Maggie Gyllenhaal in Isabel Marant

Posted on April 09, 2013



Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the 2013 Sundance Institute Theatre Program Benefit in New York City in an Isabel Marant dress.

Isabel Marant ‘Samuel’ Printed Silk-gauze Midi Dress

Honey, we just can’t anymore.

Actually, that’s not true. In a way, fashion has caught up with Maggie because this dress is both right up her alley and also currently fashionable. But even when her ’70s grade school teacher aesthetic comes back around, she still can’t do anything interesting with it. That dress just hangs on her. Then again, it just hangs on the model too. We think some sort of groovy statement jewelry, a replacement of that ridiculous piece of string around her waist with an actual belt, and slapping on a slightly less drab pair of shoes (although we like these; they just don’t do much for the dress) could kick this up into chic.


[Photo Credit: Getty,]

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  • l_c_ann

    She’s working that Elementary School music teacher with too many kazoos look for all it’s worth.

    • Candigirl1968

      This was the look of my elementary school gifted class teacher in 1976 – the one who took us to a farm run by hippies.

    • VicD

      Her homage to a 1970’s era lit prof at Bennington…

  • Tassels. No. Hell to the no. I can’t even beyond that, just kill all the tassels. Not happy about this little trend…

  • drdarke

    This is just sad. The dress hangs limp on her (as TLo said, it does on the model too), you can see her boobs sagging underneath, and her hair and makeup make her look like the Painfully Earnest Dance Teacher Your High School Hired in the Seventies and Can’t Get Rid Of….

  • Jon

    She knows those three floozies are witches, but no one will listen to her! They’ll all be sorry.

  • tereliz

    This woman is on my irrational RC hate list. I like a few movies she’s in, and I’m sure she’s a lovely person to have a chat and cuppa with, but COME ON, LADY! You’re so adorable and have great bone-structure and you’re tall… YOU CAN DO BETTER! You look like you ARE that character from that teacher movie with Viola Davis, only set in 1974. Please STOP!

  • VioletFem

    The dress is pretty and fits her aesthetic perfectly, but the styling ruins it. Th drab hair-style, the lack of jewlery and that string-belt turned this boho style dress into something really frumpy. It’s like she’s trying to make herself look less pretty.

  • marilyn

    She and Julianne Moore have the same stylist.

    • Adriana_Paula

      I think they have stylists that are evil in exact opposite ways.

  • NO. The textile actually looks just like a dress I had in junior high (in the early 70s, decade of horrific taste) and tassels (on clothes in general) make me run from the room screaming.

  • MilaXX

    DA-YUM! That hair & makeup is just tragic. The boho dress looks thrift shop in a bad way on her & the shoes look orthopedic.

  • MoHub

    That dress covers enough to put a decent bras underneath, so why didn’t she?

    • Moriginal

      At least she’s wearing one.

  • decormaven

    My dear departed mother could rock a look better than this.

    • teensmom99

      My dear departed mother would have loved this dress and would have rocked it by doing the accessories, hair and make up right–and she was only 5′ tall. She believed that no color wouldn’t work as long as you had the right color of lipstick. Not sure that it works for every one but it works for her. She would have loved styling Maggie!

  • It’s so grandma.

  • In all fairness, at least I BELIEVE that she she doesn’t give a fuck. It’s not a carefully crafted and contrived illusion. She is an all grown up now, home schooled, child of hippie parents, granola lifestyle, actual living person, who just also happens to be a famous actress.

    • MRT144

      Why does this just make me feel worse?

  • Janet B

    She can be covered, if that’s what she wants, in a much prettier way than this dress.

  • flamingoNW

    She threw on some shoes and lipstick after being out picking beans to come to this screening. Apparently she was so rushed she forgot to comb her hair and put on eye makeup

  • Indigo54

    That dress looks like a Gretchen Jones special. ugh

  • MoHub

    Geez! I just looked her up on IMDb. She’s younger than my daughter, but she looks older than I do (at least in my mind’s eye). How can 35 look so old and frumpy?

  • Mazenderan

    Her make-up for these events infuriates me. She looks so pretty in films – and then someone does this diabolical makeup on her the rest of the time.

    Actually, part of the issue here is her posture – which I’ve noticed in other pictures. She doesn’t seem confident – arms look awkward, wearing her shoulders as earrings, poking her chin out. If she were to stand differently, then the dress might look more convincing. As it is, her posture helps make everything look dowdier.

    • YES. Her posture, and the less-than-confident smile ruin it.

  • fringebenefit

    She has such pretty eyes, though, doesn’t she.

    • MRT144

      It kind of makes me wish we could just extract them like the eye guy in Blade Runner.

  • nannypoo

    I don’t think anything could actually make it chic, but a belt and better shoes could make it OK. But the hair! The makeup! Pathetic. She can look pretty and sexy in her movies but in real life she is just frumpy.

  • PinkySlinky

    she needs the Saint Laurent treatment like bad…

  • Imasewsure

    That being said, this is the best she has looked in a long time (she sighs sadly).

    • I know! I was thinking, ‘well, it appears she’s found a bra, and she has a bright lipstick on.’ But still: sigh.

  • TheLaurenJean

    The hair hurts. Looks way to similar to my grandma’s wig.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    And good lord, does that hair not flatter her at all. Not everyone can rock a pixie like Michelle Williams, lady.

    • gorghast

      She didn’t really have an option for the hair. This pixie is much better than the bowl-cut she was sporting for a movie she recently shot.

  • this dress on Eva Mendes on the street, wind rustling the skirt, huge sun hat, sunglasses, fabulous shoes… it could work!

    • EXACTLY. It’s not the dress’s fault.

      • disqus_sZRDWtvvVD

        I may have to work this into conversation soon. “It’s not the dress’s fault.” Love it.

    • MoHub

      Sounds like a 1970s Salem cigarette commercial.

    • AmeliaEve

      YES! This needs a curvy, dark-skinned gal to make the most of it. EM would be perfect. Otherwise, it’s today’s second earth-toned dress that murders the porcelain complexion of it’s wearer. These soft, full silks can look really romantic on a woman who has her own shape to bring to them. This is actually a great candidate for some of those over-the-top textural D&G shoes.

    • lol – sorry mags, get a hotter, latina body!

    • drdarke

      Sorry, @facebook-677679418:disqus – even Eva Mendes couldn’t save that dress.

      That outfit is giving me flashbacks to CASTLE Season 3 costume design – the worst-dressed actors I ever saw on a network television show.

  • LaSylphide

    I like the dress, but no matter what she wears, she manages to look like a librarian.

    • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

      It is my personal experience that librarians, closeted Mormons, and closeted Republicans are the *WILDEST* freaks in bed. Librarians have kinks that even I have never heard of, and of the batch, they are not generally closeted. Disguised under frumpy clothes and coke bottle glasses, but not closeted.

      • Adriana_Paula

        True, we are demons in the sack.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      Ahem, I for one am tired of the old “librarians dress dowdy, frumpy, etc.” cliche. That might have been true at some point, but many librarians I know have quirky, interesting style senses, and none would be seen dead in this ugly thing. It’s true that we can’t always dress like fashionistas, but that has more to do with dress codes and the functionality of our job. Maybe it’s time to pick on a different profession.

      [stepping off soapbox]

      • luciaphile

        Thank you. I have to defend my profession. I work with three clotheshorses. Nobody I know in the profession would wear a dress like that.

      • Alexandra Simons

        Yes, thank you!!! I consider myself to be a chic librarian and my wardrobe would never include this dress. (However, I do have colleagues that could use some wardrobe help.)

      • Adriana_Paula

        To be fair, I’ve been to many an American Library Association conference at which the attendees are either quite stylish or wearing elastic-waist polyester pants. It’s not as if none of us are frumpy. And we’re not the most well-paid profession either…

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          Oh yeah, I’m not saying that all librarians have an amazing sense of style, but it’s just a bit disheartening when librarian=frumpy,dumpy (or sex kitten waiting to shed the frumpy and dumpy) in pop culture. LOL, I haven’t been to ALA in quite a few years, but I think I would opt towards the elastic pants myself, that is an exhausting conference!

    • Imasewsure

      At least she didn’t go with the Easy Spirits…could have been even frumpier (although it’s hard to imagine)

  • blogless

    Well, she does look comfortable….but that’s the best I can say.

  • butterflysunita

    Hopeless. A beautiful woman, but you wouldn’t know that looking at these photos.

  • It’s great that you guys are optimists, but nothing can save this.

  • Lilyana_F

    Wow, that’s one unfortunate looking dress and these have got to be the ugliest pair of shoes I’ve seen in a while.

  • There’s something… old lady-ish… about even the way she poses and smiles. Is it the closed mouth smile? Is it the bad posture? I initially thought that a great piece of statement jewelry was what this look needed, but it needs something… MORE.

    • Mazenderan

      Totally agree. Every photograph of her on this site has hunched shoulders and a jutting chin. All she needs to do is carry a little handbag in front of her to look like a cartoon old lady.

      The closed mouth smile doesn’t help either. She always looks slightly pained/apologetic.

    • halleygee

      It’s also the red lipstick plus the sparse brows – she needs some eyebrow pencil stat.

  • Trisha26

    Sad.She’s only 35 yet looks easily 50. Are we sure she’s not in a cult or something?

  • I’m assuming she has a bathing suit underneath, and is just stopping by to get her photo taken en route. That’s the only explanation.

  • Laylalola

    OMG something about that dress looks so very 80s. As in, for women in their 80s.

  • maggiemaybe

    I think my 7th grade English teacher had an outfit exactly like that… or was it my mom?

  • Sara__B

    Maggie-from-the-retirement-home strikes again.

  • Perhaps also hair that isn’t retirement-home easy? And a little makeup? She’s beautiful when she moves and speaks, she just can’t pose, dress herself, apply makeup or do her own hair.

  • Tatiana Luján

    This dress desperatedly calls for a better bra (or a bra, I don’t know if she is wearing one) and a real belt.

  • Tatiana Luján

    And that shade of orange doesn’t go with her complexion. It’s a difficult color.

    • PastryGoddess

      difficult…that was nice of you

  • Melizmatic

    Why, oh, WHY does she look like a 60 year-old matriarch?

    • Snailstsichr

      Or sadly, more like the hand-me downs from the 60 year matriarch to her downtrodden maiden aunt.

  • PastryGoddess

    Well at least she doesn’t look like she smells like cat pee.


    • jetpackdino

      You’re going to hell for that remark! (and I’m going to hell for laughing at it, because it was pretty damn funny…)

      • PastryGoddess

        I have an extra pair of gasoline panties 🙂

    • drdarke

      I’m thinking you had a different HS dance teacher than I had, @PastryGoddess:disqus – I had the very holistic healthy variety, who used to tell us (in detail) about her monthly fasts to “purify” herself and how she had to give herself enemas afterward….

      Actually, maybe you didn’t after all.

  • Oh honey. That looks like the sort of dress I would wear when I was too depressed to wear something not nightgown-ish, but trying to fight it with bright colors. Stand up straight and put a cut belt on it. Then maybe it will work as a casual dress.

  • jetpackdino

    These photos make me sad. Some part of me wants to hold a fundraiser for her.

  • The dress is way too long. She looks like someone from the Grapes of Wrath, only on acid.

  • throwaneyeonthis

    Points for consistency.

  • alyce1213

    Maggie is a gifted actress with unconventional looks, but she presents herself like my Aunt Lil when she was in her 70s.
    What is that hair about?

    I can’t hate her for this, though. She’s so talented and a very lovely person. I just have to overlook and hope . . .

  • meowing

    Per Wiki, she’s only 36. Why on earth does she dress 3 decades older?

  • MRT144

    She is rocking my 85 year old grandmother’s haircut. I know this is like picking on the defenseless and weak but i just can’t help myself.

  • Adriana_Paula

    That is nun-in-a-teaching-order-that-no-longer-requires-habits hair.

  • joancarol

    What the hell is wrong with her???

  • Look! On the red carpet! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s Frump Girl!

  • Louise Bryan

    The hair is not helping. Not enough wrinkles, but otherwise she looks like a kindly grandma who dyes her hair.

  • Carly Warnock

    She just looks so old in this. And I hate saying that but that’s all I can think of when I see it.

  • that haircut is not her friend

  • What the hell is on her ears? She looks tired and unhappy

    • NoGovernmentName

      Wait a sec– are those earrings or her earlobes? So confused.

  • I feel about her the way you guys feel about Gwyneth. Her pursed lips and her annoying “I don’t want to be here” posture. Fuck you Maggie.

  • unbornfawn

    The hair, the dress, she looks so dowdy and dumpy.

  • 21st century Joan of Arc goes out on the town.

  • I feel like she always goes for minimalist makeup, so I think she should similarly go for minimalist styles of clothing like Calvin Klein. Fresh face, fresh clothes. Just sayin’.

  • bd73

    zoe could work that thing out in two seconds flat.

  • VictoriaDiNardo

    I know this dress could look good, because it looked fabulous on me when I made it from a Vogue pattern in 1974 – all it needs is high suede boots, a huge leather belt, several chain necklaces, hoop earrings and a blond Farrah haircut. right?

  • She dresses like a Grandma. A skinny, cool Grandma.

  • Anniebet

    Everything about her droops.

    How does this woman get work in the beauty obsessed film industry? I guess ’cause she’s a good actor and quirky, comfortable in her weirdness, and doesn’t give a crap whether or not she looks good, which is oh-so obvious from that scuzzy picture.

    • Yes, because she can act. I’m glad she doesn’t obsess over the red carpet thing, even though her hair is TRAGIC in this photo.

  • Nonmercisansfacon

    I can’t help myself, I love Maggie. She’s so tragically unstylish, it’s endearing. Many non-Hollywood individuals, ‘real’ people have no sense of style. Maggie happens to be one of them but in the spotlight.

  • MichaelStrangeways

    She can’t WAIT to get her AARP discount card!!!!

  • DeTrop

    Is she turning into our own Helena Bonham-Carter? She has a ways to go but I think she’s heading in the right direction.

  • JauntyJohn

    Love the colors in this.
    Perhaps it’s just her face in repose, but she has the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen.
    I want her to have a weekend with Diane Keaton — somehow I sense that would be just the thing for her.

  • trixietru


  • It’s never a good sign when the sight of an actress causing nothing more than this to run through someones head : Bless.

  • yulaffin

    Yes, the old schoolmarm look.

  • bellafigura1

    She is too young to look this droopy! And I don’t just mean the dress.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    She’s supposed to be Swedish royalty, not a washerwoman.

  • kathrineb

    Apparently when you are rich actress you still have to tie string around your hips.

  • HeatherMcIlrath

    how does the makeup make her look seventy years old?!?! she’s gonna see these and slap the bitch that did that to her face.