Fug or Fab: Maggie Gyllenhaal


I’ve been spending so long trying to figure out what’s happening at the front of Maggie’s dress — I think it’s seaming, although it kind of looks like there’s a flap over her abdomen (in case you REALLY need to scratch your stomach? Sure) — that I barely even noticed Peter Saaaarrrrrrsgaaaaaard’s shirt has drawings all over it. Maybe he got VERY bored in the taxi on the way over:

I am on record as being lukewarm on this length of dress: it’s not QUITE a maxi, but it doesn’t have the balls to be full-on tea-length. Instead, it’s kind of just chilling in limbo, all awkwardly flirting with her ankles but not making a real move. Taking a shine to her calves, but not having the balls to actually go there. It’s frustrating. COMMIT, SKIRT. But leaving this dress’s clear personal and emotional issues aside, I think it kind of works. I approve. YOU’RE WELCOME, MAGGIE.

What do you think? Please take to the comments and commit.

[Photo: Getty]

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Comments (53):

  1. Stefanie

    After I was done commenting on Jessie J, I went to hit the “Next Story” button and when I saw Fug or Fab: Maggie Gyhoweveryouspellit, I thought to myself, “It’s Maggie it will be fug.”

    But I’m wrong. It’s only fug-ish. I like the pattern and I like the idea. But I hate the length. It’s miles better than what usually happens so it’s ok.

    • Anne

      Exactly what I thought. It’s not great but it’s SO MUCH better.

      •  ShannonTX

        Exactly. I don’t love it, but compared to how Maggie normally looks, this is a solid win for her.

        Peter, however, needs to start dressing like a big boy. That shirt is ridiculous.

  2. Jennifer

    Strappier shoes, please. Not extremely complex in that they’ll have to duke it out with the dress, but something more exciting. Or red.

  3. A

    She looks fab from the waist up, so I’ll give her a win.

    • ortenzia

      The straps are really flattering to her shoulders — maybe she should switch from flowy boho grab-bag to structured and basic? She has such an interesting and beautiful face, it’d be nice to keep everything around her simple so you can focus on that.

  4. Lynne

    I’ll admit it. I kind of like that length when properly deployed. I actually have a summer dress that length. I think she looks lovely, actually. These two look like the stylish and witty couple I am frequently envious of while secretly wishing they’d invite me to one of their terribly cool cocktail parties so I can also discuss the future of modern theatre over a plate of hors d’oeuvres.

    • val.

      I am 6′ tall so pretty much all my “maxi dresses” are that length! Ha! I don’t think it’s too bad, just maybe needs different shoes.

      • ortenzia

        I’m 5’11″ and same! Let’s make it a thing: tall girl maxi length. It’s super functional but you also have to be aware people will see the full shoe, not just the toe. :)

    • Kate

      I think she looks great as well – I like this look on her!

    •  Cucina49

      I also like this length, though at 5’2″ am too short to deploy it. This looks great on her–she looks so long and lean!

  5. Paige

    This dress reminds me of one of those ink blot tests and all I see is a big sad face on the front. Like actually I do see like a grumpy, old, tree face frowning. The questionable seems or flaps over her abdomen looks the frowning mouth and the seams in between her boobs makes the them look like the eyes.
    That doesn’t make me dislike this dress in fact for Maggie I think this is quite good I don’t even mind the length in this case. It’s just the first thing my eyes see is a sad old dress.

  6. val.

    It’s like the old fashioned onsie pajamas with the flap in front. Still, she looks pretty good (for her.) Considering how frumpy she usually dresses, I have to call this a win.

  7. Amy S.

    Why does such an attractive couple dress so poorly?

    •  Wildviolette

      Ya know, I’m just going to give them a pass on account of the fact they seem happy together and are living lives free of public tiffs, orchestrated moments for the paparazzi, or detailed descriptions of their sex life on morning talk shows. I hope these crazy, bedraggled kids make it!

  8. rjh

    I think she is working it, and I’m willing to overlook any minor quibbles since it is far and away better than the outfits she usually graces this site with.

    In the case of Peter’s T-shirt though, I’m afraid I can’t give peace a chance.

    • patty

      Maybe he’s trying to copy Brad Pitt and wearing a shirt he let his children “design”

      Which is a million times better than that guy from Survivor (Lex?) who got a TATOO of his child’s drawing on his STOMACH! Sweet idea, not necessarily a good one.

    • Tiffany

      I agree. I think she looks great, especially considering her fashion habits!

  9. Kate (formerly Kate)

    I liked it better when I thought it was a pattern, and not, as it appears to be, a lace overlay (blah). But it’s remarkably flattering and cute on her. I also like that length. The current full-blown maxi trend is stupid; your skirt’s always dragging on the floor/sidewalk or getting caught in your shoes. Not practical.

    I also think different shoes would be better shoes.

    •  Stacey

      I wore a maxi dress with heels one night and spent the whole night pulling my dress off my heel. It’s a miracle there were no injuries. Only flats with that dress now!

  10.  Maria L.

    Those two really are made for each other. That said, I think she looks (for her) good here. Without the flap thingy it would be great.

    I like the length also. I can’t wear any of those stupidly long maxi dresses. Apparently they are designed for giraffes and I can’t be bothered having to fix the hem.

  11.  Kris

    I feel like Maggie Gyllenhaal is the sartorial equivalent of a bright student who consistently brings home Cs and Ds. When they manage a B, it’s time for a party because you’ll take whatever you can get.

    • Jenz

      This is SO my son. He’ll ace any test you put in front of him… and then not DO (or do and not TURN in) his homework so everything washes to a C. ARGH!

      •  alamedapeg

        FWIW, my son was the same way. Occasionally he’d “forget” to do the homework, but most often he would do it but not turn it in — maddening. We referred to it as AAAFFAFFAAFFA = C. Now that he’s in college, he’s pulling straight A’s in engineering and loves it. He just didn’t like homework. Keep breathing and good luck!

        • Jenz

          I am so hoping that’s the case!! Thank you! And that’s EXACTLY what his grades look like.

  12. Loxy

    Question for the crowd: What if it were a jumpsuit?

  13. Jenz

    Maggie looks cute here… Peter, not so much. If I saw this from a distance, I’d call security, for certain that Maggie was being molested by a homeless guy.

  14. Jill

    The kangaroo pocket is weird, but it’s the first thing she’s ever worn in which her body looked bangin’.

    I’m actually all for dresses that make you look like an especially attractive person with questionable taste. Then you look attractive, yet kinda fun.

    It’s so much better than the reverse — people who wear unimpeachable clothes that don’t suit them. They just look sad.

  15. Tricia

    I love this length on tall people, and I personally love the quirky style that Maggie has. I know Fug Nation in general are not big fans, but I am.

  16. bettykeira

    The Suburu Outback is the Maggie Gyllanhall of the car world. I think this dress illustrates why.

  17. halley

    I think Maggie seems lovely as a person. She’s definitely someone I would want to be friends with.

    In terms of the dress, waist up, I am on board. Waist down, either shorter with those shoes, or if it is that length, strappy sandals.

  18. TonyG

    She looks confident and happy, like she wants to be here. She sometimes looks like she doesn’t want to be out and about, so I consider this a win.

  19. Amy S.

    Is Sarsgaard wearing something in his right ear or is that just a weird trick of the light?

  20. Pan Jinlian

    She looks amazing, as usual!

  21. gigi

    Definitely see an angry meme in that dress, like something on the cartoon network during adult swim… and did Pete lose weight? [muscle heft that is] he’s looking a might frailish. Makes his eyes look bigger & less sultry like in the old days… I like my Sarsgaaaaaard meatier!

  22. Z

    I think she looks delightful – and comfortable.

  23. Maisie

    Is that flap a summer muff–a place to warm one’s hands after having cradled, say, a cup of frozen yogurt or an icy-cold drink? In any regard, Maggie looks adorable!

  24. HelenBackAgain

    Fine for anyone else, FAB for Maggie! I am so happy she’s managed to discover that structured things can also be comfortable. Okay, it’s probably going to be just this once, but hey, we got this once!

  25. Jules

    This is the best she’s looked in quite a while, and the worst he’s looked.

  26. Suzy Q

    That looks like a pregnancy pouch on that dress. You know, for easy access to ultrasounds on the fly AND/OR to more easily apply henna tattoos to the bump whenever the mood strikes.

  27. melly

    For Maggie? It’s fab, or relatively fab! She’s somebody I think of like Amanda Peele. Just does not have a sense of clothes, let alone fashion. So this is good. When it comes to acting they are both high on my list.

  28.  Linda_AZ

    I quite like this, though I’d do away with the pouch. I like cool and comfortable dresses and skirts of most lengths, except for really short or hitting/dragging on the floor (which grosses me out). The length of Maggie’s dress here is super comfortable to me.

    She’s so pretty!

  29. Joanie

    I’m not sure I understand Maggie’s slow transformation into a kangaroo. I mean, that is what’s happening, right?

  30. BlueMoon

    That looks like a poncho type pocket in the front. Which is a little weird for a summer dress. But I like the cut of the dress on her. And she’s lovely. I once saw her and Saarsgaard at a play opening — they were very nice to everyone, just hanging out amidst the crowd at intermission.

  31. AAH

    I think this is the best she’s looked in years. I love it all on her.

  32. Margaret

    I like it overall but would definitely vote for almost any other shoes — bright sandals preferably but I wouldn’t pair this with black pumps. I guess beige pumps would be worse…

  33.  lacondesainverieno

    Lipstick? Would it kill her? Even just some tint…