Kristen Wiig in J. Mendel at the “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” Australian Premiere

Posted on November 21, 2013

We feel a little bad criticizing her, because she always comes off so timid in her style choices and we’re afraid we’re going to scare her back to her beige-colored safe zone.



Kristen Wiig attends the premiere of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” in Sydney, Australia in a J. Mendel Soleil and Nuage long sleeve shift dress in pieced lace, jacquard, and cloqué organza with graphic tiered hem paired with Christian Louboutin heels.

J. Mendel Spring 2014 Collection

The longer you look at it, the more it just becomes … too much. As our eyes scanned down, we couldn’t help blurting out “Stop! You’re ruining it! Too much!”

Darlings, we react so strongly to these things, you see.

If the sleeves were hemmed and fitted a bit better and the types of fabrics be reduced to roughly one-third their current number, this could be kind of cute. As it is, it’s too many elements and textures fighting each other in a dress that is otherwise low-key and low-color. It’s interesting, we’ll give it that.

Hate those shoes. Not that the clodhoppers of the last decade haven’t done the same, but these visually distort the shape of the foot to the point where it’s distracting.





[Photo Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images,, IMAXtree]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

  • Sister Wife Gone Wild.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      It’s from the Maggie Gyllenhaal mini-schmatta collection. ‘Nuff said.

      • Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

        Mini-schmatta collection. Love this.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          Even Kristen’s hair and make-up are giving me Gyllenhaal vibes….

  • Mismarker

    J. Mendel for Bed, Bath and Beyond. Oh, Kristen. You are better than this!

  • alyce1213

    PR Notions & Trimmings challenge? It’s interesting/ugly. Interesting from far away, ugly close up.
    She has nice hair — what’s with the laundry day hairdo?

    • Glam Dixie

      It looks like one of those fancy hand towels you hang in your yellow guest bathroom.

      • decormaven

        Yes, those brocade fabrics really do it in. Needs some plastic yellow roses and one of those crocheted toilet roll covers to complete the look.

        • Sunraya

          Maybe she could have worn the crocheted toilet roll cover on her head to hide what appears to be dirty hair.

    • conniemd

      I think I counted 9 different materials in the dress, could be off by one or so, though.

    • fursa_saida

      Her whole head (the way it’s done up, I mean, not her actual head) is really underwhelming here.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      Designers, we have a curated collection of Mood’s least attractive trimmings. You have 5 minutes to choose.

  • SewingSiren

    Out grown Easter dress circa 1968 , Houston, Tx.

  • Glam Dixie

    Why would you deliberately cut you body up into such unflattering proportions with those fabric blocks? I really don’t like anything about this.

  • Meredith

    I…love that dress from far away.

    • demidaemon

      Very, very, very, very far away. I’m thinking at least outer space.

  • IAmJ

    THE. HAIR.

    • Scimommy

      Sad face.

    • kimmeister

      I actually thought it was Maggie Gyllenhaal for a second. That’s not a compliment when it comes to talking about hair/makeup.

      • VictoriaDiNardo

        Me too. Maybe jet lag?

    • GillianHolroyd

      I don’t find the rest of the outfit objectionable in the least but the H-A-A–A-A-IR. Sad. Someone help her.

    • Danielle

      THE. MAKEUP.

  • lunchcoma

    The color blocking is just confusing. The black band at the bottom doesn’t seem to relate to any of the colors or textures above, and I initially thought it might be a top over a miniskirt.

    Beyond that, those rectangular, beltless dresses are awfully hard to pull off if you’re not a model.

    • Kelly

      It’s not a top over a skirt? That’s what I thought, too (along with “Wow, they don’t go at all.”)

      • lunchcoma

        It’s apparently a shift dress. So, yeah, someone did that on purpose.

  • MoHub

    Interesting that this is for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, as the 1950s Danny Kaye musical version featured “Anatole of Paris,” about a hat designer who created ugly headwear because “I hate women!”

  • brown-eyed girl

    Love her. Hate the dress.

  • The return of the JC Penney shoes from 1995.

    Also, why did this movie need to be remade? Danny Kaye is forever perfection.

    • MoHub

      And they’ll probably do things that will have James Thurber spinning in his grve.

      • And the sound it will make? “Pokata, pokata, pokata…”

      • decormaven

        I’ve had a really bad feeling every time I’ve seen the preview in the trailer.

      • FrigidDiva

        This was one of my favorite classic movies as a kid, my grandmother introduced me to Danny Kaye. I try not to judge remakes before I see them, but I don’t know if I can watch this and sully my childhood.

  • Evan

    Send this to Rihanna. She MIGHT be able to make this work.

  • Caitlin O’Brien


  • Mary Lauer

    I can’t figure out why it looks light and airy on the model, but like upholstery fabric on her?!

    • Imasewsure

      I think you need very broad skinny shoulders, a skinny body and you should be at least 5’10 to pull this one off… I was surprised how much I liked it on the model… on our girl here though, not so much

  • This reminds me of Andie’s prom dress from Pretty in Pink – some very pretty vintage textiles spliced together into an unholy mess.

    • charlotte

      Well I hope she didn’t rip two pretty dresses apart for this!

    • mjude


  • Dany

    Forget the shoes, the hair…

  • hughman

    I dunno, I kind of get it. I mean Kristen isn’t “known” for being a “classic beauty” or a fashion maven, she’s a comic. And what’s great is she doesn’t pretend to be otherwise. So yes, she has to go prance around for the openings of movies she’s in, but she probably just wants to be comfortable and relaxed as possible under the circumstances. Maybe she likes yellow? This was an easy choice which wasn’t going to malfunction and she could get back to her hotel and whip it off and get comfortable. She’s funny and endearing and that has me personally forgive a lot.

    • MilaXX

      If Amy Poehler & Tina Fey can put in the work, I think Kristin can.

      • hughman

        But she’s not Amy or Tina. And neither of them are exactly headlining best dressed lists either. She’s an actress who can be very funny and I like that she can follow her own ideals.

        • MilaXX

          Yet if you look at Amy & Tina, especially Tina, you see they have both learned how to look presentable on the RC. Being a comedian is not an excuse. She needs to find her style like everyone else in the business.

          • hughman

            What a harsh mistress you are!! 🙂

            I guess we can agree to disagree. I don’t think she “needs to find her style like every one else in the business”. For one, I can’t imagine anyone saying that about, say, Michael Fassbender. Does he have his “style”? Do people care? I think she should work on creating what she loves to do. If she does exhibit some personal style, great! If not, enjoy her acting!

          • lunchcoma

            I will jump in and say that Michael Fassbender needs to find his style – though I’d first say that he needs to grow up a bit and stop showing up to things tieless and wrinkled.

            I wouldn’t necessarily expect Wiig to become a fashion maven, but I think it’s a reasonable expectation that she’ll figure out a handful of dress styles that usually suit her and stick to them. If someone does want to go a little brighter and be more creative (and there’s no reason to assume a comic might not want to), then I think it’s acceptable to point it out if her choices aren’t the best, assuming the criticism isn’t outright cruel.

          • marlie

            I think that IS the case with some guystars. Look at Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley), for example. Or any of the guys doing the “Catching Fire” poledance. Sure, the bar may be set lower for the guystars, but it’s still there.

          • But you could apply this argument to literally every single person we feature here, which means every single person we feature here should be left alone to “find her style.”

            And yes, Michael Fassbender needs to work on his style and yes, we’ve noted that several times.

          • Sunraya

            Yes, remember Tina Fey a few years ago?? I was thinking about this the other day. I have no idea why. She was a disaster on the red carpet in the beginning, but after some mockery, the woman got her act together and now looks impeccable every time!! Smart girl, that Tina!!!

        • marlie

          I think MilaXX’s point is more that she’s an A-List comedienne just like AP and TF, and while they had (and have) their fair share of missteps, being a funny lady does not excuse a lack of style on the red carpet anymore.

        • Coleen

          But she could at least stand to put some Frizz-Ease in that hair and blush on her cheeks. She knows she’s going to an event at which she will be photographed. There’s a certain level of polish that I think is needed with her looks, and she won’t do it. I feel the same about Lena Dunham. To me, it’s not the dresses, it’s not finding her style, as MilaXX put it – it’s the half-assing of the whole look.

      • Slanted & Enchanted

        I like this outfit on Kristen. I tend to like her style generally, even though she gets a lot of hate for it. It’s quirky and it suits her. The thing with Amy and Tina is – when they are applauded for doing the RC “right,” it’s usually with very traditional, simple gowns. Which, you know, good for them but it’s also a very limiting view of how female celebrities should dress. For people who aren’t professionally good-looking, whose career is not founded in being pretty and wearing clothes, why not let them wear the fashion they like? This is a long-winded way of saying I agree with hughman, and I don’t think it’s constructive to assume that every lady-comic has to follow in the footsteps of Amy and Tina, love them as I might.

        Also, I do really love this outfit, even the shoes, so go figure.

        • MilaXX

          I only mention Amy and Tina because it appeared to me that Kristin being a comedian was the an excuse for her not being getting it right fashion wise. As for whether she can or cannot wear what she likes, she sure can. That does not change the fact that she is in a business where a) she will be judged for how she looks on the RC, and B)She is obvious aware of this or why go through the effort of borrowing expensive designer clothing.
          Like it or not the pole dance is art of their business. She just needs to find her way.

          • Slanted & Enchanted

            But “getting it right” is such a vague and subjective judgment. Amy and Tina started wearing very simple, very classic dresses that you could argue were impossible to mess up with good styling and fit. That’s one way of reacting to the increase of exposure and added pressure to look “presentable” on the RC. Kristen, to me, has more personal style plus the luxury of a more modelesque figure. So why not go for it? Sheesh, if I could borrow expensive designer clothing, I would totally go for more unique pieces. And that’s just as valid in this industry, as exemplified by celebrities we applaud for their fashion risks.

            You could argue that Kristen isn’t enough of a fashionista to be able to use risk-taking as an excuse. But I think that she has found her way, to a certain extent. She has more of a defined style to me than many other actresses, maybe because as a comedian she is a bit more free to not worry about being traditionally ‘pretty.”

            Anyway, fundamentally we will never agree because clearly there’s an aesthetic divide – I like how she dresses, you don’t. Always fun to think about what it means to dress when your face is (for Kristen, part of) your job, though, so thanks for that 🙂

          • marlie

            I think you nailed it in your first sentence… “getting it right” is a matter of finding silhouettes, shapes, styles and *colors* that look good on you. Just based on those criteria, Kristen gets it wrong more often than right.

            I actually think that this particular dress looks really good on her. I think the shape suits her, and I don’t dislike the busy-ness of the fabrics as much as other people.

            BUT… let’s also remember that this is most likely a look that was put together by a professional stylist, and THAT person is largely to blame for the success or lack thereof of a given look. Like, it makes me mad that she paid someone to make her hair and makeup look like that, and that’s entirely the stylist/hair/makeup artists’ faults.

          • MilaXX

            I’m not debating the clothing. For the record, I like the dress on her. In fact I think this look is a step up from her previous effort. We BKs visit here and debate whether something looks good or not all the time. We rarely all agree and I’m okay with that. What I am saying is saying her taste is quirky, or she’s a comedian is doesn’t give her a pass, which is how Hughman’s original post came across. Especially when she so clearly *is* trying.

        • ” For people who aren’t professionally good-looking, whose career is not founded in being pretty and wearing clothes, why not let them wear the fashion they like? ”

          Should we only feature “professionally good-looking” celebrities here?

          • Slanted & Enchanted

            Wow, I’m really excited that you responded to me!

            My point (taken partially tongue-in-cheek from Party Down) is that not every celebrity is held to the same standards. Yes, to a certain extent, every celebrity on the RC knows that they will be judged for their appearance. But we have different expectations for movie stars, TV stars, musicians (and different genres within musicians), and whatnot, plus the different expectations for the setting. While I’m not so naive to think that Kristen Wiig’s success has nothing to do with her physical appearance, I don’t think she’s necessarily in the realm of being “professionally good-looking.” And I love that you feature people who aren’t! I will never be as hard on Lena Dunham as I am on, say, Jessica Alba, because I think the stakes are different. And it’s fun to see different type of celebrities on the RC and various events. I mean, why would Attagirl be a thing if we didn’t recognize that we have different expectations for different celebrities?

            Anyway, I was going to bow out of the conversation because I’ve realized that maybe I’m just weird about judging clothing. I love this site (obviously), it’s the only fashion blog I read, and I don’t really care about how flattering an item of clothing looks on a person (generally) as long as I personally find it atheistically appealing. So many In or Out posts in the minority in my future, I think, haha. Clothes are fun; I personally like to see people struggling to work with their style with the benefit of expensive designer clothing because it makes it even more fun.

          • Aw, we’re just a couple of bloggers. No need to get excited.

            From our point of view, we’d be limiting ourselves tremendously if we only featured celebrities who appear to like fashion or are “professionally good looking.” We don’t even know how to draw that distinction. Kristen’s a movie star, on the red carpet for her movie premiere, in a designer dress that was almost certainly lent to her for the occasion. I’m not sure how we’re supposed to treat that differently from any other movie star at their premiere in a borrowed dress.

            I mean, I get what you’re saying, but I don’t think we can apply it here. Ultimately, I think a lot of these types of objections come down to “I like this celeb a lot, so can we all please lay off her?”

    • mixedupfiles

      I’m with you. I’d rather live in a world where we can see who people want to be and how they experience things, even when fashion isn’t their natural milieu. The argument in comments here seems to be that everyone who falls to some outer portion of the style curve should just scurry themselves off to a stylist’s safest choices.

      (Even as I write this, I’m thinking of all those people who really need to do us all a favor and get to the safety of a good stylist, but still, I don’t want to live in a world where Kristen is shut down for trying out some fun things.)

      • I really don’t understand. You would rather live in a world where “everyone who falls to some outer portion of the style curve” isn’t told they “should just scurry themselves off to a stylist” and then you admit that you can think of “all those people who really need to do us all a favor and get to the safety of a good stylist.”

  • Anna_Cecilia

    Oy. Why does she do this to herself? She’s hilarious, talented, attractive and smart, it utterly befuddles me.

    That’s what my hair looks like when I’ve taken off my headband after a 5 mile run. Suffice it to say, that does not belong at a public appearance.

  • EveEve

    J. Mendel deserves a heap of the criticism here. True, she and her stylist should have had the sense to put it back in the box from whence it arrived. But that is one hideously ugly garment right there. And Kristen, doll? Buy a hairbrush.

  • Margaret Hardin

    she’s got some gorgeous eyes though.

  • Trickytrisha

    That’s some gorgeous textiles doing things they shouldn’t. There’s potential for a beautiful dress in there somewhere, redesigned and toned down about 80%. Kristen doesn’t appear to have a higher “glamour gear” in terms of hair and makeup for these events, bless her heart. Love her anyway.

  • Imasewsure

    I hate those shoes too! And that shirt is probably a FMO or at least for a more seasoned style veteran… do not get the hair at all

  • phylora

    I really like it.

    • Madam Von Sassypants

      I agree!

      • Vickiefantastico

        Somehow, there’s only three of us! Oh well. And call me a weirdo, but I LOVE the shoes.

        • marlie

          Me four! I don’t hate this look. My biggest issue is with the hair and makeup. And I’ll fight you for the shoes.

        • pookiesmom

          I like it too!

  • MilaXX

    Like the dress, the hair is awful, the makeup is blah, the shoes are really bad. They make everyone who wears them look like they have 2 left feet like Eugene Levy in Best in Show.

  • vickilu

    Project Runway challenge: Make a dress using only things found in a dining room.

  • kimmeister

    We’ve seen a number of iterations of those shoes lately, and yeah, they do not belong on human feet.

  • marlie

    I actually like everything below the neck. The dress is cute, and I’d kill for those shoes. But it doesn’t “go” with the yoga hair and non-makeup.

  • GeoDiva

    I have no idea what she is wearing… I’m speechless.

  • Kelly

    Her hair makes me want to cry. This is what my hair looks like when I’ve been home with the flu or been cleaning the basement or something. Yet presumably she actually had someone *style* this.

  • sagecreek

    Oh, dear. The beige safe zone would be preferable to this.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    Kristen, when you finish the bathrooms, do you mind giving the china cabinet a dust? I think you missed that last week.

    I have no idea why — the shoes are all wrong — but she looks like a domestic in this outfit and especially with that hair.

  • Nika E

    She looks bad from h to t. Sorry.

  • bellafigura1

    This has the same problem as when Julia Roberts attempted a straight, shapeless, 60s-style mini. She looks cramped and hunched in the dress even though it’s loose. I’m convinced this shape and length only work on very young, very thin, nearly androgynous girls.

  • mcb

    This woman needs an intervention. Does she not know she is beautiful?? She has almost mug-shot face. That hair needs to stand in the corner.

  • filmcricket

    I’m actually fine with the dress – yes there’s a lot going on, but it’s all so pale that it doesn’t assault the eyes. But those shoes need to vanish with a quickness, and, oh Kristen. You are hot. You’re allowed to be hot. That doesn’t mean you have to do the full-out sex goddess thing, but you’re allowed to brush your hair and put on make-up.

    • Lilak


  • SouthernGirlRena

    That is just bad. My hair looks like that when I’m cleaning the tub and need tie it back. There was NO effort taken. I’m ignoring the shirt. The shoes would be cute with pants.

  • Jessica Freeman

    To be fair, I don’t think that’s anybody’s dress or shoes, but from the neck up, it’s all very bad.

  • ewes_urn_aim

    Her and Maggie Gyllenhaal (sp?) should play sisters in the future.
    And TLo- you are wrong about the shoes (so there, nyahh).

  • formerlyAnon


    Or hire somebody.

  • frannyprof

    It goes without saying that the hair and makeup are awful. This movie is a BIG DEAL!!!!!!! Why do you not understand that?!

  • boweryboy

    I actually like this look. It’s those shoes I hate. It makes it look like the shoes are on the wrong feet. Lupita Nyong’o wore a white pair the other day, and I felt the same way.

  • paginatrix

    She so pretty and cool (and has a great figure for clothes). How does she always end up like this?

  • rondele

    That hairstyle is doing her no favors. It is aging her. The makeup is washing her out. With that dress she needs a different lip. The dress itself, well, it just doesn’t work.

  • Ann VerWiebe

    The super-long sleeve trend is no good for anyone. It just makes you look like you don’t know how to dress yourself. Likewise cropped sweaters with 3/4 length sleeves.

  • Rhonda Shore

    If she wore that with black tights and a funky ankle boot (AND LIPSTICK!!!), it might have been a very different story…

  • Jeannie Shmina Greenwald

    Doesn’t she have a stylist?

    • She really should. Man, if I had even close to enough money, I’d hire one for myself.

  • Qitkat

    I’m not crazy about this dress at all, but I think that many of the issues would be mitigated if someone taught her how to pose. I’m sympathetic that she may feel stiff and uncomfortable in these situations, but through reading this blog I’ve become so much more aware of how the simplest changes, little tweaks in position and facial expression can make an enormous difference in appearance. It seems as if some actors, who are fine examples of their craft, become more wooden on the red carpet, and need to realize this is just another character to present to the audience.

  • Diesel von Trapp

    I know that saying a woman looks tired is bad form, sister-hood wise…and I know this is in Australia but… God, she looks so tired!

  • mightbewrong

    For a second I thought ‘oh, it’s Maggie Gyllenhaal…looking kind of frumpy again.’ And, well, that’s not a great thing to remind people of.

  • cmb92191

    It looks like a terrible 1970’s 4H project gone, terribly, terribly wrong. (4H was for farm kids- an extracurricular club that had to do with farming, animal care, or home economics) In my home town, if you wanted to be 4H Farm Fair Queen you had to design, sew and model your own dress. That dress has Farm Fair 1978 written all over it!

    • formerlyAnon

      I didn’t do 4H but I did get “high school dress design project” very strongly at first look.

  • demidaemon

    Ugly. Whackadoo. Figure-obliterating. Etc., etc.

  • Sunraya

    I do not like that dress at all, and her hair looks dirty and she looks like she has no makeup on. What is going on today?? I heard the sun was switching it magnetic attractions from north to south, or something like that, and it must be affecting the minds of actresses and stylists.

  • quiltrx

    The top is obviously some sort of PR “Use the stuff in the Mood dumpster” challenge.
    And this movie is an affront to my sensibilities…one shouldn’t fool with such a perfect original.

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    Secret Life of Shiny Titty.

  • Janet B

    A new stylist would be so very helpful, maybe Tina Fey’s (the better one) to ease her into some more suitable clothes.

  • Mona_Visa

    You know those full-body plastic bibs with sleeves that you put on your toddler when she eats spaghetti?

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    I feel bad criticizing her too, but this is just H To T NO!

  • veriance

    Maggie Gyllenhall? Is that you? ~sniff sniff~

  • BeeBeauNYC

    Yellow is so not her color. Everything is awful.

  • OffToSeeHim

    Plus, what’s with the Mom-Driving-Car-Pool hair and makeup?

  • guest2visits

    Kind of liked this and thought it suited her.

  • Gatto Nero

    Agree — the dress is a mess of confusing textures and colors. The studiedly careless ponytail isn’t doing her any favors, either.

  • pdquick

    I love that she’s giving talented girl next door who has money and gays now, so suck it, bitches.

  • Lizzy

    I wear my sleeves at that length because I’m too poor to get all my shirts hemmed (and… a smidge lazy I suppose) but one has to figure she could afford it…