IN or OUT: Jessica Chastain in Lanvin

Posted on June 24, 2013

We’re gonna need a ruling on this one, kittens.


Jessica Chastain at the closing ceremony of the 2013 Shanghai International Film Festival in a Lanvin gown.


On the one hand, that’s a fabulous color for her and the drama of the dress suits her well. On the other hand, it’s shiny, voluminous, and heavy-looking in an “opera-diva’s gown” kinda way.

You make the call. We neither love nor hate it.




Vote Now!


IN! I LOVE it! And here is why.


OUT! I HATE it! And now I will elucidate.



Jennifer Carpenter has waited for far too long to hear that you all voted her upholstery dress OUT.


[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • Nariya

    It’s pretty, but it’s wearing her. Mail it to Octavia Spencer.

    • alyce1213

      Really? I think it would swallow Olivia Spencer. I was thinking Iman.

      • Nariya

        Though Iman would prob look great in it (as she does in even a neon pink muppet dress, if i recall), I don’t think Jessica’s problem would necessarily be solved by a skinnier or taller woman– in fact, I think that some body to balance out the dress’s volume might be better. Octavia’s bust would be flattered by the pleating instead of eaten by it, and the fabric might better flow off of her more substantial hips instead of just bunching together a bit uselessly like it does on Jessica here. It’s hard to just tell from photos, but it just looks to me like there’s too much fabric for Jessica to handle. Much like a dress will sometimes look mediocre on a model but sing on the right frame, Octavia’s more pronounced hourglass figure could maybe set off all that pleating just right, though it’s possible that the belt might cinch her waist a bit too much. IMO, she also has the right fierce posing ability to handle a shiny diva of a dress. Not to mention that I think the color would work like gangbusters on her.

        TL;DR: I think Octavia could do it, but I could, of course, be entirely wrong! The world will probably never know.

        • alyce1213

          It’s not only height or thinness, it’s command of a voluminous garment. Octavia has incredible presence and I love her, but she’s a fledgling who’s recently found her way (Shoji).

          We disagree. IMO all the gathering and volume, especially below the waist, would make her look large, and I don’t think that’s what she wants. Like Adele in the black outfit, excess fabric is not her friend.

          • marlie

            Also, what makes Octavia Spencer shine most of the time is that she sticks with designers whose garments work for her. Shoji, for example, has a lot of structure in his clothes, which flatter her figure. I don’t think Lanvin would be flattering for OS because the majority of their clothes are the opposite of “structured.”

    • fursa_saida

      I’m thinking Queen Latifah.

      • barbarienne

        Queen Latifah has the height and sheer presence to make this work, but it would need to be properly tailored to take out some of the excess fabric in the wrong places. This is not unlike her costume in Chicago during the “When You’re Good to Mama” number, but that costume was more skillfully draped and tapered the volume better.

  • Blair Sylvester

    Too much fabric, cheap and tacky belt, terrible shoes. well there I feel better

  • no. let me elucidate: just no. case closed.

  • ShaoLinKitten

    OUT. It makes her shape look weird. Too much fabric.

  • Paigealicious

    Pretty color, unflattering dress, limp hair.

  • crash1212

    Great color for her. That is all. Guess that’s an OUT. This dress makes even a wraith-like actress look bigger than she is.

  • conniemd

    In for the color alone. Hate the slit.

  • sablehunter

    Top half = lowercase in. The neckline is pretty. Bottom half = uppercase OUT. Too much fabric and the shoes are stripperific. Overall = out.

  • kimmeister

    Out. It’s creating a linebacker torso, almost a hunchback.

    • jenno1013

      This. If she had a longer torso, or the waist sat a little lower, that volume in the back wouldn’t be so problematic.

  • Nancer

    I think this is beautiful, though a bit voluminous. On a separate topic, why is “shiny” automatically bad? I love satin! Though it can be difficult to wear, it’s a beautiful fabric. Just wondering.

  • HobbitGirl

    It’s a gorgeous color, and I think even the fabric is acceptable, but the way it bunches up doesn’t do justice to her figure at all. I vote OUT.

  • PointTaken

    Wow, the kittens are so harsh on Lanvin. Not every star wants or can wear a slinky form-fitting mermaid dress at every appearance. It’s raining in hellishly humid Shanghai, of all places; she looks ecstatic to be wearing a glamorous and yet easy gown; and she can move in it. As Cathy Horyn might say, sometimes you want to be able to eat a croissant. Or a soup dumpling in this case. IN, for the color, the drama, and how happy it makes her look.

    • LearnedFoot

      But this dress has a tight, ornate belt. It doesn’t look like she’d be comfortable eating a croissant, or any kind of dumpling. So it’s still constricting her midsection, AND it’s poofing out on either side of the belt which adds [visual] pounds. The worst of both worlds. There are plenty of non-slinky dresses that would’ve been flattering and gorgeous. But her face looks amazing, and this really is her color.

      And now you have me thinking about soup dumplings… droooooool

    • CakesOnAPlane

      I agree – I don’t see the “chubby” that everyone is talking about (oof, that came out wrong, but I’m going to leave it 😉 ) also- she looks like she loooves wearing it. And the color with the red hair is awesome.

  • ToniMacAttack

    Woah. That makes her look. So. Big. And she’s not. OUT.

  • carnush

    too fabricky and weird looking. adds thickness in the wrong places. OUT.

  • demidaemon

    For me, what ruins the whole dress is the overabundant pleating. It’s making a quite thin woman look wider, and the belt only worsens the effect. OUT, just barely. It’s a shame. Had this been simpler, the color could have carried it.

  • raininmai

    All I can see is too much fabric. The color is wonderful though. It’s barely an OUT

  • hmariec19

    It adds at least 20 pounds. OUT.

  • dorothea_brooke

    In. Color, interest and artistic merit trumps issues of not making her look as thin as humanly possibly. I mean, honestly, is the internet going to collapse if someone thinks she’s a 6 and not a 4 for one evening?

  • jenawesome

    IN! I love the color and it looks very twirl=able

  • OUT. It’s giving her unflattering volume. Also, the thing she is doing with the split is annoying as fuck.

    • ampg

      I think she might be just trying to walk without tripping. She’s not doing it in any of the pictures where she’s standing still.

    • StellaZafella

      Miss Jessica needs to get a drag queen on her team to show her how to balance that much dress with THIS MUCH HAIR. Rupaul would probably coach her gratis if she’d sit in an episode of Drag Race.

      • random_poster

        Ru would wear the hell out of that thing! Out for Jessica.

      • decormaven

        Absolutely. This dress needs oomph, and she’s not bringing it.

    • My thoughts exactly. The whole dress is overdone (lose that cleavage pin) and somehow it is making her look heavy and busty and hippy and all kinds of things she most definitely is not. Meryl Streep should get this dress….the Lanvin she wore at the Oscars suited her beautifully, I thought, and this one would, too. OUT.

  • filmcricket

    Lower case in. Colour’s great on her and she looks happy to be wearing it. Waaaaaay too much fabric, though, it’s very thickening on her, as others have said.

  • PastryGoddess

    I’m going with IN. She looks great in this dress. much better than some of the other things she’s worn

  • Lori

    I’d say lower case, in. The volume and the belt are making her look wider than she is, which is bad, but the top of the dress is fab and the color is so great on her. Basically I don’t want to discourage her from choosing color and drama in the future because she needs to do that way more often.

  • Shannon Campe

    Too heavy. It doesn’t even seem to fit properly. I’m not feeling it for summer. OUT

  • Carol

    The hair and the way she’s holding her skirt out to show off the slit makes me think of the evening gown portion of the Miss America contest.

    • Carol

      By which I mean, out.

  • julnyes

    OUT – great color on her, but way too heavy. She should ship this dress off to Leontyne Price.

    Though if she had the magical celebrity wind machine at her disposal this might have become a small in.

  • teensmom99

    In.would be better on so done taller but it is lovely especially when she is not showing off the slit.

  • Rhonda Shore

    OUT. The fabric is too voluminous and blousy, and that coupled with a zillion little pleats gives her heft that she doesn’t have. Aside from the color, It’s not at all flattering. And the matching belt and brooch is a bit Long Island.

  • moppet

    It looks like it makes her feel pretty, which is worth an IN to me when you add in the gorgeous color. I’m feeling generous.

  • ampg

    I love the color and movement. The volume has a bit too much muchness, but I’m willing to overlook that. IN.

  • OrigamiRose

    IN, though I loathe that she didn’t go with an up-do. The color is gorgeous on her and it did make her look like goddess.

  • alyce1213

    I’m on the fence, I want to like it for the color and attempt at high glamour, it but it’s just too much fabric.
    Maybe Iman could handle it, but not many others.
    Getting a little kick out of the black and blue mark on her shin — I have one in the exact same place right now.

    • Love the color. Feel like this whole thing is too mature and a bit like sheets turned gown.

    • rhaazz

      Yeah. I’m a fan of Alber Elbaz but so many of his garments do horrible things to a woman’s figure.

  • Little_Olive

    That belt is a) tacky and b) cinched within an inch of its life. Her life, really.

    The hair is inexcusably limp and the eye makeup is too bland even for those lips (nice lip color!).


    • It may be hopeless because of the pleats, but you’re right about the aggressive cinching. Had the belt been a little kinder, she may not have those hip gathers that add to the heft we are all boohooing.

  • ashtangajunkie

    Oh, out. It’s doing something to her figure that I just can’t encourage.

  • plinkiedoodle

    This is too much dress for her. She does not have the star quality to pull this off.

  • Shawn EH

    I love it because: Lanvin. I don’t question Alber!

  • j_anson

    There’s something really Society-Matron about this that I can’t get behind it. Lower-case out. But revisit that color in the future!

  • Celeste


  • nannypoo

    It’s OUT. I hate it. There’s enough fabric there for three dresses.

  • Donna Tabor

    Plastic garbage bag draped and tied in the middle. Fail.

  • flamingoNW

    IN. Great hair, looks great with the color of the dress. YU no do more IN or OUT posts these days?

  • Out. Unflattering, and too heavy.

  • bessann28

    For the most part I like it, although I agree that the shape is not flattering, especially the top.

  • jw_ny


    My initial thought was that she looks like she’s ready to sing an opera!

  • marlie

    OUT. The color is beautiful, and the style of the dress isn’t bad, but there’s WAAAY too much volume up top.

  • majorbedhead

    OUT. The hair should be up what with all that frooferall going on in the bodice. And the bodice is too heavy and make her look like the prow of a ship. The skirt is too full, making her look like she’s got a muffin top and a muffin bottom, and I know she doesn’t. There. That’s my elucidation done.

    Basically, the only nice thing about it is the color.

  • ErmengardeGreen

    Yeah, beautiful color and the right idea silhouette-wise, but it’s thickening her and also looks like it doesn’t hang quite right. Plus her hair looks like she just filmed an action sequence. I think it’s out, but good effort.

  • ringthing

    She’s beautiful and the dress is beautiful but…meh. In because there’s no real reason for an out.

  • jerseyginger

    Curtain. Out.

  • tereliz

    Please elucidate, please elaborate, we are curious indeed…

    Too voluminous. The hourglass it’s giving her looks cartoonishly exaggerated. It gapes under the arms and makes her look hippy. Great color.

    OUT!! Was she bad, are you sad, did she make you MAAAADD!! (That is what happens in my mind every time I hear the word elucidate, fyi. I can’t be the only one, right? RIGHT?!1!)

  • ailujailuj

    Oh my… That is one helluva tribute to mackie’s “Went With the Wind”…

  • prettybigkitty

    In for the drama and impact. Nothing significant egregious.

  • snarkykitten

    In, but it would have looked much better if it was tighter in the bodice

  • Trisha26

    OUT. Way, way, way too much fabric. Did they have to use it all? (Like when I bought burgundy velvet for a recital dress in Jr. High & my mom wouldn’t let me hem it above the knee because it was too expensive to throw away.)

    • Sagecreek

      I didn’t know my mother had another child secreted away.

  • Sagecreek

    Great color, but the cut makes her look heavy, which she is definitely NOT. Out.

  • In, because it’s on the fence but she looks great, and I’m grading on a curve.

  • mdcoon127

    Nice color, boring dress and is a little big on her

  • Sara__B

    Out. Satin bedsheets, no matter how artfully wrapped, rarely flatter. And I have a rational hate of over-one-shoulder hair.

  • amanda lynn

    love the color, hair is nice, while the material isn’t perfect, it’s still an IN.

  • pugluv

    I love the color and it looks amazing on her. I like the dress in theory but the bodice is just too voluminous and looks awkward and is not flattering to her.

  • TAGinMO

    Pretty color. Shame she looks like a linebacker from the waist up. OUT.

  • unbornfawn

    OUT. Too much fabric in the dress and is doing her figure no favors. Her hair looks limp. She looks happy and seems to be enjoying wearing the dress, so good for her.

  • Glam Dixie

    I hate it. Bunched and thick looking (her and the fabric). OUT

  • Danielle L

    Pretty color, but it makes her look wider than she ever has been.

  • Synnae

    OUT! Great colour on her, great colour period, and in itself not a bad design at all, but too much fabric for such a short girl. It makes her look so much bigger than that she is.
    I wonder whether the dress was even supposed to be belted, seeing how unflattering and bulky the belt makes it. Can anyone find the runway/collection shot?

  • JP

    Great color, far too much fabric for her tiny frame. OUT.

  • altalinda

    Out. Garbage bag in a pretty color. And I’d prefer an updo to the mermaid hair.

  • Adrianna Grężak

    In, but only because Jessica Chastain would look perfect in a garbage bag

  • MandyM

    It’s definitely an autumn rather than a summer and I agree with the BK that said it is Octavia Spenser’s dress. However I think it is one of those rare bridesmaids’ dresses that looks great on your whole bridal party. Whoops, did I call this a bridesmaids’ dress? Yeah, I did.
    But it IS pretty on her. I give it an IN.

    • MilaXX

      I think all that volume would look awful on Octavia.

  • MilaXX

    This is a “meh” for me. Not bad enough for an OUT, but not that great that I’d vote it IN.

  • Out. Don’t like it. She looks washed out to me.

  • Ron Labhart

    Love the dress, but that hair needs some attention – a Veronica Lake treatment would elevate it to gorgeousness, but it’s looking a bit post-yoga to me.

  • mmebam

    Out. What in the world is happening around her hips?

  • OUT. The color is its only redeeming feature.

  • melanie0866

    OUT. She looks like she is a statue of Columbia atop some state capitol building.

  • Out. Too much fabric, especially around the bust. It’s simultaneously functioning to make her look wider and flat-chested. It looks like she belted a bolt of fabric around herself.

  • Qitkat

    Out. Over-accessorized Greek tragedy stagewear.

  • cowper

    OUT. Carol Burnett Tara costume territory.

  • Jangle57

    Great color for her but that’s just too much fabric – OUT

  • ankali

    Lower case in. Unfortunately, that bodice adds about 7-10 lbs to her torso, BUT: great color on her, pretty hair and makeup, and I get what she was going for.

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    OUT. DVD-party bed-sheet drag show with a bunch of muscle bear sissy-grrrls.

  • DuBey2

    Can someone please tell me what the fascination is with her? I just don’t get it. Her part in The Help was good, but not earth-shattering. Maybe she has done some great acting and I just don’t know about her roles? Fashion wise, she’s also just OK to me. I’m sure its just me, though.

    • SRQkitten

      No, it’s not just you, i find myself wondering who she is related to in Hollywood, to get the kind of attention she’s received,

    • Virginie

      She’s amazing in Zero Dark Thirty

      • Jessica Freeman

        Yea, she finally won me over in that one.

  • Wendi126

    Out. It was easy. Out

  • E. D.

    How can this look like a trash bag *and* make her look huge?? I’m confused.

  • Angela

    Other than the fact that it makes her look 20 pounds heavier, it’s lovely.

  • formerlyAnon

    Out. Makes her figure look more matronly than it is, and if your gown is going to be old-time-movie-star-gala-appropriate, your hair should be also.

  • Judy_S

    Love me some opera diva. IN!!!

  • understateddiva

    Not her dress. Actually, I’m not sure who it would look good on – it’s a weird combination of goddessy/flowy pleats and heavy fabric.

  • pop_top

    Lol, I see her wishing she had Iman’s power of wind.

  • CatherineRhodes

    OUT. Also, very unflattering.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Yeah, in, in an old school yawn kind of way, why not.
    By the way, Disqus just sent me an email notifying me of a reply (to a comment of mine, I guess) made in July 2011. WTF?

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    OUT only because I hate that lipstick color. I don’t care if it adds 20 lbs or not.

  • samo_samo

    Out, the only thing that dress has going for it is the color.

  • PeaceBang

    Out. It obliterates her shape and she’s drowning in it. The hair is also bad. Not her dress.

  • Yeah, too shiny. And seems kind of stiff – not really flattering her figure. Maybe if the fabric were lighter-weight or softer or something. And the hair just looks like she was trying to do the Jessica Rabbit thing and it was too humid or something.

  • lizajane1776

    Maybe it is just that Pelvis Thrust Forward way she is standing that makes the bodice not work. I thought originally that some color was off, too, but I can’t figure out if it is her makeup, the dress, or her hair. And as always, I would prefer not the mermaid hair. I can’t wait for elaborate do’s to make a comeback.
    Oh, yeah, out.

  • 3boysful

    Why, on nearly all the lady posts today, do I go, “Oh, okay [scroll down] . . . AAAAHHHHH, NO!”

    The color’s the only good thing about this dress. Out.

  • Reality TV Casting

    terrible shape and i hate to be cruel, but i think she just has bad hair. it is chronically flat.

  • Anniebet

    Out, preferably of my memory. That bodice has to be one of the most unflattering items of clothing I’ve seen in, well… forever. She looks positively deformed.

  • Mary229

    It was in until I saw the bottom.

  • Contralto

    OUT. She looks upholstered.

  • AnneElliot

    Beautiful color, nice draping, but it’s too full in the waist. Still, I’ll give it an IN.

  • LaSylphide

    Have to go with an out, despite the gorgeous color. I can’t tell if the bodice doesn’t fit, or if it’s supposed to look like that (God, I hope not!), but she looks inflated. And what’s with the hair? That beautiful color…it seriously needs a trim and some shaping.

  • lesmaha

    Out. Shiny curtain dress.

  • Out. It’s too much dress for her despite how well its color suits her.

  • kerryev

    That was easy. Scrolled down 1st photo, “Yuck.”

  • trisker

    I’d say Out. Too much of a muchness as my mother used to say.

  • Charlotte Karlsen


  • TheAmericaness

    oh… no…. Out. Voluminous dresses are fine as long as they can still tell you’re a stick insect underneath or whatever your natural body shape is. This dress takes over the person wearing it makes it look like they need to hit the gym. No woman, ANY size, should wear a dress that makes everyone wonder if their gym membership has expired.

  • Sara Hottman

    That is some ’80s prom dress OUT. Her beauty creates an optical illusion disguising the ug, but it’s ug.

  • Alexis Peñafuerte Wenceslao


  • Annarosa

    OUT, it’s not the right dress for her, too voluminous.

  • Virginie

    She’s so luminous and happy looking that I can’t dislike the dress.

  • lilazander

    I think there is too much fabric gathered at the waist. It looks like even full-bodied Qeen Latifah, for instance, could fit in this dress, but I’ll give it IN for the fab colour and the fact that JC is beaming in it.

  • Jessica Freeman

    IN, but just barely. Hair up next time, Jessica.

  • OUT! The hair & the “too tight” belt ruin it.

  • mhlmh

    IN. there’s a lot of fabric, but she looks really great.

  • PeggyOC

    Out. Once she stops moving that skirt around, the dress just hangs badly. Looks like a shiny garbage bag cinched at the waist. Too much volume. I concur that the color is great on her, but that’s not enough. Also, with that neckline, she should have gotten the hair off her neck. Mermaid hair (and sloppy looking MH at that) was not the right call here.

  • Kristobel

    OUT. Way too shiny and way, WAY too much fabric. She looks huge! It is insanely unflattering.

  • AmeliaEve

    Out. It’s too mature for her. The bulky skirt could work on her with a sleeker bodice, but this drapey Grecian stuff is meant for a womanly bosom. I suspect she thought the more casual, youthful hair might counteract it, but it just looks even more like she’s playing dress-up. It also covers up a lot of her neck and shoulders, making the bodice look even more overwhelming. A big bouffant up-do would balance the weight of the skirt and also show some skin at the neck, breaking up the volume.

    I think this would have done a lot better on Adele than those dirndl pants she wore yesterday.

  • Badriya Al-Badi’a

    Marginal out. Way too much bulk in the dress. The look might have been saved by more formal hair, but then again, maybe not.

  • Alyssa

    Out. I don’t find it flattering on her…the color is great though!

  • Julie Chase

    SO heavy. Love the color, but my GOD it’s muggy enough in Philly today and this makes me feel hotter.

  • Chuck Barthelme

    Needs less gathering. There’s too much fabric in the dress. A bit less would have been more, in my opinion. Great color on her, and she’s working it as well as could be expected.

  • RebeccaKW

    Out. The color is beautiful, but it is unflattering as hell shape-wise.

  • Sunshine16

    I have to give her an OUT. It’s a shiny sheet that’s pinned & belted together. I can’t give an IN to a toga

  • bailey


  • stubbornthoughts

    Out. Much too heavy. Shave off some layers, pin her hair back, and this would’ve been a sure In.

  • fursa_saida

    I was good with it until I realized how much volume it has in the back. It’s obliterating the line of her waist at every angle but head-on. That’s a no.

  • Janet B

    That’s a lot of beautiful fabric. OUT

    I wonder what they call that color.

  • Lilyana_F

    I hate this fabric, but the color’s gorgeous

  • That color is FANTASTIC, but what the what is up with the bodice? It’s all…weird and pouffy. Like an underdone croissant.

  • Randy Noak

    Gorgeous color and the idea is there but the proportions are all wrong so out.

  • drdarke

    Isn’t that the same dress that got Austin Scarlett auf’d from PROJECT RUNWAY?

    The color’s great on her – but the outfit itself is too much on her.

  • surfergirl70

    The beautiful color doesn’t outweigh the fact that the dress is otherwise a disaster. Way too much fabric, makes her look 30 pounds heavier than she is, ages her, proportions all wrong. A big ol’ mess. OUT

  • Clydette Wantland

    Yikes. No. Out.

  • lalahartma


  • barbarienne

    Is it just too big for her? Or is the dress intrinsically voluminous on top, and anyone would look like that?

    Hmm. The more I look at it, the more I think the dress is the problem. Sad, because I do love me some flowing satin drama. But there’s no excuse for what’s happening at the waist, where she appears to be wearing a bicycle inner tube under the dress just below the belt. That’s pure “We have too much fabric to gather.”

    Oh, the hell with it. I love the dress, but I have to give it an OUT because the fit and/or construction are somehow messed up.

  • ChelseaNH

    I don’t know about the dress, but that’s clearly not her backdrop.

  • missinmass

    out I am sure it feels lovely but it’s too much fabric.

  • bd73

    out. she’s done better in fit, cut, style and hair.

  • Haley Buchanan

    Makes her look wider than she is. And it’s too prom-y. Sorry, Jessica, but it’s an OUT.

  • GTrain

    OUT. I do love the color but don’t think it’s flattering at all.

  • Louise Bryan

    Prob’ly too late, but OUT, because, fair though the color may be, that’s just way too much dress, too much fabric, too, too. She is being consumed.

  • Fred Vaughn

    OUT – TOOOOO draped, and it widens her.

  • Out. The dress is unflattering, but mostly she’s out because her hair and make-up look like they were done 10 hours prior.

  • andreawey

    I agree, gorgeous color and about five times too much fabric in that gown, makes her look like she’s got a muffin top on both sides of the belt……