Unfug It Up: Julianne Hough


The good news about this outfit: It hung a “Vacancy” sign on my brain that immediately enticed an earworm known as Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose,” which burrowed comfortably into the open spot and refuses to leave. Generally speaking, Mr. Loggins’ movie themes are always welcome in my head — I’m all right, nobody worry about  me, I’m just on the highway to the Danger Zone — but “Footloose” is a particular favorite of mine. Somehow my family had two cassettes of the soundtrack, and to this day, the title track is one of those songs whose words I have never actually known, which does not stop me from belting it out in the car and just sort of spitting out a mix of potentially correct lyrics and complete gibberish, like the opening lines: “Been workin’ so hard. I’m ponch to my cart. Eeee yuuuur fer wuurrrr don’t tell me what a guy.” Or my other favorite verse: “You’re flang is so cool, obeying every rule.  Inna workawn ooooh your heart, you’re flarn in the yarn in the soul car…” And I know I could look up the correct lyrics, but I don’t want to, because I’m already driving the soul car and totally ponching my cart.

Speaking of gibberish:

I think a brain scramble is the only explanation for Ms. Hough — trying to be the next hot young movie star — getting this outfit out of her dreams and into her soul car. (I don’t think Mr. Billy Ocean would mind being yoked to Kenny Loggins here, do you?) This matronly high-waisted shorts ensemble looks like it came from the Talbots Hot In Cleveland collection. In other words, it is totally flarn in the yarn. I don’t really think this is WORTH fixing, but let’s pretend we have to, okay? Could this be saved with a balls-out sexy pair of shoes? (My guess is no, because shoes don’t cancel demi-culottes.) What if it were a miniskirt, or even a dress? Would you fix the sleevage, or add some cleavage? Discuss. Preferably in coherent words, because Mr. Loggins really prefers people to leave the gibberish to his expert larynx.

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Comments (66):

  1. Chasmosaur

    Sure she’s just not trying to channel the 80′s somehow?

  2. Cathy

    First of all, are we sure it’s not on backwards?

    Also, hate the shoes. Too formal for shorts, and too nude. The only thing working in their favor is that they are not clunky platforms.

  3. AliceBlue

    Well, I like the color.

  4. Megan

    Three words: Lose. The. SHORTS.

    They are ENORMOUS. They are DEVOURING her bottom half. And, they are ugly.

    The top is kind of interestingly pleated and the color is great…maybe if this was an above the knee dress? Really, just anything but those torso-eating shorts.

  5. MC

    Still giggling over “flarn in the yarn” and can’t really look at the picture.
    A skirt even if way too mini is better than shorts which are never ever formal.

  6. Lina

    She wears the color really well, which is a feat for this shade of coral, and the fabric looks like it might feel really good against the skin, but yikes. The design is terrible, as are those shoes. I vote for starting over from scratch.

  7. Sophia

    that woman in the background is presumably rushing somewhere, so why does she have her arm stretched out behind her?

  8. Sally

    Talbots’ Hot in Cleveland collection. Who could change anything so perfect?

  9. Lynne

    I was going to sign off on the top but looking at it again, it’s got weird pleats that look unfinished. As though it were pinned clumsily but never actually sewn. I like the color. Everything else can go. Hate formal shorts. Haaaattte the ‘hair all to one side’ look.

  10. Karen

    Lop off the sleeves and make the whole thing an above-knee dress and we’d be making progress. Some better shoes would help, too.

    • Serena

      You took the words right out of my mouth (do you think Meatloaf will mind being referenced in this music filled review of such an ugly outfit?)

  11. Jerika Coleman

    It would definitely have to be a dress. The top looks great (though I’m unsure of the fabric) and the color is nice on her. Then we’d need different shoes, but it’s not a total loss.

  12. Maggie

    I cannot handle the high waisted pants/shorts thing even one more time. They can put that crap out there all they want, I am NOT going back to the ’80s. I just refuse. These shorts look like hell on someone half my age with a lovely figure, can only imagine the horror on myself.

    • Ky

      I don’t know what possesed me but, I bought a pair of linen paperbag waist shorts this summer. They looked like, you guessed it. A PAPERBAG! High waisted shorts are not for amatures or Julianne.
      PS, when I spot those shorts balled up in the corner where I kicked them in disgust, I start plotting my revenge against that Gap salesgirl all anew.

  13. Lion

    With a black pencil skirt it would be a tolerable outfit for work.

  14. Bella

    She’s so pretty, but she misses it far too often.

    First, get that hair off only one shoulder – not a good look. Make it an above the knee sleeveless dress, straighten out that wonky bodice and try a nice pair of shoes.

  15. Annie M

    Lose everything but the colour – shoes, shorts, sleeves, pleats, sideswept hair – everything. But the colour … gorgeous!

  16. LoriK

    Make it a dress, put a good belt on it, get some way better shoes and a different hairdo.

  17. sharjem

    Hate the outfit. I’m really just here to observe that “Ponch the Cart” sounds like a dirty deed done with one Erik Estrada.

  18. Kit

    Lose the sleeves, put on better shoes, and this outfit has potential.

    Also, why does Julianna Hough not look like Julianna Hough lately?


  19. Kit

    Oh, forgot. Belt!

  20. Wade

    I’m not hating it. Shorten the sleeves. Seriously, her legs are worth shorter shorts….

    • GFY Heather

      Her legs might be worth shorter shorts, but just not THOSE shorter shorts.

  21. nannyo

    Make these into long pants (but hemmed to proper length, please). Pull her hair up, add a pretty necklace and she would be good to go…to Sunday brunch. .

  22. Loramir

    Those lyrics actually sound about right to me. I’ve spent way too much time working in grocery stores, so my main exposure to a lot of songs is as background Muzak, leaving me with only a hazy impression of the words. This does NOT stop them from getting stuck in my head.

    The shorts/culottes are unsalvageable. The shirt might be alright, as someone said, with a black pencil skirt, though I don’t care for the neckline. The whole chest area just looks too bunchy.

  23. Kara

    If this were a long-sleeved minidress without the pleating on top and the cinched-at-the-wrist sleeves, I would wear it (but not with those shoes). I love a long-sleeved mini and the color is gorgeous.

  24. Elizabeth

    Iron it. Make the sleeves not sheer, if they are. Make it a mini dress or make the shorts… shortier? And put a new pair of shoes with it. And change the hair.

    Because. You know. The color is great.

  25. Lynne

    @Kit, totally! I didn’t know who the hell she was in the Footloose trailer until her name appeared and then I remembered. I just chalked that up to her hair color. Now she’s back to blonde and it still takes me a minute to figure out who she is. What’s up with that?

    Also, @sharjem. Hee!

  26. Rowynn

    Nothing cracks me up like misheard lyrics. My favorite is Dave Barry saying he thinks the first line of Help Me, Rhonda is “Well, since you let me down I’ve got owls pooping in my bed.”
    As for Julianne, she needs to get rid of this outfit and get a nice minidress in the same color, fluff her hair out on both sides of her face, and put on some strappy heels. She is so cute, but so often not dressed as flatteringly as she could be.

    • Squirrel!

      If I worked in an office with cubicles, I might have been fired for how hard I laughed (and then cried) at “you’re flarn in the yarn in the soul car.”

      And now “owls pooping in my bed” has given me a serious case of the giggles.

    • Sally

      One of my favs? Phoebe (on Friends) finally learning that the Elton John song is NOT “Hold me closer, Tony Danza”

  27. InfamousQBert

    is it wrong that i don’t hate this? it’s kind of cute in a very retro, 1940s/50s way. like, it reminds me of pictures of my grandmother cavorting with her girlfriends during WWII. i’d put it with funkier shoes, like those platformy, rounded toe things that are so popular and be done with it.

  28. Cee

    Everyone nitpicks the details, but it’s this: it’s safe. It’s not interesting, it’s not loud, it’s conventional without being too conventional; it’s kinda orange, like her skin. It’s boring.

  29. Chicklet

    My brain has already erased all traces of this outfit, that’s how bad it is. Also, I like your “Footloose” lyrics better than whatever the real ones are. I’m off to ponch my cart.

  30. vandalfan

    Keep the monochrome, make shorts a skirt, add a chain belt and much better, more daring shoes. And formalize, somehow, the bunchy neckline.

  31. Fuh Ugh

    Definite scroll down fug on that one. I’d like it a lot if this were a dress; the skirt could be either A-line or straight, just not too short in order to balance the volume on the top.

  32. Sideshow Rob

    Picture this: a Busby Berkeley dance number in which the lovely Julianne is one of dozens of women in satin outfits tap tap tapping across a brilliantly polished stage. Champagne bubbles fly through the air. An orchestra in tuxes play at the end of the stage. Suddenly this makes sense and is kind of charmingly super-retro, especially when you picture that color against a B&W background.

    If she shows up somewhere in a sailor suit, all bets are off.

    • Kate

      In those circumstances, this is suddenly a great outfit. Julianne leads a berrylicious cohort in a highkicking ode to the joys of something or other with a lot of food colouring (smoothies? ice blocks?).

      Otherwise, my thought was that she had donned a prison romper for crimes against fashion, given that her last dress gave a lot of us the heebie-jeebies.

  33. TonyG

    The see-through arms are really unnecessary. Cut them off, and remove the bell-bottomy flare from the shorts, making them so they more hug her hips and thighs in a straight-leg pants sort of way.

  34. Bexmarie

    Love the top. Don’t mind the shorts if they were shorter and tighter. Not TOO short and tight, but just a little more tailored to fit her with 1-2 inches off the bottom. Otherwise, I like it! Oh, but I do think some better shoes would knock it out of the park. Maybe a cobalt blue or a royal purple?

  35. Leah M

    Cannot approve of the outfit, or the female version of a comb-over. But I had to say that I was dancing to “Footloose” last Friday and have had the only lyrics I know “loose, footloose, kick off your Sunday shoes” stuck in my head on a loop since. Now I have more lyrics and I am so happy….thank you for your cool flang, Heather!

  36. Eli

    I am bored by Julianne Hough in the same way I am bored by Pippa Middleton. People make a big deal over them and I am just all, yawn.

    That said, the superlative Kenny Loggins movie theme song is the much underappreciated “Meet Me Halfway”

  37. Sophia Loren

    The top is beautiful and so are her legs. So I think make the shorts just a decent smidge shorter and tighter, add a belt in an odd, bright color – aqua? – and wear it with interesting, flat, strappy sandels in brown leather.

  38. Beatrice Casini

    I think the shirt is ok actually with the color looking so good. Sweep that hair into a loose, casual / sexy bun and replace the bottom half with dark jeans and “balls out” sexy strappy wedge things (in nude or gold).

  39. Blanche

    Clearly, the right sartorial thing to do here is to liberate the bright red pintucked matronliness: lengthen the culottes to full pants legs, stuff the suit with insulation and sew black and white racing stripes down the sides. Add white-rimmed ski goggles, replace the nude pumps with shiny, black rental ski boots, place a mostly-drunk martini glass in her hands, and stick her on a chalet deck in the Swiss Alps. Voila! Red wine, success.

  40. yeahandalso

    when did her face become Heidi Klum’s?

  41. G

    To salvage this look, she needs to 1) comb her hair, 2) remove clothes and shoes and set fire to them, and 3) wear something, anything else.

  42. Anne B

    See, what she needs to do is:


    It’s all right there in the song. Would Kenny lie to us?

    (Heather: your flang is so cool.)

  43. Laurabel

    Sexy strappy gold stilletto sandals, and make the shorts a skirt. A flashy gold belt (chain, even) would be a plus, but not necessary.

  44. rose

    put hair up in one of those ridiculous buns on the top of her head that will end up looking cute, chop off the sheer sleeves (shudder) make it a sleeveless mini dress – but make sure all the fabric looks the same, in this one the top and the bottom look ~separate~ and please god, change the shoes! put on some adorable tan wedges or better yet, a bright-colored wedge. it would be so summery & bearable! it might also be cuter if it were white, or navy blue, or emerald green, or something.

  45. Reece

    I actually like this but it would be better with a better shoe…and not on an orange person. A BLONDE ORANGE person!

  46. Karen

    Wait, are those NOT the opening lyrics to “Footloose”?

  47. Jules

    This dress is the cut and color of pain.
    Why bother wearing clothes at all, if you have to revert back to 80′s cheese to make a statement?
    Oh wait, that’s what the rest of the young starlets are doing these days.
    Maybe it is some kind of masochistic statement?

  48. Sajorina

    I think she just wanted to match the color of her outfit to the color of her skin! But, to me she’s an AUTOMATIC FUG, no matter what she’s wearing, it is never good!

    She’s always OVER THE TOP, but maybe she’ll ♫ “Meet me halfway… Across the sky…” ♫

  49. Emma

    Why does she wear soooo much makeup? She always looks REALLY shiny.

  50. annie

    by the time i reached the photo, i was laughing too hard to notice what she was wearing. well done, fugs.

  51. luxsword

    ill-fitting shoes !

  52. Anne

    For some reason this seems like something Beyonce’s mom would have designed.

  53. witjunkie

    I know I’m late but I had to say I had just taken a bite of chicken tortilla soup when I started reading your lyrics and I’m so thankful I had a napkin, because I swear it almost came out of my nose. I was literally fighting for control and yet COULD NOT STOP READING IT.

  54. Dusk

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha!!! I have no idea what this story is about. You had me in stitches at “…I’m ponch to my cart. Eeee yuuuur fer wuurrrr don’t tell me what a guy“!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  55. CJ

    Total scroll-down fug. I like the blouse, I like the tomato red on her, I like the hair. But from the waist down, these were unfortunately unflattering choices. First, this woman has great legs and she has chosen shorts and shoes that stumpify her. Had the blouse been paired with a cute pencil skirt and something light and kind of invisible (maybe metallic?) and strappy on her feet, this would have been totally fab.

  56. anny

    Shorts => skirt, hair up, #2 pencil and a steno notebook – perfect for the pre-computer-age office.

  57. Freya

    Great colour, but she needs to change the shorts to a skirt, and the nude shoes to a more interesting pair. Maybe some nice strappy sandals?