Fug Madness 2013, Round One: Charo 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.



This is a matchup of two people who a) look like they could be related, and b) both have a penchant for things that are Fashiony. Take January’s Emmy gown, for instance, which we disliked more than some of you did, but which regardless thought itself to be Important. As did this one:

And indeed, that dress IS important, for all predatory owls who wish they wore lampshades.

This is a really long way to go just to wear a lobster bib.

And this is a long way to go to look like you rolled out of bed five minutes ago and took the linens with you.

As for the darling Elle, her early-in-life sense of individuality is admirable, and we hope she knows that we two Internet biddies would certainly rather she went the Insane High-Fashion Shenanigans route than the Insane Hollywood Clubbing one. But there’s swinging and missing, and then there’s whiffing so hard the bat comes back around and smacks you in the head. So as much as we respect what the Fanning family hath wrought in terms of sensible upstanding kids, being young and adorable and brave aren’t good reasons to stick yourself with a lifetime photo album full of SUCH extreme WTF moments. We are excited for when Elle starts turning down the no-win situations like this:

Shoes WHAT? Ugly AND probably uncomfortable, judging by how her heel is oozing out between the straps. (The dress itself was a backless, shapeless washout, an F grade in Life 101: How To Do Anything With A Piece of Fabric.)

Am I on psychedelics, or was the designer? (The suit may have been carved off of a cryogenically frozen pimp.)

Somehow I think whittling was involved. (I actually don’t hate the dress that went with it, so let’s instead focus on the time she looked like a lost child who ran away from boarding school, or The Curious Case of This Cardigan.)

And the grand finale:

Unspeakable. (And THIS dress, which looks like an unfitted piece of drapery from afar, up close is like a needlepoint canvas somebody is still desperately trying to finish. Or desperately it will get stained enough that he/she will never have to finish.)

Archives: January Jones, Elle Fanning


For Elle Fanning, it was the shoes that led the day (although the rest was just as crazy). For Demi Lovato, it’s going to be the hair. It had more personalities this year than Viki Lord Buchanan, and if you don’t know your One Life To Live, I can tell you the number is… a lot. For a spell, Demi went a Smurfy blue. Another time, she had pink tips, matched with an unflattering skirt and a metallic bustier. And then of course there was the day she showed up with a brioche on her head. Or the time she went full Madonna circa “Express Yourself.” Or perhaps, closer to home, full Britney from “Oops, I Did It Again.”

And the dress, replete with drama and sideboob, is basically what you’d have gotten if there was an Aztec warrior contestant on Project Runway.

And speaking of creativity, it was quite innovative to take a pack of carpet samples and turn them into a jacket. I almost wish it came all the way around the front and buttoned, so we didn’t have to see the bra top debacle. And The Bra Top Debacle is a YA book I’ve just now decided to write. I think it’s part of a series. Like, we could add The Skirting Snafu:

And things like The Adam’s Apple Affair, and The Undercleav Controversy, and The Jumpsuit Japery, and of course The Bodice Bust-Up, which would star Julianne Hough:

She’d further get to star in The Peplum Problem (note: that post was published after the Oscars but the dress was worn before them), The Crop-Top Catastrophe, The Gut-Mouth Monstrosity, and the The Hemming Hijinks, before her crowning role in The Trouser Tomfoolery:

That one would be a trilogy, under the umbrella of The Pantalunacy Chronicles.

And then we’d just give up and put this on a book called Mermaid Nightgown Hellbag and quit and move to Aruba.

Archives: Demi Lovato, Julianne Hough


This is the part where I have to ask that you NOT vote based on Stella’s designs, UNLESS they are designs she has put on her own body. Fug Madness is about crimes against the wearer, perpetrated BY the wearer — as in, the choice to wear something versus the choice to say no and pick something else.

In Stella’s case, it’s true that she should almost always say no to herself.

I don’t even remember if that’s a dress or a jumpsuit, but the fact that I can’t tell is another strike against it. That sucker is so hideous and unflattering. It’s like a child designed it. A really hateful child.


Also, this woman really loves a jumpsuit. In addition to standing next to Anna and looking like she just changed her oil, Stella also wore another satiny elastic-waist one that was equally unhemmed, and then this disco sweatsuit:

Why does she pick the worst of it, also? At least YOU should look good in your own designs. It would be like if Paul wrote a song in the key of an opera singer but insisted on singing it himself. He does not do that, because HE IS NOT INSANE, STELLA.

Ms. Emma Stone doesn’t have her own ego to stoke or deflate, so she is at liberty to accept or reject anything. And we definitely wish she’d checked Column B for a few things this year. We were indecisive about the twin runways on her shoulders here, and on the peeping tutu and hip hills here.

That might make a very nice tapesty on a monarch’s wall, but I don’t think it belongs on her body, and CERTAINLY not with those shoes. EMMA. Don’t punt on the footwear. That’s a classic Chastain blunder.

Is she prone to injury from throwing people spontaneous elbows? Is that why somebody put her in arm airbags?

Ah, a Tweehouse of Horrors. I wish they’d taken this idea and crafted something more grown up about it. She looks like a refugee from Can’t Hardly Wait.

And this is costumey in the other direction, like she told somebody she wanted to come to this premiere as Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman. Props for experimenting, but sometimes, as any scientist will tell you, reactive materials explode in your face.

Archives: Stella McCartney, Emma Stone



I am not sure I can even pretend this is going to be close. Kirsten Dunst wore some good stuff, some costumey stuff people couldn’t agree on even though I didn’t hate ita bronzed checkerboard, and a highly suspect trench dress. And then this hot mess:

Oh, and of course, she allowed Stella McCartney to disrespect her thusly:

That alone cemented her a berth in the contest this year. But downing a No. 1 seed is formidable, and Rihanna has gone out of her way this year to make sure nobody can doubt whether she deserved the ranking.

We could applaud the time it took to match her pumps and her sunglasses to the suit, but I’d rather naysay the fact that she looks like the result of a Project Runway challenge to redesign the chain gang.

If your leather sweatshirt is too big, then by all means, try to salvage it by borrowing coordinating basketball shorts from Kobe Bryant’s Goodwill pile. And don’t forget that Rihanna also was oncetwice, three times a Derelicte spokesmodel:

BRAS ARE NOT SHIRTS. And sure, you could argue she’s on the streets, going about her day, minding her own business while being papped, but… Say you’re Rihanna. YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH YOUR LIFE. You know you’re going to get followed and photographed, you know you’re being photographed right now (because there were others where she was right NEXT to the lensman, walking), and you HAVE A HOODIE AND YOU WERE WEARING IT EARLIER AND NOW YOU ARE NOT SO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. Ergo, you are doing it on purpose TO be seen. Diagnosis: bananas. She also had a big year with nearly flashing her nethers — once in this formal dress, and once… well, I ASSUME there are pants up in there somewhere? As opposed to her denimsatin, and baggy McCartney jumpsuits, which are blaringly, blazingly, glaringly be-pantsed. Damn, that is a busy year, and that’s not even all of it.

No wonder she wore pajamas to the Battleship premiere. Rihanna was tired. In advance.

Archives: RihannaKirsten Dunst

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Comments (45):

  1. Miranda

    January Jones is old enough to know better, hence my vote for her. Stella makes ugly clothes AND she wears them. No shock there. And for some reason I love Demi Lovato, so she gets a pass. And KiKi gets by on the simple fact that I have not seen her areolae in public. Who says you can’t use your Latin skills in everyday life?

    • Bree

      Same here. I have no idea why, but I love everything Demi is wearing. It’s all crazytown banana pants, but I love it.

  2. ML

    Once again, ReeRee comes through for me in the clutch.

  3. Lori

    Wither the polls?

    • Lori

      I swear, as soon as I submitted the comment, the polls appeared.

      • Heather

        We are having a MURDEROUSLY CONFUSING time with them. We paste in the code. The preview shows the polls there. Everything is fine. And then ten minutes later they DISAPPEAR, and the code VANISHES along with them. Or in the case of the RiRi poll, the code was still there but the poll wasn’t? And then all our spacing got jacked up so I fixed it and then the poll code vanished AGAIN AGAIN and I am seriously having a bad two days.

  4. Lori

    I don’t have it in my heart to vote for Elle. She’s still young enough that she’s experimenting, and I appreciate that she’s experimenting without making us all amateur gynecologists.

  5. Stefanie

    Elle – No girl/woman should have that bad of taste in shoes. It just isn’t logical. (But I still love the cardigan dress.)
    Julianna – Why does she want to look so old? At least Demi is having fun.
    Stella – Because Stella WEARS HER OWN SHIT. Therefore, she dresses like shit.
    Rhianna – Like it was even a question.

  6. jen310

    RiRi brought the fug – hard – this year. She even designed fug fashions for her followers. Work that fug, RiRi, work it.

    Demi had a platform (X Factor) to show off her style and she failed miserably. The hair, the clothes, everything was so fug she actually made Britney look good. Not an easy feat. Hough is just cold, bland oatmeal next to Lovato’s piping hot breakfast of fuggery.

    I know Elle had a banner fug year but she is so young and enjoyed stepping out on the fug side sartorially that I couldn’t vote for her. When she looks back at her fashions she can say “I was young and adventurous. I didn’t know any better.” JJones know better or she should know better. Her fug is smug and righteous. There is no joy in her fug styling. Jones FTW.

    McCartney cannot design to save her life and I’m just talking about for herself. If you’re a designer and cannot look good in your own fashions – well, that’s just fug. Ugly onesis does not fashion make. Congrats, Stella, I think you might go far this year.

  7. leeapeea

    You were so sure about the outcome of Rhianna vs Ki Ki that you didn’t put up a vote? ;-)

  8. a

    Is it just me or do Rihanna’s legs look photoshopped in that BRAS ARE NOT SHIRTS photo?

  9. Anne B

    You guys, I can not believe January Jones is not running away with this one.

    Look at that dress in Shot #1. Take a good look: Is it or is it not a kitty transformer robot thingie pretending to be a dress?!

    Any second now, that thing is going to yowl and take off after that other Fug Madness contender’s mouse shirt, leaving January standing there quite naked.

    Fortunately, she’d still look good. <3

  10. Sara

    I’m just LOL’ing so hard at that pic of Britney standing SO uncomfortably next to the X Factor judges. Did she forget how to stand straight and pose not awkwardly or has this always been a thing?

  11. hb

    How is Emma Stone even in this? she is one of the best dressed stars out there! even her bad looks look good. Like a palette cleanser after the rest of it.

    • Carolina Girl

      Exactly! I adore Emma and most of her fashion choices, even some of the ones that were pictured here. But what really amazes me is that Stella didn’t walk away with 100% of the votes in the matchup.
      Poor Kirsten Dunst didn’t stand a chance against the 100 proof fuggery of Rihanna.

      • Jessica

        That’s why her seed is so low. The lower your seed, the less fugly you are.

  12. azqueenie

    “Tweehouse of Horror” made me cackle out loud.

    • Trent

      Co-sign on this. The Fug Girls deserve a slow clap for that one. Brilliant.

      And it’s not news, but Stella McCartney is THE WORST. How is her line still in business?

  13. Tiffany

    Rhianna has so much going on for her natural-beauty wise, and yet her style is so not good. That see-through bra top even makes her chest look bad! If you are going to take such drastic steps to show the girls, at least make it flattering to them!

  14. witjunkie

    Man. I was going to vote for JJones based on the Bowie hair alone, but DAYUM Fanning brought the fug. I had to be honest and note that January had a better year this year than last, and even though Elle is young, she isn’t blind. And even a blind person could see the print on that pantsuit.

  15. la di da

    Hahaha, look at the face on that lady standing next to Rihanna in the bra-as-a-shirt picture. She’s just as troubled by it as the rest of us!

  16. TonyG

    I read BRAS are not SHIRTS as…

    BRAS are not SHORTS. Let’s hope there’s never a reason to write the latter.

    I went with RiRi, Elle, Emma and Demi.

    RiRi vs. Kirsten is obvious.

    Elle, poor girl, just didn’t have anything worthy whereas January did.

    Emma just seemed so off this year whereas Stella is Stella, and therefore usually boring (she likes her pants and pantsuits and she sticks with it).

    Demi and Julianne was the hardest for me, but in the end Julianne had stuff that I liked very much, whereas I didn’t really hate Demi’s stuff, but there was nothing truly fab.

  17. geminigirl

    The scary thing is, The Sunday Times (London) named Stella number 5 on the UK’s best dressed list, and used the photo of her in that god-awful yellow get up as proof.
    She’s traded on her named and her famous father her whole career, but you’d think she’d have picked up a bit of style along the way, no? And yet she just keeps getting worse and worse and worse.

  18. Anna

    Oh c’mon, Elle is a 14 year old girl, if there is a time to experiment in such a wacky way, it is now. While January Jones is just either fugly or boring.

    RiRi vs KiKi, well, there’s no fight there.

  19. The Other Molly

    That bit about the UK’s best dressed list doesn’t surprise me.
    Their taste is kind of out there like Pluto (see bizarre hats at the royal wedding).
    If I had known that sewing blocks of sad, droopy upholstery fabric together and calling it clothes would make me a fashion designer, I would be living the high life right now.
    Of course, my Daddy is not a Beatle, so I would probably have had to work a might harder than ole Stell.

  20. Rayna

    Yo, RiRi is totally PASTING KiKi, because “DIAGNOSIS: BANANAS.”

    BTW, FugGirls: THANK YOU for Fug Madness, and THANK YOU for being you.

  21. pantsonfire

    For some reason, I just can’t muster up a problem with what January wears. Would I wear it? Mmmmm. Usually no. It’s not perfectly to my own personal taste. But do I really think it’s straight fugly? Very rarely. I put her in the same category as Naomi Watts — slender, blonde, willing to take some fashion risks, sometimes with great results, sometimes with just mediocre results, and sometimes with questionable results, but I don’t ever begrudge them for it. While I’m comparing the two, I do note that I rate January below Naomi in both vision and execution.

    • One of the Leahs

      Me too! I never understand why she gets fugged so routinely.

  22. Kat

    I actually love all Rihanna’s oversized looks. I think she looks dashing and bold and like her life is her art. And also hot, in the particular way that fiercely-toned and well-groomed people who are not baring ALL their curves look hot. However, I can’t get on board with visible nipples or crotch-skimming skirts.

    But like every year, I’m going to fence-sit for the whole first round of FM like a nimminy-pimminy grade-A waverer, only to end up baying for blood by the time we get down to the final four.

  23. Ladyblahblah

    Rihanna had this hands down for me. Anyone who manages to channel both Miss Cleo and Hugh Heffner in one short photo array gets my vote.

  24. Sylvia

    The last two did not require me to look at the entire body of work. Rihanna and Stella are truly that much worse than their competitor. I’ll do more research when they get some real competition.

    I think Julianne is more fug than she gets credit for, but the things Demi does to her hair, goodness. I should not be hungry after seeing your hair.

    Elle wins for me. I didn’t know so many ugly shoes existed. For some reason, I’m more pained by truly ugly shoes than clothes.

  25. pantsonfire

    Aw, man. I just saw little Elle Fanning on Jimmy Kimmel and she’s freaking adorable. And very much a normal kid. NOT preternaturally adult in the way that Dakota seemed to be. It makes me really, really doubt my previous assumption that she had a very self-assured approach to clothes. I think she’s just a wonderfully kooky 14-year-old. I’m now regretting that Elle is in the competition this year. I”m not lodging a formal complaint or anything — just noting my own personal change of heart.

  26. Barbara

    When I’m 80 I’m totally buying that disco sweatsuit. I’ll be the most badass granny in the nordic walking group.

  27. Janine

    I really wanted to vote for January Jones but THE SHOES OH MY GOD THE SHOES

  28. kayla

    Rihanna FTW. Seriously, there is no one more fug than that girl. I want to stab myself in the eyes with one of her witchily long, yellow fingernails just so I don’t have to see her anymore. She’s so ridiculous and overexposed (both in the pop culture AND gynecological way) that I just can’t even.

  29. Sajorina

    This is one of the BEST POSTS EVER! Voted for January Jones because EW; For Julianne Hough because she’s always an AUTOMATIC FUG for me; for Stella McCartney for her CRIMES AGAINST MY RETINAS; and for RIHANNA because how could I not?

  30. melissa

    Not a fair fight between Kiki and Rihanna, c’mon!

  31. Vandalfan

    I voted against RiRi, though supreme of fug, because I just don’t want to see her anymore.

  32. lisa

    i do like those pyjamas though…

  33. Catwoman

    So nobody has said this, so I will …… Riri has THE WORST ACCESSORY – Chris Brown. Riri takes it!