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.
(2) KATY PERRY vs. (7) LENA DUNHAM
To begin this epic battle between Often Campy And Overdone vs. Often Slouchy and Undone, please drink in this photograph, because we need to talk about the outfit — EASILY the worst thing Lena Dunham wore all year, to me (but it’s not in our subscription so we can’t reproduce the picture). Obviously there are tiny, tiny hot pants underneath Betty White’s blouse, but you have to look REALLY HARD to see them, and the whole effect of pantslessness has to be either deliberate, or oblivious. I’m sure Fug Nation has Thoughts on which is worse. After she wore it, Lena Dunham — who I generally think handles criticism very well — said that people wouldn’t have made fun of it if she were shaped differently, and I strenuously object to that view. That outfit is objectively heinous. We are allowed to find your clothes ugly without it having anything to do with your DNA (and for the record, I think Dunham is truly lovely). If Karolina Kurkova showed up wearing it, we would cringe just as hard. Even Betty White obviously dumped it in her giveaway bin. We already have a super hip 91-year old, Lena; we don’t need you to be the voice of that generation also.
And this, while neither sleazy nor terrifying, doesn’t fit and feels disappointingly stuffy and matronly — better befitting someone sixty-two than twenty-six. It belongs on a reality show called The Notorious M.O.B., about moms who aggressively hit all the groomsmen at their daughter’s weddings. It would be on Bravo, and 72 percent of all people featured would have things in their face not found in nature.
Speaking of nature:
We are getting to see rather a lot of what nature put on her chest through that blouse. I can actually make out areola texture.
This fits as well as boots on a grasshopper. My theory on Lena at times is that she is so tightly wired to flaunt people’s physical expectations of actresses that she self-sabotages at times, and decides that’s making a point, or that it’s a sign of not caring. But there’s casually not caring, and then there’s doing yourself a disservice by not fixing the freaking bodice on your party dress. It’s okay to want to look like the best version of yourself, and sometimes, the best version of yourself sets aside a little cash for a really good tailor, and/or takes a good Get A Grip Friend along on your shopping sprees.
That is a lot of dress, and a lot of Heidi hair. It actually fits her up top, but I’m underwhelmed by the ensuing tutu.
Does it change your opinion of this wretched jumpsuit to know what the back looks like?
And then there was her chocolate Golden Globes dress, which I actually liked, but a LOT of Fug Nation completely disagreed with me. And this:
This actually fits, and objectively I don’t mind it, but somehow it’s so SEVERE on her. She looks taller, sure, but she also looks broader than she is, in a way that creates an illusion that maybe her head shrank. I wanted to love it. I couldn’t. Like the Les Miserables movie, but that’s a whole other post.
Off-stage, her tastes don’t run much better. That purse should sue. Although perhaps, as we examined in some Round One posts, it’s possible Katy just caught a raging case of The Sheers. Here, she certainly doesn’t look like she’s feeling tip-top as she poses in effect without bottoms, she spent a good portion of Coachella under the influence of transparency, and this was a clear case of The Breakup Sheers (a less catching but still unpleasant strain).
This appears to have been The Sheers with associated high fevers, so that in the delirium the sufferer develops extremely fancy Xena: Warrior Princess delusions.
This is practically refreshing by comparison. Not a good sign.
And then there was this:
Here’s the thing: It’s not a good dress, Katy. It wasn’t worth the squeeze.
This was a hilarious use of assets. Not that I wouldn’t mind a piece of them for myself.
And then this was back to a toxic cocktail of terribleness. Oh, Katy. We know your split with Russell Brand was tough, but you didn’t have to give him ALL the mirrors in the divorce.
(3) NICKI MINAJ vs. (6) LINDSAY LOHAN On the surface, other than occasionally having bad instincts about what to do with their hair, these two don’t seem to have that much in common. Lindsay spent much of the year slinking around airports looking like the head of Smokey the Bear’s arson-prevention biker gang, and lurking the Los Angeles streets in dark ensembles like this:
Same coat, but with thigh boots and a hat you’d find on an unsubtle P.I. She wore this to dinner with her lawyer. I feel like, as her lawyer, that is where you run away, stick her with the check, and change your phone number, because this client does not take you seriously. Conversely, Nicki likes psychedelic fringe and bras that look like the junk drawer in Martha Stewart’s secondary crafting table, and full get-ups that look like she was assaulted by a Harajuku toy store. She likes it bright, is what I’m saying.
Sometimes I wonder if we’ll find out, in a decade, that Pat Field was secretly styling her this whole time. But let’s see if we can find a common thread here — or threads, as it were. Behold, Lindsay in a suit:
Tight, slightly shrunken, like she showed up to court wearing something else and they had to hand her this from the emergency stash — the legal equivalent of restaurants that keep dinner jackets to zazz up their slouchier customers. Nicki in a suit:
Weirdly, the suit is the least of the problems. My issue is the hair, shoes, and makeup, and also how freaking BORED she looks. But at least it fits. Lindsay in fur:
She wore this to an amfAR party at Fashion Week, which she allegedly crashed. Did somebody tell her the party was on Hoth?
Speaking of Hoth:
They have the WEIRDEST buskers in the parks there. Next we have Lindsay in shorts:
Or “shorts,” because there is only maybe a quarter-inch of inseam here, and so little fabric that they might as well be denim panties.
I never thought I would look at those shorts and think, “What coverage!” Then again, the rest of her looks like watching a volcano erupt while on psychedelics.
Full, thick fade makeup, an outfit that’s impossible to sit down in, and completely impractical massive heels… yep, sounds like Coachella to me.
I HOPE Nicki Minaj wears this to coachella. She could sell each skirt tier to people who forgot blankets. Lindsay, in her red-carpet formalwear:
To me, this says, “No one will give us clothes and she’s spending all her money on attorneys.”
Yes, Nicki did wear some dresses this year, but let’s face it: On a red carpet, she prefers to look like a cross between Christina Aguilera and The Village People.
Or the production accountant from a touring performance of Cats.
Is it as bad as it could have been? No. Is it good? Dear lord, no. This was her big moment to scrub up and get taken seriously, and THAT is what she chose? Can she fire all her people and hire, like, the Elder Fannings?
I don’t really know how you wear satin like this — my suspicion: You just don’t — but I am seeing way more than I should here.
Then again: Ditto.