Julia Roberts in Elie Saab at the 2013 Hollywood Film Awards

Posted on October 22, 2013

We … think? We’re pretty okay with this?


Julia Roberts at the 2013 Hollywood Film Awards in Beverly Hills, California in an Elie Saab long-sleeved shift dress paired with Rupert Sanderson pumps.

Elie Saab Spring 2014 Collection

She’s just not a Fashion Girl and never really was, so her public appearance dressing has been erratic over the years, to say the least. She’s managed a few triumphant moments, and even the occasional iconic one, like when she won the Oscar wearing Valentino, but her style history has more than its share of wreckage. In recent years, she’s ping-ponged back and forth between wildly overthought and frumpy with a lot of her attempts. Her style brief, as evidenced by that Oscar dress, can be summed up in two words: simple and bold. That’s her wheelhouse. Any time you get her outside of that, she’s not comfortable and it doesn’t suit her.

On that level, this dress hits both marks. It’s simple and it’s bold. In addition, the over-the-top girliness of it is kind of nice shock, since that’s not really JR’s thing. It manages flirtiness without frilliness and that’s just right for her. On the other hand, the shape is not all that great on her and we find ourselves wishing she’d either had it taken in a little bit or worn it with some sort of shoulderpad to give it a better shape. Also: matching the earrings to the green in the dress and the shoes to the pink is perhaps a little unimaginative. And she needed a stronger lip. Still, like that Dolce & Gabbana she wore last month, which also didn’t quite suit her, we think this is a marked improvement on past style attempts and definitely a step in the right direction. In other words, this is the right dress for her. Now she needs to learn how to get it fitted and how to accessorize it. Then we can award her the much coveted T Lo University Doctorate in Dress-Wearing.

And then she will become even more insufferable and insist everyone call her “Dr. Roberts.”





[Photo Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images, IMAXtree]

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  • I’m not feeling it, Julia. Just not.

    • homofascist

      I absolutely LOVE that dress – when I saw it on the recap of the ES collection I thought it was just the most perfect little dress (almost a throwaway with that collection). But on Julia…for some reason it is not working.

      • mshesterp

        I think if you, at all, “fill it out” (like a grown woman, and not a runway model)–it doesn’t work. It just makes her look frumpy.

        • homofascist

          Is it a ‘for models only’ dress? That would be too bad. I was transitioning my wardrobe last night to fall/winter and chatting with a boy via text who is 14 years younger than I am and a retail queen. When I told him I was getting rid of some of my old clothes we was like “don’t get rid of them, just reinvent them!”. To which I replied “I would need to reinvent myself as a size 32 in order to get the buttons to close!”.

          • fursa_saida

            No, I just think it’s a dress that wants very small breasts–otherwise it looks baggy instead of swingy and sleek, because the boobage interrupts the line. This is one of the reasons I never even look at clothes that are clearly meant to be swingy like this, because my boobs will immediately defeat them. I actually think in this case, now that I examine the situation closely, if Julia had better support (it…almost looks like she might not be wearing a bra at all?) and chose a bra that tended to hold things in rather than push them up or out, this might have looked a lot better. But she needs the sleeves taken in too.

      • Cynica

        I’ll just say it: It’s too young for her. Julia looks like she’s clinging to her lost youth–the dress, the hair, the make-up. Not working. And I say this as a 50+ woman–I love that dress, but I wouldn’t try to wear it.

    • CommenterFormerlyKnownAsR

      Me neither. Not sure I’d be feeling it on any grown woman, to be honest.

      • anneland

        I agree. She is (and I say this as a woman about the same age as her) too old for that dress.

      • fursa_saida

        I think it could look pretty spectacular on Anne Hathaway, who, while a lot younger than Julia Roberts, is definitely grown. Are we counting Amanda Seyfried as grown or not? Her I would also send this to.

        • CommenterFormerlyKnownAsR

          I was thinking it could work on an ingenue type.

    • LuisaNL

      not sure she’s feeling it either.

    • Jenna Marie

      I think I’d be feeling it more if she wasn’t holding that award in the middle of the dress. It mimics the shape of the dress perfectly, accenting the unflattering/frumpy feeling it almost gives alone.

      • fursa_saida

        At first I thought it was a graphic ON the dress and was all set to wail “NOOOOOOOO”

  • RussellH88

    I agree that she looks best in something simple, but I don’t know if this is the dress that really highlights it. That shape just doesn’t work on her, it makes her look bigger than she really is.

    • Mary229

      I don’t know that I love this shape on anyone. It works better on taller people but it’s not my favorite shape on any body.

      • RussellH88

        I think it only works on super skinny models because then it reads as “This is supposed to be baggy”. Otherwise it can just make someone look bigger.

  • sagecreek

    But that hair. Unks, how could you not mention that horrible hair?

  • SayWhaaatNow

    If the earrings and shoes are too matchy-matchy, what accessories would have gone well with this dress?

    • RussellH88

      I think that accessories matching some of the more understated colors could have maybe worked, like a light pink. But I’m hardly a stylist.

  • Kimberly Wilcox

    Why does she think she has to have sleeves? Seems like she’s trying to cover her top half a lot. Maybe she’s gotten to an age where she thinks her best asset is her legs…but I don’t think she needs to hide her top half so much.

    • filmcricket

      I’ve read she doesn’t shave her armpits unless she has to. And, let’s face it, her legs are her strongest feature. She’s got a lovely face, too, of course, but if I had gams like that I’d let them do the talking.

  • 1964edithgrove

    Scroll down to model and think “Oh it’s supposed to be baggy…” Why would Elie Saab think baggy is a good look?

  • SewingSiren

    I don’t think she looks too bad. But the chemise style dress always works better on someone with less bust. And I personally think short chemise style dresses look better with a. rounder toe platform type shoe, or b. flats. I do not like that shape with the pointy toe stiletto.

  • MilaXX

    It’s a pretty dress, but this is a minor Not Your Dress for me. She looks okay but not great. The face paint is too drab. I don’t mind the matchiness of the earrings and the shoes, but ultimately I don’t like the fit of this on her. The boob area looks a little odd. I think it’s because she’s fuller breasted and needs some shoulder pads to balance it out.

  • IamstillAnonymous

    I like the dress well enough, but a more flattering hairstyle and a better bra would have made a tremendous difference.

  • Rhonda Shore

    It’s the perfect dress for a garden party in Connecticut.

    • lobsterlen

      In April. Its seem to be springtime in Autumn or funeral these days on the red carpet.

  • tereliz

    I think she needs a better bra and a more structured shoulder and some extra confidence. A brighter lip color might have helped in that arena, it always helps me.

    • JP

      A smooth bra, for starters. You can see the lace cups. And the fact that it’s unlined.

  • Ah Julia. Folks either love her or hate her. I myself am a fan. I like what she’s got going on here. Her legs are, as we all know, 44″ from hip to toe, why not work them for all they are worth? Should she take the Uncle’s advice? Absolutely, but then she’d be perfect and the haters would really blow a gasket.

    • sagecreek

      Whatever her shtick is, I fell for it way back in Mystic Pizza days. I just adore her. Her hair still looks like crap here, though 🙂

      • Ditto. Speaking of, did you see the reunion photos? All three of the ladies looked fantastic. A little deep conditioner wouldn’t have hurt, for sure.

        • Sarah

          Being the owner of the Mystic Pizza Hair, I can assure you, there was no such deep conditioner available in the 80’s. Nowadays, sure, but you were on your own in the curly frizzy wilderness back then, unless you maybe slathered your head with mayo.

          • I’ve got the Pretty Woman hair, myself. Not quite enough volume for the Mystic Pizza hair. But all of the long, unruly curl. Even on my best of hair days, there’s bound to be a fly away frizz or two. i like her cut and style here, but that would require straigtening, then hot curling, and that’s two steps too many for me. Wash, go and be free, is my motto.

          • Sarah

            Amen. I just cut bangs in mine, against all advice to the contrary, and it is working for me (no more forehead lines! Fluffy curls!). Working a little too well, because I went for a girl’s weekend to some shows and I was beatin’ em off with a stick. I’m not complaining, but this is the first time I’ve found it difficult to be engaged, lets just say. Bangs, who woulda thunk it.

  • nannypoo

    I love the dress on the model but not so much on Julia Roberts. Mostly it’s her hair and whatever is going on there with her boobs that bother me, and I don’t like her anyway, so this does not appeal to me at all.

  • A Shiny O’Connor

    I like everything but the hair. The colour is all wrong and it is frizzy. When you’ve got an aura instead of a ‘do, and it’s not disco, you’re in trouble, girl.

  • Kent Roby

    This shape of dress can (IMO) look easy and sexy with movement, but doesn’t work as well in still shots. I’m ambivalent.

  • bertkeeter

    A creased and wrinkled mess….not new or interesting…

    • conniemd

      My eyes were drawn to the wrinkles immediately.

  • Kelly

    Yeah, “simple and bold” — good point. Too bad this particular dress isn’t working. It’s got a blah balloon-y shape, and it’s seriously wrinkled to boot. Add in the bad bra and the “meh” hair and lips, and it’s all a lot more miss than hit.

  • Tatiana Luján

    I’d recommend a good bra, a ponytail, black shoes and leave the earrings.

  • pattyw

    I gotta say, Julie Roberts topped my irrational hate list for many a year. My husband still chuckles at the fact that on our first date, I asked him, “What’s your stance on Julia Roberts?” I dunno, now that she’s older — we’re actually the same age — she doesn’t bug me in the least. I like her in this. And I also like that she hasn’t bought into the red carpet scene lock, stock and barrel. She looks like a pretty woman wearing a pretty dress, not gonna fault her for that.

    • shirab

      My husband won’t see any movie involving her or Hugh Grant, so we weren’t in theaters a lot in the mid-90s.

  • ashtangajunkie

    Not my favourite shape for her, but it would have been improved by a good bra.

  • Monday1900

    She looks okay, but the dress looks shapeless and does nothing for her. Also, her hair is so flat! She could do so much better.

  • another_laura

    What’s a Hollywood Film Award? Good gods, will they congratulate themselves for getting out of bed now?

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    Eh. It’s just okay. It’s not a nightmare, but it’s not a Kidman.

    • Yeah, but when was the last time Kidman was a Kidman?

      • demidaemon

        This is an excellent point. I feel that bar has fallen far.

  • BrooklynBomber


  • Qitkat

    i don’t know what’s wrong with pulling out the green for the earrings. I like it. I also love the green shoes and purse accessorized with the model’s look. You don’t see much of that shade of green in accessories.
    As for the dress, it is fresh and pretty, yet somehow, still not quite the right dress for Julia (but it might be all the unfortunate wrinkles too).

  • Nicholas

    Those sleeves are dreadful.

  • Heather

    This makes her look thick-waisted and big through the hips, when she is actually neither. If it were more fitted it would be much more flattering. Also, the wrinkles bug.

  • PastryGoddess

    Nope, I think she’s just a Bachelors in Dress Wearing. Next up is Masters Program.

    Now what program of study should she focus on BK’s?

    • Monabel

      More of an Associate’s, really.

      • PastryGoddess

        I thought about that but figured she got a ton of “experiential” credits due to her previous 20 years on the red carpet.

  • alyce1213

    If you’re going to wear a simple shift, you gotta make sure it fits better than a shorty bathrobe. The sleeves and overall fit are too wide, the shoulders are narrow, her boobs look saggy, and it’s two inches too short. This might have been simple, sleek and sophisticated with better tailoring to take it out of babydoll territory, but she just threw on the dress and called it a day.

  • msdamselfly


  • She will always be “that toothy girl from Mystic Pizza” to me.

  • Imasewsure

    I hope she does make everyone call her Dr. Roberts. That would be hilariously pretentious and she could start hanging out with Dr. William Cosby!

  • queeniethebold

    Yikes, sorry. Just can’t agree with the T and the Lo. i think she looks kind of terrible here.

  • bellafigura1

    This is a super skinny twenty-something’s dress, very mini. I’m flashing on 60s Twiggy with the short hair and spidery eyelashes, knock-knees and maryjanes. It’s doing nothing for this woman, nothing. The color is sucking the life from her to boot.

  • She needs to hoist the girls a bit too

  • Danielle

    Are we not going to talk about the visible headlights?

  • Shawn EH

    I think she beats the model, who looks chic but alien. Julia has humanized it with the loose hair and the friendly smile.

  • JaCory Deon

    I’m sure she’s skinny, but not “Paris Model” skinny, so she needs to leave this shape alone: it’s wildly unflattering and widening. Perhaps it’s a bit much to ask these celebrities to always look on point, but if the average woman with a fraction of her income can do it, she certainly can do better. Not bad but not worthy of someone of her caliber either.

  • Kate4queen

    she needs a bra and at first I thought the award was part of the dress, which was disconcerting.

  • Joanne Abrams

    Not liking this look and I apologize but her nipple action looks very strange so far off to the sides???

  • ojosazules

    The boobs are so bad it drags the whole dress down. I don’t understand how a star shows up at a fuction like this and her boobs look like they stayed home in the housedress.

  • sunflower

    Stars not wearing bras when they clearly can (i.e. the dress isn’t backless or low cut) is a huge pet peeve of mine. Put a bra on Julia!

  • marlie

    I like this. It’s not perfect, but it’s good. I like the dress, I like the earrings, and I like the fact that she’s wearing shoes in a color (hallelujah!). I also sort of like her hair, though it could use a little smoothing. And she needs color on her lips. Stylists, STOP. IT. with the nude lip. STOP.

  • E. D.

    I love the dress and even like the concept on her, but that dress makes the girls look terrible. A-line dresses are tough to pull off.

  • Presumptuous Insect

    If I have to call her Doctor, it will be because she got a PhD in Anti-Fat Brigade, which I learned after seeing how she has tormented her sister for her whole life. She is a piece of work.

  • procrastinatrice

    I am in the minority it seems, but I think she looks pretty damn good. I don’t think it is too young for her, that’s for sure. The wrinkles on the dress are annoying though, and a more confident posture would take things up a notch.

  • quiltrx

    I always feel happy when I hit the mark on an Uncles comment…smiling that my first thought was “she needs a stronger lip.”

  • ItsDicey

    Ooph. It’s sorta’ sweet on the model, but no bueno on Julia. This makes her look frumpy and large. She is most certainly not large.

  • stonecoldcuddlewhore

    It’s the wrong shape for her. It would work on a petite lil whisp or a tall and skinny whisp. On a Julia bod, it makes her look masculine.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    Simple. Bold. Cute. Comfortable. I like it.

  • This would look good on Kendall Kardashian–or the tallest sister. Is that Kendall?

  • decormaven

    Not a strong look. It’s got sort of a coffee coat/muu muu vibe to it.

  • kimiakay

    The sleeves are wrinkled, the top of the skirt is also wrinkled; she is not wearing a bra. I think her hair is wrong here. All in all I think she looks a bit frumpy. I also think she is a bit like J. Garner-she just doesn’t quite put in enough effort these days.