Fug Madness 2014, Round One: Charo Bracket, Top Half


As a refresher: The photos and links in each matchup post 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. If you need a primer on how all this works, pursue the the FAQ. And, most importantly, enjoy!

Jump to: Jessica Biel v. Rooney Mara · Ciara v. Zosia Mamet · Kristen Wiig v. Pharrell Williams

Behold Rihanna’s archives, for they are rich in the fug! She wore onesies! She wore catsuits! She wore trench coats and ONLY trench coats. (Remember, this is the woman who recently gave a quote which explained — if I may paraphrase — that if she’s wearing a shirt, she’s not going to wear a bra, but if she’s wearing a bra, she doesn’t want to wear a shirt. Which is awful but I also thought it was really funny. I don’t know. It’s so honest!)

She also wore the likes of this:

You have to give her credit for giving the paparazzi something to laugh at. Beyond her outfit.

So I guess this fell into the Not Needing A Bra category, despite the fact that it barely falls into the CLOTHING category.

Rihanna was, like, REALLY into robes this year. Like, extremely. I kind of love this:

Not in the way where I think it’s good, but in the way where I think it’s amusing. She looks like a private dancer — a dancer for money, if you will — performing in character as Cruella deVil, had she decided to go down another path. It’s cartoonish in a way that makes the whole thing feel harmless. And also TOTALLY INSANE.

Speaking of going out wearing just wearing a bra:

It’s a fancy bra, at least? And the skirt top rather reminds me of a girdle, so that’s some fancy-ass undergear.

Remember my theory that she’s really into robes at the moment? Pretty sure this is a sweater, and only a sweater:

And — while this is really just the tip of the Rihanna-berg, if you can believe it, so really do look at her archives — we cannot forget that she both wore these jeans(es) and also designed them, thus inflicting them on us all and giving others the opportunity to inflict them as well:

Hilarious/terrifying. Hilarrifying. And there’s so much more. There’s that time she wore just a tee shirt! There’s that time she wore a baggy leather jumpsuit and was delighted by herself! There’s this bizarre hosiery situation! And these re-purposed jammies! And her mesh shorts! And so much more. So very much more.

Now, as to her opponent, although her body of work is not quite as vast as Rihanna’s, Jemima Kirke also does not shy from sheers.

This outfit + her hair + her pose = a girl doing a “photoshoot” with her friends during an 8th grade sleepover. Jemima ALSO, like Rihanna, loves herself a long long long long long long cardigan:

I’m for real convinced that is an ACTUAL bathrobe, like a hung-on-the-back-of-the-bathroom-door robe. This may also be a robe, but at least it’s a more glamorous one:

And one final volley into the land of the sheer:


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Biel’s archives await thee here! Rooney’s can be rifled through here! Allow the judgement to begin!

Biel was put up to a Fug or Fab vote quite a lot this year. We voted on her aggressive epaulets, her poofy skirts, her Stern Riding Instructor outfit! We wondered if she had avian flu! But while the decision before rests on her entire body of work this year, mostly I just want to show you these two looks on a loop:


and NOPE. (I mean, look at her archives, for sure. Marinate in them. But just these two look ALONE would have punched her ticket to Fug Madness. They are BLIGHTS.)

Rooney Mara also wears a TON of black — her archive is, in many ways, is just this look over and over and over again — but then, like Maude, there’s this:

I am sure I made a joke about consumption when we first covered that, because I almost did it again. It’s aggressively unflattering and might be part of a plot. This, at least, is intriguingly hideous:

When people ask us what we mean when we say something is “directional,” and we explain that it’s a word the fashion industry often uses as code for “hideous and unflattering but at interesting and by someone too important for us to insult,” the above is a dress I want to use to illustrate that definition, henceforce.

This also almost gave me a rage-stroke this past year:

What. No. Stop. Other items that need potential stopping: Her sartorial gloom, her depressive embrace of the crop top, and whatever this terribly sad thing actually is.

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(5) CIARA vs. (12) ZOSIA MAMET

Ciara had a STRONG year, you guys. There is a history of five seeds going farther than you’d think in the tournament — at least, in the NCAA tournament there is; three five seeds have made the title game since 2001, although there is ALSO a tradition of the 12 seed upsetting the 5 seed) and she may just do it here. Her archive is INSANE. What is THIS? Or THIS? OR THIS?!

That photo just makes me laugh. SOMEONE though her gig was a stand-up only.

This also makes me laugh. This is her salute to Bieber. This is her sartorially pouring one out for last year’s champion:

Yes, those pants have a cape. Guess what else had a cape last year in Ciara’s wardrobe?

This…whatever this is! A Salute to Robyn? It is tremendously, unequivocally weird, is what it is, and I can’t believe I forgot it happened until just now.

This…also happened:

It’s what you get when you think, “I’m going to make a dress inspired by the skeleton of a showgirl, if it were in the middle of transmogrifying into a bird!” It’s also a repeat of something Beyonce already wore — albeit in a different colorway — which is ten kinds of weird. This isn’t even getting into the issues with her formal loincloth, or whatever this is (it might be shortalls?!?!), or her shout-out to the New York Post.

Speaking of weird:

Boobs don’t need a sleep mask.

At least Zosia — who, we famously learned this year, refuses to speak to New York magazine and NONE OF US KNOW WHY — does not fear color, nor pattern:

She may fear smiling?

Maybe she has Resting Cranky Face? Maybe she’s constantly plotting the demise of her stylist? We cannot know. But we CAN know this:


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Although Hat was kicked out of the running for this fine honor in the play-in game, felled by Bag — a worthy opponent — the hat lives on, on Pharrell’s head:

“I know, dude. EVERYONE’s talking about this hat.”

Pharrell is a dapper human, however, in many ways, even if only from the waist up:

Which may be why his opponent, Wiig, has apparently dressed so as to steal into his wife’s seat and hope he doesn’t notice until it’s too late:

Wiig’s archives are a veritable parade of WTF, and I encourage you to take a look, but make sure, when voting, not to overlook the following:



What Wiig misses, I think, and Pharrell has — I swear I’m not electioneering, just musing — is a sense of humor. I do not know what is happening here, but at least Hat is involved:

In fact, most of what brought Pharrell to the party here — other than wearing SHORTS to the OSCARS, which gets a man an automatic in — is his wack taste in accessories:

I dunno, either, Pharrell:

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Comments (48):

  1. Suzanne

    Oh lord, Fug Madness is just what I need for tax season: a reason to smile! Reading through all of this fuggery has brought a smile to my heart and for that, Fug Girls, I thank you.

    • HelenBackAgain

      OMG it’s tax season. I have to get this year’s form to my accountant! Thanks for the reminder.

      I’m enjoying this heartily, too! What fun!

  2. Amanda

    Sad fug is the worst. Zosia…oooyyyyy. Why so serious?!

  3. ML

    Fug Girls, we are experiencing our 7th re-org at work today and y’all are keeping me sane, ironically, via the Madness. As long as I have my brackets and my GFY, I know that the sun will keep shining and the unicorns will keep jumping over those rainbows. Thanks, H&J.

  4. Maria L.

    I’m surprised that so far, Biel seems to be running away with her category. Rooney has some serious WTF credentials also. I had a very tough time with that one. I’m afraid my vote came down to who irritates me the most.

    • camille

      Agreed very much. I don’t feel like Biel is inflicting her bad choices on us under the guise that they are High Art and if I don’t care for them I’m a philistine, whereas that is very much the vibe I get from Rooney Mara.

      • Annie S.

        I think Aloof Mara has been a lot less visible this year, so perhaps her fug just feels…less ubiquitous?

        • Sandra

          Yeah, but Biel actually thinks she looks good in her fuggery. Mara knows that some of it doesn’t work, but she’s not trying for pretty.

    • HelenBackAgain

      I went Biel, and it’s because she doesn’t have a style of her own. Mara does. I don’t always like it, in fact I think it’s way past time she gave herself a makeover, but it’s a defined aesthetic that’s always purposeful and put together. Whereas Biel is just a randomized mess.

  5. Kat

    Ciara might look fug but she looks happy as she does, Zosia just looks miserable with it

    •  Jules

      Ciara also brushes her hair. Team Zosia!

      • HelenBackAgain

        Thirding. Zosia is a hot mess, to the point that it’s a rare delight when she looks merely ordinarily washed and groomed – like any of the rest of us, who aren’t even making publicity appearances!

        Ciara clearly puts some real thought and effort into her fug, and even when I don’t think so much as her head looks great, it isn’t for lack of trying on her part. I do not love her style, but she does have one. And most of the time, I do think her head, at least, looks great.

  6.  Mrs. Ditter

    Thank you from the bottom of my judgmental little heart for the description “intriguingly hideous.”

  7. jen310

    I went with Jemima’s fug because RiRi is committed to serving up her fug sincerely. To me it is fierce fug. I cannot hate on it. Jemima’s fug is just fug, no conviction, no fun, just fug. Jem FTW.

    Ciara’s shitty fug is out there but not in a good way. Zosia’s fug is bad but just a big meh to me. CiCi’s fug is just cray cray. CiCi FTW.

    Pharrell’s sartorial choices embody the way the song “Happy” makes you feel – joyful. Props to him for bring fun to fug. Wiig’s fug – HUH, WTF, REALLY, YOU THINK THAT’S A GOOD LOOK? NO. NO. AND NO. Wiig FTW.

    Rooney’s fug is, as you say, “directional”. It has interest. It is still fugly, but it is interesting. Timberbiel’s fug is not right, not right at all. I don’t even know what it is trying to achieve. I don’t think she even know’s what her styling is trying to achieve. Yet, she wears it out in public. Her sartorial choices are a fug to the nth degree which ensures her victory in this round.

    • Blair Sylvester

      I went the same way. Rihanna is a carefully (and arguably successfully) crafted image for maximum attention and buzz. Also I find her so beautiful even with that horrible fungal underboob tattoo. And Jemima’s is just sad and unpolished

    • HelenBackAgain

      Yeah. I went Rihanna kind of reflexively, and I wish I could go back and change it now, because this reasoning makes sense to me. It’s another case wherein I may not like her style, but she definitely has a style, wheres Kirke does not. I think Those Pants blinded me temporarily!

      • Blair Sylvester

        haha I think we have all made snap decisions. But I voted for both Jemina and Lena and came this close to voting for Zosia (but Ciara’s naked dress made me mad and I kind of liked Zosia’s green suit) so maybe Girls makes me stabby. I guess my voting tends to be if someone that is having fun with clothes and has a style goes up against somebody who looks glum and has no style I will almost always pick the second person.

  8. swellcatt

    Zosia and Rooney. Both such depressing looking ladies. SMILE! But Jessica reigns over Rooney for me. That 2nd dress made me punch my computer screen (AGAIN) And Zosia, while slouchy and gloomy, doesn’t dress as bad. I think her general attitude makes her look worse. I think Ciara has her beat (but I think people will pick Zosia to change things up) Ciara and Rhianna are very similar in bad taste.

    •  Kristin

      I struggle with Pop Star Fug, because it’s costumey and usually deliberate, intended to shock. That said, for me it sometimes comes down to a visceral reaction: the gasp of horror vs. the pursed lip of disapproval. Both Rihanna and Ciara made me gasp.

  9. MelissaW

    Rhianna could win this entire thing simply for the horrible mullet head-suit she sports with that flag outfit. yech.

  10. Art Eclectic

    Rihanna did have a helluva year, y’all…..

  11. KateA

    I voted Zosia for the T-shirt alone. That’s just the most ridiculous thing.

  12. Jenz

    Jemima – She always looks like a train wreck. Or least, like she was standing near the tracks when the 5 PM Express thundered by.
    Rooney – because I am so over the too-tight, slicked back hair, lack of make up and her expressionless visage.
    Zosia – Can someone PLEASE teach this girl how to stand and how to present herself?!?!?!!?! (And how to dress)
    Wiig – Even when she tries, she doesn’t get it.

  13. marylou bethune

    Re: Zosia and Jemma: those two are eccentric and I think there is some wit there. Rhianna and what’s her name are simply vulgar beyond expression. I call that fug supreme.

  14.  Samantha

    Jemima Kirke versus Rihanna should not be such an early match-up. That’s semi-final worthy, and I don’t like making that choice this early.

  15. nobody much

    Zosia’s red shorts and the t-shirt got my vote. RiRi is a shoo in, I had a much harder time with Mara & Biel. and Wiig has always been wtf for me.

  16. Prolixity Julien

    I love how well set up the choices are. Inevitably, I scroll through until I get to a ” Oh, honey, NO!” and the choice becomes crystal clear.


    [running in a circle clapping]

  17. catcat

    I hope Rihanna’s jeanses take her all the way to the final. I can hardly bring myself to scroll past them, such is their fug.

  18. LadyL365

    My husband just saw me looking at RiRi in that delightful yellow number and asked if one of her tattoos says “This Way Up”.

  19. Mischa

    How is Pharrell so far behind Wiig?

    • HelenBackAgain

      I think because of what Jessica said, that he seems to have a sense of humor about it. He may look terrible, but he looks exuberantly terrible!

      I voted Wiig, and I kind of hated doing it because I LOVE HER, but I did think her sad clothes and styling had earned it.

  20. Tara

    Rihanna is such a beautiful girl, but those clothes are just hideous, and frankly she seems like she’d be incredibly annoying to spend any time with.

    I had a particularly difficult time with Jessica and Rooney because both had some horrible fuggery, but they also both had some looks I really liked. In the end, I went with Rooney because I hated more of hers.

    As silly as Pharrell looks, he always looks so cute and yes, happy.

  21.  Karen

    Wiig gets my vote because the best she’s ever done is “maybe not so terrible, for her”

    Zosia because really, what is she thinking.

  22. Stefanie

    Rhianna because she’s Rhianna and if she was out of FM so soon I’d cry. Also, because Im listening to Stay right now.

    Biel because of those god forsaken pants.

    Zoisa over Ciara. To me, Ciara’s clothes maybe nuts, but her head always looks good. Zoisa’s clothes may be nuts but 9 times out of 10 her head is even nuttier.

    Did Pharell even think he had a chance of winning over Kristen?

  23. Megan

    Here is my argument for Pharell over Wigg (even if I am majorly regretting that choice in retrospect): It is hard for women to dress well sometimes. There are a lot of variables and designers out there, and taste is pretty subjective. However, it is practically impossible to screw up looking good in a tuxedo, and he does. He really does.

    (And yes, anytime I say something similar to “It was; It really was” I say it with the same inflection as Rose uses in Titanic).

  24. agcons

    Rihanna, the spiritual successor to Bai Ling.

    Biel, if only for that confection in the second photo of her above. Do the first three letters of the car’s plate spell “EWW”? I believe they do.

    Mamet has always received my vote for as long as she’s been seeded.

    Wiig over Hat (which I realise is not the usual order of things).

  25.  Ann

    Zosia Mamet is my favorite for a surprise upset winner.

  26. Steen

    I’m just hoping for a Miley/Rhianna final matchup. That would be epic.

    • Art Eclectic

      Right? I was originally thinking that Miley was going to simply walk off with it this year, but I forgot about all the disasters Rihanna left the house in. It may come down to labial shorts vs underboob tattoo in the final round.

      I also kind wish for a Kardashian bag vs Rihanna’s wang bag fug-off.

  27. AlterKate

    I’m a bit sad that Jemima Kirke was put up against Rihanna so early. I mean, obviously Rihanna wins it, but Jemima’s fug really deserved a better run than being knocked out in the first round.

  28. AlterKate

    Also – my first exposure to Zosia Mamet was here on GFY before ever seeing her in Girls. Imagine my shock when the girl with the dour expression and dumpy clothes turns out to be, like, super animated, pink, and sparkly on the show!

  29. Megan

    Rihanna should win this whole shebang based on the jeans over jeans fiasco alone. I just… I just CAN’T. WORDS, WORDS, WORDS !!!11!!!eleventyeleven!!!

  30. Emmselle

    Jessica Biel…please put on some pants!

    LOVE Riri’s fug – she really seems to enjoy herself with what she wears..it would be great to be that confident in some of those HIDEOUS ensembles!

  31. Kiti

    The girls from Girls nearly always look terrible. I wonder if the actresses on the show have some kind of pool going on about how far each of them can go in Fug Madness, and they’re all wearing crazy outfits to boost their own chances and then secretly laughing at us when they see our reactions. [Allison Williams looks passable some of the time, but still manages to bring the fug on a regular basis.]

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