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. KIM KARDASHIAN vs. 16. LENA DUNHAM
Oh, god, you guys. Kim Kardashian BROUGHT it this year. Her entire archive is just a TIDAL WAVE OF CRAZY. It just keeps getting nuttier and nuttier. Like, there was that time she and North wore matching lace pants. Or the time she went out in a robe. Or the time she just upholstered herself in Balmain for weeks on end. Or that time she wore...this thing that I can’t totally describe in words. Or this! What is this?! It’s like a formal fishing net over her most boring bathing suit!
And we can’t forget the time she wore a condom:
Or the time she showed up as a pair of curtains from a pivotal scene in Wolf Hall:
Or THIS HIDEOUS ASSAULT ON ALL THAT’S TRUE AND RIGHT:
Or that time she hauled out a salute to the moths that are currently eating their way through all my favorite sweaters:
OR THIS OH GOD THIS REMEMBER THIS I CAN’T STOP SHOUTING:
We can’t blame Kanye for all of it — for all we know, Kim picked out the below after a hardcore Dynasty binge:
But we FOR SURE can blame him for this, because Kim wore it to his show this Fashion Week, and it is literally his handiwork:
THOSE ARE NOT ACTUAL CLOTHES. WORDS.
And I don’t want to unduly influence your vote, but Ms Lena Dunham is going to have to put up a BIG BIG fight to have any hope in this 1-16 match-up. For what it’s worth, a 16 seed has never beaten a 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, although it HAS happened in Fug Madness (indeed, in our very first year). Will we see it happen again? This is a good start:
I mean, that could have been totally cute but it turned into kind of a mess. She had tweeted that her dress felt like sweatpants and looked like cake, but I think the execution was a bit more Someone Left The Cake Out In The Rain than intended.
Her dress at the Globes wasn’t PERFECT, but it was an improvement and I actually kind of liked it overall:
But, honestly, the rest of her archives for this year are not as bad as you might think they are. (In my opinion, anyway.) This dress is borderline frumpy. This sweater is a little goofy. Her Met Gala dress was arguably a little short, although I personally liked it. We had the green hair period:
But I think we all know how this one is going to go:
Whose fug reigns supreme?
- Kim Kardashian (92%, 6,630 Votes)
- Lena Dunham (8%, 543 Votes)
Total Voters: 7,171
Willow Shields — who plays Prim in The Hunger Games — is seriously a treat. I find her brand of sartorial eccentricity totally amusing and fun. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t eccentric. To wit!
She is TOTALLY going to use this in an #TBT one day and be like, “I DON’T EVEN KNOW.” A place at which we have, I am sure, all found ourselves.
I enjoy her commitment to wearing items that are almost 3-D. This is EXTREMELY tactile:
And very colorful!
This prompted me, at the time, to propose a rebooted Dynasty — still set in the 80s, but starring teens and frankly, I am still into that idea:
Willow can play Fallon, which is a GREAT part, and not just because she gets abducted by aliens at some point. This next, I noted that I thought she looked decoupaged:
Which I also stand by. She’s a CUTE craft project, though.
I think Kate Walsh — like myself — has aged out of a time in her life when “she’s a cute craft project” can actually be considered a real compliment.
Admittedly, there is something amazing about that dress, which makes this match-up work for me. It’s CRAZY but whimsical and I can appreciate it even if I think it’s nutty. In fact, I’d actually love to see that dress ON Willow Shields. Someone send her stylist a note!
And also note that I do not want to see this on anyone:
Judging by her expression, she agrees. (I miss Kate Walsh on my TV. Bad Judge was bad, but not because of her, and I’ve been rewatching the first few seasons of Grey’s Anatomy and YOU GUYS WHEN ADDISON SHOWS UP IT’S SOOOOOO GOOD. That show was once really so so good. )
This was NOT so so good:
It’s kind of like a weird dress/table-runner mash-up. And this is just Spanx writ large:
And finally, lest we ever forget:
I like to think Kate herself is reading this, eating a bagel and drinking a coffee and muttering, “I KNOW. They turned onto denim diapers WHILE I was wearing them! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO TELL YOU.”
Whose fug reigns supreme?
- Willow Shields (35%, 2,308 Votes)
- Kate Walsh (65%, 4,375 Votes)
Total Voters: 6,682
Something about this match-up makes me laugh. Weirdly, I feel like Bella Thorne kind of LOOKS like McPhee, facially. Am I crazy? Don’t answer that. Regardless, THIS is certainly crazy:
I’ve never said this before, I don’t think, but: PLEASE LET THAT BE A SKORT. There is, at least, historical precedent for the skort in her wardrobe:
Something about a cropped turtleneck sweater plus a blazer plus sandals plus that skort just equals I Hit My Head And Although I Didn’t Invent The Flux Capacitor, I Do Think I Might Not Be Thinking The Way Most People Do At The Moment. Because it’s like her legs are in Anguilla and her arms and neck are taking a nice ski break in Park City. Make up your mind!
This is short. I cannot lie:
Although she should, in fairness, get points for theme.
I like how it appears that Drew Barrymore is running from this look in terror:
As I said at the time, that dress is actually ostensibly pretty, but she was styled to look like she got caught when her hotel sprinklers went off.
I wasn’t crazy about this either:
I like the pattern, but the bodice feels weirdly insect-like to me. The placement of the boob flaps make said boobs look like they’re placed on the sides of her torso, the way some bugs have eyes on the side of their head. That comparison has been nagging at me since she wore this, so thank you for allowing me to workshop it at last.
This is also not so kind to her torso:
Or, really, her anything.
Also, this happened:
Let’s turn to McPhee, whose name I just accidentally typed as “McPhew.” Let me just say that I think this particular pairing might turn into a tight race. This is underwhelming:
In fact, even SHE looks underwhelmed in half of the things she wore last year. She’s totally not even TRYING to sell this:
I’m not entirely sure ANYONE could sell this:
And this, you guys:
Somehow, we didn’t cover that when it happened and I have no idea how it got lost in the shuffle. Something about it feels totally Remains of the Dust Ruffle, and her “I KNOW, RIGHT?” smirk makes me think she just might agree.
Archives? You know we’ve got them!
Whose fug reigns supreme?
- Bella Thorne (85%, 5,383 Votes)
- Katharine McPhee (15%, 978 Votes)
Total Voters: 6,359
I feel like NEVER shall these two meet OTHER than here. Queen Bey had a rather lackluster year. Not in terms of professional success, obviously — but in terms of how crazy or not she looked, especially now that we’re not including performance outfits.
This, at the Met Ball, feels like a total retread of something she’s already worn before:
Albeit with added underbutt.
She spent part of last summer with unflattering bangs, remember?
I mean, as much as Beyonce can be unflattered by something. But those bangs look like she got drunk on some pinot and got crazy with the nail scissors and I really don’t think that’s on brand. She clearly agrees, because she got rid of them after like two weeks, probably sick of Jay being like, “ehhhh,” every time she asked him if he thought they were that bad. (I’ve decided she was drinking because she simply could not deal with being dragged to another dinner party at Kimye’s. Ooh, remember when Bey and Jay ditched Kim and Kanye’s wedding — which is kind of a dick move at the last minute — and Kimye was all butthurt because they’d already gone ahead and carved Jay and Bey’s names INTO MARBLE? That story reads like a Mad Lib.)
Try not to be distracted by Rihanna’s fuzzy tube top here (or her face, which looks SO GREAT), but fully allow yourself to be distracted by whatever Kanye-created fuzzy thing Beyonce is toting:
I feel like, after ditching the wedding, she and Jay were like, “We HAVE to go to his fashion show. Also, apparently he’s making Kim wear just compression tights. It’s going to be a hoot!”
I even think she kind of half-assed the Oscars:
It’s possible the lady just needs a vacation and will come back next year with a vengeance. Take a vacay of your own through her archives, and then we’ll tackle Jena.
Are you back? Excellent.
Jena, Jena, Jena. I have to say, I have a great fondness for her. She’s got a taste for the wacky, which I always enjoy, and she’s so deliciously BRATTY in the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice. If you look through her archives, you’ll see that a lot of the time, she pulls off VERY advanced looks.
And then there are the times she does not totally pull it off. Like this. THIS IS AN APPALLING DISASTER:
It makes my entire face hurt. IT’S PANTIES. It’s just awful, and I feel like it’s going to make everything else look so much better in comparison, so maybe I should have ended with it. But it felt so mean to close out this entire post with THAT.
This makes me think she’s in costume as part of the deck of cards in Alice in Wonderland:
This was made from, as I said at the time, the world’s fanciest screen door:
(I continue to feel that I would have loved it had it been lined. Additionally, “she would have loved it if it had been lined” is going to be on my tombstone, right before, “also, she’s STANDING RIGHT BEHIND YOU.”)
Speaking of one’s demise, does the bottom of this look slightly blood-stained? I don’t know her life:
And as for this last one, part of me LOVES it, and part of me thinks it’s just too much. It’s not in her archives, so I knew I needed to bring it to your attention, so that you could make your own choices:
And now that choices have been made…
Whose fug reigns supreme?
- Beyonce (39%, 2,564 Votes)
- Jena Malone (61%, 4,047 Votes)
Total Voters: 6,611