On some level, you have to respect Lena Dunham. The Girls creator and showrunner embraces her body like no one else in Hollywood and makes it clear that she doesn’t give a you-know-what about how she looks; she’s going to dress exactly how she pleases. But while there’s something to her rejection of the pretty-girl ethos and embodiment of modern feminism, there are times when you just have to wonder, what was she thinking? Like, it’s okay to not try and look like Paris Hilton all the time, but sometimes, it’s worth the effort just to put on a clean shirt every once in a while.
It’s not about the male gaze. It’s about respecting the people around you. I mean, no one wants to look at that. Sorry to tell you, but grunge died about 20 years ago. These days, people prefer to look at people who dress like they didn’t just roll out of the backseat of their Dodge Prius 15 minutes ago. Sure, it’s great that you don’t want to get body-shamed for being a few pounds overweight but that doesn’t mean anyone needs to see those rolls. Seriously, someone needs to get this lady a stylist.
20 Lena Showing Off Way Too Much Leg
Here we have Lena in a purple-and-black patchwork outfit that seems to go out of its way to show too much skin and accentuate the roundness of her features. We’re not saying you need to cover everything up, Lena, but is it really necessary to show that much leg if you aren’t at least going to work on making them look good? All she had to do was wear something a little looser that hung down to her knees and she’d look like a normal healthy person. But showing off this much body and skin? Yikes. This thing seems to balloon around her thighs and tighten up at all the wrong spots of her body. It’s just an unflattering outfit. We’re not sure this thing should be worn by anyone, but Lena isn’t doing it any favors.
19 Looking Like An Activist
Boy, this outfit is far from Hollywood glam. Lena seems to be wearing form-fitting jean shorts which don’t do much except remind us of just how flabby those legs really are. We’re not telling Lena to go on a diet here, but aren’t clothes meant to accentuate your best features and hide your worst? There’s a reason girls who are a little on the puffy side go with balloony skirts down below. They camouflage what can’t be totally hidden. Topped off with the feminist sweatshirt and angry finger pointing at the camera, Lena looks exactly like someone who just camped out in a car. Based on an outfit like this, we’ve got to wonder whether this celebrity even wears deodorant. And when was the last time she took a shower?
18 Rocking Overalls
Overalls are an excellent fashion statement, said no one ever. Here, Lena dons the attire of out-of-work farmers and hopelessly out-of-date slackers everywhere, and if that wasn’t bad enough, the outfit seems to doubly emphasize her belly here. Is that a baby bump or just how she looks? It really seems like Lena has a knack for picking out the outfit that will most emphasize her least traditionally attractive features. One the one hand, it’s an admirable effort to fight body-shaming, but on the other, that’s just a little too much information! Curvy may be in these days, but I think the look represented here flies right past curvy and into the “Nope!” category. But on the plus side, if she’s comfortable wearing them now, she can keep wearing those overalls until she winds up in the nursing home.
17 Wearing A Jacket Wrong
In this photo, Lena seems to have taken some of our earlier advice. She’s found a dress that’s a little poofy around the bottom and conceals her thighs well. But she’s also wearing what looks to be a denim jacket which is either a horrible fit or is way too short on one side. That definitely looks like the kind of jacket you found in the loonie bins at your favorite thrift shop when you were 17. At the time, it seemed cool and edgy that it didn’t fit properly, but then you grew up and realized that no, it was actually just a horribly designed piece of clothing. To top off the homelessness of the look, she's wearing a flowery dress that’s totally out of style and looks like it’s so faded it was probably a hand-me-down from her great-grandmother.
16 Wearing Plaid
This photo isn’t so bad... if plaid is your thing. We can see in this photo that Lena’s hips are pretty round, but they’re mostly concealed in a brownish skirt and tasteful tights which actually make her seem like an adult. But did we mention that grunge ended in the 90's? The plaid getup should be reserved for long-haired rockers living in their vans while they pen love letters to Kurt Cobain and elderly country bumpkins who don’t know any better. Lena should know better. Maybe in this picture, she’s paying tribute to some bygone era–be it the 70's or the 90's–but the result is that she looks like someone who belongs in the top bunk of a Volkswagen camper on the way home from Woodstock.
It’s 2018, Lena.
15 Dancing Without A Shirt On
This is a screenshot of Lena’s character Hannah Horvath taking part in some “sensual grinding” sans clothing in Season 5 of Girls, to which we say, Hannah, no. While this scene was surely inspired by the idea that you should “dance like nobody’s watching,” there’s just one thing about doing it on TV—everybody’s watching. And so everybody gets to see Lena flaunt every inch of her body under what is essentially just a bra. Everyone else in this scene seems to be fully dressed, so why did Lena’s character need to take her shirt off? Did we really need to see that? I dig the confidence of shaking your not-so-svelte booty all over the screen, but Lena (or Hannah), put a shirt on, will you?
14 Wearing A Flowery Shirt And Too-Short Skirt
Here we get another shot of Lena strolling down the street showing off way too much leg. Short shorts are nice, but not on Lena here. There’s just very little about this outfit that’s flattering. Lena’s entire upper body is consumed by a boring floral pattern that doesn’t reveal an inch of skin and then the lower half is nothing but skin—miles and miles of it. Even though there’s nothing wrong with Lena choosing to live the plus-size life, we just wish she didn’t try so hard to show it all off. Just cover up a few more inches. There’s no shame in actually trying to look your best.
13 Tucking In To Jean Shorts
Here we go with the denim again. This outfit is just weird. Lena’s got some kind of yellow blouse on over jean shorts, and it’s actually tucked in. Other than the most awkward kid in the schoolyard in grade 5, when was the last time you saw anyone tucking anything into jean shorts? They’re also pulled why too high for anyone with any sense of what style should be. This outfit, more than anything, is what you’d expect to find on some drunk old lady sleeping in the back of a ratty old beater—right down to the torn-off jeans which probably run about six bucks down at Value Village. Between the hiked-up waistline, the cheap look, the tucking in, and the bright colors, it’s got the perfect mix for the “I don’t care if I look like a schmuck” look.
12 Dressing Up... In Pyjamas
This outfit isn’t so bad, until you realize that this is Lena dressed up. When going out to an event, she apparently chooses to wear a dress that looks like it belongs in someone’s pyjama drawer and tops the look off with a furry green housecoat. This looks like your senile grandmother’s version of dressing up. (Hey, we're going on an outing! We get to go to Denny’s!)
It’s all so fluffy and totally ordinary-looking. You’re supposed to be a celebrity, Lena! I guess the intention was there, but the execution is just… lacking. On the plus side, if Lena gets bored at this promotional event, she can pretty much just curl up anywhere she wants and nod off to sleep because she’s already wearing her pyjamas.
11 In A Bikini
Oh boy, here we go again with entirely too much skin. While it’s hard to fault anyone for wearing a bathing suit–all faults come out at the beach, after all–we can’t help but wonder if she really needed to go with the bikini here. More than anything, it’s her posture that makes this shot so unappealing. She looks like someone who has spent her whole life hunched in front of a computer and is just now finally exposing her vampiric skin to some Vitamin D. More than anything, it’s the bathing suit design itself that makes her look homeless—not something sharp and racy that shows off, but rather a weird checkered blue-and-white thing with a random dragonfly imprint.
10 As A Walking Thrift Shop
This outfit is just all kinds of wrong. It’s like what an artistic four-year-old girl thinks an adult outfit is supposed to look like. We start with big pink sunglasses which look like they were purchased at Toys R’Us. And then we get to a weird patchwork dress which is just a little too short and seems to be some kind of a riff on tie-dyed and native American symbols. Over one shoulder, she has a leopard-print purse which totally doesn’t match anything else she’s wearing. Come to think of it, none of those three things match any of the others at all. I’m almost surprised that she’s carrying a shopping bag and not pushing a cart containing all her worldly belongings. At least then, she’d have an excuse for being totally clueless about the concept of style.
9 Trying To Look Hipster
This is a skinnier Lena—a more stylistic, fashion-forward Lena. Well, sort of. In this photo, she’s gone for more a hipster look, complete with a peace sign and a smug smile to show some attitude. But it still manages to come across as a bit homeless. For one thing, her blue undershirt seems determined to reveal itself from under the black tank top. She’s gone from someone who looks like they just staggered out of their Ford at 6 in the morning to someone who looks like she wears her gym clothes to work. To top it off, she’s got a pretty little purse hanging around her neck with a logo that manages to clash with the logo on her tank top. Turns out, you can dress her up, but you can’t take her out.
8 Looking Totally Ordinary
Here we’ve got Lena almost entirely covered up in jeans and a black jacket. While we respect her efforts to cover up, this getup is still hardly the epitome of style. The puffy black jacket she’s wearing seems like the kind you find on the remainder shelf at Walmart—it’s totally shapeless and unflattering for anyone who wears it. It’s totally boring and so flat in front, it could be a dude’s jacket. And while the pants cover up the skin, they’re awfully tight around the legs. Maybe Lena could benefit from borrowing from hip hop style and trying on some jeans with a bit of sag. Overall, Lena doesn’t look terrible here, just incredibly ordinary. This outfit belongs to someone you would look right through on the subway, someone who sleeps in her car in between searching for low-rent apartments in New Jersey.
7 Being Her Best Righteous College Kid
Lena seems to like this sweatshirt—this is the second photo where she’s been spotted wearing it. The effect of a collared feminist sweatshirt over top of something frilly and unidentifiable beneath is unflattering at best. It’s emblematic of someone who doesn’t understand anything about looking good. If you’re going to wear it, pull it down over the undershirt! The whole look gives her this angry-feminist-college-student-who-lives-in-her-car style, which basically sums up Lena Dunham’s existence in a nutshell. If there ever was a righteous feminist college student who hit the bit time, it’s Lena. And even now that she’s made it, she’s not willing to give up the horrible stylistic choices of the movement she left behind. She’s going to dress as unattractively as she pleases!
6 Wearing Yet Another Weird Shirt
This one isn’t objectively too bad... until you combine it with all the others. Lena seems to have an affinity for bright multi-colored tops that are a jumble of unidentifiable objects. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with these looks; it’s just that they look like they belong on a fourth grader’s pyjamas and not on an adult woman making her way in Hollywood. Most people get changed after they wake up in the morning, Lena. It’s sort of a rite of passage into adulthood. You learn how to take a shower without complaining about it, then you learn how to apply deodorant, then you learn how to change into adult clothes in the morning. It’s not that hard. Maybe by the time she hits 45, Lena will learn that it’s time to stop wearing her pyjamas to work. Until then, we’re all doomed to look at outfits like this.
5 Looking Like SpongeBob Squarepants
Wait, so Lena’s SpongeBob Squarepants now? Talk about wearing a little kid’s pyjamas. While placing the eyes on her chest is a funny little nod to the “eyes” on her chest–if you know what I mean–as a whole, this look is a disaster. Topping off the outfit with a bright red jacket and speckled pants certainly seem like she belongs in a kid’s cartoon best experienced six hours into an acid trip. So colorful! You can almost see the assistant to Lena’s left thinking “what are you wearing?” as she stares back at her. Meanwhile, Lena seems totally oblivious to the fact that she’s a walking mascot. If you’re going to be SpongeBob, you have to at least have a huge smile and throw your arms wide open. Here, Lena seems annoyed or distracted, which just kills the whole look.
4 As Hannah In A Green Bikini On Girls
This is another screenshot from Girls where Lena’s character, Hannah, yet again shows far too much skin. This one isn’t quite as bad as the scene where she’s shaking her shirtless booty topless for seemingly no reason at all, but it still looks low-rent. The character looks like she’s freezing cold in this shot, so why is she wearing a bikini at all? Apparently, this episode is about a girls weekend that the girls in Girls take to bond over their girl issues. They go up to a beach house, which explains why Hannah (or Lena) needs to be dressed in a bathing suit (her bikini is even made fun of by a character in the episode). But it really didn’t have to be a green bikini. Maybe she could have stuck to drinking wine and fighting with her girlfriends over dinner... and left the beach look out of it.
3 Wearing A Horrible Lizard Shirt
This… now this is a poor man’s (woman’s?) outfit. This is another shot from Girls. Here, Lena’s character, Hannah, seems to be wearing an ill-fitting t-shirt covered in a bunch of random lizards. We’re starting to think that Hannah might be a very confused character when it comes to styling herself. In the episode, she adamantly claims that the shirt “works” despite the obvious evidence that… no, it really doesn’t. Lizard shirts belong in second-grade classrooms, on the kinds of people who watch endless reruns of The Magic School Bus. Hey, Miss Frizzle had a pet lizard, right?
Either way, this outfit does neither Lena nor her character any favor in the flattering department. She really needs to take this shirt back to the Salvation Army where she got it from and try to return it for a refund... on the grounds of being too ugly for adult use.
2 In A Blue Shirt That Just Screams “Blah”
This blue shirt doesn’t do anything wrong. It just really, really doesn’t do anything right either. Wearing bland loose-fitting shirts with an enormous amount of neck space should really be the domain of old maids who live alone in their apartment and have given up on the hope of intimate prospects forever. Lena’s barely in her 30’s! All she needs to do is invest in a good stylist, throw out her entire wardrobe, start from scratch, and she’ll be fine. The short hair isn’t helping, but more than anything, this shirt just makes us think that Lena just rolled off the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon to pose for this picture. It’s just so... blah. Better luck in the future, Lena. Maybe next time you go shirt shopping, you’ll manage not to look like you just crawled out of a trailer park.
1 Looking Boring In A Coffee Shop
This is another picture of Lena Dunham in an outfit that isn’t egregious, just horribly unflattering. There’s nothing attractive about a white-and-blue-striped shapeless shirt on a girl who looks like she’s sitting in a coffee shop discussing all the things wrong with the world. Honestly, this isn’t such a bad photo, but it doesn’t do anything to dispel the notion that Lena is a broke college student who lives in her car and travels from city to city looking for righteous marches to take part in. She looks serious, but also singularly unimpressive and boring. You just know she’s sitting there waiting to tear your ear off about the patriarchy the second you try and give her a little bit of style advice. Like, maybe she could start by wearing a collared shirt and actually looking like an adult?