Fug or Fab: Elle Fanning


First off: I finally saw Super 8 (on a plane, of course, as that is where I end up seeing like 60% of all movies), and Elle Fanning here is so good in it. Actually, I thought all the kids were great in that movie. She is adorable, and boy does she love a neutral:

If an older actress were wearing this, I would be cracking up Ye Old Fug Generator and plugging in the following variables: “grandma,” “tablecloth,” and “musty.” I might throw in a “doily” or a “antimaccasar.” And then I would just let The Robot do the work for me. But her youth! It confounds The Robot! It makes things that AREN’T cute seem like maybe they ARE cute, and it makes Cranky Crones (me) go easier on people than she might otherwise even consider.

Loading ... Loading ...


Leave a reply

Comments (43):

  1. annabeth

    This dress leaves me flat — I don’t hate it on her the way I would on almost anyone else, but surely there is something still age-appropriate that would be more flattering. Her older sister is the MASTER of the age-appropriate eveningwear; surely she could get a few tips! But mostly I wanted to say WORD to how amazing she was in “Super 8.” That was an incredible performance.

  2. Mouse

    The hair is truly fug.

  3. Lynne

    God, how I hate the twee-er than twee Heidi braided hair. Someone please make this hideous trend stop! I’d be totally okay with this dress if her hair weren’t making me angry. It’s a bit granny’s table cloth, sure, but it’s age-appropriate.

  4. Sandra

    I do commend you for not harshing on a kid, but your really don’t like that dress. You like HER, which is fine. Me, I’m a bitter old hag, so I’m just gonna come right out and say that Heidi made a dress from Grandpa’s tablecloth in those long Alpine winter evenings, after she was finished milking the goats.

    Seriously, this dress does nothing for her. The shape is blah, the color is blah, and she surely must have cuter things to wear.

    • LoriK

      Bitter old hags, party of two.

      I think this might have been OK if it was short and she didn’t have Heidi hair. As it is, it’s really bad.

      • Amber

        I’ll join the bitter (which I just misspelled as “biter”, which is just wrong) old hag party. If it was shorter and if her hair wasn’t…that, it might be ok. Maybe. Also, is her hair always that yellow? It just seems off to me.

      • ChristopherD

        Agreed, it makes her look 2′ tall!

  5. Dazie

    I was expecting calves and feet to be in there somewhere. She looks awfully stumpified, kind of like Cotton on King of the Hill. The dress lines led me to expect a tea length. SNEAKY.

    And hideous. Sneaky and hideous.

    • eee

      like Cotton on King of the Hill

      BWA HA HA HA HA! I wish I had thought of that. That’s perfect.

      • Squirrel!

        I second the BWA HA HA HA HA! Comparing her to Cotton is *perfect*.

  6. Lys

    Somehow….she looks about 3 feet tall.

  7. val.

    It’s cute but also makes her look midget-sized.

  8. sally

    She has been upholstered.

  9. SaraK

    I like the milkmaid braids on her. On an adult not currently employed as a milkmaid, it would be both impossibly twee and revoltingly trendy, but on a child it’s just perfect. Like peter pan collars, rompers, smocked-front dresses, and patent-leather mary jane flats, some styles may be embraced fiercely and briefly before you hit voting age, then must be left behind forever. Don’t get me started on Alexa Chung and peter pan collars.

    The dress is not worthy of her, at all. I don’t think it would be flattering on anyone. The locations of some of those lacy bits are unfortunate, too. I’d rather she get something as cute as she is, and tea length instead of whatever this is (floor length? ankle-grazing? I can’t tell).

    • Sophia Loren

      I agree, the dress should be shorter.

      And the braids should be worn with a less cutesy dress. Together it’s too much.

    • Sandra

      I like the milkmaid braids on her. On an adult not currently employed as a milkmaid, it would be both impossibly twee and revoltingly trendy, but on a child it’s just perfect.

      Speaking as a bitter old hag who actually did milk cows from the age of 10 until 25 (obviously not EVERY MINUTE of those 15 years) I can assure the viewing audience that this is not what one does with one’s hair. A pony-tail stuffed under a baseball cap in an attempt to keep it clean is much more likely.

  10. vandalfan

    I’m pretty sure the belt, sleeves, and neckline are adorned with NIlla Vanilla wafers.

    • moody

      I love a nilla wafer but that doesn’t make me like this dress any better.

  11. Ailatan

    I love this whole look ON HER, since she’s 13 years old and gets away with braids and pretty dresses. Also, a smile makes this whole ensemble so much cuter.

    She is age appropriate as her sis but she’s more fashion forward.

    • Amber

      Holy crud puppies, she’s only 13?!?! (OK, yes she is, but I had to look that up to be sure-not that I didn’t believe you, but OMG). Whoa. I don’t know why I was thinking she was older, it just seems like she’s been around forever and she SEEMS older (mature) than that. I am truly stunned.
      That being said, I still don’t like the dress. I do like the fact that she’s not dressing like a 21 year old, though.

  12. Stella

    I would like this on a youngish cute girl (which she is) who is brunette… as is, she’s all one color and it’s not good.

  13. Caroleena Stantonova

    This smacks of a slightly mature Heidi yodeling from atop an alp.

  14. Sally

    Are they remaking “I Remember Mama”? And with that, I am officially moving into old fart territory.

    • Laucie

      I swear, all I could think of is “I Remember Mama” and I am so gratified that I am not the only one who heard of it.

  15. yeahandalso

    this is simultaneously too old and too young for her, I would think it was cute on a 3 year old or on Maggie Smith, but really nobody in between.

    And it makes her look really short, which she isn’t at all.

  16. Lynnette

    The only thing this looks like is Church of LDS underwear.

  17. Moni

    Apart from the frumpy style and colour, the length is just unfortunate. At first I thought somebody had cut off the picture at her knees or calves. Maybe she also has very long arms to distort the proportions, but all in all it just looks stumpy.
    The braid is okay, but I would have liked it better if it were more evenly done.

  18. Libby

    It’s a hot beigy mess, but at least she’s not dressing like a vamp. That’s all I got.

  19. Carol

    Demented milkmaid … that smile looks slightly sinister … LOOK OUT!

  20. Melissa

    This goes beyond stumpification to amputation, so that with the old-timey hair and dress she looks like a hovering hallway apparition in a Disney film where a family moves into a new house inhabited by a super nice and perky little ghost.

  21. kayla

    She reminds me of a Madame Alexander doll. It would be cute if 1)her hair didn’t clash with the color of her dress 2)her hair were in a different style, and /or 3) the dress were a different color. I, too, think she is fabulous otherwise. I saw Super 8 with my twelve year old son and we were both entranced by her.

  22. phoebe

    I saw this and immediately thought Laura Ingalls. Nellie. She is pulling a really cute Nellie brat.

  23. Sandy


  24. anny

    No, no, no, no, no! She’s OBVIOUSLY going as Heidi’s wheelchair-bound friend Klara for Halloween. Duh, people.

  25. NYCGirl

    I like the top part, but the pattern on the skirt is too big.

  26. Erin

    There’s something a bit off about the length or the proportion of the pattern … I feel like this would be so much prettier in a tea length – as it is, she looks a bit stumpy. As I scrolled down, I kind of expected to keep scrolling, but there was no more dress left …

  27. Scanderoon

    It must be a trick of the photo angle in addition to the terrible cut/length of the dress, but I seem to have misplaced where her calves should be. As a result, her arms look insanely huge. Like, her fingertips seem to be hitting just below her knees. It is freaking me out.

    Also, terrible colour, I have seen actual tablecloths in this exact pattern, and being adorable and 13 doesn’t make it okay.

  28. ChaChaHeels

    If she were six, this get-up would be fantastic on her. For some reason, she’s either a “Pretty Baby-d” Lolita in photos, or flat out infantile. No in-betweens.

    Finally, we should all just pay you something for using the word “antimacassar” in a post.

  29. Emma

    I think it would be passable with higher heels and less-dumb hair.