Category Archives: The Carpetbagger’s Weekly Case Studies

The Carpetbagger’s Weekly Case Studies

Lea Michele

Major improvement from last week!  Just lovely Lea!  A girl can never go wrong with fresh, crisp white in Springtime!

Heather Morris

Frankly, I’m a little scared.  Did Britney S. Pierce or Heather Morris pick this look?!  Very often girls get an idea and sort of run in the wrong direction with it, but it still tends to make some sense as you can typically see where they’re trying to go.  But I couldn’t be more lost here.  She’s just sending soo many mixed messages!  Her footwear says chic/quirky schoolgirl; Her middle area says K Mart hippie;  the top says 13 year old girl at dance class, and her tacky hair says yearbook picture circa 1992!  Someone give this girl a towel.

Ellie Kemper in Naeem Khan

First things first, this dress kicks some serious ass!  With that said, I would have definitely done it up on the accessories side of things.  Just can’t help but feel that this look is lacking a little pizazz.  The tribal inspired print is rad, not too mention the impecible fit of this classic cocktail dress.  Though I can’t help but feel something maybe missing… design and tailoring aside, this ensemble is a little too beige all on it’s own.  Bring in a lavish beaded  statement necklace in a boldy saturated hue, a strong  brass cuff, even a pair of chandelier earrings, and this ensemble would up the ante.  Still totally cute look and a pleasant surprise for an actress who isn’t your typical fashionista.

January Jones in Mary Katrantzou

Honestly January, talk about inconsistency!  One day you look like a total trainwreck (have a particular potato sack dress in mind), the next you’re in a total show stopper!  Prints master Mary Katrantzou on the red carpet?  Yes please!  However, if I had the chance to wear this wickedly talented designer’s work to an event, I don’t that I would go with this black and white choice.

Mary Katrantzou, Fall 2011

Compared to Katrantzou’s other masterpieces this dress is rather on the quiet side, but hey it’s baby steps.  Plus, I see a smidgen of January’s insecurity peaking out, probably due to walking on the wilder side of fashion, so had this been a more traditional Mary Katrantzou (which isn’t the least bit traditional), the actress may  appear completely overwhelmed.  Wonder what January will put herself in next, anyone’s guess is as good as mine!


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The Carpetbagger’s Weekly Case Studies

Taylor Schilling in Technicolor embroidered sheath

This dress is awesome!  Its fresh and exciting, not to mention a real work of art!  I see so many sources of inspiration in this beauty and love every last bit of it.  From tropical fish, to scuba inspired, to art nouveau this embroidered sheath aces it!  Taylor did a great job at keeping it simple with laid back hair and makeup.  She’s smart in letting the dress shine all on its own.

Malin Akerman

Just one question: Ho ho anyone??

The delicious Hostess dessert

Mm, not so much Lea Michele.  I think I can (maybe?) see where you were trying to go here, but girl you aimed wrong this time.  Now I am all for sheer black laced ensembles, if done in a flattering and appropriate fashion, but this aint that.  First of all it looks a smidgen too tight for Lea up top, which is a shame cause she clearly really does have a smoking body, but a proper fit is of mucho importante.  Second of all I can’t tell what’s going on with that bra/tank top situation underneath and it’s really distracting!  My eyes go straight to those white straps on her shoulder and ruin any graceful flow this trend should always possess.  My last problem with this dress is the length.  Tea length is workable at times but its tricky and best served on the tall, lanky type.  Not to say that Lea couldn’t potentially pull one off, but without the right fit there’s very little hope to be had.

Camilla Belle in Chanel

Camilla Belle is one of my absolute favorites to watch.  Besides the fact that she makes fun, yet wise fashion choices, she is ridiculously gorgeous.  I mean fucking stunning!  Her styling for this look is superb.  Between the 60’s inspired makeup, poufed hairdo, and subtle accessories, this dress looks like it was made to be worn on Miss Belle.  Ever so ladylike, but not the least bit dowdy, the actress rocks this Chanel dress.

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The Carpetbagger’s Weekly Case Studies

Gwen Stefani in Stella McCartney

Gwen is too cute in this Stella McCartney!  It’s fun and whimsical thanks to its sheer side panels, but totally grounded thanks to its classic black hue.   Finding a common ground between whimsy and sophistication is one of Stella’s greatest attributes and Gwen is just the gal to highlight just that.   The silver accessories add a dash to the “sophisticated fun,” while also bringing a bit of a scifi feel to the ensemble.  And the jaunty girlish hairstyle is totally Gwen.

Krysten Ritter in Alice + Olivia

Patty Mayonnaise, anyone?  Lol, sorry to the lovely Krysten, I had to!  She does look rather animated in this peppy dress!  It is perfectly cute and though it’s not my favorite, she pulls it off.

Katy Perry

 Ripped tights? check!  Grungy sneakers? Check!  90’s floral print body con dress?  Check!  The perfect uniform for Coachella.   Super duper cute, loving this look on Katy!

Kate Bosworth in Isabel Marant Shirt and Booties

Kate Bosworth gets it right in this cute little number.  You can’t go wrong with some Isabel Marant booties, which this past season have pretty much iconic.  And that great Western inspired button down is totally badass, a la Alex Turner…

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The Carpetbagger’s Weekly Case Studies

Kim Kardashian

Almost hate to say it, but Kim’s looking super cute here at the airport!  This inkblot animal print t is totally adorbs and her simple black pants and heels are much less fuss than the fame whore usually struts around in.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say by the looks of this snapshot, she’s a girl with easy laid back style spiked with some edge.  But I do know better-must just be a fluke!

Brooklyn Decker in Stella McCartney

Yowza!  Does this girl have a body and  know how to dress it!!  I really gotta hand it to Ms. Decker.   If anyone can dress themselves and come out oozing with sex appeal, yet manage to look exceptionally classy at the same time, Brooklyn can do it!  This gown makes the statuesque supermodel look, oh about 10 feet tall.  Thanks to its impecible tailoring and minimalist design, Brooklyn is working it like it was made for her and that ridiculous body!

Emma Stone in Max Mara Coat

Cute and simply chic!  Perfect for a NY afternoon!  Nicely done, as usual Emma Stone.

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Carpetbagger’s Weekly Case Studies

Jaime King in Prabal Gurung

GIRL CRUSH ALERT! Jaime King is an absolute dream in this adorable getup! This button-down and shorts number is the epitome of sweet Spring style. Everything from that lovely shade of blue, to the painterly blouse to her shiny golden locks has me dreaming of cotton candy and care bears! One look at the cute model/actress in this Prabal Gurung, and I’m positively smitten!

January Jones in YSL

Even the best fashion houses can make mistakes.  No offense, YSL, but wtf?!  January, did you just convert to Orthodox Judaism?  This dress reads mother of the bar mitzvah boy. Don’t think she could look worse if she tried.

Kim Kardashian

Another disaster, but this one is far less shocking.  In fact, isn’t this what we really expect from ever so humble (sense the sarcasm) Kim Kardashian?  I don’t know who she thinks she is in this dress… Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell?  I mean let’s get real here-I’m all for flaunting your curves and being proud to not just be another Hollywood stick figure, but THIS sure as the ain’t the way to go, Kimmy.  The curve hugging stripes add, oh about 30 lbs to her already well endowed frame.  I’m guessing as she was getting dressed her team of pamperers and entourage felt the need to kiss some big K ass and were all “Oh Kim you look so hot!  No, of course you don’t look sleazy and positively ridiculous!”

Brooklyn Decker in Theysken's Theory Slip Dress, Isabel Marant Blazer, and Christian Loubitons

Supermodel Brooklyn Decker can’t help but smile in this Isabel Marant jacket, but who can blame the girl?!  What an awesome statement piece that will last a lifetime.  Granted it’s pretty bold and definitely not for the everyday hum drum proper girl, who wants to blend in?  All I know is if I had this sweet jacket, I’d wear it feeling like a rock star!  Brooklyn was smart to pair it with a simple white slip dress and let the focus stay on that show stopper of a jacket.  The clear and red cap-toed Loubitons add the perfect dash of sex appeal.  Props to Brooklyn!  Can’t wait to see what she has in store for more Spring fashion!

Kim Kardashian

No comparison!  Both dresses worn by Kim K this week were black and white with stripes,but oh boy, they couldn’t have been more different.  This is so much better, not to mention appropriate.  The silhouette is perfect for Kim’s curvy figure, showing them off beautifully and ladylike, rather than frankly quite whorish, and 3 sizes too small looking.  She shows that she doesn’t have to bare all in a low cut, cleavage flashing neckline and actually is capable of going with something tasteful and flattering.  Much, much better Kim!

So my first guess was that this is a pic of D.J. Tanner.  Then I remembered this is the real world, and not 1989.  Then I realized it’s Fergie, and feel the need to throw her a towel, just so she has something to cover herself up with.  There is no excuse for this joke of an outfit.  I think I may see where she was trying to go, (badass girl/tomboy cute) but she sure as hell didn’t get there. There’s just no way around it, the outfit is plain and ugly.  I do have faith she’ll do better next time, but sorry Fergie, there’s no redeeming this mess.

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The Carpetbagger’s Weekly Case Studies

Katy Perry in Emilio Pucci

This is a wonderful outfit choice for Katy.  It’s nice to see her not trying so hard, and wearing something that totally works for her image.  This Pucci dress is classic in its silhouette, yet still has a bit of the whack factor.  And I LOVE the blue hair.  Not that I ever really would have the balls to go through with dyeing my hair, but if I did, I’d take her picture to the salon!

structured Todd Lynn blazer, gray tee, J Brand skinny jeans

Simple and cute.  Maybe could have added some interesting jewelry to up the ante here, but still cute all the same.

Abigail Breslin

Abigail, no, no, no, Sweetie!  I’m wondering, in what world does she think it’s a good idea to disguise herself as a 47 year old pro bono lawyer?  This is ALL wrong for Abigail and it’s a real shame, because she is at such a ripe age; she should be having fun with fashion!   But instead of exploring her options, it appears she hired some nut stylist who thought this mess was a good idea.  Note to Abigail: get a new wardrobe team!

Charlize Theron in Dior Dress and DKNY Shoes

Nicely done!  Here we have Charlize strutting her (totally bodacious!) stuff in a sleek and modern version of the lbd.  This dress enhances her amazing womanly curves and has pounding the pavement like she owns it!  My personal favorite part is the turtleneck- it  keeps things fresh and gives a fun spin on the traditional little black dress.  The strappy shoes and classic oval cat-eyed sunglasses finish this haute look off with perfection.

Taylor Swift

Looking ever so prim and proper (as usual), Taylor Swift shows us that yellow is definitely her color (not than any color wouldn’t look stunning on this girl).  I’m loving the loose fit of this free-flowing trench in mustard; it’s an excellent nod to menswear, but feels totally feminine worn by Taylor.  The dress is nothing to freak out over, but it does a good job of keeping your eye flowing throughout the whole look.  The slipper trend, I honestly somewhat loathed for quite sometime, but recently I’ve noticed myself taking a liking to them.   Taylor makes them look subtle, yet perfectly sweet.  The pearl necklace is a bit too granny for me, but it is the angelic Taylor Swift we’re talking about here.  And the bold red lips and guitar case are the perfect accessories!


Rihanna is smoking!  The first thing about this look that catches my eye is the super cute two-tone shoes, they rock!  And I positively love the suited getup.  She is the perfect girl for wearing menswear inspired looks.   Being as ridiculously sexy as Rihanna is, stepping into androgynous territory is seriously hot.  The printed pants are adorable and the grey tweed blazer tops off the whole look.  And let’s not forget the smug look on her face she often wears when off duty and among the people.  The girl looks uber hot and she knows it.  You couldn’t touch that fierce poise with a ten foot pole!

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The Carpetbagger’s Weekly Case Studies

Emma Roberts in Jonathan Saunders

So, if for some odd reason, Emma was going for matronly, nun inspired Choir garb, she hit the nail on the head.  Ms. Roberts is a young girl who experiments with fashion, and tries fairly hard to be edgy and cool, sometimes she nails it, sometimes not so much.  It really comes down to chance it appears.  The thing is Emma, my dear, dressing yourself really shouldn’t be that hard.  Or if it is that hard for you, hire a stylist who makes it look as if it should come naturally, alla Kate Bosworth, or the lovely Emma Watson, perhaps.  This dress by (the typically lovely) Jonathan Saunders isn’t necessarily the worst I’ve EVER seen, but I think anyone under the age of 65 should be forbidden from even trying it on.

Olivia Palermo in Paige Denim Ultra Skinny Tye dye Jeans

Ah this is more like it!  THIS is a stellar example of one’s personal style shining through, all the while looking as if it was done with ease and peace of mind.  Granted Olivia’s not on the red carpet, as miss Roberts in the previous look, however no matter the occasion, fashion should never be overly overdone.

Jessica Alba in Kate Spade

Jessica Alba totally gets color-blocking-one of my personal favorite trends.  There’s a nice variation here of bold hues and I’m super into the two-toned heels as well (another huge trend at the moment).  Alba’s a smart girl for sporting the primary colors in particular, always easy on the eye.  And no better way to top off a look with a leather jacket.

Jessica Szohr in Sparkle & Fade

Oy Gevalt Jessica!  You ever heard of a little something called a steamer?  Clearly not because this jumpsuit has more creases in it than my overflowing laundry basket.  And the fact that most happen to be in the bottom region, is really unfortunate.  Wrinkles aside, this jumper isn’t awful and could potentially be saved.  For starters, a simple belt could work wonders, and a structured blazer can up the ante of any outfit a great deal.  But my first piece of advise, fire your stylist.  And if you came out looking like this because you don’t have one, get one!

Tilda Swinton in Sonia Rykiel

Miss Swinton deserves a round of  applause for this masterpiece!  She so chicly displays how one takes advantage of their slightly odd appearance and showcase it in a bold and poised manner.  If any woman should own the androgynous look, it’s Tilda.  I mean let’s get real here, it’d be almost silly to see her all dolled up in flouncy, frilly things, no?  She’s somewhat bizarre looking, and not the slightest bit feminine, and she clearly doesn’t give a damn!  Everything from the dark jewel tones to the perfect fit of this suit, is smashing and this overall look does a superb job of highlighting her unconventional beauty.

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The Carpetbagger’s Weekly Case Studies

Rashida Jones in Tanya Taylor

I give Rashida points for trying but when it comes down to it, she can’t pull this off.  First of all, to actually go head to toe in this one print is the first mistake.  Not to say that it can’t be done, but it’s certainly tricky and I’d only recommend taking a wack at it if you’re a fashion know it all, and know what works on your body inside and out.  I think if she wore the pants with a simple tank, or instead just the blouse and some skinny jeans or little shorts, she’d look totally adorbs, however this just makes her look like she’s trying too hard and comes out looking like a frump.  I do believe she has a waist somewhere in there!

Jennifer Morrison

Very cute.  To take the whole androgynous thing THIS far takes guts and I gotta say she does it with poise.  However there are a few concerns-  As far as the tie goes, I wish she went with a bow tie, it’d be much quirkier and sweet, and perhaps some stiletos to up the  femme factor?  These pumps get sorta lost in the whole look…However, most importantly, the fit of the suit is what works and reminds us that Jennifer is a a woman with sex appeal.

Olivia Palermo in Christian Dior

Looking like her usual, super cute self!  Love the print and classic silhouette of the (semi) drop-waist dress.  And these shoes are  perfectly sweet and vintage inspired.  She’s a smart girl to stop the look from getting too fussy, had she added anything else, it would be too much.  This look proves Olivia knows exactly what she’s doing.

Gwen Steffani in A.L.C. Skirt

I’m entirely on the same page with Gwen….. until we get to the bottom 5 or so inches.  Let’s focus on the good first- the statement necklace on the backdrop of a black tank paired with a white skirt is right on cue and her black shades are no-fuss cute, then… ew!  Way to ruin a perfectly cute outfit!  The footless tights/shoes situation is a disaster.  I think I see where she was trying to go with this look and I almost get it,but she clearly forgot to look in the mirror before leaving the house!  With the length of the skirt being on the longer side, these booties are hard to pull off, then once you throw the blunt cutoff hosiery into the mix, you’re left with a hot mess.

Sienna Guillroy in Marni

What do I say here? Meh.. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Marni and all its quirky glory, but this dress just isn’t fitting for such an event.  To enhance the dress’s potential, I’d throw on a shrunken cardigan, maybe switch from the cobalt heels to some well worn booties, (oh and leave the cuff to just one wrist, the woman looks like a jeanie).  Sienna appears to be rather uncomfortable sporting this outfit as is and it definitely shows.  I get that this is the Indie Spirit Awards and therefore may not be the “red” carpet, but honey don’t shop a stranger’s closet if you can’t pull it off.

Lindsay Lohan

Hooray for Lindsay Lohan!  First and foremost, I am thrilled to see her back to her natural roots!  The blonde hair was HORRIFIC  and completely washed her out.  Now for the clothes-simple and flattering, just the way this train-wreck needs to dress herself if she ever wants to be taken seriously again.  I wouldn’t even recommend her sporting avant garde looks or super new designers..  this girl has no room left for mistakes and should just play it safe.  This outfit is a tremendous step in that direction.

Nicole Richie

How cute!  This dress is totally adorbs and Nicole Richie knows it!  It fits her to a T and the colorful belt is the perfect accessory for this fresh look.  Get’s me excited for Springtime!

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The Carpetbagger’s Weekly Case Studies

Gwyneth Paltrow in Band of Outsiders and Jimmy Choo

Nothing soo special, but still nice.  Though I gotta hand it to Gywneth for getting getting away with that neckline.  She carries the sexy detail off with class.  Hate the shoes, wish she went with simple black pumps, but ya win some, ya lose some.

Heidi Klum in Versace

Heidi looks super adorable in this Versace mini.  Nicely accessorized with the two-toned heels, and simple jewelry.  But this dress, I’m having my own little love affair… I think it’s the cut outs with gold embellishments that really do it for me.  Versace, why weren’t you this cute when you did a stint at H & M?!

Vanessa Hidgens in Tibi

This color looks beautiful on her skin tone.  Nice and simple, just hope she doesn’t trip!

Elizabeth Olsen in Chanel

So I may have said that toying with the Pilgrim trend has potential to be quirky cool, but good Lord, this sure isn’t the way.  I’m sorry Chanel, I will always love you, but I had no idea you were capable of such doughty disarray!  The only back this coat should be seen on the back of is perhaps that of a middle aged woman of Royal descent, making a an appearance at a boring formal event.  Certainly not a cute young (not to mention gorgeous) actress who could do so much better.  And while the long navy skirt peeking out looks as if it could have been snatched from a wicca obsessed 90’s high schooler, the navy pointed (velour?) shoes may as well be from decade old collection by Neutralizer.  Better luck next time, Elizabeth.

Mena Suvari in Ramona Keveza

Oy, Mena!  Noooo!  All you’ve managed to do here is show us what you would look like dressed as a giant cotton ball.  I’m guessing she was trying to get all high fashion on us alla Kate Moss in Louis Vuitton, Spring 2012…

But the girl failed tremendously.  Not to put down her totally adorbs 5’4 frame, but such a dress as this shouldn’t even be considered unless you’re a freakishly tall girl who can wear anything and get away with it.  And the bow tie shoes only enhance the ugh factor.  Props for trying, but sorry honey, this is a disaster.

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The Carpetbagger’s Weekly Case Studies

Kate Moss in Stella McCartney

Damn, does Kate Moss know how to rock a LBD!  She never fails to make it her own and look like a dangerously sexy goddess.  LOVE the hourglass inspired style of this Stella dress and seriously doubt Ms. McCartney could find any better PR than this image right here.  Enough Said.

Jessie J at the Brit Awards

I’m only relatively familiar with Jessie J, but she certainly now has my attention!  Her + this dress = a knockout!  Clearly on the riskier side of fashion choices, this dress displays just the right amount of promiscuity.  With strategically placed appliques and classic drapery, it successfully steers clear of looking cheap and inappropriate.  The tailoring is superb and Jessie J knows just how oozes such sexy confidence.  Also loving the basic dark hue on her nails, heavy dark eye makeup, as well as the glamourous yet laid back hairstyle.  These wise styling choices only enhance the beauty of the bold gown.    This look is definitely going on my best dressed list!

Rihanna in Givenchy Dress and Solange Azagury-Partridge earrings

I neither love nor hate this look, though definitely think it deserves a second look.  The Givenchy dress is pretty and tasteful (though that odd ring on the left halter is bothering me), and the shoes are the obvious choice to go with the dress, it’s the gloves that steal the spotlight.  This look happens to be straight from the runway, which while Rihanna seems to know a thing 0r two about fashion and how to work it, this is not typically a smart move.  The runway is its very own world that nothing else can compare to, even the red carpet.  Not to say that one should never ever try to strut a direct runway look, but this was not it.  I get the gloves, I do, but they overwhelm the whole look and just sort of weigh her down.  I do however, think that if the gloves’ length hit at just passed her wrists, we may have something easier to work with here.  Overall, I’m not impressed.  I give her props for trying, but in the end thisjust doesn’t sit so well with me.

Amanda Seyfried in Nina Ricci

Loving the old Hollywood Glamour feel of this Nina Ricci dress.  The cream who and sheer, polka dotted fabric is quite angelic, and along with her almost blindingly shiny waves of golden hair, Amanda looks positively lovely.  The shoes are a bit too wedding attire for my taste, but they could have been a lot worse.

Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian in the their line for QVC

Oh, lord.  Just the typical sleazy attire worn by a Kardashian.  Kris isn’t absolutely awful, though there’s definitely room for improvement.  It’s Kim who never fails to present herself as cheap as possible.   Positively cringe-worthy.

Rooney Mara in J. Mendal

Beautiful!  I think it is safe to say that plum is Rooney Mara’s color.  She even pulls of the bold lipstick and does so smashingly.  I’ve never seen her look so happy and my guess is because she feels beautiful and most importantly, like herself.  The plunging neckline is just what this dress needs to steer clear of basic and keep things interesting.

Kate Bosworth in Burberry

Here’s a perfect example of why I love Kate Bosworth-she wears things her own way and (unlike so many of her peers) doesn’t take fashion too seriously.  The gorgeous actress always looks adorably chic and never fails to have a bit of quirk going on in whatever she’s sporting.  This ladylike pencil skirt gets a dose of whimsy thanks to the animated owl peeking out on her sweater, then wrapped in a big velvet bow.  Instead of going with something safe and expected to cover her feet, she sided with a more playfully rugged shoe in these chunky booties.   Yet still a perfect lady, she keeps the look grounded with a simple black clutch.  This is one fashionista who decides what kind of look she’s going for, mixes her expressive pieces and personal asseccories  pulls it off without a hitch!

Michelle Williams in LV Suit and Olympia Le-Tan Clutch

This girl just won’t quit!  Michelle Williams owns the purple carpet at the Indie Spirit Awards in this badass Louis Vuitton suit!  It fits her adorably petite frame to perfection and does a mighty fine job of hi-lighting her killer gams!  Gotta give the girl props for choosing to forego any hosiery, if you got the legs for it, why not?  The double breasted tuxedo blazer and its silky black/navy color combination alone has me desperately wishing money grew on trees so I could snatch one for myself!  It ever so chicly displays William’s quirk for slightly androgynous inspired pieces and I can’t think of any other gal to pull it off better.  Now for the Olympia Le-Tan book clutch… Are you freaking kidding me Michelle?  When does the cuteness end?  I’m seriously one step away from literally framing this look and hanging it by my bed!  The entire concept of Olympia Le-Tan’s nostalgic book-inspired clutches so damn cute they deserve their own special shout out!  The Academy Awards are tonight and I CANNOT wait to see what Michelle will stun in!

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