CMA Awards Fug or Fab: Kelly Clarkson


I was going to fug this. And then I was going to give it a Well Played. I was swinging like a tire roped to a tree in some warmly lit Cialis commercial.

In the pro column, as someone said to us on Twitter, it does have an aura of a royal decoration. Our Tweeter likened it to a Tudor tapestry; I would’ve gone for wallpaper or a chair covering ¬†somewhere in Windsor Castle. It’s sumptuous. But then we get to the cons: ¬†What is happening with her left boob? Does the high waist on the skirt seem constricting to anyone else? Is the whole thing royal in the way where you suspect this is the wrapping paper the Queen has used on everyone’s birthday gifts since 1968?

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[Photo: Getty]

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Comments (38):

  1. Lindy

    Kelly Clarkson is a cute, young woman but that brocade-like fabric is horribly aging. Helen Mirren would think this look was matronly.

  2. Lucille Austero

    Stop swinging, it’s fab. The fabric reminds me more of a cheongsam than Her Majesty’s wrapping paper, and I like the way the cut of the dress plays against the asian pattern. And I love the shoes.

  3. Mouse

    I can’t lie. I love Kelly Clarkson so my opinion of this dress is completely biased by that. I think she looks great.

  4. Adriana

    I love it, but it looks too “Adele-ish”, for me to appreciate it on Kelly on her own merits.

  5. lilywise

    I think she looks fantastic. The length is perfect for her, the shoes look good both on her and with the dress, the fabric is interesting, it fits beautifully, and her hair looks lovely. I got no complaints.

  6. Dara Smith

    I love this so much! I think it’s the long sleeves combined with the heaviness of the fabric – it makes her look comfortable without being frumpy. The mix of patterns and the richness of the colors are all horribly sumptuous. Seriously. I want this dress.

  7. Stefanie

    It’s strange. I want it in my closet – NOW! But I wouldn’t actually ever wear it because I find it old fashioned looking in a bad way.

    Clearly I chose Both.

  8. pantsonfire

    I think this is the best I’ve ever seen her look. Definitely top three outfits. This is just head and shoulders above what she normally wears. I’m partial to the tapestry look, so that’s a plus for me. And the shape suits her.

    I will say that I detest that particular shade of blonde on her (and anyone, actually). It’s unnatural and unflattering (and clashes with the dress!).

    • anonymoose

      Pantsonfire, I’m 100% with you on the hair. You nailed it. Ring that loud and clear!

      I hate the golf clubs on Ms. Clarkson’s feet. (Or on anyone who opts for such inelegant footwear.)

      But the dress is fit and cut superbly. Despite the flinchy top and bottom parts of this look, she looks exceptionally fantastic!

  9. witjunkie

    I appreciate the seasonal colors while thinking the whole thing is sort of dull – colorwise – I have Concerns about what appears to be sheer on her bodice, but am too lazy to zoom…but it fits nicely…so I’m right there with you.

  10. Carolina Girl

    Kelly looks good here. Especially compared with the out and out crackitude of Carrie Underwood.

  11. Elaine

    i think this is an “un-fug it up”… i would like it if it were all black, or all rust-colored… but with the pattern, the boobsheer, the jeweled border on the boobsheer, the long sleeves, high neck, AND color-block-ish stuff, its just too much.

    i’m all about those shoes though.

    • Elaine

      AND the belt-y thing, and the sequins or beads in the center of some-but-not-all of the flowers. there’s just a whole lot going on.

  12. Rebecca H

    I think the cut is tremendous on her. It’s really quite flattering. The pattern has some great aspects to it but I don’t think it reaches its full potential.

    • Conchobara

      And, seriously, compared to what she’s usually wearing?? Sartorial Win!

  13. Lynne

    She looks lovely but I’m not totally sold on how heavy that dress looks. Also, the size of those platforms makes her look like she has hooves. Ease up on the platform. Please.

  14. Vandalfan

    It’s resplendent upholstery. The gold overlay on the rust is good; the fullness and stiffness somehow works in the skirt and I like the semi-random polka dots. But it goes all wonkus at the bodice, with the sheer, the black sleeves, etc. Her rust colored obi should be either wider or thinner.

  15. Shelley

    I think she looks beautiful. This is not a dress I would wear, but it looks fantastic on her!!!!

  16. val.

    It looks great on her. Really flattering. Perhaps more appropriate for a Christmas concert?

  17. maryse

    i think the shape of this dress is great on her. i hate the shoes. i’m meh on the fabric. but overall she looks good.

  18. PegMN

    I’m really tired of platforms on pumps. That is all.

  19. Helen

    Another who’s over the platforms, WAY over, but I understand why petite Kelly would want them onstage, so I give her a pass. A little grudgingly.

    Overall, love the dress on her. My only quarrel, a very minor one, is that I (and I see I’m not alone there) think it’s Christmas-y, and IMO that’s rushing the season. But the fit, the colors, all fab.

  20. Susan

    I first thought no but now I think yes.

  21. Bella

    Best I’ve seen Kelly look for a long time. That’s a perfect cut of dress for her.

  22. Sandra

    I like the dress, but not for the CMAs. Maybe for an ABT or Met Gala.

  23. Angela

    Follow the tags to see what Kelly normally dresses herself in. Then ye shall see how this is so FAB!

  24. Sajorina

    I like it, but I would love it if the shirt fabric ran all the way down to the waist band and the skirt fabric started under the waistband! That piece of skirt fabric over the waistband is driving me nuts! 1/2 FAB!

  25. Chrissy

    I like the bottom half.

  26. Helen

    I know we’re not supposed to comment on body shape etc, so I’ll just say that Kelly is looking really good and in this dress, with those shoes, her legs are great. Knee-length looks good on her. Well done, anonymous stylist!

    • Helen

      How embarrassing, we’re wearing the same thing.

      Who knew there were two of us? Not the most common name anymore. Shall I add something to mine so people can differentiate?

  27. Petrova Fossil

    The material of the bottom half looks like the Nicole Miller dress I wore to my wedding. Rust colored silk with an overlay of gold/bronze lace. I’m confused by whats going on above the waist, but the cut is great on her.

  28. Sarah

    Love her!

  29. ErinE

    It’s really flattering on her. I would like it a lot more if it were all dark

  30. Elizabeth Gorman

    I like the dress’s shape but hate the fabric. If it was a solid color, or even all one pattern, she’d really look good.

  31. Mina

    She pulls it off and I think she looks terrific.

  32. Mina

    More importantly, she looks really COMFY — like she likes herself in that dress. You can tell when a woman is liking how she looks and I think Clarkson liked herself in the dress. That matters.

  33. Helen

    Late addendum: Clarkson’s manicure also got a lot of positive attention. She’s wearing an Essie color called, appropriately enough with this outfit, “Little Brown Dress”! Cute.