Toni Collette in Ralph Lauren at “To Catch A Thief” Screening

Posted on October 29, 2013

We wanted to like this for being simple and understated, but try as we might, we just can’t.


Toni Collette attends Ralph Lauren Presents Exclusive Screening Of Hitchcock’s “To Catch A Thief” Celebrating The Princess Grace Foundation in New York City.

First, it’s just a mass of blackness in pictures. We find ourselves wishing for a thin metallic belt or a pendant – anything to provide the slightest bit of contrast. She’s little more than a black hole shaped like Toni Colette.

Second, we’re really not loving the silhouette, either with the jacket or without it. With the jacket, she’s shapeless; without the jacket, the shape isn’t all that flattering.

Third, that clutch looks like something to keep your curlers in and those shoes are too heavy and focus-pulling for a look that’s already way too heavy.

Fourth: It’s a turtleneck dress. We can’t. Hate us if you must, but we think turtlenecks only really work about 10% of the time they’re deployed and most of that percentage comprises people in ski lodges with unusually long necks and well-defined jaw lines. There. We said it.

Likelihood that the comments section will be turned over entirely to a debate on turtlenecks? Magic 8-ball says “Most definitely.” Just remember, if they were pretty or graceful, someone would’ve come up with something better than a turtle to compare it to. Just sayin’. You don’t see anyone naming style elements after armadillos or naked mole rats, do you? Boom. Logic bomb.




[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

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  • RussellH88

    Maybe if it were Diane Keaton, MAYBE.

    • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

      Russell you rock. I thought it was a thumbnail of Diane Keaton. She’s the only living celeb I know who makes turtlenecks really work.

    • Cathy S

      Good call.

    • Vanessa

      I thought Joni Mitchell
      I’ve looked at life…

  • JR Labrador

    Muriel’s Funeral.

    • OrigamiRose


    • Carleenml

      hahahahaha! you win.

    • kat89

      LOL! Love it!

    • MilaXX


    • schadenfreudelicious

      “You’re terrible Muriel”

      • Anne

        I was going to say the same thing!

      • baritenor

        It’s Mariel…lol

  • Are all the celebrities and their stylists addicted to “American Horror Story”?

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      If Toni were attending a funeral directors conference this might have worked-but for a screening of “To Catch a Thief”? To me that calls for at least a tiny bit of glitz and glamour.

      • Right? There’s that old saying – “there’s honor and glamour amongst thieves”.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          She, or she and her stylist could have zhushed this up with something metallic or lush.

  • Donyelle

    if her hair was pulled back, a red lip, a statement necklace and killer boots, this could be a look.

    • Bridget Smith

      Yeah, you pretty much have to wear your hair off your shoulders for turtlenecks to have even the slightest chance of working. Ponytail, updo, short cut – whatever. Just not down.

      • Donyelle

        I always wear mine back with hoop earrings.

  • Rhonda Shore

    This look only succeeds in making her look washed out. Besides everything else, LIPSTICK is needed!!!

  • Jesus. She looks like walking depression. And turtlenecks are the devil’s work.

    • mshesterp

      I’m not loving the bangs either–they seem harsh with her face. Oh, Toni–go home and start over!

  • Tatiana Lujรกn

    I would like the dress a lot better if it were shorter and had less flare.

  • Carleenml

    Toni channeling Joni Mitchell.

    • YoungSally

      I saw Martina Navratilova

  • bellafigura1

    OK, so on a recent episode of RHOA (the one where Greg gives in on the pre-nup) NeNe leaks wears a simple black turtleneck and looks completely, off the chain, stunning. I mean, she looks so fantastic with the blonde pixie anyway, but the black turtleneck just amped it all the way up.

    But yeah, no, it’s not working for Toni.

    • MilaXX

      Nene is also nearly 6ft tall and has a long neck

      • demidaemon

        Boom. Logic bomb.

        I couldn’t help myself.

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    It’s just so frumpy looking on her.

  • Sweetvegan

    My bangs would drive me crazy if they were that long.

    • Snailstsichr

      I could never not hear my Mother telling me to get my hair out of my eyes if I had bangs this long.

    • anneland

      They are booms. We haven’t talked about booms in a while here at TLo.

  • Jessica Freeman

    Turtlenecks work, rarely. I prefer more of the cowl/turtleneck, a bit looser looks better.

    Her total lack of any accessory is what kills this look dead. She could have made it work. But a gold purse and a furry jacket are not the answer.

    • tereliz

      Or a mock-turtleneck. Something that lets the world know you DO actually possess a neck. Totally agreed about the styling. This could have been good with tall boots and chunky gold jewelry. And a sleek pony. Not great, but good.

  • Carleenml

    I’m over 40 and inherited my mother’s jowels. If I wore a turtleneck now I’d look like Lou Dobbs.

    • sagecreek

      I wish I could blame my mom. Alas, I earned my jowls all on my own.

  • kat89

    I think the outfit could work with some tweaking. A different hairstyle, some makeup and as you mentioned a belt with a different bag & shoes would make a huge difference.

    • allcapsERINN

      When I first read this comment, I read, “I think the outfit could work with some TWERKING.” And I thought, “Well hell, I guess anything’s worth a try.” ๐Ÿ˜€

  • lunchcoma

    I’m wondering if this is one of those ones that looks better in person than in photographs…it seems like the black on black might have more definition in three dimensions.

    Regardless, turtlenecks can only be worn by a handful of people. I’m not one of them either, unfortunately.

  • Sarah

    YOU ARE RIGHT TLO!!!! Turtle is the devil’s neckline! Evil resides in the folds of turtlenecks! They are the scourge of short-necked preppies! They should only be deployed in the event of a new Ice Age or the fact that you are Sean Connery! Could I agree with you more about turtlenecks? No. No I couldn’t.

    • MilaXX

      No matter how cold it is, I cannot escape the feeling I am choking.

      • Sarah

        Shit, I gotta cut the neck out of tee shirts for that reason. A turtle would actually asphyxiate me.

      • THIS! They are murderous. I can’t stand to have fabric all up in my throat area like that. GET OFF OF ME!!!!!

        • Sarah

          They should be called torturenecks. Or chokeynecks. Or “clothes for your dad who likes to wear it with a tweed jacket and smoke a pipe.”

      • Angela_the_Librarian

        Reminds me of one of my favorite bits from Mitch Hedburg (I recommend looking for the clip on YouTube if you’ve never seen it): “Wearing a turtleneck is like being strangled by a really weak guy, all day. Wearing a backpack and a turtleneck is like a weak midget trying to bring you down.”

        • MilaXX

          YES!! Exactly!

    • 3boysful

      OK, have to speak up for turtlenecks. A clingy one can be sexy. It’s all in the kind of t-neck–I prefer one that’s ribbed with a neck that is really thin or even a funnel neck. But they’re not ALL bad! And I do not have a swan neck by any stretch.

      • Sarah

        I am sure you look great in it too. I can get on board with cowl-neck, if that makes you feel better? There must be a thing where some of us are sensitive around the neck, because it’s not about looks for me, it’s just about feeling like I can’t breathe. I can’t even wear a choker necklace, because, well, it’s a choker.

      • marlie

        I agree with Sarah… It’s not the actual appearance that I have a problem with, rather, the way that I feel like I’m being slowly strangled to death over the course of the day if I wear one.

      • housefulofboys

        I wear turtlenecks regularly, although I make sure they are NOT tight. I do have a rather long neck, but it’s getting shorter every year as my jowls get lower…bummer.

        What I really wondered, 3boysful, is if it has something to do with living with a bunch of boys (I’m making an assumption based on your name)? Maybe a defense against wild boy antics?

  • Cat of the Canals

    Is she trying to dress for the event, with a feminine version of the turtleneck Cary Grant wore when he was prowling on rooftops in To Catch a Thief? In which case, points for trying, but there are so many gorgeous Grace Kelly and Cary Grant looks from that film she could’ve gone for that would have been topical *and* flattering.

    On the upside, it made me Google “To Catch a Thief Cary Grant clothes,” which is a delightful image search. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • DuBey2

      Sighing…. over Cary Grant… and his elegant clothes…

  • Tracy_Flick

    “…that clutch looks like something to keep your curlers in…”

    OMG, did we have the same grandma? The curlers, the seashell bathroom decor, the department store orangey lipstick, the coordinating tracksuits. We may be long-lost cousins.

  • MilaXX

    I dislike Toni Collette with hair this blonde. Why do so many want to be blonde when it does NOTHING for their coloring? Shoes are awful, just heavy and focus pulling while not being cute enough for said attention. Add me to the the anti-turtle neck club. A scoop or v-neck here would pull the attention back up to her face which despite the awful hair looks pretty good. Dump the bag. It reads gift with purchase and in that sea of black she is wearing, does nothing. I think it was intended to bring a color/contrast pop, but it’s fighting a losing game.

  • kayleymaybe

    Here I was feeling sassy in my turtleneck today (full disclosure/justification: mine is fitted, I am wearing a cute long necklace with it, and it was in the 30s when I got dressed this morning).

    I agree that it’s not something that should be on the red carpet. A dull work day in my office is a far cry from an event with photographers.

  • mmebam

    Turtlenecks keep my neck meats warm. They are better than scarves in some cases because I don’t have to deal with the extra pieces which get in the way or the extra bulk which comes in wrapping the scarf all the way up. Therefore, they are awesome.

    • marlie

      I’m the exact opposite. I wear the scarves because I can adjust them as-needed, and don’t need to worry about being suffocated to death over the course of the day. But I don’t find them a hassle to wrangle…

    • kimmeister

      Yes! I’m heading into winter without hair that is long enough to cover my neck. I love scarves for braving the outdoors, but long, thick ones just don’t work when you have a desk job.

  • I like the shoes, they just dont really match the rest… but I really like them.

  • Agatha Guilluame

    I don’t mind the dress. I would wear it to work. On a Tuesday.

  • pattyw

    I barely made it through the first episode of her new series because I just can’t with that hair. Completely wrong style for the shape of her face.

  • Danielle

    Leave the black turtlenecks to Sharon Stone, dear.

    • Aging women wear turtlenecks to hide the loose skin under the chin that can show more with thinner women. This sign of aging may not show in conversation but will definitely get picked up in a photo.

  • Toni Collette is a chameleon. She can look homely or haggard and way older than her years. She can also be beautiful, depending on her hair, makeup and dress. I formed this opinion before she played someone with many personalities. Often she is not recognized in movies because she can hide so well. The Sixth Sense. The Hours.

    • DuBey2

      Thank you for this. I had no idea who she was, and now I can remember her from 6th sense. Probably a great “character” actress. (Do they still say “character actor”?)

    • Qitkat

      Loved her in Little Miss Sunshine too.

      • I guess I should give that movie a shot. Another good movie with Toni is “In Her Shoes.”

        • demidaemon

          It’s an awesome movie. Everyone in it is at the top of their game. You should definitely watch it.

  • zuzu

    I do seem to recall that “armadillo” was used to describe some of the weirder McQueen heels, but OTOH: weird McQueen heels.

  • elemspbee

    is she wearing a bustle? or petticoats under?

  • BayTampaBay

    She looks awful. Her hair is the crown on a totally awful look.

  • Ann VerWiebe

    I like turtlenecks because they’re warm, but I fully admit that they are not flattering – or fashion. The thing about this look is that it’s too close to something any woman might wear to work on a random Thursday. Especially when she should be pimping herself out for the sake of her foundering show, she needs to up the ampage.

  • marlie

    I hate (for me) turtlenecks because I always feel like they’re trying to strangle me, but I don’t hate on them for other people. If this t-neck dress had a slim, pencil skirt bottom, it could have looked great. But either way, she’d still need a necklace or belt or something to break up all of the black. The shoes are all wrong, and the clutch looks cheap.

    • Sarah

      I was a kid at a time when you *had to* have a certain type of turtleneck with little whales or ducks on it paired with color-coordinated pinwale corduroy pants when you were in elementary school in my affluent Northern VA suburb. I loathed that look with all my might, both because of the strangulation and the zippy noise that my thighs made. So my hatred may be born out of a deeper childhood trauma, but nevertheless, they DO strangle.

      • Qitkat

        Aww, but all the little girls were so cute! I so wanted to dress my boys similarly, but obviously couldn’t. Did put ’em in the cords though, which they hated too. Haha. Actually I have no disagreement with your turtleneck feelings, I also detest them.

        • Sarah

          I am sure I was terribly cute. Especially because there were ruffles on the shoulders of said turtles. But I have a perennially low body temp, which makes me feel overheated even in temperatures that aren’t that hot, so that whole period of childhood is remembered to me as being sweaty and uncomfortably warm.

          • Swiftlytiltingplanet

            I am another with a low body temperature. I am always too warm. Shortly after I bought my house, my family came to check it out, and within seconds of stepping in the door my brother-in-law complained that my house was cold. I said that it was my house, and this was how I liked it. Later, my sister chastised me for snapping at her husband. I said I had always been too warm at everybody’s house, and I had never said anything about it because I have manners. She was stunned (not in the least to discover that I’d had manners for 20 years; this is one of the reasons that we have come to the point that we don’t speak).

          • Sarah

            Oh, that’s funny. I grew up in a house that was 68 all the time, so I just thought everywhere else was too hot and home was normal. (Dad has the same problem). My sister, who also grew up there, now lives with her family in a sauna. When she comes to visit me, it’s the same thing – whining about my houses’ temp. It is not fair because I feel like I’m gonna faint whenever I visit her and I keep my mouth shut and wear a tank top! I am now living with a person who would prefer it to be less than 60 if at all possible, so we get along fine. Until I can see my breath, which is just too damned chilly.

  • filmcricket

    With the jacket it’s winter on top and early spring on the bottom. Without, it’s just a shapeless mass … and shoes that don’t go.

    You guys forgot beatniks as the other category of folk who can wear turtlenecks. Actually, in general I think they look better on men than on women, no matter how fit the woman.

    • marlie

      That jacket says “dead of winter.” It’s not quite that cold yet!

  • annamow

    Hey, at least it’s seasonal…

  • Kelly

    From a fellow turtleneck-hater, I say, “thank you, unks!” Imo, they make everyone except maybe Audrey Hepburn look like a no-neck monster. Just thinking about turtlenecks makes me start tugging on my collar and taking deep breaths.

    • Swiftlytiltingplanet

      Not to mention that any woman with substantial boobs looks…really authoritarian…in a turtleneck.

  • ModernDowager

    It’s time it was said about turtlenecks. Thank you.

  • mjude

    on a cold day at home I will do the turtleneck. as for toni’s look…. awful. i am now officially over the red carpet “purse” most of the time it looks stupid & what is the point really?

  • Bakerlooline

    Am I alone in thinking that she has never looked as good as when she was heavier (as in Muriel’s Wedding)? Granted, it was years ago, but I think she would look better a bit heavier.

  • DuBey2

    Thanks for my laugh this a.m. ESPECIALLY when you made the call about a Turtleneck debate, as I had JUST begun to figure out what I wanted to say about turtlenecks….

  • The dress is too long, the clutch is too large, and the hair is too blonde.

  • allisankelly

    I love how I initially like something until I read your complete take-down of the outfit and I end up agreeing it wasn’t that great to begin with.

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    Amen on the turtlenecks. I won’t wear one, or a mock neck, or a cowl neck…just let me breathe dammit.

  • allcapsERINN

    If she lived in my parents’ house, my mom would run after her and yell, “You’re not going ANYWHERE until you put on a little lipstick, young lady!” I’m in my just-turned-40s and my mom STILL whips lipstick out of her purse and chases me around with it whenever she sees me. She’d have a field day with this look.

    • Swiftlytiltingplanet

      My sister does a modified version of that with her 30-something daughters. I’m pretty sure that it’s one of the many things that comes with the hormones of child birth. ๐Ÿ™‚ (I can’t speak from experience since I am childless.)

  • Jaeda Laurez

    I would like it if she’d DONE something with it- a funky necklace, some cool bangles, a great pair of boots, a dope bag…you’ve been essentially handed a blank slate, so you can let your accessories shine. The bag looks sad, the shoes are blah, and her hair with the heavy bangs pulls the entire look down further.

    I feel like she should ship it to me right now lol.

  • crash1212

    No argument about turtlenecks from me. I think they should be burned – with fire. Talk about your funereal look! GADS! I half expected the caption to say – Toni Collette attends the funeral of a close friend. Also, I’m thinking that hairstyle and those bangs aren’t doing her any favors, especially with a turtleneck.

  • Shawn EH

    She’s become exceedingly eccentric.

    • Swiftlytiltingplanet

      But not the right kind of eccentric, if that makes any sense. There’s not enough style.

      • Shawn EH

        She’s more of a jeans and t-shirt gal, really.

  • another_laura

    So, ducking behind a protective wall, I will say that I don’t mind turtlenecks at all. However, a black turtleneck dress? At this event? Not so much. And on Toni C? No way. It’s really that she can’t wear black without a lot of help in the make-up and accessory department. But with stronger makeup, a good necklace and her hair up, it could have worked. Okay, at a different event, but still.

  • ashtangajunkie

    I think I would like it more if the skirt were fitted, like a pencil skirt. With different shoes. I feel like her bangs and the turtleneck are slowly closing in on her face. I don’t mind turtlenecks, but whenever I think I might wear one, I remember my mom always trying to get me to “put a dickey on!” before I left the house in the winter. And then I don’t put on the turtleneck.

  • kimmeister

    She in particular though, needs to stay away from turtlenecks. They practically come up to her ears, so that her head is just floating.

  • Lori

    When I read the title I thought someone had done a remake of To Catch A Thief and I almost had a stroke. My relief at finding that not to be the case kind of takes the edge off my hatred for this outfit. Obviously it’s terrible, but it’s not “someone thought it was a good idea to remake TCAT” terrible.

  • altalinda

    Those booms…

  • I may be projecting, but to me this screams, “I’m catching a cold and I don’t wanna go out, but I HAVE TO.”

  • I think it would have been infinitely improved with better hair! Imagine the wonders a sleek pony could do for this outfit!

  • i’m recalling mary travers, of peter paul and mary, in 1964.

  • Kent Roby

    Sharon Stone rocked her Gap turtleneck at the Oscars back in the day (mainly because it was such an unexpected look), but the look receded back into its shell immediately after.

  • BPlease

    Oh no! I’m a turtleneck addict and want to desperately send photos of me to TLo and hopefully get a thumbs up.

    (Perhaps consequently I like this look even though I wish the dress was tighter on Toni, and belted.)

  • Adam Christopher Maniff

    I thought Florence had gone blonde and boring.

  • paginatrix

    I saw her once in a bookstore in Albuquerque (wearing sweat pants and a ponytail). She’s eensy-beensy-petite and has the most luminous pearly skin. Just beautiful. I can’t believe it’s the same woman as in this photo.

  • Trickytrisha

    Hey, it’s perfect for a job interview at Hogwarts, don’tcha think?

  • Pterodactyl111

    No one is allowed to wear turtlenecks except Michael Fassbender in X-men First Class.

  • Angela Cotsones Shea

    I had a purse just like that for my Barbie….in 1982

  • amf0001

    she looks like every other woman in New York.

  • Swiftlytiltingplanet

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the way the bangs and the hair pull everything that much farther down. Everything about her just looks so heavy.

  • jonesybj_notreally

    I keep looking at the thumbnail thinking a cigarette is going to appear. joni Mitchell, only younger and not so sami looking. I don’t mind TC in this, pictures are icky but it’s probably all mature hipster (yean what is that) who doesn’t give a f*&^ IRL.

  • judybrowni

    Can’t stand turtlenecks, never could, even when living in the cold Northeast.

    There’s no excuse for them, anywhere but a ski-lodge.

  • Michelle Gennari

    Really like her but… she looks like a black amorphous blob. What IS that fur thing? Kind of frumpy.