Michelle Dockery in Stella McCartney at the Centrepoint Winter Whites Gala

Posted on November 27, 2013

We’ll start from the point that she looks pretty great here but we’re putting out a call to arms to our Bitter Kittens. We need to help her rethink this one.


Michelle Dockery attends the Centrepoint Winter Whites Gala at Kensington Palace in London in Stella McCartney.

The bodice looks like an Olympic swimsuit and we think the belt might be too tight and bulky for the look, but we’re not going to pretend like this isn’t a perfectly serviceable look.

But serviceable looks are boring and we wonder what could have been done to make this one pop a little more. The black pointy-toed pumps peeking out don’t help. Shades of the Wicked Witch of the West. And like we said, we’re not entirely sold on that belt. We think we’d put her in some gold metallic shoes of some sort, ditch the bulky belt entirely, and bring in some pops of gold jewelry. Maybe even a fine gold chain belt to hang on her hips.  Give her a bold red lip to top it off and she’s holiday and picture- ready.

Your turn.





[Photo Credit: Zak Hussein/INFphoto.com, Chris Jackson/Getty Images]

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  • Rhonda Shore

    I like the bodice but the belt is bothering me too. Gold jewelry and a red lip would perfect this look for sure.

  • Diego!

    I think she is improving, learning from her mistakes in the past. Overall she looks quite nice! But I do agree with the olympic swimsuit and belt too tight.

  • Carleenml

    when your ass looks that great, it’s hard to criticize but I hate the top of the dress.

  • cmb92191

    It looked like a swimsuit or gymnastics leotard. The back is gorgeous though.

  • TrixieConQueso

    Dip her in a Bucket of Body Glitter and get her a Wild Weave and some neon Jewelry? OOPS – wrong page – thought I was on the Keisha-Style page…

  • Coleen

    I want her bust hoiked up about two inches. I think that would go a long way to making the belt work better. I also want her to have some kind of fabulous peacock clutch.

    • Yeah – reshape the dress to accommodate a bra. And I LOVE the idea of a peacock clutch.

    • Blair Sylvester

      Can we also get rid of the uniboob ?

  • WendyD

    Needs Benedict Cumberbatch (I know he was also at this event).

    • Scimommy

      There are photos where she is “accessorized” by Cumberbatch on one side and Downton’s Alley Leech on the other. That’s what I call a WERQ.

  • It’s a little to Superhero Datenight.

    The shoulders are so strong, softer accessories are called for. No belt, long, long necklace, and maybe, the dreaded naked shoe, to flash a fabulous pedicured foot. And definitely lose that heavy, business looking clutch. For shame.

    • SugarSnap108

      The belt definitely looks utility-oriented, perfect for a Lasso of Truth. I like the idea of a long, long necklace, and a far more fun clutch is in order.

  • mmebam

    I actually like the bell, but maybe one in gold would suit the look better.

    • The belt is gold isn’t it? Just reflecting the black of the dress?

      • mmebam

        I guess you’re right. Well, I still like the idea of the belt, and I do like that shape. Perhaps just a different one.

  • Lori

    I think the dress needs a belt, but probably not this belt. It also needed shoes and a clutch that don’t blend into it.

  • I think I’d try some bold jewel-tone accessories–ruby or emerald or amethyst. Bracelet on one arm, a bold clutch in the other hand, and some fab but not too drippy or elongated earrings. I love the design of the top and while it is a little athletic looking she has such amazing shoulders it works beautifully. Oh, and lose the belt entirely.

    • marlie

      I’m with you on everything except ditching the belt. Jewel tones would be really striking.

  • Yep. Not on board with the belt. Ditch it, go sans belt entirely and slap on a serious statement necklace. Bam, you’re done.

    • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

      Or large wrist bangles and drop earrings.

      • Yeah, statement pieces of some sort. The dress is so simple it calls out for it.

    • decormaven

      Or a great jeweled or metallic cuff.

    • Danielle

      I’m on board with this idea. A huge statement piece of jewelry and I would have clapped with delight.

  • cinderellen

    I think a lighter touch with the belt would be a good move, and a little something going on above the neck would add a lot. A little cocktail confection on her head woukd add a little wit to her outfit which is otherwise a bit serious and dull.

  • Ms_flyover

    The dress is perfectly fine (which is to say it is neither fabulous nor awful), but her coloring in a black dress in front of that white tree? That IS fabulous.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      I love the way she looks here. WERQ.

  • jjtxgrrl

    I love it. She looks fantastic.

  • marlie

    I love the dress and the belt. Michelle’s figure looks fabulous in this. I would have switched out the clutch and the shoes for something metallic, and added a slightly darker lip, though this color lip isn’t bad at all.

  • Karen Belgrad

    Longer earrings, better bust support, chrome belt, a multi-color clutch (Judith Leiber maybe?), more dramatic eye… That being said, I love the lipstick and want the shade for myself!

  • bellafigura1

    Honey needs some moisturizing at the elbows. All else, love.

  • marlie

    Also, can we talk about how this is a Stella McCartney dress that we don’t all despise on sight? It’s a Thanksgiving miracle.

    • conniemd

      I had to double take when I looked at the dress after I saw it was Stella McCartney. Since we don’t have a runway look I had to wonder if someone stripped off all the goodahs off the dress once it got to Michelle or if it came with some crazy cape or shawl.

  • Jess White

    Ugh. Only Stella could make Michelle Dockery look cheap.

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    I like it, because really – it’s hard for even Stella to fuck up “sleek, simple and black”.

  • ashtangajunkie

    No belt, metallic (open-toed) shoes and clutch, statement necklace and a bracelet, darker lip.

  • KinoEye

    In the words of the glorious Nathan Lane, “One does want a hint of color.” First of all, give this poor lady some jewelry. Some bold earrings — gold and red, maybe? A gorgeous cocktail ring (ruby or garnet?), maybe a gold cuff? Punch up the lip color, for sure. And yes — switch out the blah clutch and shoes for something shimmery and eye-catching.

  • d4divine

    Yes, more drama is definitely needed.

  • Roz

    Oh, she voted! That’s nice…

    • sagecreek

      Thank you! I was wondering if that bugged anyone else.

  • bertkeeter

    Love it! It may be a shock to some people when an understated and low key look shows up on the red carpet that doesn’t SCREAM, “LOOK AT ME”! I for one applaude it!

    • Jackie4g

      That’s it, exactly. I don’t think the look needs metallic shoes or glittery clutch, and anyway, this is an English girl, so I don’t think she would ever consider anything besides a black shoe with a black gown. I could see possibly adding a necklace, but her red pin must mean something relevant to the event, so she’s just fine unadorned. Understated, what a lovely idea.

  • filmcricket

    I think the dress definitely needs a belt of some sort to give it definition. I don’t mind this one, but something with more pizzazz would work too. Punch up the clutch, ditch the shoes, get a pair of serious earrings to draw away from that collar, and either a big bold cuff or a Liz Taylor-sized cocktail ring. Oh, and bolder lip and hair please.

  • amaranth16

    Thank you! I was seeing acclaim for this outfit elsewhere, and all I could think was athletic attire. Agree on the shoes, but I just don’t know what could be done to the yoke of that dress to improve it. Maybe some better support in the bust would help. The pancake silhouette certainly doesn’t minimize the gym bunny aesthetic.

  • Janet B

    Metallic shoes and belt, I’d pick silver for her.
    Color (emeralds would be nice) for her earrings and a bracelet or ring.

  • ms_kat

    I totally disagree about the belt. You can see where the belt is too loose, actually, and you can see the waist seam. The issue is that the belt is too stiff. She’d do better with a silver rope as a belt. Something more flowing.

  • Beth Rogers

    I’m feeling a need for more sparkle. It is a winter gala, after all. Maybe some silvery dangly earrings, with a sparkly belt, and some fabulous red shoes. And, definitely a different clutch. That one is too matchy-matchy.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Agree – the bodice isn’t that flattering. A loose chain belt might work if the dress doesn’t have a sewn-in waist. How about a big colorful or clear chunky resin chain necklace (like the ones by Kenneth Jay Lane).

    • conniemd

      Because the bodice is so boring and goes up to the neck, I agree that a big colorful necklace would look good. Something that incorporates at least a couple of colors like turquoise or hot pink would glam the dress up and obscure the boring bodice.

  • MilaXX

    I like the dress and belt. I would definitely change the shoe and I like the idea of a metallic shoe instead. A red lip would be a good move and maybe a metallic or red bag instead. Maybe a color earring.

  • boweryboy

    I like the bottom half. So, I would say for the top half add a crisp, white Carolina Herrera short sleeve or 3/4 sleeve blouse, some earrings that pop!, and a statement piece of jewelry that’s either a bracelet or ring (or both).

    It would still be basic and kind of boring, but it would be bettter than the sports bra tucked into an evening skirt look she’s currently showcasing.

    • Tatiana Luján

      I like your idea of the white shirt.

  • LondonMarriott

    Can’t help it, I FLOVE it. That bodice cut looks good on me proportionately so I’m biased, plus I dig the belt. Great backal region, too. Snaps for Lady Mary.

  • Tatiana Luján

    I like it. Is there a way of incorporating a good bra to a dress like this? Because that’s what I think she needs: better support for her boobs.

  • lifeisastory

    Maybe if she raided Gaga’s accessory closet…

  • twilightgirlportland.com

    It does come across as boring.

  • Lilithcat

    Dressier belt and some major jewelry are necessary.

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    I will not say anything unseemly about my granddaughter. Her deluded and tragic seamstress friends, on the other hand…

  • Julie Chase

    She needs a great cuff, and a bolder lip.

    • veriance

      yes, better earrings too

  • lesmaha

    I think her hair needed to be sleeker or something. Her hair looks like she just ran to the store to get some eggs. I don’t know how to gussy up that do, but it needs something more with this dress…

  • crash1212

    First off….party at Kensington Palace – how fab is THAT?! The bolder lip most definitely – metallic shoes, too – better clutch – different belt – not sure the chain would work because girlfriend doesn’t HAVE any hips. That bodice is a funky fit…maybe it is too tight. Also, would a bracelet/ring combo kill her?

  • mrspotts66

    i’d love to see this dress (on her – she looks amazing) with bronze.

    bronze belt and a closed toe, funky shoe.

  • Aurumgirl

    The bodice and the bralessness do this look in. It looks like the design was plagiarized from that Michael Kors collection a few years back where everything he put out there looked like Body Glove circa 1989. It’s okay, but she could look better and a lot less beachy.

  • brown-eyed girl

    Needs a little something, something . . . red or sparkly. Killer earrings? Big bracelet? Still, she looks lovely, just not quite breathtaking.

  • kimmeister

    I like the dress very much, but I don’t think she has the right vibe for it. That neckline is just asking for someone with super defined guns, like a Julie Bowen.

  • KT

    Disagree — I think the dress is fabulous, and I love both the neckline and the belt. She looks so soigne. I agree that it needs something to amp it up a bit — more dramatic hair and makeup was called for, as well as some jewelry, and sorry but get rid of that little pin. She still looks great though.

  • Trickytrisha

    This, for me, is certainly one of the better McCartney designs I’ve seen. Probably because it’s so minimalist that there’s not much to offend… well, except for the strappy back. TLo have pointed out the styling issues, and I have to agree the pointy shoes look rather bizarre.

  • roverrun

    Last night I was watching one of those Ed Sullivan music from the 60’s shows, and one singer had a blue dress that was very similar in cut and shape. She was wearing a fabulous long slim gold belt that was knotted to the side. I thought at the time “That looks like something I’d see today.” And then I thought “Has Amber won the Mirror Ball trophy yet?” and changed channels. Anyway, slim gold chain type belt knotted to the side. She needs to break the that dress up a bit more than she has.

  • shaziz

    Pop a lip, pop a colored clutch and put on some long gold earrings, a gold cuff, ditch the belt.

  • formerlyAnon

    It’s an awesome dress on her, which overcomes the mediocre details. I particularly don’t like the belt – too tight and if you are going to belt a perfect black column/tube of a dress, it’d be nice if there was something special about the belt.

  • Color, lose the belt, and ditch the mermaid silhouette on the skirt. Or, you know – choose a different designer.

  • rondele

    Definitely needs better jewelry, maybe just a tad more than earrings. That button on the dress is not needed and takes down the tone of sophistication. All you see is black, black, black. She does need a color, but I don’t know which one. That black is a dark hole.

    • Jumpingjacks

      That button is from Centrepoint if you look closely.. so seeing that she’s attending their gala it’s quite appropriate. It would’ve harmed the sophistication more if she felt too good to wear a button on her dress

  • DeTrop

    This is a Stella McCartney I actually like. Michelle looks lovely imo.

  • ShaoLinKitten

    This dress make her look boxy. Her boobs appears to be flattened, and her waist disappears. I think this was not the right dress for her. Also, not a fan of Stella McCartney, so my inclination is to say, discard and start over.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    So, this is proof that it is truly, truly hard to mess up with basic black. Granted, the cut of the bodice is wonky, and perhaps a different belt would have zhushed this up a bit more.

  • Mona_Visa

    My eyes are starving for green. I want to see a big, fabulous emerald feathery boa all wrapped around her.

    Hey, a girl can dream. 🙂

  • shoulders/neck do look like an athletic swim suit – I want to cover her with a towel. Otherwise, I like, and I like T&L’s suggestions. Plus, Mona_Visa said, “green” – that’d be lovely.

  • sunnycalif

    I’d be freezing cold in that outfit!

  • jif

    Gucci re-tread dress + wrong colour lipstick.

  • Gatto Nero

    I think the uncles’ suggestions are very sound. But I just hate the front of the bodice.
    I am not a Stella fan.

  • Akemi

    The top front is terrible! She looks great from the side and back though. What the hell is that button?

  • suzq

    The gold needed repeating. This isn’t a bad look overall.