CMA Awards Fug Carpet: Jennifer Nettles

This was a tough one for me. I started out as a Well Played — in fact, I thought this was Ellen Pompeo at first, and I was like, “DAMN, Ellen Pompeo has never looked this good!”

But it’s not Ellen — it’s Jennifer Nettles, of Sugarland. I KNOW. Tough to tell. Anyway, the color is lovely on her, there’s an elegance there… a reader emailed us to laud this by saying it’s a really hard dress to pull off, and I think that’s true. Especially when I saw it from a different angle, which is when my opinion changed:

Most of us — okay, maybe just me, I don’t know — spend a lot of time stressing about our butts, and our hips, and whether things are wide or droopy or saggy or floppy. Because it’s human nature to care even if we don’t let it get us down. So the idea that any designer would make a dress that rolls all those things into one… yes, it’s clear that it’s the dress and not Jennifer’s figure, but at what cost? It’s not like the line of the gown is so alluring that it’s worth the visual allusion to saddlebags. Especially when the slit comes in and bisects them. I don’t know. Am I just being too hard on it? I just think it might be the fancypants equivalent of Mom jeans: lumpy, unfortunate, easily avoided.

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[Photos: Getty]

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Comments (24):

  1. Sandra

    It COULD HAVE BEEN glorious, but it is not. Even in the first picture I was all “why does she have Dumbo’s ears stapled to her hips?” And then the front just makes it so much worse.

  2. Visiteuse Random

    SO, so close.
    It could have been perfection, the epitomy of delicate and retro and ladylike and so forth.

    … and then that horrendous slit happened.

    Oh, the humanity.

  3. Miranda

    A more fitted bodice would have helped a lot, I think. Her waist is disappearing a little bit.

    • Laucie

      I like the neckline and shoulders, so the bodice doesn’t bother me. If the slit was closed (some or totally) and the valances on the hips were gone, it would actually be pretty sleek.

  4. Gine

    Yeah, it’s the slit that kills it for me more than the fabric at the hips. Too bad, because it’s really interesting and I love the color.

  5. Miss Moppet

    Miranda I was going to say that very thing. I think the hip part wouldn’t look so bad if the to were more fitted to her form. Then it would look more architectural and structured rather than a sad baggy celery colored sack.

    Until I see the dress with a better bodice, I can’t say if I think the slit would be terrible but as it stands, the slit makes me sad like a set of old dusty drapes gaping open to show that the view is nothing but a brick wall.

  6. TonyG

    LOL @ Miss Moppet’s brick wall reveal comment precisely because I cannot imagine her walls being brick, well, at least not for Tim McGraw.

  7. nicola

    It was lovely in the first picture – then I saw that slit. ACK! Lady bits are not formal wear.

  8. Brooke

    It is too much dress for such a small girl.

  9. Chris

    Oh please. Jennifer Lopez’s slit at the People’s Choice was even higher (and far more in danger of revealing her lady cave, even if it was on the side). It’s high, but unless she’s standing out in a hurricane we’ll be spared images of her Fug Circle.

    Anyway. I think a lot of it is angle. Using the J.Lo dress again, I loved it in the red carpet shot, and thought it was worse when she was on stage. Same here – it’s great on the red carpet, but the way it draped on stage is unfortunate. Basically, I see your point, but comparing it to mom jeans is going too far.

    • ChristopherD

      “Ladycave”? Ahahahahahaha…
      but on another note, has the world gone blind? This dress is awful (slit/hip bags) and without it’d be just boring.
      However the colour in the first photo is nice on her.

  10. Claire

    She’s one of those people who I find delightful enough that I’m willing to give her a pass (that she is BFFs with Matt Nathanson helps her case)

  11. Pink Coat

    Dude! At first glance, I totally thought it was Ellen Pompeo too!

  12. Ranee Singleton

    She is awesome and can do no wrong in my book. So she gets multiple free passes from me. Even with hip slings.

  13. nmlhats

    Lose the giant slit all the way up the front of the skirt, and suddenly I like it a lot better.

  14. kgb

    Whilst I agree that the dress is not “flattering” in a “poured into an Herve Leger redux by Max Azria dress” kind of way, I do think that the wearer looks both chic, proper and sexy. Those three are difficult to carry with the two arms that we all have, so I’d call her ability to do so a great success. One doesn’t have to be perfectly proportioned to be fashionable and while this young woman may well be so, the dress does not depend on it and therefore begs the questions of “what else would one like to know about her?” That is 21st century sexy if I’ve ever seen it.

  15. burningchrome

    why would ellen what’s-her-name be at the cma’s? (i had to google her) it’s obvious to me it’s miss nettles and she looks resplendent as usual. i do agree the slit may be a little high, but i’m not gonna complain about it.

  16. Veronica

    Get rid of the slit down the middle and the draping fabric on the side, and you have one truly fabulous dress.

  17. Veronica

    Editing to add that I think she looks amazing. I don’t mind her showing a little leg, I just think the slit up the front ruins the flow of the dress.

  18. lisas

    I don’t like anything about this look. I hate the hair and makeup, I hate the saddlebags and definitely hated them in the first picture, and the slit downgrades the dress from poorly considered into tacky. The beading is awful. The bodice is lazy.

    Ok I take it back, there’s one thing I like. I like the colour.

  19. vandalfan

    It’s like her pockets are turned inside out, and the bodice gives her droopy ladyfronts. But the jayjay ventilation simply make this unsalvageable. Take the pretty fabric and start again.

  20. yeahandalso

    why do her arms look all bruised?

  21. Angela

    Jennifer had bruises all down her arm?

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