Fug or Fab: Julianne Hough


You need to know, up front, that I don’t like the dress. For me that’s not what the poll is about today.

It always distracts me when a dress’s skirt just SITS on the red carpet, instead of flowing onto it. I also wish the bodice were designed as striking on its own merits, instead of as a unibrow for her boobs. But Julianne Hough is someone who has been tossing and turning on the red carpet, so to speak, trying to slide into a consistent style that works for her. And God help me, but the playful punkyness as illustrated here — kind of a Miley-lite — is the one that’s working best for me. Her face looks great, and is totally carrying all the intensity around it. It takes a lot to stand out in the middle of all that, but she’s doing it, and in a way that gives her some personality. Some verve. Some zest. Some other word that would be worth a decent amount in Scrabble. (I once got denied “vogueing”, on a triple-word square no less, because it wasn’t in the ratty ancient Webster’s we had even though we all know that’s totally a legit word, AM I RIGHT, and I apparently never got over it.) So this puts me in a weird position of embracing the spirit of an outfit if not the letter, and thus, I need y’all to set me straight.

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[Photo: Getty]

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Comments (23):

  1. Art Eclectic

    There are the pieces of a great dress here, but they’ve not been deployed well. A good song and a bad song all use the same set of notes, it’s how you arrange them that makes the difference.

  2. lilywise

    Best I’ve ever seen her look on the red carpet — she looks fresh and fun and young and cool. Not matronly or dowdy or boring or cutesy, which is where I think she usually lands. I don’t like the dress either, but her hair and face and body language are all screaming WIN.

  3. Liz

    How awesome is that zebra coat (with pink lining) on the woman in the background. Yes to cool coats. At least in San Francisco we get to wear them – especially in the summer.

    • Katie

      That coat was the first thing I noticed! (Sorry, Jules) I’m not a fan of animal print on myself, but deployed properly it is fun and I love the lining surprise. I’ve been looking for a great fall coat and I’d love to take that one’s solid or plaid cousin out for a spin!

      As for the main attraction here, I’ve lost the forest in the trees and can’t even begin to think about liking the overarching style because the bodice makes me sad. And I liked her hair better when she dyed it brown to film Footloose.

  4. Evalyn

    Bad, bad dress, but good to see her exhibit some personality.

  5. malinda jane

    Yeah, the dress has some personality but I don’t think it’s HER personality. She’s got the face to pull it off, but her personality is too sweet and cutesy for edgy looks. It doesn’t work for me.
    All her other looks are too old for her, but this is too costumey.

    • Rowynn

      I agree. Of course, seeing her on a few seasons of Dancing With The Stars is not like knowing her personally, but based on the persona she SEEMED to project on that show, this dress doesn’t suit her. That said, though, she does look pretty, and I’d be fine with the dress on her if it didn’t have so much unrelated-looking clutter going on above the waist. I like the belt, and how it accentuates her tiny waist. but the rest of that junk is not necessary, and actually detracts from what could have been a rather striking gown.

  6. Katharine

    I really like what she’s doing with her head here. I have no love for this dress at all. Aside from everything else, it’s way too fussy for my taste.

  7. Ladyblahblah

    Agree with malinda jane. To me, it’s roughly the same effect as Ann Romney wearing this dress. She looks fine, but the trying-to-be-edgy hair and dress look costume-y on her. By the way, was ANYONE in Hollywood not at this premiere?

  8. malie

    This works for me, top to bottom. I even like the way the dress opposite-of-flows where it hits the carpet, but maybe that’s because I’m a total taffeta and taffeta-adjacent-fabrics fangirl. The swishier the sound, the better.

  9. Helen

    I don’t know, the spirit of it is kinda fun, but… I think I like Hough best in simple, pretty things.

  10. Kit

    I am in the “love this outright” column. It”s not a great dress, but she looks great in it – it really works for me!

  11. witjunkie

    I hear what you’re saying. And without the wrinkly sheer bit, I might have even loved the dress. But this doesn’t look quite natural on her – of course that might be because I’ve seen her in so many different iterations that nothing looks natural. However, if she dressed like this a few times in a row, I could be talked into it. Maybe. I kinda like her as a person, what I’ve seen of her, so I want her to find something good and stick the hell with it.

  12. Sarah

    Everything looks a jillion percent better now that she’s lightened up on the fake tan!

  13. pantsonfire

    I think I might really be into this dress. Sure, there are bits I might change, but I love the concept. I would experiment with de-junkifying the bodice/neckline…not totally, but just start removing crap until it wasn’t quite so busy. Then I would see about simplifying the belt part a bit…I don’t like the little tie that’s front and center. I LOVE the skirt — the shape, the fluidity of the fabric, the pockets…it’s great.

    That said, I’m not sure I totally buy that this is her. I’m not outright rejecting it, either. I just…remain skeptical. I’m not sold, but I’m curious to see whether she rocks future outfits in this same vein. Her hair and face look marvelous, I think.

  14. jodi

    I think there is something wrong with my computer, because I see the red carpet as a black carpet, and her skirt is black and therefore I can’t see anything flowing into anything. Adjusting contrast….nope.
    Don’t these people have stylists whose job it is to call ahead and find out what color the red carpet is? We seem to see a lot of red dresses on red carpets, black dresses on black carpets, and disembodied heads because the beige dress dissolves into the beige wall. How do I get this “stylist” job, I’m sure I could do it as least as well as most of these people…

  15. Lily1214

    I actually like her hair a lot. The color and the way it’s styled. She looks terrific. And current and fun.

  16. SKS

    I like the overall vibe, although it does veer into “costume-y” as others have noted.

    Also, vogueing is (now?) in the official Scrabble dictionary….. :P

  17. Emma

    I quite like the tulipy-shaped skirt, but not the bodice. I don’t think she’s “found” her “vibe.” Her styling always looks very contrived to me, and sort of 80′s. I wish she’s wear less (and more modern) makeup, and do less extreme things with her hair.

  18. Sajorina

    She is an AUTOMATIC FUG for me, just because it’s her, but I absolutely, unequivocally and unabashedly LOVE this dress, which is sadly wasted on her! Dress = FAB! Julianne = NOT! *I weep ’cause I covet*

    • Sajorina

      By the way “to vogue” is totally a verb, so “vogueing”, which my auto-correct wanted to change to “segueing”, has to totally be a word!

  19. Kris

    Psst. I just checked FB Scrabble, and VOGUEING is totally a word. Any time you want to play, you know where to find me!!! :D

  20. D86

    Her hair from the front is like three spikes and kinda looks like burger king’s crown. The dress would be perfect if the sheer part was black.