Jessica Simpson’s new memoir, Open Book, has crash-landed in the gossip ecosystem like a meteor. I’m sure the pages of it have been plastered to the walls of Us Weekly and People, with ET and E! News already drafting lengthy investigations into its many bombshell claims.
Now, when someone of Simpson’s caliber unleashes a pop culture emergency like Open Book, they are usually expected to walk around New York City and pose at the backdoors to various network studios, where they will give clip-friendly interviews with the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and pretty much anyone else named Jimmy.
Some celebrities like Demi Moore, who released her own memoir Inside Out last year, opt for sophisticated book tour outfits. During an interview with The Tonight Show, Moore went with an all-black ensemble that quietly asked you to scoot aside so it could reach the organic juice blend it was buying at Joan’s on Third. Later, while signing books in Beverly Hills, Moore dressed like the English teacher who pulled you aside after class to tell you it was okay to be gay, and that she loved you regardless. Simpson, thankfully, chose a different strategy!
For her big stop on the book tour, Jessica Simpson wore head-to-toe snakeskin on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Her jumpsuit, courtesy of Stand Studio, and matching Gucci sunglasses, were as ostentatious as the buzz surrounding Open Book. Sure, the fit is wonky, with the inseam riding a bit too high into her vagina, and yes, the legs are not tight enough to fit comfortably in her Villa Rogue boots—but what does it matter! This lady is in head to toe snakeskin, bitch. Sometimes, a serve is simply showing up in something unexpected, something gag-worthy. And this look qualifies!
For her next stop, Simpson popped up at Buzzfeed HQ looking like a thoroughly revamped Elle Woods, replete with an almost $3,000 Alexander McQueen handbag (after taxes), Gucci sunglasses, Saint Laurent pumps, and a lamb-leather pink coat.
Am I advocating for the hunting of foxes and lambs to make pink leather coats and fur trims? Not necessarily! But will I tirelessly advocate for sickening fashion moments? Every fucking time! The look is a rather obvious reference to Elle Woods, Reese Witherspoon’s now-iconic character in Legally Blonde, but the ensemble has been updated enough that I don’t think I mind. And besides—self-aware fashion references at seemingly inconsequential press events is a dying art form.
Her stylist could have put her in any old jumpsuit and coat! But instead, the look hearkens back to a time in Hollywood that Simpson references heavily in the book, when she was still churning out hits like “A Public Affair.” The aughts are dead, and the Jessica Simpson that inhabited them has long since healed and moved on—just like this look! (The fox and lamb are dead, too, but that can’t be helped in the immediate.)
And then there’s the leather trench coat, which at first I thought was Prada or Nanushka. It’s neither, and I still can’t identify it, but the bag is clearly Fendi’s Pequin tote bag, which usually retails for $2,400. I would have preferred a different bag—maybe a bucket bag from The Row or Bottega Veneta’s Arco mini in brown? But who am I to complain! While technically the weakest of the looks, it is still miles above what other celebrities have to offer at Barnes & Noble book signings!
I also like to imagine that one day, Jessica Simpson dragged her kids Birdie Mae, Maxwell Drew, and Ace Knute into Gucci’s flagship Beverly Hills store, where she proceeded to spend her DSW shoe fortune on every pair of sunglasses they had. To be a fly on the wall in that employee breakroom!
Unfortunately, good things are also accompanied quite often by less good things. Here are some examples of less good things:
On the left is Simpson shortly before stepping onto the set of The View this morning. In terms of tailoring, the jacket and pants fit her beautifully. It’s the actual material I can’t look away from. Pairing leopard print with anything not leopard print should be a criminal offense, especially when styled with suit pants in what looks to be stretch-fit material. And this is no shade to stretch-fit! But if you’re going for a dress pant, especially in black, understand how that might affect a client’s proportions. It’s harder to see in this particular photograph, but the pants cover her shoes, which has the overall effect of shortening her.
Also, if you’re going to match the colors of a purse to the colors of an outfit, please don’t do it with a Louis Vuitton bag. It’s tacky! And then there’s the jumpsuit on the right, which again, fits Simpson quite nicely. The styling leaves much to be desired, and while the ostrich feather bag is fun, where else has that playfulness been transposed onto what she is actually wearing? A belt would have served her well, or a shawl. I’d have even accepted chunky jewelry!
The lesson then is that flying too close to the sun will incinerate your rather expensive Gucci purse, leaving you with some drab jumpsuits and confounding leopard print jackets—just like Hollywood!