Fab or Unfug It Up: Cobie Smulders


It feels like Cobie Smulders might be trying to fill the Gwynnie void at the Avengers events — granted, I think Gwyneth’s role amounts to a cameo, but she’s been nowhere near any of these premieres, and so Cobie is stepping in with some welcome drama.

I want to love this. And I don’t unreservedly hate it. But let’s start at the top: Though not awful, I can’t divorce the whole updo-with-jammed-on-headband from what I do with my hair when it’s just not cooperating and I just need to go buy groceries MY GOD, WHY CAN’T MY HAIR COOPERATE LONG ENOUGH FOR SOME DELI HAM, and so it’s tough for me to understand it on the red carpet. Are these headbands emergency measures? Was their a hairtastrophe I did not know about? Otherwise, why? It’s not even a particularly interesting headband. It looks like twine, and reminds me unfavorably of the time an elderly man with a string tied around his forehead tried to kiss me on Halloween after I beat him at billiards. We left that bar. I believe I was dressed as Hilary Duff, from back when she was feuding with people, though my memory cannot confirm this.

Point two: I think the bodice might be interesting, were it not potentially baggy at the boobal region.

Point three: The fishtail brings some drama, but would it have been better if that portion of the skirt was, in fact, the whole skirt? If it started at her waist and gave a graceful finish to this? Or should it all have stayed sleek?

Point four: Is that satin down there? Or velvet? Why does it look like really cheap Astroturf in this photo, like what Cee Lo Green would put in if he built a flag football stadium in his mansion yard?

Point five: Does that look very comfortable to walk in? Should we care that we can see her buttocks’ Bermuda Triangle?

But the thing is, I also do applaud her for going dramatic, and part me thinks she’s carrying it off as well as possible. The other part of me just likes her, and enjoys imagining her and her boyfriend Taran Killam Skyping over dinner while he practices his Michael Cera impersonation. I don’t know. I’m trying? And I feel like I’m supposed to want to clap? But my hands aren’t doing the work.

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[Photos: Getty]

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Comments (40):

  1. Megan

    I had a long, complex list of things I’d change on this dress – starting with the color, because it looks like it’s camouflage for the red carpet – but then decided that eh, she should have just worn a completely different dress that actually fits.


  2. Carolina Girl

    That’s a whole lotta look for this event. Also, she does not have the ass to carry that dress off. Something simpler would have suited her better.

  3. Katharine

    I started out rather liking the effect, but now that I’ve seen the closeup, I’m going to go with “no. Hella no.” That thing looks like it was sewn in the dark out of a bolt of vintage 60s polyester by the Three Blind Mice, all weird buckling seams and unfinished edges and what the hell IS that ugly quilted detail? No.

    And I agree that the silhouette of the skirt isn’t quite working with the silhouette of her body, and it must be unpleasantly heavy, given the way she’s slouching like an octogenarian in the walking picture.

  4. LadyB

    It just seems like a lot of fabric to me. I would remove the sleeves and get rid of the red frou frou on the bottom. The trumpet skirt should start higher and have less volume.

  5. Caz

    Cut the whole skirt off, take the bottom half of it and sow it to the top.
    Less drama ? yes. But also less showing of the flat droopy bum.

    • zah

      i think maybe her bad posture is also to blame for a so-called flat droopy bum….i doubt this girl has any droop to her.

      • L

        Yep, it’s definitely her posture. She’s bangin’! “I said a bang bang a bangity bang I said a bang bang bangity bang”

  6. christine christine

    Why is Gray Jacket Man giving her the Stink Eye? is what I want to know.

  7. namidu

    I was 100% willing to play along until I got to the bottom. Because those ruffles in that colour make the dress look like it’s made out of one of those old-timey shower curtains you can get at Sears. The ones that have matching bathroom accessories. All she needs is a hat made from one of those fuzzy toilet seat covers to complete the illusion.

  8. Lindy

    Overly designed, too many ideas, too much trim, too much fishtail, just not good.

  9. Noire

    As Tim Gunn would say, “that is a lot of look”. He might also say that this dress is wearing the girl, and not the other way around. I dont think the color is good for her, and I think this dress has waaaay too much going on between the back cut out, the keyhole front, and whatever is happening down around the bottom.

    I think Cobie feels a bit uncomfortable in it too… or she just has really bad posture and I never noticed it before.

  10. Wordphreak

    The fishtail is just awful and should be chopped off. She/the dress also looks really awkward walking away.

  11. Ruth

    The fishtail skirt has echoes of a Wild West Saloon.

  12. that girl

    The color and fabric remind me of a onsie/men’s long underwear.

  13. Sandra

    This dress doesn’t suit her at all. Start over with something that isn’t second cousin to a sausage-casing. She’s a lovely woman, but the dress is just bad.

  14. witjunkie

    In the closeup, the bottom looks like those paper accordian pleated thingeys that are flat and open up to colorful Christmas bells, and/or sombreros.

  15. Chasmosaur

    Okay, this is an Alexandra Vidal


    Looking over the collection, I would have liked to have seen her in the first dress I think – the skirt works better there. But we should be grateful she skipped the feathered peplum. If nothing else, we would have had to have a Peplum-Off. No one wants that on a Friday.

    • G

      I think we can blame the designer here. That dress was just as horribly unflattering to the runway model’s figure as it is to Cobie’s.

  16. Mare

    The hair is really annoying, and the skirt doesn’t seem to match the tailored top of the dress. I think her bad posture can be chalked up to difficulty walking in the fishtail. Poor thing.

  17. Improbable Joe

    I think the trim at the bottom is made out of red Snuggie… and the dress is the same color as a Snuggie, right? Plus, her butt looks weird, the back hole is silly, and the front has too much detail weirdness across her chest. Maybe it was made for Iron Man, since it has a triangle cut-out for his light-up battery thingy.

  18. elle

    What about the thumb cutouts that she folded back, so now she has cuffs adding to the convoluted mid century design? whither the stylist?

  19. vandalfan

    Too much muchness. It didn’t look so hot on the runway either, frankly. Some things need to go, either the accordion- pleated asymmetrical fishtail skirt, or the searing color, or the long, cuffed sleeves, or the quilting detail on the bodice. I’m sure her bottom is not as droopy as this makes it look. Her hair is indeed a hairtastrophe. And one side of the odd round collar-neckline is turned under.

  20. Bob Stanley

    I agree with all of your criticisms of the dress but then I think it’s a tad “different” and not unflattering so why not?

    The hair and headband make it look like she got ready to wear a wig and then ran out the door without it.

  21. Sajorina

    I like it! I think the dress is lovely except for the dust ruffle! And, I hate that hairband!

  22. Kris M

    I think it’s a scrolldown fug. I like it until the knees. How cute would this be if it were a pencil skirt instead of a duster!
    And as someone with the unfortunate genetics for my uneven proportions to be relatively bottom heavy, sometimes it’s just hard to find a dress that’s well fitting on top…

  23. Bottle Ginger

    Sorry, but tight mermaid dresses should only be worn by women with spectacular butts.

    And really, the mermaid skirt doesn’t go with the sleek, elegan top. The c lean, classic lines of the top should go all the way to the hem, not change into a dust ruffle,

  24. Charley

    Chop off the sleeves and make the skirt full, and poof, still not fantastic, but the best this dress can hope for.

  25. fritanga

    First things first: where the hell is she, the damn Oscars? Talk about overkill. You’re at the premiere of a movie based on comic book characters, lady. I know you probably think you’ll never have another chance to wear such a huge “statement” dress, but really.

    It’s too much. Too much color, too much fabric, TOO MUCH. She doesn’t have the personality to carry any of it off. And the headband is terrible.

  26. Clarisse

    Sorry. For those of us who live in Europe and maybe under a rock: who is she? And is this the Oscars yet again? Yeah- thought not. ;-)


  27. JeanneMorelle

    This dress says “1970s” to me, from the waist up.

    Therefore a gathered skirt from the waist would give that “mid-19th century and pregnant” look. And they didn’t do fishtails in the seventies, or not many. A long, straight, pencil-y skirt, maybe with a slit, would be great.

    The colour is the worst possible for a red carpet, and not flattering to her. Remember the “cherry red” dress in Henry James’s The Heiress.?

  28. crystal

    I don’t know if it’s the hair or the dress or just the fact that Cobie Smulders is just not someone I think of as DRAMATIC, but it’s just not working. She’s perfectly lovely and hilarious and wonderful, but she just looks awkward & like she’s trying a wee bit too hard in this. Just do you, Cobie!

  29. Mahastee

    I am fine with the hair, but that is too much dress.

  30. Belle Monde

    Fabulous dress.

    Belle Monde

  31. Alice

    This event needs a more simple dress, this is too Oscars, particularly considering her small role in the film. and the headband makes it look like gym hair – she’s got 2 different looks on and neither are right for the event.

    That said, love her, and think styled slightly better she could rock that dress.

  32. TonyG

    Because I wasn’t sure who he was, I just Googled “Taran Killan Skyping” as if that was his entire name…tee hee.

    Like the dress from the waist on down and the sleeves; the top (both the front and the back) not as much.

  33. Linda

    WAY too much fabric, WAY too much red. It makes me itchy & uncomfortable just looking at it.

    Is Cobie in The Avengers? Is she avenging or just a civilian?

    I take it The GOOP Princess sat this one out?

  34. nmlhats

    Too many holes. Keep the detailing, but close the hole in the front. Keep the open back.

  35. Jenna

    Anyone else notice what looks like thumb holes on the sleeves? That’s the only part of this dress I don’t love.

  36. Kate

    Close the back. Chop off the crazy skirt and make it knee length. Add very high heels. Stand up straight. Now we are in business.