Nina Dobrev in Elie Saab at the 2013 Trevor Project Benefit

Posted on December 10, 2013

We toyed with the idea of making this a “Girl, That’s Not Your Dress” post, because we detect a redundancy (we’ll explain in a sec), but looking at it intently, as we are wont to do, we honestly can’t say this looks terrible on her.


Nina Dobrev attends the ‘TrevorLive LA’ event honoring Jane Lynch at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California in an Elie Saab dress paired with Rupert Sanderson sandals and a Rauwolf clutch.

Elie Saab Spring 2013 Collection/Model: Nastya Kusakina (WOMEN)

Here’s what we mean when we say “redundancy.” Sometimes, it doesn’t work to play up your natural features too much. She’s got a sweet, doll-like face and romance novel heroine hair. A gal like that needs to be careful when she’s playing in the “lacy, retro, and romantic” end of the style pool, lest she wind up looking too much like a literal doll. The color is gorgeous on her and the shape suits her, but the twee laciness of the top threatens to make her look like one of those creepy Marie Osmond dolls. She’s not a gal who needs an edge in all her looks, but she could’ve benefitted from a little edginess here. Look at the huge difference between her and the model, who’s got a slight edge to her look. Miss Nina, on the other hand,  is tipping into “1974 Country Music Awards” territory.

But like we said, it’s a pretty dress that looks pretty on her. It’s just that, style-wise, it’s a bit of a struggle for her to make this work.





[Photo Credit: Peter West/ACE/,]

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  • Diego!

    Gurl, that’s not your BRA!

    Not your hair, make up and attitude.

    I love how the color looks on her, but she either is not feeling it nor owning this dress for the red carpet.

    Try again!

    • 3boysful

      Bra–for sure! There is only an inch or so between the girls and the waist.

    • Sobaika

      Not so much bra – that kind of paneling does not suit someone with breasts.

  • This one really needs the thigh coming out of the slit, otherwise it’s all a bit Laura Ingalls Wilder teaches Sunday School.

    • Diego!

      hahaha That´s right! We all agree Laura Ingalls is the new trend on the red carpet lately! hahaha

      • You called it!

      • Sarah

        Or 1970’s Country Music Time. Which I guess is the same thing…

    • StellaZafella

      Little House on the top…Rose Nyland at Blanche’s 3rd wedding on the bottom.

    • kimmeister

      Ha, she should have Angelina’ed that thing UP!

  • decormaven

    The color is great on her, but that’s about it. The fabric placket and collar, paired with lacy bodice and scratchy ruffle, give me eye twitch. I fear our dear uncles have called it- it’s going to be strips and panels of lace all through the holidays.

    • Sarah

      Argh. Maybe we’ll be saved by American Hustle and get some metallic stuff? One can hope.

      • decormaven

        Fingers crossed!

  • In_Stitches

    She looks like she’s wearing grandma’s dress and, worse than that, grandma’s boobs. Those things are sitting LOW. She needs a bra fitting, stat.

    • Lilah

      Yes, the whole thing would have been a lot better if she had hitched those babies up a notch.

    • kimmeister

      Sing with me: ‘Do you boobs hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow? Can you throw them over your shoulder like a continental soldier? Do your boobs, hang, low?”

      • demidaemon

        Let’s get you to a recording studio, stat! It’s the first single from our collective CD, THE BKS SING THE FASHION BLUES.

        • kimmeister

          It shall be entitled “Get Thee Some Gays!”

          • demidaemon

            Other singles include “Why Won’t Sheer Die,” “How to Fit Your Dress Without Really Trying,” and “Girl, That’s Not Your Dress (Or Make-up, Hair, or Shoes).”

  • MilaXX

    Not loving the ruffles on the top at all.
    Those Marie Osmond dolls are the things nightmares are made of.

    • StellaZafella

      The doll’s on the chair when you go to sleep and when you wake up in the morning she’s at the dressing table holding a tube of your favorite lipstick…and smiling.

      • Jacqueline Wessel

        “Talking Tina” of Twilight Zone fame…she killed Kojak.

    • Introspective

      nightmares and/or toilet roll covers…

      definitely cannot love anything except the color here on nina.

    • lifeisastory

      I find her kewpie dolls particularly disturbing. Something about the eyes…

  • charlotte

    It doesn’t look so bad on the model, so maybe it’s Elle Fanning’s dress?

  • Coleen

    I wish she was wearing the dress in the model walking away – that teal sequin number. Sigh.

    • conniemd

      Oh yeah, I thought the same thing. It would be nice to see her sexy-glam as she is growing up after all.

  • cmb92191

    It’s a Grand Ole Opry dress-Tanya Tucker 1974!

    • decormaven

      Delta Dawn, what’s that flower you have on….

      • Kathy

        That’s the night that the lights went out in Georgia?

        • decormaven


  • CB

    One thing Nina does NOT have is saggy boobs, yet this dress is giving her saggy boobs. Not good.

  • cmb92191

    Or a “real fancy” Hee Haw dress. (you have to say real fancy in a country dialect)

  • lifeisastory

    It doesn’t help that the nude panel under the lace is several shades lighter than her arms. I do like that shade of blue though.

  • marlie

    Gorgeous color, but I hate everything about the bodice of this dress. The collar, the ruffles, the sheer lace, the slightly off lining color… I don’t think this is *anyone’s* dress.

  • mmebam

    I can’t with that collar…

  • nannypoo

    I think this dress is really unattractive and I hate it on her. And I wonder why she is not wearing a bra. She doesn’t look too pleased with the whole situation either.

  • Her undergarments are not doing her any favors here. That bosom needs to be hoiked up. Also, I suspect this dress looks better in motion than it does in a static photocall……the swirling of the skirt and the view of the leg is giving the model’s photo the LIFE the dress needs. Thank God it’s not black, because then we’d be into Amish Wife territory for sure.

  • SarahSaru

    Nina is one of my ultimate girl crushes – love absolutely everything about her and I usually like her outfit choices as well. This one just makes me want to cry though. It’s not her at all and she looks so unbelievably frumpy 🙁 🙁 WHY NINA?!

  • ashtangajunkie

    I sincerely regret clicking on the link to the Marie Osmond dolls.

    • Kelly

      Ahaha. Me, too.

    • decormaven

      No way would I click on that. Straight into Twilight Zone “Living Doll” episode…

    • conniemd

      Me too, they are definitely in chucky land. My daughter collects porcelain dolls, but they are of the Victorian era type with the old fashioned dresses, and definitely not the oversized heads and fat round faces these creepy dolls have.

  • Kathy

    The color is lovely on her, but there’s something awkward about the way she’s standing, as if she’s pushing her shoulders forward. Also, the frou frou of the bodice and lack of adequate girl support are giving me a sad.

    • Rebecca Harvey

      Definitely a “girl you need a bra” moment.

  • ojosazules

    The ruffles on the bodice are awful.

    • MaggieMae

      Agreed. Cringe-worthy.

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    Lovely color, but it makes her look matronly, which at her age and career stage she should avoid at all costs.

  • formerlyAnon

    If I liked lace and ruffles, I’d say this was wonderful on her. I would assume the doll look was intentional and lovely.

    If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

  • MzzPants

    Since we’re nit-picking, it drives me nuts when the skin-toned lining does not match the skin.

  • I don’t know if it’s the lighting but I don’t like the shade of blue Nina is wearing. I prefer the darker shade on the model.

    Meanwhile, is Nina even wearing a bra?

  • housefulofboys

    OK, this is NOT related to this post, but to the new web design.
    Generally I LOVE it, clean and user-friendly, and I think reflects your
    design sensibility beautifully. There is one element, though, that I don’t understand or like particularly. The photo at the top doesn’t change to reflect the most recent post, so that I have to scroll down to see if there are any new posts since I last checked the site (which I do regularly!!). I can see how you made this decision, to highlight a particularly outstanding photo, maybe pull in new viewers with hot-ticket celebrities, but it’s disconcerting not to be able to see at a glance if there is a new post. I can’t access the feed at work, and I LIKE to check it at work, my version of a cigarette break. Not a criticism, just a comment. Love you guys!

    Oh, and I guess I like the dress, pretty color on Nina.

  • Shawn EH

    I like it because it’s toned down from her usual skintight mini-skirt dresses. I’ve got no problem with the 1974 CMAs!

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    Sad droopy boobs are bringing the whole look down.

  • frannyprof

    Pretty. Just wish she was wearing a bra. Or a better bra.

  • webslice33

    it’s not’s just meh..

  • Imasewsure

    Love the skirt. Hate the top

  • Trickytrisha

    Too many chest ruffles on the red carpet lately. Ruffles give me a headache.

  • oh god no. Way to look twenty years older.

  • Jacob Bowen

    Where are her boobs???

  • Yeah, no. The color works but everything about this screams craft project gone wrong.

  • pookiesmom

    I actually don’t really like the color on her. It seems to wash her out in a weird way. Maybe it’s the heavy makeup that I don’t like, hard to say. In any case, this is a definite no for me.

  • CatherineRhodes

    Those Marie Osmond dolls are hilarious. L’il Kim is like a baby Kim Jun Un. Does she even know she’s being witty?

  • katiessh

    mmm… the colour is nice, i hate the sheer, and it makes her whole upper body look odd. is she slumping a bit? that might be why

  • Erica_Vuitton

    I think it’s the color that makes it look a touch off. The royal blue of the runway version is gorgeous but without the Angie Leg & the saturated color it just doesn’t work. Could also be the beige muscle tank she’s wearing that does NOTHING for her or the dress.