Fug Madness 2013, Round One: Bjork Bracket, pt. I

As a refresher: The photos and links in each matchup are NOT the only outfits eligible; rather, they’re a representative sample of the body of work. Polls close after 24 hours, so if you like to research your choices — on our site, Getty Images, Google, whatever — have at it and just make sure you vote before the game ends. Enjoy.


Okay, in fairness, I am pretty sure Katy Perry is wearing this hideous Christmas sweater dress to be amusing:

But I couldn’t resist including it. It says something about a woman that she’s willing to commit to going out in public wearing this insane sweater. With her boyfriend, no less (John Mayer, I mean, not Santa. As far as I know). It’s FESTIVE and BOLD! Sadly, this year has been less festive than usual for Katy, if no less bold — and consistently thematic, if we’re going to take her inaugural ensemble into account, which we should. Her divorce from Russell Brand must have bummed her out.

See? Bummer:

Even worse, that was kind of a naked bummer. If you’re going to get nekkid, might as well have fun with it. And boy did she get naked this Fug Madness Season, if joylessly. Behold her — AND SO MUCH MORE:

THAT was a bad idea. As was this, and not only because it clarified the question: Does Katy Perry Own More Than One Pair of Granny Panties?

She does! And she is gonna wear them in public!

THIS was subtle:

Leave the nude bodysuit to Britney Spears, girl. That is actually one of my life rules — along with “don’t catch on fire” and “try not to choke on that sandwich.” This was a Much Music performance, and you seriously need to look at the rest of the stuff she trotted out in Canada. Let’s just say, SOME HARD CHOICES WERE MADE.

Katy also made a variety of CHOICES on the red carpet:

Let me remind you, the above was NOT worn at a costume party. I repeat, that event was NOT A COSTUME PARTY.

Nor was this, although it was the premiere of her movie I Kissed A Girl or whatever she named it, and presumably a lady can wear whatever costume she likes to her movie premiere:

Apparently, her self-inflicted dress code for the London premiere was BRITISH BALLERINA WHO FEARS RAIN.

But I kind of half to give her half-hearted and half-assed props for this:

Not because it’s GOOD, but because it’s perfectly coordinated with any slime to be found at this event. I appreciate a girl who thinks ahead to coordinate her dress with whatever viscous substances she might later find on her head. And of course, this is but a handful of Katy’s output for the year.

Less prolific but perhaps no less fugly (that point is up to you) is poor Gemma Arterton, whose starring role in the surely-embarrassing Hansel & Gretel: This Sat On a Shelf For Ages For A Reason also landed her a Fug Madness debut:

This should have been separates. Right? I do appreciate that it’s kind of like what would happen if Vegas opened a library.

This never worked on anyone:

Were we talking about bold? Because that’s a good euphemism for what this is:

This is just misguided:

And this is….what’s a stronger word than misguided?

All of its fabric appears that it’s being sucked inside her body. Which really isn’t where you want your dress to go.

Archives: Katy PerryGemma Arterton


There are a lot of body parts in this match-up, and a bunch of them belong to Krysten Ritter. But the erstwhile B does NOT bring rainbow fringe to her wardrobe, and that could be her undoing:

What she does bring is — like Katy Perry before her — granny panties:

Minaj — whose archives you MUST examine, as they are a treasure trove well above and beyond what I’ve chosen for this post — calls those panties and ups the ante with a bra that appears to be covered in barnacles. What would we call that? BRANACLES? HAHAHAHAHHA I SLAY ME:

ACTUALLY, they might be cupcakes, but there aren’t nearly as many elegant portmanteux for “cupcake bra.”

Not content with only getting one wear out of her Giant Pants (as Bridget Jones would put it), Ritter brought us this — with a side of Really Weird Bangs:

I do think these women would bond over what appears to be a shared love of the color pink. Behold what Nicki wore to her perfume release party:

Yet another bra top, fighting the onslaught of granny panties. I think it’s entirely possible that Nicki Minaj has a room in her house devoted entirely to whimsical bra tops.

Whereas all of Ritter’s wardrobe involves Unusual Flashes of Skin. Which can be effective when used properly, but this is….

Not. It is, in fact, VERY CLOSE to making a break for Bra-Top-ville. Of which Minaj is the mayor! You can tell she’s in charge because she’s wearing a hat:

And yes, those are trolls on her tights. Better on her tights than in our comments section, right?

Meanwhile,  Ritter continued blazing through the year wearing incomplete items:

Amusingly, it looks like Nicki took that partial dress and chopped it in two and decided to sport it as YES WAIT FOR IT a quasi-bra top:

She at least has the consolation of knowing that however this bracket turns out for her, she will always look a little bit like a superhero. And Krysten will always be able to call up the Beek and make him tell her he doesn’t want her life. They both win.

Archives: Nicki Minaj, Krysten Ritter


A few words about Lindsay Lohan. There are those of you who believe she ought to qualify for The Britney Rule — namely, that she has enough problems that we should stop covering her. While we respect that point of view, we believe that Lindsay’s current issues are very much Fifth Verse Same As The First, and the only reason she is currently going to court-ordered rehab is to avoid going to court-ordered jail. She’s certainly a habitual liar with terrible parents who makes bad life choices, but if that was the only thing that disqualified you for Fug Madness, we’d have far fewer contestants. But if you don’t think Lilo should continue in this contest, please vote for Alexa!

That is, if you can resist the lure of this:

Like seven to ten animals died for that outfit and while I eat meat and wear leather myself, I can not sign off on the notion of wearing THIS MANY CREATURES at once. AT THE AIRPORT. I long for the leggings.

On the other hand, is this an improvement?



On the other hand, pants are probably relieved not to have had their good name associated with the gown Lindsay wore to the premiere of Liz and Dick (which was a blight upon the land, but had nothing to do with her wardrobe this year. AS FAR AS WE KNOW):


Let’s pop over to Casa Alexa Chung and see what’s brewing on the other side of the pond (here are her archives, if you must dig deep). I must wonder how long The Universe is going to try to make Alexa Chung happen in the United States. And if these ruffly pantaloons will help at all:

And then, like Maude, there’s THIS:

Alexa loves layering, which will probably be the title of her new show on Oxygen:

She can not get enough of her white shirt and she will NOT allow it to be worn on its own. Like a child, it needs constant coverage:

Maybe Alexa Chung is to her white shirt as Zooey Deschanel is to her black tights — a little bit of fashion algebra I plan to work on while you vote.

Archives: Lilo, Alexa Chung


I enjoy that this match-up is basically two smart, talented ladies who may have made some fashion missteps but at least rarely appear tacky.  Sometimes it’s MUCH harder to vote when neither woman is taking a regular trip down to Hoochietown.

Also, Naomi is often accessorized with Liev, which you guys will appreciate:

That coat is painful and she wears it all the time. It’s her formal coat and I wish it looked less like an envelope. I do enjoy how drunk Liev looks here, though. These two often look a little cranky with each other, so it’s nice to see them looking jovial, even if one of them IS wearing a pillowcase.

Watts looked pretty good during awards season, but she had a rough start to the year. I can not, for example, with this:

Likewise, I Can Not with The Curious Incident of The Sleeves. (I CAN, however, with the super skeptical look on that one photographer, though. That girl is totally part of Fug Nation.)

And you know that my softening feelings toward jumpsuits do not extend to this one:

Although I adore her for playing beer pong on TV.

Speaking of jumpsuits:

I mean…it’s not….the worst jumpsuit that ever happened? That’s damning with faint praise (although I do really like her hair in the pixie).

And if Naomi is well-accessorized with Liev, Lena did not go wrong with Hamish Bowles, on whom I have a standing fashion week crush (bring back the ‘stache, Hamish!):

I actually did not hate that dress, either. I didn’t love it, but at least it fit her, and the color was fun.

I was similarly neutral on this — it would have been more successful if she didn’t look like she had just been run over by a bus, which is actually my feeling about Girls in general — although I continue to think her head looks really good. Both of the women here at least almost always bring good head…I am going to stop typing right now.

Lena never met a strapless dress she didn’t like:

And I never get sick of reminding you to be sure to look at the archives before you vote:

Archives: Naomi Watts, Lena Dunham

Leave a reply

Comments (56):

  1. jen310

    Aaarrrgggh!!!! There are polls missing. Send help, Fug Girls.

  2. shakeit

    is it just me or are the vote buttons missing for everyone but watts v. dunham?

  3. Allie

    Polls are missing for me too.

  4. cass

    I can only see a poll for Dunham vs. Naomi… where are the others?

  5. Amanda6

    Alack! Polls are MIA!

  6. Elizabeth

    The voting option isn’t showing up on anybody but the last match-up.

  7. Jessica

    They are back. UGH

  8. Elizabeth

    Never mind.

  9. ML

    Except for Katy and Nicki, I’m gonna blow this bracket. But I have learned that you really can’t go wrong with Nicki Minaj. Girlfriend will pull something out of her you-know-what — I mean, literally she will, like, as part of the outfit — and it’s all good in the hood again and you live to play another day. DANG YOU, ALEXA CHUNG, I EXPECTED SO MUCH LESS FROM YOU THIS YEAR AND YOU ARE OUTFUGGED BY LILO? SHOO! SHOO! GIT!

  10. Heather

    They are back! Our polling plug-in was deleted so we have to use an outside site for them now, and… they keep disappearing. It is… interesting. IT. HAS. BEEN. A. WEEK.

    • Helen

      Still missing on Saoirse Ronan from yesterday, too – there’s a bewildering poll ID, so I gather there’s supposed to be one, but that’s all.

      I liked your plug-in format better anyway, because it bolded our own choices so we could compare with the others when there are multiples. Oh well. It’s still fun to vote!

      • Heather

        It wasn’t our choice — our tech people said it was possibly the cause of the malware problems. And deleted it without telling us.

  11. Helen

    What IS it with Dunham and ill-fitting strapless? I chose her based on that alone.

    Also Perry, Minaj, and Lohan. These were all pretty easy calls for me.

    Now I kind of want a really tough, you-could-almost-flip-a-coin one, again!

    • Trent

      Agree on Lena Dunham. I hate to disagree with the Fug Girls, but that black jumpsuit WAS the worst jumpsuit that ever happened and made Lena look 30 pounds heavier. Also, she needs A) a good bra and B) a stylist who stops sending her strapless dresses.

      Also, Lindsay is going to the finals this year…

  12. Dave

    Commence beating dead horse: I know I’m going to lose this argument like I do every year, but Gemma and Krysten deserve to win over Katy and Nicki because the latter two wear costumes intended specifically to be obnoxious, as opposed to simply dressing poorly.

    OK, I’m done — I won’t bring this up again.

    • ErinE

      I agree with you, mostly, but (as per my comment below), Katy Perry’s fug looks this year were just regular fug, not her usual fug but fun and poppy. She’s a serious contender for me.

      • Heather

        I think people’s opinions often change based on the matchup, which is exactly as it should be — you have your base logic, but sometimes a particular pairing is so crazy that you can’t resist voting the other way.

      • Helen

        Oh, I take your point, Dave, but they’re still ugly costumes.

    • pantsonfire

      I gave this a lot of thought when I saw the matchup between Ritter and Minaj when the brackets were posted. I don’t actually have a standing rule on this issue — I think it’s fine to include both the “clowns” and the serious people, and I just wait to see the context of who they’re battling. In this case, I’m giving the fug to Ritter because she seems to take her fashion choices really seriously (kind of reminds me of Bosworth in that way), which makes the repeated granny panties offenses so much worse.

  13. ErinE

    Wow, I forgot what a fug year katy perry had! And not in her usual excusable “fun” way that I don’t mind (ie: california gurls look)

    • Desiree

      I’m so glad you said that. I was thinking while I was looking at her pictures that my view of her has been distorted and twisted because of how disgusted I was about her “I’m not a feminist” comment and now I can’t tell if her clothes are fugly or if they are ok but I just don’t like anything she does now. I wasn’t sure if I should even vote. Thank you, Erin.

  14. gin_in_teacups

    As always, my extreme dislike for Alexa Chung leaves me conflicted. On one hand I think her outfits are hideous and the fact that she’s supposed to be some kind of fashion icon makes her worthy of advancing to the next round. On the other hand, if she advances then I have to see more of her, and that makes me grumpy.

  15. PeggyOC

    I have to vote for Alexa over LiLo. Lohan is a train wreck and thus her fuggery can be understood (if not condoned). Alexa is constantly billed in the press as being a “fashionista” and yet she never wears anything that that flatters or looks fashionable or even stylish. She just looks like she picked up whatever was on the floor of the closet and called it a day. If you’re going to go by “fashionista” the bar is set higher, and your failures are consequentially bigger.

  16. Anne B

    I am shocked that Naomi isn’t running away with this. Lena Dunham always looks pretty cute (or at least passably normal) to me. Or maybe I’m just down with the generational authenticity of her tattoos. We’ll always know how old she is, amirite?

    Naomi Watts is a very attractive woman who might appear to be aging gracefully if she didn’t dress for every single event in a blackout closet on a five-minute timer. That, my friends, is Fug.

    I am never surprised by the eternal Fug of Katy Perry (Glitter Crotch Naked Onesie!) or the wackadoodle stylings of Nikki Minaj (ruffle bloomers AND gold boots!?), but I think this year’s winner is right in this bracket. And we all know who it is, don’t we?

    Give it up for Cat-Eyes Drunko, the Borrowed Dress Slasher, the first person in history to perfect the mugshot sexyface: Lohan goes to the final.

    I’m calling it now.

  17. Sara

    Lena vs. Naomi was a great match-up, but Naomi looked AWESOME at the SAGs and, more importantly, the Oscars, so I have to go with Lena. Love them both, though.

  18. jen310

    Yay, polls are up!

    Katy and her candy-coated fug never fail to disappoint my quest for full-on fugliness. Her sheer dress, granny-pantied, darker period was just as delightful as well. Keep on fugging on, Katy.

    Nicki Minaj is how I would dress up my Barbies if I – and they – were tripping on acid. That’s just fug goodness right there. Besides, this may be the last of her “I’m the Black Lady Gaga/Katy Perry” period now that she’s going all “serious” fashion. Yeah, right.

    LiLo is just to sad to me at this point. Her fug is both inside and out but while she deserves to be here she’s just to tragic to move forward. Alexa Chung, I will never understand. She’s trying to be fashion forward but she is just fashion fail with everything she clothes her body in – truly fug. Chung FTW.

    Lena Dunham FTW. Why can’t she wear clothes that fit and flatter her body. I know Little Miss Hipster Goddess is not about conforming to society’s idea of the beauty but, damn girl, you don’t have to make yourself look schlumpy. Work that haircut and with what God gave you and show the world that you define your own sense of beauty – that you do care, if just a little.

    • Stefanie

      Oh my god. I could not agree any more this your Lena logic.

    • nicole

      She needs to understand – SATIN IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. take a seat for one minute and you are transported to the Wrinkle Frump Township.

  19. Carolina Girl

    I was pretty much in sync with the voting until I got to Watts v. Dunham. I voted for Naomi because, although Lena looks dreadful most of the time, she’s young and new to getting glammed. Naomi, on the other hand, is an old hand at this and should know better.

    I almost choked on my chicken salad sandwhich when I saw that picture of Nikki Minaj in those pink boots. What are they made of? Duct tape?

  20. Stefanie

    Katy – Just based purely on volume.
    Ritter – Because I HATE Nikki and don’t want to have to look at her. Too bad she’s kicking the shit out of Ritter. (Also, I think this falls into the whole grey area of costuming vs. normal dressing)
    Lohan – For the lips and the disgusting nighty with the cheap jewels and the Little Mermaid Barbie extensions.
    Lena – My biggest issue with Lena is that her clothes do not fit. Watts may look insane, but at least her clothes fit.

  21. Wendy

    Here’s my issue with the fug of Nicki Minaj or Katy Perry vis a vis this competition — the craziness of their outfits is part of an act. It’s performance art. They’re doing it as part of a character or persona that they’ve invented, and much of it is obviously designed to be batshit crazy and get lots of attention. So to me it doesn’t even count. I’m much more interested in the fug of people who are legitimately trying to be stylish or glamorous, but just can’t seem to make it happen.

    That said, I love Fug Madness!

  22. Stripes

    Lohan looks like she moisturizes with dumpster grease, and I still had to vote Chung on this one. That says everything about everything.

  23. Edith

    Lindsay Lohan may have a million excuses for the mess that is her life, but not a single one of them excuses NEVER WEARING A BRA. I actually prefer Nikki’s Bra-without-Top to Lilo’s Top-without-Bra looks.

  24. elisamaza

    As tragic as that 4th shot of Katy Perry is, I fell like her kook-fug is often derivative — a little bit Madonna, a little bit Britney — and always trying a little too hard. So I’m going with Arterton, because what? Why? I’ll admit, though, that I kind of like the spiral/striped one, though only as long as the pale stripes are actual dress (interesting), and not see-through (tacky). It’s a little crazy, but I think it works on her.

    I’m blogging the tournament this year at inmediasrant.blogspot.com, because if there’s a benefit to unemployment, it’s having time to devote to Fug Madness. Well, that and sleeping in.

  25. Tiffany

    I can’t vote? Where should i be looking for the place where i vote? Are they all at the bottom, or under each pairing?

  26. Elizabeth

    Such difficult choices! I usually base my choices on which ONE photo strikes me the most. In this case:

    I went with Nicki on the strength of her troll tights. They made me smile, and I will always pick fun, colorful, joyful fug over dreary fug.

    I was Team Lohan all the way until I saw Alexa’s leather-dress-over-white-dress-shirt ensemble. It’s just so silly. And she wore it to the Met Ball! She thinks she’s fashion-forward and fabulous! I can’t resist.

  27. Elizabeth

    Such difficult choices! I usually base my choices on which ONE photo strikes me the most. In this case:

    I went with Nicki on the strength of her troll tights. They made me smile, and I will always pick fun, colorful, joyful fug over dreary fug.

    I was Team Lohan all the way until I saw Alexa’s leather-dress-over-white-dress-shirt ensemble. It’s just so silly. And she wore it to the Met Ball! She thinks she’s fashion-forward and fabulous! I can’t resist.

  28. Valentina

    I actually LOVE Gemma Artenton’s black-nude striped dress…

    • Squirrel!

      Me too! You’re not alone.

      • Edith

        Me three. It’s amazing what a difference it makes that the nude stripe is a stripe of nude fabric, not a stripe of illusion netting letting us see her nude self. The fit on that last (silver) dress is tragic, but I honestly don’t see how Gemma got seeded; even that dress had killer shoes.

  29. Vandalfan

    Gemma’s frequently odd clothes can’t hold a candle to Sad Katy. I am right
    I think Niki’s pulling off the neon colors, the other gal simply looks wrongful, because parts of her clothing are fine, but then each one is marred by cut-outs, or eternal Granny panties. I am wrong.
    Alexa is sad, Lindsay, again, is, from a distance, if you squint hard, kinda pulling it off. I am wrong.
    Naomi, for those horrid prison tats. I am wrong. I’m batting 25% here.


  30. TonyG

    Katy, Nicki, Lindsay, and Lena. These were pretty easy.

  31. Amalia

    I scrolled through with my 2 year old daughter on my lap. She kept begging to go back up to that first picture of Katy with Santa. When I finally put it up again, she cocked her head and said, “He is scared.” So am I, honey, of these ladies and their lack of good taste or sense.

  32. Carly

    I had to give the vote to LiLo, she’s just too crazy. And a part of me feels very bad for Alexa Chung-she’s just SO skinny! She probably has to layer her clothes all the time or she’ll freeze to death.

  33. agcons

    Minaj makes me laugh out loud, just the way my beloved Bai Ling did, back when she went out in public. Nicki is absolutely going to the finals, and it may come to a throwdown between her and the Kardashian vision of loveliness.

  34. Sylvia

    I don’t feel that bad for Lohan because she doesn’t want the help. It’s been offered, REPEATEDLY, and nothing. I’ve lived with addicts, and while it’s sad, the limit has been reached. I’ll root for her when she starts rooting for herself. Plus, that leather getup. No, no, no. That’s so offensive it gets her a Sweet 16 spot in my world.

    I voted Katy Perry because she’s insane, and not in a costume-y “I enjoy this” way.” These are her normal clothes. These are her “formal” clothes. That should scare everyone.

    Minaj, and it’s not even close. The Fug ladies just said her bra, which we can see, could actually be cupcakes. CUPCAKE BRAS!!! That’s insane and I have to vote for that fug. I think I even said “you’ve gotta be kidding me” while viewing a few of her getups. It’s not as bad as laughing out loud for five minutes while seeing Rita Ora, but it’s not good either.

    I am going to lose the Naomi/Lena matchup. I think it’s a good dual, but while Lena’s clothes are ill fitting, I feel like there’s an attempt and maybe a principle behind her choices. Not saying I don’t want to hire a tailor for her, but meh. I’m mostly indifferent and not offended. Naomi saddens me because we know she’s capable of greatness, as she proved that during awards season. Which means her lows are that much lower. She’s her own worse enemy to me, and so I voted for her. In the end, her great choices will save her from round two, but I think a win would be the best way to deliver tough love. Look what it did for Solange y’all.

  35. Ladyblahblah

    My lord, the head-to-toe turquoise that Lohan is wearing looks like the forcibly-retired porn star uniform.

  36. Edith

    It is really amazing that the Hideous Christmas Sweater Dress was by far Katy’s BEST LOOK in the past year.

  37. Tamburlaine

    I voted Katy, Krysten, Alexa and Lena for this one. Katy’s clothing choices were sad and wrong; Arterton often got it right. Nicki’s clothing choices are often appalling, but they are kind of cheerful and goofy, and she isn’t taking them seriously, whereas Ritter does seem to. Lohan looks awful, but at least no-one hails her as a style maven: Chung just looks messy and unstylish and I have no idea why she’s held up as a style exemplar. And I have to say that I really like Watts’ outfits, so I had to fug Dunham. I may have been the only person apart from Watts herself to like that full-sleeved black number!

  38. Sajorina

    Voted for Katy, Nicki, Lindsay & Lena! No regrets!

  • Around The Web