As a refresher: Half of each of the four brackets plays today, and the rest of Round one tips off tomorrow (Friday), so to speak. The photos and links in each matchup post are NOT the only outfits eligible; rather, they’re a representative sample of the body of work. Polls close after 24 hours, so if you like to research your choices — on our site, Getty Images, Google, whatever — have at it and just make sure you vote before the game ends. If you need a primer on how all this works, peruse the FAQ; if you forgot your bracket, click here. And, most importantly, have fun!
1. RITA ORA vs. 16. JOHNNY DEPP
Like Kim Kardashian, her fellow one-seed, Rita’s archives are a VERITABLE TREASURE TROVE of delights. I mean, for every amazing look like this one, there are seven totally cracked out get-ups like this one. Or this! This is lunacy! What even IS that? On the topic of, “what even IS that?” I present this fiasco. I also would like to point out that it is in this exact entry where we note that Rita might be Kim’s biggest competition this year, which I think is accurate. And to that point, she even wore something that Kim ALSO wore, in the form of THIS:
That’s one hell of a Who Wore It Best. Frankly, I’d like to see Kim up the ante and wear this on her next outing:
Can you imagine? Kim Kardashian shuffling down the street in shower shoes? I worry this might cause irreparable harm to Kanye’s frontal lobe.
Rita’s Walking Around Wear is actually generally entertaining, and by “entertaining,” I obviously mean “crazy.” High-heeled gladiator sandals and one of Maude’s old tunic vests are NOT a pairing I would have ever anticipated:
(Though, in the interest of giving credit where it is due: That lipstick is GREAT.)
This is…I believe WORDS would not go amiss here:
There is a part of me that sees this and giggles and thinks, “oh, Rita. You do your salute to the mesh craze of the early 90s, you glorious coral reef, you,” and then the rest of me is like, “WHAT NO WAIT DON’T THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA.”
Also terrible, yet entertaining, yet terrible:
That’s like a whimsical shower curtain on deep sale at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It even looks mildly water resistant.
This, frankly, probably could have been worse:
Which is saying something, because everything from that particular Tom Ford line was borderline trashy at best. (At least take your cue from early Madonna and be “Borderline” Trashy, you guys. You’ve never seen so many giant pieces of fabric tied into a person’s hair.)
I cannot think this was exactly how Donna Karan envisioned this look playing out for any of us:
So much so that I almost wish she’d worn THIS to the VMAs instead:
Or even this? It’s COZY, at least?
But not this. This can and should and must stay home:
Can the winner of our second play-in game — in which he HANDILY defeated Brad Pitt — take down Rita’s juggernaut of fug? His primary weapons appear to be wacky eyewear and a variety of odd things tied around his neck. Like so:
Sigh. A bolo tie flatters few men. And in case you wanted to see that delight in its full-length best:
He really looks two minutes away from just wearing every lanyard he got at every movie festival ever around his neck, ALL THE TIME.
This one, at least, I GUESS he looks thematic for the Met Gala’s Charles James event:
He also looks weirdly like his own wax figure, and while we’re on it, Johnny, make SURE Madame Tussaud’s does NOT try to “update” whatever they’ve got of you right now. It will end badly for us all.
In addition to a predilection for Bono’s eyewear, El Depp also embraces MANY a hat, even ones which appear to have survived, say, a tragic house fire:
I’m not sure if the Indiana Jones Rides the Rails look is better than this one, or not:
This feels slightly Harry Potter-adjacent in a way that makes me nervous. Don’t go there, Johnny. Some things are sacred!
Whose fug reigns supreme?
- Rita Ora (85%, 5,494 Votes)
- Johnny Depp (15%, 986 Votes)
Total Voters: 6,479
Iggy is also playing a strong game this season. Her archives are impressive. Like, remember when she wore these crazy shoes? Or the time she looked lovely except for the part where she was wearing the most insane braid? Or this wacky get-up? But there’s so much more! BEHOLD:
Something about her facially there makes me think she was briefly possessed by the evil spirit of Paris Hilton, except even Paris would not wear Palazzo Sweatpants.
She also sported THIS insane skirt, which she doesn’t appear to like any more than I do:
“This worked on January Jones,” she looks like she’s thinking here:
Here, she sported a Salute To Living Through Getting Mauled By a Bear:
I suspect that the process of getting dressed without accidentally sticking your head through the wrong hole is a REALLY challenge in that dress.
But perhaps the most glorious instance of fug, especially now that we’ve eliminated performance gear from competition, is the following:
WHAT IS THIS. WHY IS THIS? NO.
It’s hard to compete with that. But Malin Akerman is going to do her best, you guys. And it’s true that her Oscars dress was NOT GOOD. For one thing, IT’S TOTALLY SHEER.
SO much sternum. And although this dress is kind of the opposite, it’s equally Not So Great:
I feel like Malin is one of those women who is SO GOOD-LOOKING and yet her clothes rarely do her justice. For example:
You — NAY, WE ALL — deserve better than that! And this just looks like something I tried on at Contempo Casuals in 1994 and really, really considered buying before realizing that I didn’t really have anywhere to wear it:
Whose fug reigns supreme?
- Iggy Azalea (88%, 5,374 Votes)
- Malin Akerman (12%, 705 Votes)
Total Voters: 6,076
I think this one could prove to be VERY very close indeed. Neither of these women shy away from taking us to Leg City:
I feel like that entire look was an attempt to go Blake Lively on us for the evening. I guess there IS room for a new Boobs Legsley, now that Blake’s at home in Connecticut making cake pops or whatever.
A lot of Ellie’s attempts this year felt a bit half-assed, to my mind. To wit:
She’s clearly trying Something with the top, and Something Else with the shoes, but the shorts feel incredibly, “eh, whatever, this will be fine.”
Ditto this shirt:
I wouldn’t call this look half-assed, but I would call it HALF SOMETHING:
And she closed out her period of eligibility with this:
Which is kind of like totally bricking your buzzer-beater of a shot, if we want to extend the Fug/March madness metaphor. There’s likewise LOADS in Ellie’s archives to peruse. She went full-on granny panties here, and this gown puts the “under” in “underwhelming.” The theme of this seems to be, “Cinderella fell out a window,” and this ensemble is only half-baked.
While we’re on the topic of The Dreaded Sheers:
I feel like I could just run that photo over and over and over and over again. Here’s the same dress from another angle, in case you can’t get enough of it:
She certainly has a taste for a certain aesthetic:
(Her face looks awesome there, though. I guess she IS a model.) The above happened at Cannes — hence why she’s posing on a gangway — as did the next two looks, both of which, I think, amply illustrate all the reasons we love Cannes. Cannes is where everyone lets her crazy out:
At the time, Heather made a Star Wars joke about this, and that feels dead on to me. She looks like an extremely fierce Jedi. And this is also part of her Jedi wardrobe. You know, for formal Jedi events:
Make sure you take a turn through her archives before you vote!
Whose fug reigns supreme?
- Ellie Goulding (33%, 1,960 Votes)
- Irina Shayk (67%, 4,053 Votes)
Total Voters: 6,013
This was not La Hendricks’s WORST year, perhaps — zip through her entire archives for the complete picture – but nor certainly was it the best she could do, either. TO WIT:
ZZZZZZzzzz. A lot of her archives are a big old Zzzzz. I think the problem is that she looks SO GOOD on Mad Men, that almost every time she pops up in the real world, it’s kind of a let-down. Well, except for this. A turban could never be a let-down:
In fact, my issue with this is that she didn’t go far ENOUGH. If you’re wearing a YELLOW SATIN TURBAN, then you need to go BALLS OUT KOOKY. At the very least, you need to put on some jewelry!
I am not wild about this, either:
She was ALL about the monochrome this year. For example:
I mean…at least she embraces color? This, too, is colorful?
Not GOOD, but not BLAND? That’s….something?
Of all of her efforts in this past eligibility period, I think this was the most egregious:
YOU ARE NOT A LITERAL GIFT. (Although you may be a metaphorical one.)
Kerry Washington actually wore her fair share of Outfits That Might Make Decent Wrapping Paper, too (here’s her entire archive, for your reference). This dress would be REALLY great paper for a wedding gift:
This skirt would be great on a housewarming gift for your friend who’s really into essential oils:
But mostly, I’m mad at this:
Prada, haven’t you done ENOUGH?
Whose fug reigns supreme?
- Christina Hendricks (91%, 5,577 Votes)
- Kerry Washington (9%, 585 Votes)
Total Voters: 6,162