Kiernan Shipka in Prada at ELLE’s Women in Television Celebration

Posted on January 23, 2014

We don’t get it. How come this looks so much more youthful on the model? For once, the model’s probably not the younger one in this question.



“Mad Men” star Kiernan Shipka attends ELLE’s Annual Women in Television Celebration in West Hollywood, California in a Prada dress accessorized with EF Collection and Melinda Maria jewelry.

Prada Resort 2014 Collection

We generally applaud Kiernan’s ladylike style but its taken a decidedly mature look of late. Having the hem hit below the knee doesn’t help this look at all. We realize she might not have been able to alter a loaner, but that’s why they make hemming tape. Also, the bag, shoes and up do take any edge out of this look it might’ve had. There’s no youthfulness to the styling. We don’t like to recommend this, but replicating the runway look in toto would’ve looked so fabulous on her.

Dressing conservatively or demurely at a very young age is no crime, but we’d much rather see the young have fun with their fashion. It’s how you develop your own style. If you start right out of the gate emulating the style of people a generation older than you, you’re seriously handicapping yourself. And you’re setting a precedent for yourself of dressing wrong for your age, which could backfire disastrously come middle age.





[Photo Credit: Getty Images,]

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  • JulieTy

    Damn, she’s beautiful, though.

    • Yup, and I’m totally going to attempt to channel her fresh-faced look via a lot of makeup today.

      • Sobaika

        Hourglass Highlighting Powder. You’ll glow like a damn candle.

        • OMM4

          I’ve been wanting to try that, but was wondering if it would be ashy or chalky on WOC.

          • Sobaika

            I’m around America Ferrera’s skintone and all of the shades work well except the very lightest – I use that sometimes undereye, that’s it. Can look chalky if you overdo it. My favorite is Luminous.

            I’ve done makeup for darker skintones – think Nicole Beharie – and the two with golden undertones (Radiant and Dim) work very well.

          • SierraDelta

            Ooh, Nicole Beharie!

            Sorry. Just got mad all over again that I have to wait eons before I see how she escapes from Purgatory.

          • @Biting Panda

            I love it when you talk makeup specifics!!

          • OMM4

            Awesome! I’m probably Kerry Washington color. I’m going to try Radiant, I think.

          • Sobaika

            You’ll be very happy to know that Hourglass actually did the makeup for Kerry Washington at the Emmys and among the products used was Radiant!

            Nope. I don’t spend too much time and energy on makeup at ALL.

          • bxbourgie

            I knew there was a reason I liked you! LOL! I have debated and debating on Radiant for months. I think I’m finally going to just bite the bullet. Also, the new Hourglass blushes look divine!

          • DominoEstella

            um.. since you’re giving advice 🙂
            I’m have olive skin but I’m pale because I stay out of the sun… Do you think Diffused would work for me?

          • Sobaika

            Sure! That would be my guess, or maybe Luminous for all over glow. If there’s a Sephora near you, go play with the sample cases they put out and look in a mirror inside the store (bright lighting) and outside too.

          • SierraDelta

            When I was in college in the early Middle Ages, two friends and I were discussing Important Philosophical Things one night after dinner, not at all in an attempt to delay getting started on our homework. For some profound reason, we were engrossed in trying to describe our skin tones tones as if we were painting a word picture for a blind classmate. My friends, WOC, finally settled after prolonged debate on “Peanut Butter Brown” and “Raw Chicken Yellow,” respectively. It then took them all of about ten seconds to definitively arrive at my my shade: “Fish Belly White.” Does the Highlighting Powder accommodate that?

          • Sobaika

            YES! Ethereal is the name of it, I think. The lightest shade. If you want to add some warmth to your cheeks, I would go with Mood and use it in place of blush or contour.

            There has to be some description more flattering than Fish Belly.

          • SierraDelta

            Actually, today in Minnesota a better but no less accurate name might just be Frostbite…

          • demidaemon

            My brother and I were just talking about this recently, as they had an interloper living (yes, I said living) in his place of work’s (a library) bathroom. When the e-mail went out describing the guy, he was described as medium complexion. We discussed this for a long while, even how he described his wife’s skin tone as “Mile Chocolate,” which I thought was sweet.

        • Kim Elmore

          HA! I just went to Sephora & read up on this! Thanks 🙂 I think I’m going for ‘dim’

        • melisaurus

          Highlighting anything makes my face look super dirty. A makeup artist just taught me last night that if you want to look fresh faced just putt foundation around the nose, mouth, under eye and blend. It covers up any redness or dark eyes. She left the rest of my face bare and a little blush. It looked “natural” compared to a full face of foundation.

      • Anna

        It also depressingly requires an exceptional amount of makeup to make me look awake, let alone fresh-faced.

  • Justine

    That dress is adorable and should be in my closet right now,

  • @Biting Panda

    It’s definitely the styling choices. The lady-like hair, the Naturalizer shoes and seriously boring purse are dragging this only moderately funky dress, down, down, down.

    • CelandineM

      First, OMG us that your kitty? Your profile pic is so stinking cute! Indeed those shoes and purse are killing this outfit.

      • @Biting Panda

        I wish that were my kitty!! My kitty would never agree to a Panda hoodie, even though it would make him infinitely cooler. No, I collect images of pandas and cats wearing panda outfits.
        Wow. That sounded pathetic when typed out like that. : )

        • Sarah

          It is not pathetic. It is an entirely noble pursuit! (From a fellow clothed cat pic collector)

        • bxbourgie

          I didn’t even know that was a thing. Off to Google cats wearing panda outfits. ——->

          • formerlyAnon

            EVERYTHING is a thing. There are thousands of parents in your state who devote their lives to fostering their child’s participation in out of town tournaments in some sporting pursuit – one in which you have never personally known a single person to play/compete/practice or possibly even watch. There are people devoting entire rooms to collections of objects of which you have never seen more than two together in your life, including at flea markets. And they’ve taught themselves to take incredibly skillful and well lit photographs of them, too. Etc. etc.

    • Rhonda Shore

      The ankle socks and oxfords worn by the model, along with the shorter length, made the look a whole lot funkier and cuter!

      • Although with the dress the length it is on Kiernan, socks and oxfords could take it into Elaine Benes territory.

        • gefeylich

          And how would that be wrong?

          But you’re right – for Kiernan the dress needs to hit just above the knee, and she has to ditch the Payless shoes.

    • fursa_saida

      The biggest issue is the dress is just too big, I think. It’s not just that it’s too long; the waist on it is hitting her much lower, so she’s got a sort of dowager drop-waist thing going instead of the higher-waisted, more youthful shape on the model. She’s not particularly curvy (function of age but I also just think body type), so without the seams in the right places the dress is just sort of hanging on her.

      The shoes are so wrong it’s killing me.

  • HM3

    Perhaps Sally Draper has finally reached the peak of adolescence in this next season, and Kiernan is trying everything she can NOT to dress the way her character would on the show….

    Speculation, speculation. This is not her outfit.

  • ashtangajunkie

    The shoes are the worst offenders. I love the dress on her, but those shoes are dragging down the look significantly.

  • Sara

    Her head looks great, but this is not her dress.

  • melanie0866

    It’s the length. The one on the model is above the knee.

    • Sarah

      Length and shoes. The socks and sneakers are WAY more youthful!

      • ailujailuj

        YES… unless you’re my next door neighbor, Melvin.

      • Kayceed

        Also, the model’s expression. That level of sullen glumness usually manifests on my child sometime mid-afternoon the day after a sleepover.

        • Sarah

          Yeah, I am truly wondering if the model isn’t younger. Or at least more surly. I have a nephew who would look just like that in drag, any day of the week.

        • CakesOnAPlane

          As well as some seemingly hormone-driven flop sweat. Nothing says teenager like raging hormones!

        • Verascity

          That was my first thought: Kiernan, despite her age, doesn’t look like a sullen teenager.

      • Tatiana Luján

        Lenght, shoes and the fact that the dress ins’t really form-fitting on Shipka and the wait of the dress doesn’t coincide with her natural waist, as it does on the model.

        • Sarah

          True. And the model is rocking about eight bracelets, which is entirely teen-appropriate.

        • Robin Murray

          I think she needed a size smaller. How often do you hear that about a photocall or runway look?

  • Glam Dixie

    I find that color problematic on her in addition to your points, Uncles. It isn’t youthful or very flattering to her skin tone.

    • Lee

      I absolutely agree that if this were in more vibrant colors, it would help a lot. This color scheme is very “grandma” to me. Not to say it isn’t pretty, but it isn’t adding any youthfulness to the outfit.

  • Ten Ten

    Her skin is flawless. Love her!!!!

    • MaggieMae

      Right?! And her eyebrows! Swoon!

  • It’s a little big on her, too. Sacrifices some shape. If she just took her hair down and lost the earrings it would go a long way.

  • Diego!

    The hair and those ugly shoes are adding decades to her youth. Honey, loose your hair and wear some sandals instead and you will look way better than this. Nice dress, I like it!

  • gabbilevy

    Eek, Kiernan. I’m thinking going with the literal embodiment of “Flowers In the Attic” is not your best move.

  • Sweetvegan

    I think she looks great! The relative length is the biggest difference between her and the model, but even at this length, I like it on her. Kind of vintage-cool.

  • SewingSiren

    I think it has a vintage quality that is enhanced by the length. I think she looks cute. 1940’s without being a costume.

  • Jessica Freeman

    So much of it is the length of the dress. Had it a few inches above the knee we’d be singing a different tune. Also a kicky belt would have helped.

  • ailujailuj

    hem length and shoes.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    The print reads older to me, and wearing her hair up gives this an older feel. It’s a misstep for someone who usually is styled better.

  • ailujailuj

    plus, the model has teenage-angst-and-resentment face.

  • Vickiefantastico

    Could it be the sullen teenager-like face on the model compared to her bright sunny disposition? Sorry, that could just be the mom/teacher in me.

    • formerlyAnon

      Rings true to me.

  • amanda siegelson

    i think part of the problem with keirnan’s last couple of looks is that she was replicating the basic styling of the sixties before and seems to be stepping out of that decade more so now.
    that said, i think she looks pretty. the shoes are the biggest mistake here… but you’re allowed a fugly period and maybe she’s sticking a toe in the shallow end to see how it feels….

  • Anne

    I think the model’s got a solid 6 inches or so on Kiernan–the shorter length and the exposed knee give it a much more youthful feel.

  • Tracy_Flick

    At least Kiernan, unlike the model, doesn’t look like she has the flu.

    • alyce1213

      Really, I want to give that that poor girl a cool washcloth.

    • demidaemon

      The model does have a bit of that “I came to work even though I probably shouldn’t have” look, which, considering her occupation, I can’t really blame her for.

  • YoungSally

    The model looks more youthful because the model has the expression of a 14 year-old “Why MOM?…sheesh” look.

  • Blair Sylvester

    Given the state of celebrity style in general I am not at all worried about her making mistakes. I think she has a great sense of style but I do wish either the shoes or the bag were more fun/youthful. But I would far rather someone err on the side of too mature in the ladylike way than too mature in the pay by the hour way.

  • Imasewsure

    Love the shorter version on the model. Definitely do not like the styling on our girl

  • Christine Hart

    It’s the hair.

  • marlie

    I don’t really like this dress at all. I can see how the shape is cute on her, but I’m not a huge fan of that peachy color. Also, maybe if the print were different, it wouldn’t seem so mature on her. And her makeup is perfect; really, really pretty on her.

    Though in the end, I’d rather see a babystar dressed too conservatively than the opposite extreme.

  • sunflower

    Really cute dress, but shoes bag and hem length are totally wrong

  • sagecreek

    She’s adorable, as always, but this dress is too big for her, and of course, too long.

  • LadyCelia

    Length and styling are just wrecking this for her.

  • Gatto Nero

    A shorter length for the dress and more youthful accessories would have done the trick. The black suede sandal isn’t a bad idea, but the style of this one reads old.
    Her face is radiant.

  • Donna H

    The model looks younger because of hair, shoes, shiny face, and pissed off look on her face. I don’t like this on her because of how it hangs and the color, and don’t think wearing the model’s shoes would have helped. Hem line SHOULD be shorter.

    • KayEmWhy

      I agree. Long dress and flat shoes = Little House on the Prairie.

  • alyce1213

    I think it’s the color that I don’t like. And the length — not necessarily where the model’s is, but somewhere above the knee would be better.
    Otherwise, she is adorable.

  • Anna

    Young lady, you are a young lady. Don’t even think about taking a page from Abigail Breslin’s book.

  • MoHub

    I’d love to see her in a kicky little deck shoe. And of course, an above-knee hem.

  • Sam Erin

    She’s stunning, I love the look.
    The model looks like she’s been sleeping under a bridge.

    • schadenfreudelicious

      Apparently they ran out of blotting paper backstage…

  • Kent Roby

    The lack of styling (makeup, hair) on the model is wearing me out.

  • 1tsplove

    I wish Mayim Bialik would wear this.

  • Whollyholeyholy

    I guess I’m alone in hating the model’s shoes and socks. She looks like she has ugly legs. How is that even possible?

    • Whollyholeyholy

      I mean to say, I LOVE the dress, and I don’t like the styling choices on either, but if I were to tear one apart over the other it would be the styling on the model.

  • MilaXX

    The length and the shoe. If this was above the knee like it is on the model, it could be cute. I’m beginning to worry that Keirnan has the reverse of Abigail Breslin’s disease. Instead of going for sexy, she’s going for socialite.

  • SierraDelta

    The model’s dress is more…bedazzled? And the sleeves seem slightly fuller, which makes it easier to scrunch them ever so slightly in the insouciant, angst-y way of your average female teen.

    Kiernan’s also has a baggier top with a pronounced waist, and the pattern is horribly broken up there. For the price of this dress, you’d expect the pattern to match precisely on a better fitted bodice.

    I don’t think she likes this. She has that politely gritted-teeth look that says “I’m wearing this because my mother made me.”

  • israel8491

    I would totally wear this to shul. If I had about $800 to spend.

  • Sam Smith

    I don’t really care for the dress at all, but the shoe choice spins it towards old lady.

  • conniemd

    I think those who mention the length and hair and right on the dot. The print is old-ladyish to me. But having it above the knee with the hair down gives it more of a funky, vintage look that is fun and youthful. I don’t know any teenager that would wear a dress that length.

  • LaDonna Carpenter

    They took the dress off of a 6 foot tall model and dropped it right on Kiernan. Too big on top, too long, proportions wrong….it would have been very youthful and cute on her if they had given her one in her own size.

  • Shawn EH

    It’s the accessories. Way too tasteful and coordinated, unlike the clashy runway choices, which give an air of breezy indifference.

  • allcapsERINN

    I need that bag the model has.

  • Purse and shoes are aging it up. To be fair, I don’t actually like the dress so I might not be the voice of tolerance here.

  • Lily-Rygh

    Her hair looks darling, but the shoes are killing this look. It’s really cute otherwise…

  • Guest

    The model’s look makes the dress look cheap and casual. Kiernan dressed it up a bit. I agree about the hem length and the accessories, but I think she was trying to go in a better direction with it that it was originally displayed. And also, the model looks really pissed off and miserable and that turns me off to her look even more.

    • Guest

      And also, the model looks really pissed off and miserable and that turns me off to her look even more.

  • nannypoo

    If it were shorter she would look really cute in this dress. And maybe she needs different shoes.

  • msdamselfly

    I love this. She’s enjoying playing grownup and sophisticated. And this look is very Euro-sophisticated

  • It looks fresher on the model because the model is so depressed she’s molting. Anything will look fresh on that.

  • Lilithcat

    How come this looks so much more youthful on the model?

    1. Hem length.
    2. Hair style.
    3. Accessories.

    On the other hand, at least Kiernan is smiling!

  • Ceur

    Her face is pure perfection.

  • lunchcoma

    Girl, that’s not your dress. I know it looks like your dress, but this needs to be on a woman who’s comfortable grunging it up. An Olsen twin would know what to do with this.

  • crash1212

    I think taking about 4 inches off the hem would’ve done the trick. Her head is gloriously, stupendously, unbelievably beautiful here.

  • siriuslover

    I think this is a small misstep for her, and even then, she still looks very good. Given her general strength of style since she’s been in the public eye, I’m willing to give her a pass on this one.

  • Salasalu

    God, i love that dress

  • Jean Beaton Leavitt

    I love love the dress, she is too young for it but it’s still a beautiful dress. I think a lot of women can wear it.

  • bingo

    I think the footwear is responsible for the perceived age difference. her styling is great!

  • Dagney

    For the second time this week. The hemline crushes the look into smithereens.

  • Suse

    She’s looking more like Don & Betty every day!

  • E. D.

    The length and shoes kill the whole thing. Love her makeup though.

  • LJCdoc

    Are you sure she’s younger? The model looks about 12, and like she’s about to cry her eyes out. I think fixing this would be all about the hem, hem, hem.

  • bellafigura1

    The color + print + length + ankle strap are all working against Kiernan. Rare misstep.

  • Arlette Barahona

    On Kiernan’s dress the pattern of the dress is broke at the natural waist and it looks as if the top has been attached to a skirt with a drop-waist. On the model the fabric isn’t cut up that way. I agree with your take on the styling being too mature for her, but I think that the break in the pattern is also causing a wonky effect. On a side note, the model’s forehead looks so greasy to me.

  • Kate

    She’s too short and the top isn’t fitting her correctly. It’s one of the drawbacks of elaborate pattern making like that, the more specific your pattern pieces the closer to your model the wearer must be for the dress to look correct.

  • roverrun

    IMHBKO (bitter kitten added), it’s the socks and hair that make the model look younger.

  • Alloy Jane

    I agree with everyone who says that it’s the length of the dress and styling that makes this more mature. That dress needs a good five inches chopped off of it to look youthful.

    Speaking of Kiernan… Did anyone here see Flowers in the Attic? I did not, was it any good?

  • DominoEstella

    That model is dreadful. Thank goodness she’s not sporting that look.

  • Tanya Wade

    It may be a little aging, but her hair and makeup, makeup esp., are spot on. The lip color is perfection, and I want it.

  • guest2visits

    Ha. The model looks younger because she has a furiously petulant, about to fly into a teen rage look on her angry, sweaty brow. Even her hand is gripping the bag in angst. She’s about to unload at her mother. MOM!! SERIOUSLY!!
    Emma on the other hand is cool and collected. I think the shoes are nice but not for this outfit; they make the dress look too mature.

  • demidaemon

    I don’t like it on her, mostly due to the length, although the color isn’t helping, and I don’t like it on the model, who they look like they just threw out of the bathroom after a bender. It’s also a bit juvenile there. So, I am going to officially call this no one’s dress.

  • LadyLuck777

    I agree that the hem is unfortunate, but I also think the senior citizen ballroom dance shoes do their part to age this look as well.

  • quiltrx

    Length is definitely part of it, but I think the “schoolgirl” shoes/socks and loose hair (why does the model look like she’s high at a rave?) make a big difference on the runway.

  • LaSylphide

    Agree with all the criticism. Also I think it fits the model a little better: she has a waistline, Kiernan doesn’t. The way it hangs on her, plus the length, add to the dowdy look. Too bad, because the makeup is terrific. A rare, though minor misstep.

  • matildarf

    The fit is off and needs to be shorter, otherwise I think she looks great. I hope she’s the next generation’s Meryl Streep. She’s got the acting chops, that’s for sure!

  • Nope. Not listening. La la la la…. Fingers are in my ears. She can do no wrong.

  • p_capet

    oh, it’s lovely! i think it looks younger on the model because of her bobby socks and flats; kiernan’s shoes are more ’40s dressy to me so she has a different vibe. but it’s such a lovely dress. and i think she looks great. a lot of young girls seem to go through a vintage phase and i can understand that as they are trying out pretty grown-up looks and feels from different eras. anyway, i always seem to like what she wears.

  • girlsaturday

    It’s because the model looks so sullen. Unhappy in a conservative dress = teenager coerced out of ripped jeans and a t-shirt. Happy in a conservative dress = middle-aged mom who did the coercing.

  • bringbackbeatles

    It’s definitely the proportions that age this dress on her. It’s much too long for her and the seam at the waist hits her much lower than it does on the model. Were it shortened to hit her in the right places, it would look much more youthful. While I agree about the styling looking better and more fun on the runway, I love Kiernan’s shoes.

  • Lee

    I just want to give that model a hug. She looks like she just found out her puppy died.

  • nycfan

    (1) Shoes. (2) Hem.

    • CatherineRhodes

      I would add (3) Hair.

  • Levedi

    That is a Grandma dress if I ever saw one. The model looks younger because she’s sulking like a child. Kiernan is lovely though.

    • Qitkat

      This is one grandma who wouldn’t be caught dead or alive in this dress. The worst thing Kiernan’s ever been told to wear.

  • Danielle Colman

    Aside from the not-so-good fit, I actually think the biggest problem is the way the print is truncated at the waist seam. The version on the model has the motifs more off to the side and the plain colour front and centre, so the whole thing looks more cohesive. This cuts poor Kiernan right across the middle, and makes the fit issues that much more obvious.

  • Sara Brams-Miller

    I kinda love it. The model looks frumpy, not young. And Kiernan Shipka looks young, but elegant.

  • French_Swede

    She is stunning.

    I hate it when young women try to dress to a) look older, b) look *sexy* and/or c) for attention. Her makeup is absolutely perfect, her brows were done perfectly and the color of the dress looks amazing with her skin tone.

    A WERQ from me.

  • I always thought T&L would approve any Kiernan wears but thank god they don’t. I thought the same. It looks a bit to mature but she is soooooo pretty. ugh.

  • ktr33

    easy one: the grandma shoes and the grandma purse. from a grandma consignment shop. On grandma street in grandma town.

  • Aurumgirl

    No, I think the model is wearing a dress made for a woman accessorized with baby shoes and socks that don’t stay up, charming in a little girl but truly offputting in an adult. Kiernan, on the other hand, is wearing a simple dress accessorized with women’s shoes and a hairstyle a young woman, not a little girl, would wear. It’s what’s making the difference in their appearance.

    The dress itself is a little matronly, though, I have to admit.