Fug or Fab: Katharine McPhee


My eye for patterns has always been rough — I tend to be afraid of them in my own life, because I never know a) how to combine them (that is advanced math right there), nor b) whether they look too cutesy or disco or insane on me. That untrustworthiness is very inconvenient in my day job, because while this dress IS probably objectively insane, part of me thinks it’s also totally cute.

Then again, maybe that’s just because when I look at it, I see a giant H, and it appeals to my vanity — like a combination of a scarlet letter and a high five.

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[Photo: Getty]

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Comments (34):

  1. Anna Svahn

    But a big NO to the shoes.

    • Eliza Bennett

      gaahh those shoes. I can’t even make it to the dress. I think I’d like it a little longer.

  2. Carrie

    Want it. But yeah, this current shoe trend is not my favorite.

  3. Jamie

    The dress itself is cute but I think the shoes should be black and the purse should be a solid. That purse is just awful with that outfit!

  4. Lindy

    It looks like she has a wee little door right on her wee little…

  5. qwertygirl

    Heather, take a lesson on how NOT to match patterns from this dress. This is a shortened version of the love child of the calicoes that Pa brought home for Ma to make dresses for Laura and Mary on Plum Creek. Apparently they were first cousins, and you know what they say about family that closely related marrying…

  6. michelle

    I have to admit I like it on her but would NEVER have chosen it to wear myself! Combining patterns isn’t my forte either.

  7. MC859

    This is like an eye test – I didn’t see an H till you pointed it out. Instead I saw a blue rectangle covering her groin, like a misplaced chastity belt with white straps.

    • TonyG

      That groin patch distracted me too until Heather pointed out the “H,” and then I suddenly saw the whole dress, which, on the whole, is better than the sum of its parts.

  8. Kristina

    I like the look of mixing patterns…but can’t muster the courage to wear it myself. If I did, I think I would do what she is doing…wearing a dress where a designer mixed the patterns for me. I really like these patterns together! (The purse is too much though. Indifferent about the shoes).

  9. Carol

    Loved it! I’m the same way with patterns…love them in all forms but afraid to wear them myself. I feel like they might overwhelm me.

    Also: now all I can see is the giant H. LOL!

    • Carol

      Plus the shoes are really great with this dress too! The more I look at it, the more I want it =)

  10. Sandra

    The patterns look like they all crawled out of Granny’s scrap-bag, but the whole of it works. On her, at least.

    • Hellokitty123

      2nd Granny’s scrap-bag, and 2nd that it oddly works. Head-scratcher, that one.

  11. Erin

    I’m still so happy her hair’s back to normal (i.e., not short and platinum blonde) that I think she looks great. But now that you mention it, it DOES look like a door to… below.

  12. Kristan

    I would consider this a scroll-down feh. Like, From the waist up she looks fabulous, but I wish the skirt had transitioned to a color block after that. Solid black, or maybe the matching blue.

    And then yeah, I don’t love the shoes.

    But I voted “hot!” simply because I don’t think it’s “horrid.”

  13. anny

    HOT – as in hand-hooked hotpads hanging over the stove.

  14. Bella

    It’s different, kinda cute. But I’m so glad she has her normal hair back, I’d fab about anything she wears.

  15. witjunkie

    I would so wear this to Oktoberfest.

  16. Bevvie Hedstrom

    She looks totally cute.

  17. NYCGirl

    It looks like a patchwork quilt, and so, as someone who’s always wanted to learn how to quilt, I can’t find it fug.

  18. Sajorina

    It is HOT! WANT! It is young, fresh and flattering… Katharine looks BEAUTIFUL! Love the dress, shoes, clutch, hair & makeup! FAB!!!

  19. Erika

    Loved everything about this! I’m a total fan of bright colours and mixing prints. It’s new and and fun everything a girl like her should wearing!



  20. Gail

    Methinks Catherine McPhee is looking a bit twee. Also, her shoulders are looking like boulders.

  21. Emma

    I love pattern, and I love this.

  22. Helen


  23. Rosa

    aaaaaaaaand now I can’t un-see the H. Yup, there it is.

  24. Justine

    She looks like a naughty Christmas advent calendar – what’s behind the door for the 25th?!?

  25. vandalfan

    Too symmetrical.

  26. Lily1214

    Maybe different shoes and purse. Definitely purse. Isn’t that one of those Missoni for Target ones?