Do or Don't: Jennifer Morrison's Messy Fishtail Braid

Hot or a hot mess?

I don't know where the fishtail braid stands in terms of being "in" or "out" right now. I was really into them when they first got popular two or three years ago. My interest started to wane, and then Lucy Liu rocked up at the Golden Globes with one, which really put the nail in the coffin. (That dress? With that hair? No.) Then, when I saw Petra Nemcova in NYC, I kinda reconsidered because what else does one wear with a mustard yellow jumpsuit? It was perfect.

And now? I'm looking at Jennifer Morrison's braid from the premiere of Gravity at the Toronto International Film Festival last night, and I'm confused all over again.

From the side, she looks real pretty in a hippie dippy sort of way. Don't you have a soft spot for textured, milkmaid braid thingies that wrap around the head in unexpected ways? Here, the front part of her hair has been braided and then included in the base of the fishtail... before the stylist basically ripped the braid completely apart and frizzed up her entire head of hair.

Seriously, look here:

In that middle section, it's barely holding on to the semblance of being a braid. Like, chunks are falling out. That and the dry, frizzy texture are what happens when I braid my hair after not washing it for three days. I don't know if I expected to see it recreated on a red carpet, though. (PS: Couldn't she have worn a nude bra? And I don't know if that necklace was necessary when she has the earrings.)

Anyway, all of those things aside, I still think she looks pretty decent in the pics above and I was willing to let it slide... until I saw these full frontals:

If you've been reading here for a while, then you know I love hair that has a messy texture. But I think this style crossed the line into looking just plain messy. And the dress (or skirt/top) and accessories aren't doing it any favours, either:

The shoes... the purse... so very confused.

Honestly, wouldn't something a touch neater but still texturey, like this one, have looked better?

Or even Petra's super-tight and tidy one?

Just about the only thing I can get behind with Jen's braid is the clear elastic at the bottom. Everyone needs to own a pack of these guys:

Goody Clear Hair Elastics, at Amazon.comFolicaTarget and

They are amazing for any hairstyle, but especially the fishtail because you don't really want a big, thick, black elastic at the bottom distracting everyone from its awesomeness. (At least, if you're channeling Petra or Amanda.)

Tell me:

Do you like Jennifer's braid here—even from the front?

Or do you think it looks like she didn't even try?

How would you have styled her differently?

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