Hilary Swank at the 2006 SAG Awards:


Marley Shelton at the Vanity Fair Oscar party:


Same rumpled-bedsheet idea, slightly different execution. But for a couple reasons, Hilary Swank gets away with it a bit easier.

1) Sure, it wasn’t a great concept when Swank did it, but at least she did it first — meaning she didn’t have the benefit of picking up an In Touch and seeing a cautionary photo of somebody attempting to pull off this semi-tragedy. Whereas Shelton had ample chances to stumble upon this photo of Swank, which we saw about 100 times in various magazines and blogs, and think to herself, “Wow, doesn’t it look like Hilary only wore that because she’s been having a lot of trouble getting out of bed in the mornings, because of her depression about her broken marriage, and so wearing this dress helps her trick herself into thinking she’s actually still in bed? Poor Hil. Hope she makes it through. At least she got a pedicure.”

2) Bubble cleavage tends to make breasts look fake. Whereas Swank is using the ugly hoo-ha to build up her bust, giving an illusion that there’s more under there, Shelton’s is pushing things so far in and up that her breasts have that special spherical silicone look we’ve come to know and love as a sign of implants. And maybe hers are, maybe they aren’t, but the point is, it doesn’t matter: When something’s fake, you rarely want it to look fake. Exhibit A: Hilary Duff’s expensive yet rabbity veneers. Exhibit B: Reese Witherspoon’s “emotional” Oscar acceptance speech.

3) Seriously, Shelton’s dress went way more overboard on all the adornments. Insane. It’s the California King sheet set to Swank’s full/queen.

4) Swank has the benefit of not wearing a pair of shoes that, until recently, held a well-documented three-year monopoly on Kirsten Dunst’s feet and could therefore be construed as so, so, so overdone by now.

5) Trim your bangs, Marley.