Oscars Fug or Fab Carpet: Reese Witherspoon


This may surprise a lot of people, but I ended up going the reverse direction I normally do: In the beginning, I liked this, but the more I stared at it the more it lost me.

The hair is lovely, sure. I vacillate between thinking the bodice is appropriately sexy/snug, and perhaps sitting too low. But mostly my objection is the skirt. It’s… unconvincing. Heavy. Possibly bored of itself. It’s the Twilight movies of skirts: hoping desperately that you’ll be too distracted by the shiny hair and the pretty and the sparkle to notice that everything else is phoning it in.

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[Photo: Getty]

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Comments (50):

  1. BrownEyedBetty

    Totally agree. When she gets it right she gets it so right. This was not that time. Can’t get past the boob shelf. Sorry Reese: glad you’re happy in your personal life!

  2. Jen S 2.0

    I thought this was an ill-fitting, unflattering nightmare. There was a flash of her on screen where I thought she was preggo again. Then I was like, “maybe she’s still losing baby weight.” Then I thought, “No matter what, when you are Reese Witherspoon, and have Reese Witherspoon’s resources, I should not be contemplating your midsection.” I’m all in for the thick girls (especially as I AM one), but she is decidedly NOT thick, and this dress makes her look like she is.

    • hoover19

      I actually had to google search is reese pregnant again… it’s okay to not have a perfect post pregnancy body and it’s also okay to dress that body appropriately. This is neither the right fit or length for her at this time… which made me sad bc that color is GORGEOUS ON HER.

  3. Saba

    Would’ve been lovely if it actually fit her properly. Looked way too snug in the stomach/hips area on TV.

  4. Heather

    Oops, the wrong poll was in there for about ten minutes. It’s fixed now!

    • Mongerel

      I voted that you are not a dangerous lunatic. But DANG…the TEMPTATION!

      • Vandalfan

        I took the plunge. I NEVER get to call anyone a dangerous lunatic. (Plus, I think Reese looks smashing.)

  5. Esme

    It looks like she wrapped some poster board around her, like it’s a TUBE. Bad execution.

  6. Sarah

    It looks cheap. I would have believed that she had gotten this from H&M

  7. Cat

    I love this! I love the bodice– it’s definitely the right amount of sexy/snug. My only complaint is that skirt almost seems too big– it’s rippling across her hips in a way that doesn’t seem too tight, but like there’s too much fabric. Maybe it’s too long? I get what you’re saying about the heaviness of it. Still, the color is gorgeous and she looks wonderful.

  8. Merg

    Not wild about the dress, but I love love love her hair.

  9. Mare

    The bodice looks like the version the cartoon Natasha (of Boris and Nathasha of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame) wears!

  10. Mongerel

    I really really like the black band at the top; it gives the dress a sharpness and formality that it may have lacked without it. What I really dislike is the black points that seem to wrap around from the back. They are distracting at best, because they look like they are there to create an illusion of a nipped-in waist, and they end up looking like a cheap attempt at an illusion than an actual illusion. The rest crumples and drags. THIS is the look hovering in “5″ territory.

  11. Gine

    She looks fine but I swear she’s worn this exact dress a million times already.

  12. Charlotte

    If Jennifer Lawrence’s dress was bridal, then this dress is “Mother of the” Bridal. (If, you know, your mom was a jerk who wore [near] white to your wedding.)

  13. Willow

    I wish people would stop defaulting to “Old Hollywood Curls” for The Oscars – it just makes the red carpet look like a glitzy zombie apocalypse.

  14. Michelle

    When teensy REESE WITHERSPOON looks chunky, it is a BAD DRESS.

    • Kate

      I meeeean, I think she is still carrying some baby weight. I gave her a pass on this because I have to guess it sucks to dress yourself for millions of eyes when you’re heavier than you’re used to.

      She probably felt this gave her the best shape despite carrying a touch extra weight. She likely could have found a slightly better shape (less form fitting all the way down?) but overall I think this is a pass, if not the best thing she’s ever worn.

  15. Eli

    I wanted to like this because I like the blue/black combination but I just though the bodice was really ill fitting. The skirt doesn’t bother me…just the fit from the hips upward.

  16. TaraMisu

    I guess I’m in the minority… I love this! The color is amazing on her, I think it fits well, the accessories are stunning. And of course, the hair..

  17. Trace

    It reminds me too much of the dress she wore in 2009 – very similar colour. Her hair looks fab though.

  18. ab

    it’s the boobs that bug me. i love the rest.

  19. Sajorina

    I think she looks great from the waist up, but I agree that the skirt is too heavy! She’s done this combination of blue & black previously and, although it works for her, I fell like I’ve seen this before! ½ FAB!

  20. Chasmosaur

    I didn’t like this. It looked cheap to me. This is Louis Vuitton, it should not look cheap.

    I ended up comparing it to Helen Hunt’s blue strapless H&M dress – both were strapless and looked wrinkly and slightly ill-fitting. But Helen Hunt’s dress was H&M and “green”, so I gave it a pass – it was mass-market and I’m sure not in a luxe fabric that was heavy enough to hold its lines.

    I shouldn’t be comparing couture to H&M.

  21. Lynne

    I don’t like the way the bodice fits her but my main issue is actually the color. In itself, the vibrant blue and black is very striking but I really don’t like it paired with her yellow blond hair. I can’t help thinking it would be so much more striking on a brunette.

    Also, have I mentioned how much I loathe taffeta? It always looks like a wrinkled duvet cover. I mean always. Hate!

  22. Ms Poopy Von Pants

    I think the dress was too low and I didn’t love that blue with black together but she had the most glowing, beautiful, genuine smile all evening… even when the camera zoomed in on her in the audience. It was very refreshing and made me think she looked great even if her dress wasn’t awesome.

    • rowynn

      In reviewing one of her movies, Roger Ebert said she is “as cute as a button on Raggedy Ann’s overalls.”

  23. Helen

    This is a terrible fit and the color is akin to that of a cheap grade-school vinyl binder.

    A rare miss for the always-ladylike and usually very put-together Reese.

    Love the hair, makeup, and jewelry, at least.

  24. D

    I immediately commented on how the fit (or maybe even the proportions) were wrong on this. I liked the blue color and the shape of the top but – no. And the boob bow was not cool either.

    • pantsonfire

      Agree re proportions. I’ve said this before with her awards dresses, but I’ll say it again here (because this is like, the exact same dress as at least two of them): she’s short-waisted and she gravitates toward gowns that, while they likely “fit” her proportions, do nothing to balance them, and instead magnify the short waist and maximize her rump, but not in an advantageous “dat ass” way, but in a somewhat matronly way. She can do better, and she has, but it seems she’s found a silhouette she likes, even if it’s not the most flattering.

      • pantsonfire

        P.S. All that said, this isn’t the worst and I actually think it’s flattering on the boobs.

  25. Terri

    The color was okay. A little too primary for my taste. But my GOD the woman recently had a baby. How do the stars do it!! But I did hate the dress from the back, with the visible zipper. Tacky.

  26. buttercup

    This is the reason I can’t hate on a good mermaid gown. At least a mermaid gown accentuates a woman’s shape and tries to look interesting. This is just awful.

  27. val.

    The people on E! were all raving about her hair, but to me it looked too stiff, like she used a whole bottle of Aquanet. The dress was okay but kind of boring. Of course, I’m biased because I’ve never really liked her. She always seems smug, and like her Cruel Intentions role was not that much of a stretch.

  28. Daenerys

    the colour is stunning! I think she looks fantastic. One of my fave dresses of the evening.

  29. emmy

    So CLOSE. If it wasn’t for that distracting train at the back, I think this dress would really have worked. Reese has done better than this, but still, I have to give her points for wearing a bright, bold COLOUR. The undifferentiated sea of white/off-white/cream/champagne/’nude’ gowns come awards season is really just beyond dull. What, is the Oscars a debutantes ball these days? Ladies, show a little courage!

  30. Sylvia

    It’s all about the fit. And, this doesn’t. quite. fit. The hips darling, the hips. This makes me sad, because Reese is truly one of my faves on the red carpet. Actually, I just like Reese and the way she carries herself in general. The clothes are just an extension. But this falls short. I do love that she wore color. But even the color fell short last night.

    Also, there was that really awkward moment when Giuliana asked her how she gets her hair to stay so voluminous and her reply was essentially “have a baby.” You all pointed this out during live blogging, but it’s still a bit creepy the day after. But I feel like we forgive Reese these things. At least I do.

  31. Crystal

    Is that a bow I spy? I don’t like the lip nor the bow. I think the gown would have been better off one color.

  32. LouLou

    Was nobody else reminded of Jennifer Lawrence’s red boob eyelids from the Globes? The rest of the dress is different but something about the chest area looks very similar, shape- and structure-wise. Like this also had boob eyelids but, after the ballyhoo about Jennifer’s, they sewed these ones shut…

  33. Siouxi

    Best hair. Happy to see a color but the dress didn’t seen to fit properly.

  34. witjunkie

    You know, I didn’t hate this, but I didn’t like it for the Oscars.

  35. Soapstef

    This is just bland. I’m kinda mad at her for not trying!

  36. terri

    I love the color. I think what kills it for me is that black side panel added to give the illusion of a narrower waist. Oddly what it does instead is create the illusion of a disproportionately enormous bubble butt.

  37. Aoife

    It’s like something your mother made you for a ball – in theory it was going to be great. But in practice the fit is a little off, it creases a bit weird in places and it looks bulkier and more awkward than planned.

  38. MelissaW

    It needs hemmed – it wouldn’t look near so heavy if the bottom didn’t start to puddle on the floor.

  39. katefish

    The black “darts” on her sides really throw things off and make her hips look far bigger than they should. The black band across the top also makes the bust proportions strange. I want to take a sharpie and continue the black on to the skirt to make a diamond so that it is not go so abruptly from the optical illusion of a very tiny waist to BAM! Full Hips Express. The color blocking is not doing her favors. And the fabric is a bit too stiff, so it’s all billowy and poufy in the wrong places, like a throw pillow, instead of flowy and romantic like I think it maybe should be.