling Bins at Parsons” challenge.

      The styling’s not bad, and she’s WERQing it beautifully, which is probably why you threw it to The Bitter Kittens for judgment. Somebody with an eye needs to take Kerry Washington shopping – she’s really ill-served by whoever’s dressing her now….

  • Judy P

    OUT. The earrings are pretty but I’m fairly sure my sister wore that same outfit to the Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1992. It’s not elegant. She’s gorgeous but that “dress” is fug.

  • Something about the fabrics looks inexpensive — I’m not going to say “cheap” because I don’t mean in a floozy way at all. Just — not like the gown is as well made as it should be for what it probably goes for.

    That being said, I like the styling. So I’ll give her an IN, and hope that the look of the fabric is just bad lighting.

    • Vlasta Bubinka

      I’m calling this an in the vestibule. She can enter te building but not the main hall.
      Ku her!
      Full of tulle abounds
      She blinded me with headbands!
      Bedazz me bodice

  • Very pretty, classic look. Love jewellery and headband. IN!

  • julnyes

    That is a lot of pink on her face, the hair is bland and the dress is okay. She is a small in.

  • DominoEstella

    the fake fingernail trend is grossing me out.. I wish they would go back to something a little more natural looking. I’m ok with the fun polish etc.. but the obvious long, sharp, pointy fake have got to go.

  • In! I like all the black with subtle accents of bling.

  • nancymae

    Olivia Pope is always IN!

  • MissusBee

    Add some leg’o’mutton sleeves and you have my mom’s go-to formal dress for about 3 years in the mid eighties. Until my dad started calling it her ‘bad fairy dress’, at which point it went to goodwill within the week.

    Clearly, my family’s genetic gifts and accessorising skills cannot approach those of La Washington, and yet that is all I’m seeing.

    Happy times though, Ker! Thanks for the memories!

  • rococodada

    Dress with jewelry- In.
    Makeup (a skosh too much)- Out.

  • jason

    Out. All too dark and dreary

  • Joyce VG

    I say IN. It’s a bit precious but she’s so pretty.

  • Adriana_Paula

    Oh for heaven’s sake, IN. I don’t need the earth to be shattered every time, just for people to look great, which she does.

  • love the headband, the cheek AND lip color are a little much in the distant shots, look almost neon

    and the dress is a little gothic a smidgen off in the boob fit

    but over all a solid IN – can lady washington go wrong?

  • Carrieanno

    She’s IN even when she’s out. IN.

  • OUT. That is a travesty. How can one make Kerry W. look bad? It should not even be possible. But still, she does not look good here. The seaming, the skirt that looks like a cheap tu-tu and the hair – seriously it’s some bad styling that can eff this girl up. Kerry darling, fire the stylist that did this to you – she/he is dead to us.

  • Love the bag, hate the dress

  • in!! 🙂

  • Not awful, but not great, either. I would have put this one up on the whiteboard. The bodice needs to be a little higher over her chest, and it would look more elegant and flattering if the waist was dropped a bit before the tulle skirt started.

  • unbornfawn

    I love the soft make-up and the hair is lovely. The bodice seems a bit too tight and there is too much fabric at the waist. True, this is only so-so and not gasp worthy. More safe than anything else. I give it an IN.

  • l_c_ann

    Out. Not her, she’s grand, but the dress looks like a bad corset that was sewn cheap zigzags with the wrong color thread. Wu may be testing how much he can get away with. So tired of his half ****d efforts.

  • e jerry powell

    The whole bodice was bothersome the first time I saw the look, but the overall effect won me over enough that I annoyed/harassed TLo with it.

  • Pterodactyl111


  • Eva_baby

    IN. Straight up pretty.

  • rumcg66

    I think it’s an IN. Not perfect, by any stretch.

  • Crystal

    I think she looks lovely.

  • allj

    God, I cannot believe how pretty she is. Seriously: humans are not built like this. I don’t love this, but she looks good so I’ll let her squeak by with an In!

  • It does thrill me for the reasons you listed, but it’s so so bad. in.

  • I think this is really pretty and agreed, the hairband is fab. IN

  • PrunellaV

    She looks very nice. IN.

  • VioletFem

    IN. She looks beautiful. Her make-up is stunning and the accessories really help to make this fairly simple dress look quite elegant. Side note, I wish TLo could do a post on Olivia Pope’s wardrobe, now THAT women knows how to dress.

  • jw_ny

    IN very pretty. The headband is lovely on her. It almost feels too matchy with the beads on the bodice as well the studs on the clutch, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • CarolinLA

    IN. She’s a human rights gala. Keeping it toned down is appropriate.

  • Out!

  • OrigamiRose

    Not crazy about the excess of studs in the accessory choices. And the dress is really just… bleah. OUT.

  • Sara__B

    The fit of the bodice is off, and she just doesn’t look as good as usual. OUT.

  • Imasewsure

    I just don’t get what everyone sees in her. See is kinda eh to me and so is this ensemble (except the earrings which I have much love for). Not out enough for an out so it’s a weak IN

  • zelavie

    IN. It’s not WERQ-worthy, but it’s quite a lovely look.

  • understateddiva

    She’s a gorgeous woman who looks ridiculous FAR too often. Goth princess gown. There’s a lot of things you can say about her choices, but none of them are “chic” and it drives me nuts because she could do soooo much better!

    • understateddiva

      btw that’s an “out” 🙂

    • Indigo54

      Couldn’t agree more! Frustrating!

  • MissAmynae

    eh. I can see Kristen Stewart wearing this with chucks.

  • demidaemon

    OUT. I hate the way her make-up looks in that first photo. And this dress is all kinds of yawn-inducing. Kerry should always be fabulous, and she decidedly isn’t here.

  • Alyssa

    Out. I love the earrings, but they deserved a better dress than this.

  • this dress is boring, bordering on ugly. OUT. her make-up is great, though, and her ring and head-band are pretty. her attitude seems great. and she is, needless to say, a beautiful and fabulous creature.

  • out.

  • lobsterlen

    Out. Sadly its official tutu dresses are thing now.

    However, Kerry, my vote can be bought if you give me those earrings I’ll give you an IN.

  • Indigo54

    OUT! What on earth was she thinking???

  • ballerinawithagun

    Out, I’m afraid those lovely silver pointed toes are going to hook right into the tulle, rip the gown and pull her down.

  • 909girl601world

    Sigh. I am so tired of her and that bubble gum pink lipstick/blush she insists on wearing. I don’t find it flattering at all and wish she’d work with a different color palette. As far as the outfit goes…meh.

  • shanteUstay

    Out! She looks as she has on a JC Penny prom dress

  • It’s just not flattering around the waist and boob area – not sure what’s going on.

  • EEKstl

    IN. True, not earth-shattering, but I’m only going to give an OUT when there is an obvious sartorial gaffe. She looks safe but lovely.

  • warnerave

    i am bothered by her armpits…

  • prettybigkitty

    In. If Vanessa Hudgens or some other sartorially challenged starlet showed up in this outfit, it would be more than OK. We just expect more from Kerry. Higher standards.

  • stagmania

    OUT. The dress is kind of ugly.

  • Out…all she needs is a saloon, some saspirillas and a cat fight with Miss Kitty… (LOVE the earings tho!) and the hair looks like she forgot to put the wig on top of it…sigh- she can do better.

  • NinjaCate

    OUT. I want to love it, but it just isn’t working for me.

  • pdquick

    The earrings are to die, but it looks like she’s hatching. OUT.

  • There have to be nights when even the fashion-adept just aren’t feeling Innovative!, you know? You’re right, defaulting to excellence is no crime. IN.

  • Renaissance_Man_ATL