Cate Blanchett in Fausto Puglisi at Comic-Con 2014

Posted on July 28, 2014

Darlings, the nerds were out in full force at Comic-Con this weekend, which means celebrities with nerd projects were forced to do their poledance. And since once half of T Lo is:

A) A nerd,

B) A once and future attendee of Comic-Con, and

C) A big-time celebrity style blogger,

we feel compelled to offer our thoughts on all the nerd-adjacent style on display. In short: many of the celeb attendees are just plain getting it wrong. Consider Galadriel here:


Cate-Blanchett-Fausto-Puglisi-The-Hobbit-Movie-Comic-Con-2014-Red-Carpet-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)Cate Blanchett attends “The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies” Press Line during Comic-Con International 2014 in San Diego, California in a Fausto Puglisi pink pleated dress paired with Roger Vivier black pumps.

Cate-Blanchett-Fausto-Puglisi-The-Hobbit-Movie-Comic-Con-2014-Red-Carpet-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (2)Fausto Puglisi Resort 2015 Collection

Cate-Blanchett-Fausto-Puglisi-The-Hobbit-Movie-Comic-Con-2014-Red-Carpet-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (3)

Cate-Blanchett-Fausto-Puglisi-The-Hobbit-Movie-Comic-Con-2014-Red-Carpet-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (3B)

Cate-Blanchett-Fausto-Puglisi-The-Hobbit-Movie-Comic-Con-2014-Red-Carpet-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (4)

Cate-Blanchett-Fausto-Puglisi-The-Hobbit-Movie-Comic-Con-2014-Red-Carpet-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (5)


We just typed “sigh.” That shows you we’re really exasperated.

This is all wrong, Cate. You don’t want to show up at Comic-Con looking like the Head of Human Resources. It’s a raucous, loud, sweaty crowd, a significant portion of which will be dressed as robots and superheroes and aliens. They want to know that you understand them. Even better, they want to know that you’re one of them. This prissy little dress was a terrible idea. Sure, you’re playing the most glamorous elf who ever elf’d, but since you’re not going to show up in full “All shall love me and despair” drag (for which we don’t blame you, since that convention hall gets downright balmy at times), then may we suggest a simply nerd-girl look? We know you know how to put one together. Something downscale and low-key, with the slightest sense of humor to it, like a Princess Leia t-shirt or something. Fausto Puglisi? Save that for the photocalls and premieres. Getchaself some Wonder Woman sneakers and a pair of skinny jeans, girl.





[Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Fausto Puglisi]

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

  • Anna

    “Waitress from Monk’s Diner” should NEVER be a look for Cate. EVER.

    • Wink

      This definitely has a ‘uniform’ feel to it. She’s so much better than this dress.

  • mrspotts66

    i don’t know…i think this dress is sort of fun.
    it’s like a bowling shirt turned pleated skirty dress.

    • catsonmars28

      My first thought when I saw this outfit was “middle earth bowling outfit” but it looks more awkward than fun to me. Maybe if she had different shoes?

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        I’m laughing just thinking of Gandalf leaping in the air as he bowls yet another perfect game at Galadriel’s Super-Elf Bowling Lanes.

    • stellavision

      I do too. Not right for the occasion, but I like it on her for something else.

    • MissusBee

      I think it could have worked if she nerded it up with some glasses and flat shoes. Although it also looks a mite too big, which makes it not as kicky as it could have been/as it is on the model.

    • HeisenbergHattie

      A bowling shirt would have been fun!

    • GinaGeo

      I think it’s more of a Project Runway “Grease Reboot” challenge. That’s straight-up Sandy Olsson right there.

  • MW

    My grandmother had a similar thing that she wore around the house during heatwaves, yet it was somehow prettier than this.

  • Karen Belgrad

    Add roller skates and she’s a car hop… Is there an indie car hop comic book character that she can get some cred for dressing as?

    • Judy_S

      Thanks for this. I liked the look for Comic-Con and that’s why. She’s a carhop who used to read her little brother’s Marvel comics.

    • J. Preposterice

      I was thinking “just a few accessories away from a sailor moon cosplay”, really.

  • Cee Layton

    You two just never get it wrong. Head. Nail. Hitting it.

  • formerlyAnon

    Cue the current endless fandom blather about how SDCC is no longer a “real” Con, but increasingly a Major Marketing Platform that is quickly/slowly losing [already has lost] its fannish soul? She’s dressed right for that.

    I also wonder if she’s started to think “at my age” and steer her choices in that manner?

    I like the ensemble, though she does look rather too well-groomed, it could have been ameliorated by a few inches off the hem and the right shoes. Something that were a witty take on schoolgirl oxfords, maybe?

    • Kitten Mittons

      Oxfords might have sold it for me. As a nerd who wore Oxfords, it would at least be authentic.

    • Oxfords or saddle shoes and some chunky glasses and it’d be adorable.

      • formerlyAnon

        Saddle shoes! That would have been even better than oxfords!

    • kimmeister

      Just a couple of hours ago, my husband steered me away from buying skinny jeans, because “they’re kind of young.” (I am 34. Meanwhile, I decided against them since I continue to not have skinny legs. )

      • formerlyAnon

        Your man, not a diplomat! You work out, with weights and stuff! He could have just said “those aren’t cut for people with some sexy definition in their legs,” but it didn’t occur to him, huh? (I tend to think certain looks DO have an age-appropriate range, but skinny jeans depend on venue, build and body type way more than age, IMO.)

        • kimmeister

          To his credit, he said nothing about the size of my legs, that was my own conclusion. He doesn’t like to see men in skinny jeans either, they’re just not his taste.

    • demidaemon

      I think even sneakers may have improved the look. I could definitely see this with sneakers.

  • In_Stitches

    It’s also just really, really ugly. Those fabrics, those colors…she looks like Lamb Chop, come to life.

    • formerlyAnon

      Aaaawww, Lamb Chop ugly? Neeeveer!

    • Thomas

      That’s because it’s a Fausto Fuglisi!

      • I notice that the shot of the model wisely over-exposes that stripe down the middle so you can’t see that it’s shiny-shiny in a bad way.

    • alyce1213

      Nailed it.

  • Sophie

    I like it much better on the model, where the light obliterates any strange details and gives the impressioonof a paler shade of pink. As it is, if she didn’t want to come in a Star Wars T-shirt, maybe she could wear something along the lines of that dress with coloured feathers she wore to a premiere of “How to train your dragon”? (If I remember well.)

    • formerlyAnon

      The black shoes she’s wearing (vs. the model’s pink) also steer the look in a pedestrian direction.

    • 3boysful

      I think the model’s dark coloring helps the dress. And the non-set in sleeves are not flattering.

  • d4divine

    I think the lighting is doing the dress no favors. I can also understand that she did not want to dress as someone she is not just for Comic Con fans. She’s Cate mutha fracking Blanchett!!

  • Kitten Mittons

    I would like this so much more at another venue, just for being slightly unexpected. At Comic-Con, it’s just a real head-scratcher.

  • Lisalady161

    Very disappointing when gorgeous great actress gets it wrong and gorgeous horrible actress gets it right (Megan Fox). Everyone else was in tees and jeans and I KNOW she can rock that look. Sigh indeed.

  • GillianHolroyd

    oh god, the 5th photo looks like she’s wearing an acrylic lounging robe with sateen trim from the 70s.

  • Qitkat

    If ever there was a ‘Ladies Who Luncheon’ look, this has to fall under that style umbrella. Dearie, did you borrow this from your ever-so charming 90-year-old Great Auntie Mabel?

    • Guest

      I’m getting more, Ladies who Early-Bird Special

  • The way that pink satin placket is buckling all down the front is making me want to weep tears of sadness.

    • formerlyAnon

      Trust you & your eagle eye for quality work, Kiltd! Considering what this dress probably costs, that IS a sin.

      • For normal people in a normal world, I wouldn’t quibble a bit. In this setting, and considering the cost of the dress, its very nearly criminal.

    • Rhonda Shore

      I also think it might have looked a lot different if the black band went all the way around and wasn’t broken up by the pink satin placket. It’s just not working for me on any level.

    • demidaemon

      Yeah, that one detail pretty much burned my eyes out. Hideous and wrong.

  • SuzyQuzey

    If she had to pick an office drone, she could have at least gone as Social Services.

  • Capt. Renault

    Wrong, so sadly wrong.

    Unless she’s in character for some really obscure anime, which for ComiCon is a likely possibility, but I highly doubt it.

  • teensmom99

    Cate and that pink just don’t work-even if the dress were better.

  • aquamarine17

    if there was no zipper in front and if the light top section was truly white, not eggshell, without that texture, the dress would be better. also the pink satin collar would be better not satin. in other words, re-fashion the whole dress! it looks better on the model since the white looks white and you can’t see the horrid zipper

  • Shawn EH

    The model wins, which is just sad. But at least she brings some edge to the dress!

  • joancarol

    I feel like she is making some kind of statement, but can’t for the life of me figure it out. Whimsical Storm Trooper? Hello Kitty Office Wear? Fairy Princess Mother Superior?

  • deelup

    All she needed was the glasses and different shoes to make this work.

  • FibonacciSequins

    That’s just sad.

  • Mr. J.

    That underarm area…I keep looking at it, though I don’t want to……

  • Janet B

    Unfortunate choice of dress. I don’t know of this dress works on her anywhere.

  • altermyego

    Who is this woman and what has she done with the real Cate Blanchett?

  • That skirt is missing a poodle.

  • Gatto Nero

    This is both pedestrian and odd.
    And we know she can do “odd” brilliantly.
    What a sad choice for her, regardless of the event.

  • nannypoo

    My mother had a similar garment she called a “housecoat”. Is that still a thing?


    God love her, it was HOT (by our standards!) this weekend here and I hear from friends who attended it was quite “steamy” and “musky” in the convention center. I can’t imagine satin was very comfy or forgiving…… What is so funny about Comic-Con is we see attendees in costumes all over the city all weekend. Like, everywhere! The Trolley, Home Depot, coffee shops……

  • Freynika

    I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t take the opportunity to dress down when it’s handed to them. Maybe this dress wouldn’t be so bad in different colors for a different venue. The shiny beige and pale pink really wash her out.

  • JynxTheCat

    UGH! ComicCon? This is not ComicCon wear! Booo.

  • BLauDGaspode

    This reads 50’s diner or bathroom rendered in housecoat to me. Ugh. As a lady nerd, I can attest that she could and should have done so much better! Even Cate is mortal, I suppose…

  • MoHub

    Oh, Cate! How dare you let me down like this?

  • Wendi126

    My bff is head of human resources and she would plunge off a cliff before ever wearing this monstrosity

  • MilaXX

    Nerd gal chic was definitely the way to go. Even something as simple as jeans and a dressy top would have fit in better.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    It’s a very safe look for Cate. Perhaps Comic-Con is where Cate could have brought the designer T-shirt with super cool jeans

  • marlie

    This dress is very pretty, and would work for just about any other photocall or TV appearance, but I totally agree that this is the type of event that actually called for jeans and sneakers, or something of the sort.

  • evave2

    I looked at the close up of the dress material and it looked like a really cheap material (can’t think of the name but I am sure I had something made of that in the long ago and far away).

    • alyce1213

      Neoplasticepolynyloncrimplenemodacrylicpolyacrylonitrilevscosezylon, shiny style, I think it is. Available at your local chemistry lab. Exists nowhere in nature.

  • cocohall

    This looks like a flight attendant uniform on an airline that I would rather not fly. Also, it struck me that is was the same silhouette with long droopy sleeves that Fade zu Grau used on the first Project Runway challenge. It struck me as odd on PR and perhaps even MORE odd given that it is Comic Con. I haven’t been to Comic Con, but would Cate be likely to be worshipped or overlooked there? I have this feeling that many attendees would rather line up for CoCo (That’s Mrs. Ice-T) than the Elf Queen (not that she wouldn’t have her fans). One of my daughters really wants to go, but she would be all about Captain America and Mr. Cumberbatch. She would scoot past this in a hot second.

  • frannyprof

    Wow! A rare misstep, and she knows it, judging by her face. She would have ROCKED a nerdgirl look.

  • not_Bridget

    I agree the look is all wrong for Comic Con. And I can’t picture it being “right” anywhere….

    Speaking of The Big Convention: Not long ago, Tom Mison & Nicole Beharie were dinged here for being two lovely people who’d dressed badly. I agreed. However, they were at SDCC for three days–& attended an evening party. So there are four outfits to critique for each of them! (And outfits for other Sleepy Hollow cast members.)

    So I’m hoping for opinions from TLO. (Tom wore glasses briefly & Tumblr approved.)

  • Violentcello

    All Shall Love Me and Despair Cate is my favorite Cate.

    I’m not super hot about the satin here, but overall I think it’s cute. I get the uncles’ point about it being the wrong audience, but I can’t even say Fausto Puglisi much less recognize it in the wild.

  • alyce1213

    WTF is with that fabric? Who puts those fabrics together? And the style! Horrible.

  • LadyVimes

    Luncheon At Tiffany’s

  • Crystal

    Girl no.

  • Sofia

    I love her style, but this piece she could to without. I feel like it would be better suited on a younger woman.

  • Leah Elzinga

    Seriously. Some cool oversize specs, cuffed boyfriend jeans, and a white t with cool, edgy hair and a killer pair of shoes annnnnd DONE. IMO Lena Headey KILLS it every time. Just take a page from her book, maybe lighten it up (Lena does goes a little gothey) and it’d be perfect for Cate.

  • Joey Melliza

    Tired Dinner Lady Realness —- sob! = (

  • sk8tfan

    She’s modeling the winning Red Robin look from the Project Runway victor.

  • suzq

    I think our director of IT wore the same outfit last week, only hers had a real sweater and not a fake one tacked on to the outfit.

  • alliekat9090

    That is a REALLY ugly dress.

  • siriuslover

    Sure the dress is all wrong, but I really like it, despite the hating of it by other Bitter Kittens. But since I’m in admin now, I guess it fits my personality. I would love to see these celebs actually bring on their inner nerds.

  • Judih1

    Cate is really a RedCarpet gal – meaning most of the time when she has had a “mis-step” it has been on photocalls or other casual events like this. It is like she is great at the larger than life stuff, but when it comes to being ‘one of the people’ she doesn’t quite get it. Love her though.

  • Waitress from a 50s diner meets graduation gown.

  • Columbinia

    WTH? She looks like Donna Reed dressed up for Easter Sunday dinner.

  • Silly Kate. You don’t do little princess, you do regal high fashion!

  • Jeff Warhurst

    I like it. It’s kind of a snarky wink in the vein of Lois Lane. Also; she is literally without fault forever since the ending scene of Blue Jasmine. “It’s fraught with peril….”