Debra Messing in Hellessy at the NBC Universal Summer TCA Tour 2014

Posted on July 14, 2014

Grab your coffee and meet us in the conference room, girls. We’ve got work to do. Also: there’s a muffin platter.


Debra-Messing-NBC-Universal-Summer-TCA-Tour-2014-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)“The Mysteries of Laura” star Debra Messing attends the NBC Universal Summer TCA Tour 2014 in Beverly Hills, California in a Hellessy dress paired with Sergio Rossi pumps.

Debra-Messing-NBC-Universal-Summer-TCA-Tour-2014-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO-(6)Hellessy Spring 2014 Collection

Debra-Messing-NBC-Universal-Summer-TCA-Tour-2014-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (2)

Debra-Messing-NBC-Universal-Summer-TCA-Tour-2014-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (3)

Debra-Messing-NBC-Universal-Summer-TCA-Tour-2014-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (4)

Debra-Messing-NBC-Universal-Summer-TCA-Tour-2014-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (5)

Okay, first: that dress looks a bit mature and old-fashioned to our eyes. Second: those off-matchy (a term we just made up) shoes are rage-inducing.


This is one of the better dresses we’ve seen her wear. From the front, it’s really flattering, and the color looks great on her. So here’s our task for today: restyle this look. We grant you the powers of a really bitchy, A-list stylist who can get away with demanding alterations.

We’ll start:

Relax that neckline so it doesn’t look like it’s choking her, get rid of the weird butt-cape effect, shorten the sleeves, and raise the hem. Burn those horrid blue shoes and put her in a bright floral-patterned pump. Jewelry-wise, we’re thinking diamond bracelet, but we’re not sure what to do about the ears, or whether or not she should sport a cocktail ring. We’re not crazy about the hair, but if she wears it up, this instantly goes “Lucille Ball” and it’s not really the kind of dress that calls for a ponytail or Pinterest braid.

Your thoughts? Because we know you have some.





[Photo Credit: Valerie Macon/Getty Images, Celebrity Monitor/PacificCoastNews,]

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  • @Biting Panda


    • That’s says it all.

  • HeisenbergHattie

    Hair: Tall half pony. The rest loose soft curls.

  • Kathleen

    Drop the neckline, flare the skirt, get rid of the butt drape, shorten the sleeves… Switch the shoes for a fun print, add a diamond bracelet and studs. French the nails.

    • almondemy

      “French the nails” is a wonderful phrase and please let me steal it. I want that to be the hook of a Latrice Royale single.

      • there’s an old Dave Frishberg song called “Peel Me a Grape”, that has a lyric of: Pop me a cork/French me a fry/Skin me a peach/Save the fuzz for my pillow. French me a nail would fit right in. If you’re intersted, there’s a great Diana Krall recording of the song.

      • Kathleen

        Avail yourself of it anytime!

  • Alyssa

    Dibs on the blueberry muffin. The color is fabulous, but it needed a fun patterned shoe, either floral or geometric. Agree with your dress modifications. I think a small drop earring would look really good.

    • FuhUgh

      You do realize that you only want the blueberry muffin because of the stealth blueberry marketing Ms. Debra is doing… She looks like Violet from Willy Wonka, all grown up now.

      • Alyssa

        Hadn’t thought about that. Blueberry muffins are my favorite though, I always go for them. Especially when they have the yummy crunch topping!

        • CelandineM

          When I use one of those boxed blueberry muffin mixes my favorite thing to do is take a muffin fresh out of the oven, cut it in half, spread a bit of butter on the cut side and sprinkle a bit of coarse sugar. It’s like a little bit of heaven.

  • Deedles

    I want to put her in LK Bennett “Fern Aurora” shoes!

  • Noah

    I was two seconds away from saying, “Hey! A Debra Messing post without crazy eyes!” But then I got to the last photo. All is right-ish with the world.

    • kimmeister

      I wouldn’t say those are crazy eyes, just mega side-eye from the recipient’s POV.

    • demidaemon

      She’s definitely keeping them back today (although, in the close-up, a teeny bit of the craziness seeps through). Either blue is calming for her or she took her meds.

  • Thomas

    I actually like the front of the dress, just not the cape in the back. The neckline also doesn’t bother me because I’ve always thought that neckline looks chic. Burn the shoes and put on some floral pumps or strappy beige sandals. Then Liz Taylor it up and wear a huge diamond necklace and a turban. Okay, maybe not the turban, but you get the picture.

    • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

      Oooo…a turban. I feel like Debra could pull off a turban.

      • Thomas

        She probably could, but that was just me getting a little silly toward the end.

        • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

          I know, but I can really see her wearing one. Not with this dress, but with some really amazing red carpet dress.

          • Daisy Walker

            I caught an old Will and Grace rerun last week where she wore a turban!

      • spirit52


        • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

          Tell me how you really feel?

  • NMMagpie

    Star Trek (original) costuming realness.

  • kimmeister

    I’m ok with the hem and sleeve length, but totally agree with the butt cape and neckline changes. A floral pump could work, as well as silver strappy (but not ankle strappy!) sandals.

    I’m so happy to see her eyes not looking crazy!

  • Rhonda Shore

    Metallic shoes or sandals, and yes, please get rid of the butt-cape and maybe a v-neck instead of that neckline…

  • Jessica Freeman

    Change neck line to a boat neck. Delete butt flap in it’s entirety. Classic black patent pumps and a dangle earring.

  • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

    I kind of liked this dress until she turned around. Why’d they have to go and muck around with the back? What is that thing? It’s like there was a peplum, but then it got sliced up the front and just fell in that aptly named “butt cape”. I’d either raise the hem or lower the neckline. Though, raising the hemline, alone, would take this into that tacky club dress I see too many women wearing (the one that usually has no back). I’d do away with the sleeves, altogether. It’s summer! Show some skin!

    I never know what to do with shoes, so I’ll just nod and agree to what other people say. “Mmm hmmm, yes, that’s great.”

    I know they are there to help her breath, but something about her nostrils has always bothered me. A lot of people comment on her crazy eyes, but I never notice because I’m staring at her crazy nostrils.

  • hughman

    Go full “Gilda” : elbow length gloves, seamed stockings and fuck me pumps. She needs to keep at least one toe in the Gay Pond.

    • spirit52

      love your ideas. The gloves would work best with a sleeveless dress.

  • Jennifer Bober

    Eliminate the sleeves, relax the neck a little and give her a long, eye-catching necklace. Keep the hair. Add more eye catching earrings (just not too long) and some sandals with thin straps.

  • Mothra

    Well first, we need to re sew that thing so it isn’t all bunchy at the back seam (which btw, is rarely flattering) and then yes, the hem needs to be one length, probably a little bit shorter and honestly something as banal as a faux wrap look for the neckline and bodice wouldn’t be terrible here. she has the right shape where that works really well even if it does look like something off the Macy’s sale rack… Did someone photo shop those shoes on because they don’t look they are on HER feet and one of them looks a half inch too big.

  • Aidan B

    Yes to the hair. No to the mudflap in the back.

  • robin-m

    Thinking perhaps a bright peridot earring — to play off the floral shoes and play up her eyes.

  • boweryboy

    First and foremost the butt flap has to go. I would raise the hem about an inch above her knees, slightly flare out the skirt, get rid of the sleeves altogether (it’s the middle of July for Pete’s sake), give it a bateau neckline, add some lowkey diamond drop earrings and either a matching tennis bracelet or cocktail ring. And then add a cool pair of light green or orange high heel sandals and I would SO love to cut her hair about an inch or two above her shoulders.

  • Joey Melliza

    gurrrrrrrlllll rooney mara needs her dress back

  • Glam Dixie

    Definitely sleeveless or a very short sleeve, lose the butt cape and take just a touch of volume out of the hair so it won’t read so 80’s. Burn the shoes, almost anything else would be better but a floral would be lovely. Also, take that hem up to just above the knee.

  • mjude

    “butt cape” right there tells you it needs to go. she does look good & I agree about a nice floral shoe.

  • FibonacciSequins

    Between the high neckline and heavy hair, her face is being overpowered. How about a half-updo? Get it off her face on both sides, and pinned loosely in the back so some tendrils fall down?

    I think an A-line skirt would be more flattering to her figure, and I’d change the fabric to something less shiny/flat. Agree with your changes to the dress/shoes. I’d keep earrings simple, let her hair get the attention. Yes to the cocktail ring unless she doesn’t want to draw attention to the veins on her hands.

    ETA: I just noticed the shoulder treatment, they’re like little cap sleeves. The sleeves here are superfluous; cut them off.

  • teensmom99

    So glad you put this up for restyling because there’s lots of potential. Somehow, my mind is going to black & tortoise shell–I don’t know why, but it’s like I’m running with the office look and taking it somewhere unexpected. So I’d like a nice sandal with a chunky heel and thick straps i brown and black and a big modern necklace and chunky earrings and cuffs. None of this should be matchy matchy but nice and coordinated. And I’m in total agreement with TLo on the tailoring. Now we’re talking–and with all these changes, the hair works.

  • almondemy

    The earrings seem easier to me: stick on a pair of gold posts with a slight earlobe hug to the ears.
    I have a wild idea: give her a shoulder-length asymmetric bob. Sleek and chic with the new neckline. It wouldn’t work with the existing one.

  • Leah Elzinga

    I’m with you, Uncles, for the most part. I agree that the typical sleek low pony isn’t the way to go, but a mid-head (you know what I mean, dead centre from the back) ponytail, not too tight, maybe with a soft side part, would look pretty, and would do well do show off some pretty studs.

  • DuBey2

    Uncles, Love your suggestions, especially the diamond bracelet idea & floral shoe. Now come over here and style MY dresses, please! Only thing I’d add is a Cartier or Tiffany (i.e. REAL stone, and flawlessly cut) earring in Peridot, or even perfect diamond studs (2 carat each)

  • I was discussing Debra with my husband recently and we decided that “Will and Grace” should have been named, “We Pity the Straight Girl”.

    • demidaemon

      That sounds like the great title of a movie. Or a hit single.

  • evave2

    I know I am hopeless, but my first thought was I liked the off-matchy shoes. Sorry. But your idea of a floral pump IS much better.

    I thought the weird flap at her butt was some kind of optical illusion. But I do like the fit of the dress. She looks nice (but I agree she could’ve been a contendah and looked better).

  • frannyprof

    “The Mysteries of Debra Messing’s Style Choices”

  • traceyishere

    I see panty line

  • another_laura

    I’ll play: boat neckline, hem up 1.5 inches, delete idiotic half-butt-cape. Leave sleeves as is, love that length with this! Give me a few delicate silver bangle bracelets, maybe one of them with diamonds, not-too-fancy diamond dangling earrings. A simple pump and I don’t know why I’m thinking snake leather, but I am, in anything but this year’s ubiquitous yellow or any shade of blue.

  • Anna

    YES to the muffin platter!

    With you on your suggestions, but I think she also needs to go up a size. I’d also give her a haircut and go with sleeker hair.

  • Wink

    Instead of altering the hell out of this monstrosity, let’s just get her ANOTHER DRESS in this same color. And ditch the off-matchy shoes for almost any color other than pink or yellow.

  • Cyprienne Zed

    I could maybe be okay with yellow pumps for this. MAYBE.

  • Amel

    Silver pumps?

  • Synnae

    Get rid of the tail, replace those suede pumps with metallic sandals, keep the neck line but brush her hair back like the model, give her bigger ear rings and done.

    And she should get more outfits in this colour and shape because both look good on her.

  • Qitkat

    This shade of blue is gorgeous with her hair color. I vote for an entirely different, more breezy summer chic dress in the same shade, silver accessories, and the cute floral pump.

  • decormaven

    My choices: lose the back detail, v the neckline, raise the hem, and add Burberry Delabole lemon yellow high heel sandals and Tiffany rhodochrosite earrings. (She may have worn them before, but they would be stunning against her hair.) Cut the hair to just below shoulder length.

  • Renee

    I want to know who told her that the shoes match the dress?

    • Dagney

      right? that’s the kind of advice you get from your mother when you are 13 years old and going to your first school dance.

  • A push-up, not because she’s lacking in any way but because it will alleviate the problems in the neckline/bust area. Bring the hemline up, tear off the sleeves. It’s July. Give her a great geometric cuff in maybe a hematite color, and trade out those nasty blue pumps for sandals in a complementary metallic. Give her hair a little volume at the crown and pin it back on the sides, like a modern Barbara Stanwyck. Something sleek and maybe dangling at the ears.

    • makeityourself

      I am with you all the way. But we also need to let out the side seams from the waist down.

  • spirit52

    LMAO@ “Pinterest Braid’!!! As for the Look…I like your suggestions. But if we’re going to go that far-just get a new frock altogether!

  • cocohall

    Lose the sleeves, lengthen to full gown, possibly with a train. Big diamonds on the ears. Different shoe color. Bracelets or at least a beautiful ring. Then send to Michelle Obama because clearly no longer appropriate for this event. Ms. Debra goes home and tries again.

  • halleygee

    My first reaction to this was that looks like Joan Holloway’s dress.

    • Kelly

      Yes! My thoughts, too.

  • Imasewsure

    Love the color; ok with the dress from the front (even though the changes would be an improvement); ok with the hair this time since it looks so lush. Nice effort overall from someone who has been fashion-flailing lately

  • VictoriaDiNardo

    V in the back, big sparkly brooch, black stilettos, red lipstick ( lose the smile ) and a cigarette in a holder and show up as Margo Channing!

  • MilaXX

    I like the dress, butt cape and all. However if she’s going to do a tricky neckline in the summer, I’d remove the sleeves and take the dress up a few inches to just at the knee. I’d burn those shoes and replace them with a cute sandal and give her s few skinny bracelets.

  • Zeee

    GAWD, she looks great in that color!!

  • alyce1213

    To me, this is the best she’s looked in awhile, hair included. I don’t like the back of the dress but pics from the front are fine. And the shoes are wrong.

  • Gatto Nero

    The color is beautiful on her, but the high neckline isn’t flattering, and the mud flap has to go — as do the off-matchy shoes.

  • Scott Cooper

    Take the sleeves off the dress completely. Cut out the back. Agree with burning the butt cape. Copper strappy sandal and a strand of copper beads.

    If ever an actress needed a hair make-over, it’s Debra Messing. I’d give her an asymmetrical bob and a softer red. That color she’s sporting looks like it came straight out of the bottle, And her make-up definitely needs an update. Soften the eyes and eybrows, and some color on the lip.

  • crash1212

    I wouldn’t change anything about the dress. She looks fabulous in the style and the color sings on her. I like the idea of a kicky floral pump though. The hair is the hair…ain’t never gonna change – although, having said that – it looks really healthy shiny and I like the side part. Makeup is good. Maybe a bracelet.

  • marlie

    I like the dress as-is. Definitely some earrings with more impact, even if they’re still studs. I just might weep if I see another pair of suede shoes in July. So, tomorrow I’ll likely be in tears. I like the idea of a floral shoe, but something with an interesting graphic pattern would work as well.

  • The dress needs to be four inches shorter, and the seams needs a good pressing. She should have a more summery shoe, but I think a floral would be too casual. A geometric pattern would better. She also needs wrist jewelry of some kind.
    And lighten up on the blusher, Debs.

  • Monabel

    The strangely off shoulder seam mesmerises me.( As well as the other strictures.)

  • demidaemon

    Shoes and butt cape must die. I think this look, with a fitted pencil skirt shape, could be gangbusters. Definitely needs different accessories, though.

  • mrspotts66

    i think she looks fantastic. the first picture (without the crazy eyes) reminds me of “will & grace”.
    the shoes suck, but meh.
    i like the dress. a lot.

  • Dagney

    I love the color of the dress, though I think she could stand to shorten the hem to at or above the knee. The shoes are awful, too “dyed to match.” What about…..jeez, ANYthing else? Gunmetal? Animal print? And the makeup….oh sigh….she is so striking. Why WHY all the tire track blush and Clinique makeup counter eyeshadow? She could have easily gone with half the amount of makeup and looked ten times better.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    I’m totally onboard with getting rid of the butt-cape effect and burn the shoes. The floral pumps sound like a good idea as well. Maybe a shorter sleeve, too. Keep the jewelry simple.

  • Man Dala

    The fabric and stitching look really cheap in the close up. Like a recycled drape or something.

  • Jacob Bowen

    I LOVE the front of the dress and would give her a white (or yellow, but I don’t want to be cliche) heel, keep the hair this way, but add a droplet dangling earring.

  • Constant Reader

    My initial impression is that I love the color, her hair, and the general old-Hollywood vibe. Where it falls apart for me is in the details. I agree with all your changes and of course I want some jewelry, STAT. But compared to some of what Debra wears, this is a step in a good direction.

  • ShaoLinKitten

    HATE HATE HATE the shoes. The dress looks cool from the front, but the weird back flap makes her butt look poofy. From the shins up, it’s a near miss from great.

  • understateddiva

    give it a nice drapey open back, and for some reason, I want houndstooth shoes. Can’t say why, I just want ’em.

  • deech_sea

    I can’t think about what Debra Messing is wearing. I’m too dazzled by those boots the model is wearing.

  • GemFemme

    Get rid of the buttflap. Change the sleeve length to cap length. Change the neckline to a boat neck. Lengthen the skirt about 2 inches. Silver FM shoes. Keep the hair.

  • sleepycat

    a gold or silver statement/bib necklace and matching gold/silver sandals, tact the panel to the dress with a subtle drape to create an asym hem, and finally a few subtle rings matched to the necklace

  • peter.v

    Looks like a dead-of-winter fabric. Use it as a tablecloth, maybe, on the Hanukkah table with some dreidels and gold coins?

  • Shawn EH

    Very pretty, attagirl from me! I love the floral shoes idea, though, that would have really been more chic!

  • quiltrx

    That color is great on her. Drape the neckline a bit, lose the ass-flap, I’m thinking go longer with the sleeves to a true 3/4 (making it not this season, but anyway). Floral pumps would be awesome.
    And where are her crazy eyes? I miss them when they’re gone.

  • PeaceBang

    I’d like to take a Q-Tip and remove all of that icky blue eyeliner.

  • Haley Buchanan

    Maybe she needs a new hair color? The red is undoubtedly her signature, and seems to flatter her, but it seems so very stale after all of these years. I’d love to see her as a brunette to spice things up a bit.

  • MaggieSays

    Regarding the hair: Brush out the curl more. It’s looking a little bit like a fresh hot roller set. Her hair can look overworked so quickly, so it’s nice to see it not looking super straight and breaking at the roots.

  • gitchygitchymama

    she just came from being a bridesmaid at her friends 8th wedding. it was at the waldorf. are we sure it’s not on backwards?

  • The last “blue on blue” combo I gagged at was in LA, running into Lisa Vanderpump in a blue brocade dress (way too tight) with matching blue (I kid you not) suede shoes! Both so so wrong!

  • MichelleRafter

    The dress is bad, but she’s looking fantastic! Happier, peppier, just all around better.

  • Columbinia



  • AmeliaEve

    The dress is a good color and pretty good fit. Besides the horrors of the butt cape, I don’t like the way the shoulders are dropped. Keep the sleeves, but pull them up to a natural shoulder, and maybe put some drape in the neckline. Back slit in place of the cape. I’d like a coral shoe, a sandal to look a bit more modern and summery, and big bold earrings.

  • Gorengirl

    Best she has looked in a long time…I like the dress… She still has crazy eyes though….

  • Rain Jezek

    Keep the neckline as it is but give it a scooped back, then the neckline would be a pretty sort of draping with a nice movement down the back. Get rid of the butt flap and pin her hair up.