Royalpalooza 2011: Well Played, Reese Witherspoon


Reese Witherspoon has the same expression on her face that I would, I think:

It says, “This is so great, I’m having a conversation with this very nice girl who happens to be royalty, and DAMN she is pretty, I wonder where she got that outfit… no, no, hang in there, Reese, keep paying attention, put your Listening Politely face on, hang in there, don’t get distracted… MAN those are some nice white teeth, I wonder if she’s been keeping those up just in case, I bet she doesn’t ever drink Diet Coke or coffee, and I love her accent, it’s so plummy, I wish I had one WAIT if she asks me anything about what she just said I am totally going to have to admit I have no idea.”

And, “Aw, I remember when I was like IN LOVE WITH this guy, because wasn’t everyone? And now I’m MEETING him and I’m kind of wrinkled and we’re both married and he’s kind of balding and I can’t lift up my arms because if I do you will see that I am sweating all over this dress and WOW, he’s so nice and normal-seeming and it’s so sad about his mother and I CRIED so HARD that day, and wait what did he just say? Shit. I’m not very good at this.”

But what ABOUT the outfit? Personally, I think she looked mostly cute.

Jessica would go nuts for this. She loves a neck ruffle, and she loves that color, with good reason, as it looks very pretty on her. Team Jess! Anyway: If this whole trip has been about Kate and Wills showing us all how they do the Widdleton thing, then this is Reese showing them how she does the Reese thing. It’s VERY her: simple, casual, seasonally apt, sweet, ladylike, flattering. Yeah, it’s a little wrinkly, but overall it encapsulates exactly why I always envy her wardrobe. I never have good day dresses. She has about a bajillion. I need her personal shopper. And her budget. And her face, et al, but let’s just start with the shopper and the budget, okay, universe? Thanks.

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Comments (58):

  1. Tracy L

    In the top pic, I think Reese is also thinking “if I ignore the chick to my left (whose dress is the same colour as mine) maybe no one else will notice her either.”

  2. Lissa

    I can’t get past the purse in the first picture. It’s got tulle & blobs – and it appears to have been shredded somehow. I am confused.

  3. Wordphreak

    Reese looks like she’s about to pee herself. And Kate, while very pretty, looks old in that first picture. I think it may be her posture and the angle of her neck. Someone tell her that for me, will you? I love her sweater, though. I had one very similar when I was in high school that I bought at Woolworth’s.

  4. meaghan

    reese is an itty bitty petite precious little thing and kate manages to make her look “average” size. god bless any and all ladies size 4 and above in her company!

  5. Geemee

    Great look on Reese. Super cute dress and shoes (I just wish she would uncross her legs). Sure, she’s wrinkled, but that just gives her an air of authenticity. Stars! They’re just like us! With better jewelry!

  6. Susan

    Oh my, Karenna Gore has a macaroon purse.

  7. Christian

    The girl in the purple dress’ purse looks like vanilla cookies. I’m hungry.

  8. Danni

    Uuugh… I want Reese’s dress… Wouldn’t mind Kate, SORRY Catherine’s outfit too, although I suspect it is a tad old for me (for now). Have recently started to try and be a girl who operates in day dresses, and am finding it a peculiar amalgamation of convenient and difficult. (One main item of clothing vs. … well, a dress.)

  9. Evalyn

    Why do you go on so about wrinkled fabrics? Natural fibers are going to wrinkle when a person bends or sits. There is nothing a person can do except stand ALL the time or have one’s helpers insert one into a padded envelope and store flat until needed.

    How about we talk about the hem on Reese’s dress? Being a short person myself I know about having hems taken up. That one is done very badly, like maybe Reese did it herself while watching TV. PRESS WITH A WARM IRON AFTER HEMMING. Or, since you paid a seriously large amount of money for that dress, have it hemmed by someone who knows what they are doing.

  10. Mrs. Julien

    I like the top picture becaise it so totally sums up how much of Kate’s life must be now: people standing around gaping at her, judging every inch and acting like everything she says is fascinating. It’s a perfect tableaux of high school.

  11. vandalfan

    I never noticed that Kate is one “tall drink of water”, as Dad might have said. Reese looks relaxed and happy and is a picture of an All American Gal.

    When I win the lottery, it will be Nilla Vanilla Wafer purses for everybody!

  12. Carolina Girl

    I don’t know why, but I have always had a soft spot for Reese Witherspoon. Yeah, I’ve heard that she is quite a control freak but that’s not necessarily a bad thing considering that her life seems to be going rather well while God only knows what Ryan Phillippe’s plan is.
    But about the dress, I like it. It’s pretty, fresh, a lovely color and appropriate for where she is and who she’s meeting. It’s something I would wear if I could afford it.

  13. Sandra

    Reese is adorable. The color rocks and though I don’t love a neck ruffle myself, it looks good on her.

  14. Kate

    There’s too much good hair going on in that first photo. Can’t focus.

  15. CH

    Love Reese’s dress, though it seems the gal next to her is wearing the same dress (or one VERY similar). Kate looks super-duper thin in that first picture, too…

  16. KK

    I like Reese’s outfit a lot, but good eye to whoever pointed out the crappy hemming job. Definitely odd on someone who has that much of a wardrobe budget. Maybe it’s the nature of the fabric? I’m short too, so I sympathize with hemming difficulties.

    I don’t like Kate’s dress actually. That white pleated skirt is so…. my easter dress at age 7. I realize part of being royalty now means dressing somewhat matronly and apparently 24/7 sheer hose and closed toed shoes, Fine. But pleats + doily sweater = too much. You’re still young Kate!

  17. Lori

    oh boy, I’m in the minority. I think the dress is pretty, but it makes Reese look like a darling little red dumpling. Sorry! I love her too! Maybe I have my movie star critical goggles on. Maybe she currently isn’t starved down to her movie role malnourished size. But it makes her look very short and a little soft in the arms and tummy and it’s so squinchy way up into the armpits.

  18. In elegance we trust

    I love Kate’s outfit!

  19. Sarah Provost

    This takes me wayyyyyy back to when I had a white knife-pleated skirt like that — and was thin enough to wear it. It was my favorite summer thing.

  20. Jessica

    Before I read the copy after the jump, I literally looked at Heather and said, “Ooh, I want Reese’s dress.” She knows me so well.

  21. The Other Molly

    Don’t like the dress, it makes her look fat and the hem is GODAWFUL.
    Ah, another pair of boring, beige shoes to add to the bonfire.
    Burn baby burn!

  22. Kris10

    I will take Reese’s whole outfit! It’s a very “Kristen” outfit, as my husband would say. Or maybe I wear very “Reese” outfits? And I like that she looks a little short and soft in the arms in it…we don’t have to be long and muscle-y all the time. Maybe she just liked that dress and felt good in it!

  23. Kittekat

    Excuses me. I’m going to lick Jade Jaggers cookie purse.

  24. Mary

    @Lori: agreed! I feel like a big part of the problem is that the dress is, apart from being badly hemmed, too short. I don’t mean “too short” as in “too young for her,” I just mean “too short” as in “not a flattering length for her body.” But I do love unreservedly love the color and agree that in general, Reese has great day dresses. I love a good day dress, and since it’s been triple digits here in ATx for, like, THREE HUNDRED DAYS IN A ROW, they are a very practical wardrobe choice. I’ve been working assiduously to build my collection, but It’s not as easy as Reese makes it look — at least not if you’re over the age of 30.

  25. CJ

    First, I love Kate’s outfit. I think she has just knocked it out of the park with everything she wears. I have never really worn much navy — once you start with a new base color, you have to go the distance and do the shoes and the bag, etc — but she is really making me rethink adding navy to my wardrobe. I love her navy trench and pumps and I love this sweater.

    Reese’s dress is very pretty and cheery. I would have worn it a hair longer and her seamstress didn’t do the best job on the hem as it seems to be puckering. BUT, all in all, I love the dress and would love it for myself. Very flattering and wearable. And, please, do not say that Reese looks fat. SERIOUSLY. She is not fat in any way, and it is really unfair to judge someone who is standing next to Kate, who is not only very, very slim but is taller than I thought and has no hips or rear to speak of. See how normal Reese looks when she is standing by herself?

    On another note, I made French macaroons for the first time this week in honor of Bastille Day and my family already gobbled all of them up and I’m trying my best not to give in and make more, but that woman’s macaroon purse is not helping me!!

  26. Matilda

    I couldn’t concentrate on Reese’s dress. All I could do was laugh at her facial expression first and then wondering what I would talk about with Kate?

  27. Lesley

    I wonder if he’s talking about Legally Blonde 2?

  28. minette

    cute dress. cute color. but what is up with that hem? looks like someone shortened the dress on the fly and didn’t have time to stitch it properly (it’s pulling). unfortunately, it cheapens the look of the dress.

  29. Sandra

    I don’t see what’s so spectacularly great about this look. The shape isn’t particularly flattering on her frame, and although the color is there, it’s not in-your-face enough to stand on its own. It just needs more, at least more than a gold watch mismatched with (what at least looks to me like) a silver diamond ring – bigger earrings, a noticeable belt, stronger make-up… Anything. As it is here it just looks like straight off the H&M Basics-rack.

  30. Megan

    She looks adorable. I love that first picture where she’s standing with Kate, I have never seen anyone so starstruck!

  31. jenny

    That Nilla Wafer purse is seriously crazeballs — is she hiding Miss Havisham’s veil behind it or what? Also — don’t you think it must be weird to be having a conversation with one person, and everyone else in the room is just facing you guys, staring? I keep seeing it in pictures from their trip and it makes me want to yell “talk amongst yourselves!”

  32. Fiona

    I think the chick with the Nilla Wafer purse is ALSO holding a bunched-up shawl or scarf, and that’s what’s making the purse look a little off. At least, I HOPE that’s the case.

  33. Kati Irons

    I’m thinking she’s thinking “I wonder if she’s tried Avon? Would it be tacky of me to casually leave the catalog with one of the bodygaurds? It’s just Avon has this eyeshadow that would totally make her eyes POP, you know what I mean?”

  34. Sajorina

    TEAM JESS!!! I like this on Reese, but Jessica would rock this!

  35. Kati Irons

    Oh lord, that IS a purse. I actually thought it was a ziplock bag of nilla wafers which I found so confusing. Is this girl the catering staff? Is she hoping to pass on a gift of our least interesting “biscuit” to the royal couple? Who carries a large ziplock bag of cookies to a reception? So, I guess I feel better that it’s a purse, but only slightly.

  36. witjunkie

    If Kate is wearing hose, I wish I knew which brand, because even zooming this photo I can’t see them. I would happily wear hose if they made my legs look that great plus were INVISIBLE. P.S. Reese looks even more starry-eyed close up. Too cute.

  37. Annabeth

    I like this a lot — simple yet eye-catching, elegant but casual, event-appropriate for a VERY special event without trying too hard. I agree that the hem is a little off but must also agree with the defense of wrinkles in natural fibers. It’s just going to happen, and as long as it doesn’t throw off the whole look of the thing, they’re not a big deal. In a day dress for an outdoor event? It’s just part of life.

  38. Lex

    I think Reese is staring at Kate Middleton and thinking, “whoooo remember it’s rude to stare at the freakish bony arms too long, can somebody give this girl a burger? Do they even have fries in England? Because she needs them.”

    And yes, Reese’s frock and shoes are fabulous.

  39. Rach

    Lovely dress, gorgeous colour, but its been really badly hemmed!

  40. moi

    Noooooooo, I do not like the boxy shape of the skirt or the crappy hemming job or the wrinkles. But, I do believe she is rocking a pair of Christian Louboutin Almeria Espadrille Wedges, which I applaud most heartily.

  41. Veronica

    I can forgive wrinkles. Linen can be pretty unforgiving, and I love how she knew to let such a statement color stand on its own. Very simple and elegant. The only thing I’d change is maybe pull the dress in more around the waist. I agree that it’s a little boxy around the hips, though not enough to say it’s completely unflattering.

  42. Bubba

    I am SO glad you featured these photos! I love in this whole series from this event, and not just with Reese, all of these mega-celebrities are staring dreamily at Kate and Wills. Your narrative captures it perfectly! Oh, and I love Reese’s dress too. Covet.

  43. Jen S. 2.0

    So glad I’m not the only one who thought “Ooooh, macarons!” at the sight of Kristin Gore’s purse, and missed the entire rest of the photo.

  44. Winnie

    Kristen Gore’s purse is making me hungry.

    Looking at Southern “pretty girl” Reese with royalty is making think of that hilarious book by Marilyn Schwartz called “A Southern Belle Primer: Why Princess Margaret Will Never be a Kappa Kappa Gamma” (she wore white shoes after Labor Day). Reese is kind of thinking, “she’s really in front of me!”, but she’s also thinking “the Nashville Junior League would never accept someone who uses eyeliner like a common, country Watermelon Queen”. Royalty these days has to be of the people, but Southern women can still afford to be cutthroat with social mores. But Reese! That hem is just tacky.

  45. LizeCK

    I like the dress, although I understand what people are saying about the hem and it needing to be a more flattering length. I especially envy her ability to carry off orange (it makes me look like a rotting corpse). But oh those shoes…they’re like 1983 belched.

  46. Kyasarin

    I love Reese’s internal monologue, because that would SO be mine.

  47. Emma

    I don’t like it. It makes her look truncated and chunky. Sorry Reese!

  48. Lala

    Maybe Kristina Gore brought that photobomb purse to make Kate hungry. If not then thanks for ruining 20+ diets.

  49. Kittekat

    So Kristin Gore is the long lost twin sister of Jade Jagger?

  50. Aoife

    This is EXACTLY what I thought when I saw the pic of Reese gazing at Kate!

  51. jean

    Reese looks nice, as I would expect. It’s a pretty dress and the color is just unusual enough to stand out. I like the lack of fuss–easy (looking) hair, make-up, etc …But Heather you do not need her face. Her clothing budget would be nice. I think the whole world would look better given her clothing budget. I do love too that she doesn’t trot her children out in designer clothing even though I’m sure they dress very well. I never get the sense her children are accessories.

  52. Julia

    Wait a minute… her shoes? Nothing about those fugly shoes? They’re practically orthopedic.

  53. Dee

    Meh – not loving this -it makes her look frumpy a bit -which is hard to do -so I don’t like it.

  54. Mandy

    Yes, but what about the purse on the background lady that appears to be made from lightly toasted marshmallows? I need commentary on THAT!

  55. aa

    What is the purpose for their tour?

  56. Liz

    Anyone else notice Kate’s giant popeye of an elbow in the first photo?

  57. maggie

    What I’d really like to see is Kate gazing all starry-eyed at Reese and thinking “wow, an Academy Award winning actress…someone who’s actually famous for what she’s done, not because she married a prince and wears pretty clothes!” Nothing against Kate, but I don’t see why anyone should be in awe of her, much less someone who’s accomplished as much as Reese Witherspoon has.

  58. Michelle

    Maggie, Kate is a PRINCESS. She gets to spend her days looking beautiful, jet setting around the world and being fawned over whereever she goes…and doesn’t have to work at all. She basically gets to do whatever she wants and she has an awesome husband…the son of Princess Diana who seems to treat her very well and actually looks like he’s having fun showing her the ropes. AND she seems like a really cool chick.

    I’d say she’s got it made and that’s pretty awesome. Not a lot of women can say that, so who cares if Reese is a squatty actress? She’s not a freaking PRINCESS.