Reese Witherspoon's Oscars Gown: Love It or Hate It?

02/23/2009 at 03:00 AM ET

Gary Hershorn /Landov

Reese Witherspoon has thrilled us with her award show looks over the years, from her vintage Christian Dior to collect her Best Actress Oscar to her sexy yellow Nina Ricci at the Golden Globes the following year. And when the surprise presenter took to the stage at tonight’s Academy Awards, it was no exception. The star chose a daringly fashion-forward Rodarte gown with a billowing ombre skirt and an asymmetrical beaded bodice. We love that Reese is supporting a young American label — Rodarte is designed by two twentysomething sisters in California. Reese is one of our Best Dressed picks, but it is more avant-garde than most. So we want to know: What do you think of Reese’s edgy look? Vote in our poll below!

See all the Oscars coverage, including Best Dressed, by clicking here!

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Showing 109 comments

elle on

I think she looks stunning. Reese always is a knockout on and off the red carpet. Good for her for taking a risk!

Yily on

Reese Witherspoon looks amazing! Her dress was beautiful. The two young designers for fashion house Rodarte are so talented. Their dresses are so unique and elegant at the same time that a lot of celebrities like Keira Knightley and Jennifer Lopez love their one of a kind design.

The dress on Reese Witherspoon I think is so unique and beautifully crafted. It fits her like a dream. What’s not to like? I think Rodarte is going to be the next big label in 2009!

JG on

I think Reese and Queen Latifah look like they shared a roll of duct tape. Weird!

JC on

I love that blue color but I’m not overly crazy about the black sash. I said love it because I didn’t “hate it”

reesereese on

the dress is ok, but mostly it completely overshadows reese, so you don’t even see her.

i think a dress should be like good make-up. it enhances the wearer and it’s the person you notice, not the dress!

fancypants on

i knew the minute i saw the dress that it was Rodarte. they have a very distinctive style, like Marchesa.

sorry I am mean and honest on

Sorry but reese looked weird.

cara on

reese is a little girl, but this dress manages to make her look heavy. it’s awful.

Jay Morris on

Does it matter what she is wearing? Reese would look great in anything including a burlap bag!

Reese Witherspoon’s Oscars Gown: Love It or Hate It? - Style News … on

[…] Reese Witherspoon’s Oscars Gown: Love It or Hate It? – Style News … […]

assaft on

am i the only person who thought this gown was awful? those ‘straps’ or ‘bands’ are too close together and do not flatter her decolletage at all. and then, i need to see more pics, but wasn’t the back strange? it kind of looks a bit like a mess to me…


Reese is trully that 1 girl who could make a paper bag look GREAT!!!! Not only is she beautiful on the outside she’s beautiful on the inside and that’s why she can pull off anything, still this dress is beautiful too.

susan on

reese always looks beautiful! she could wear a paper sack and look georgeous. she is a real lady!

mary on

love resse she looks beautiful.

Tina on

Reese Witherspoon’s dress was the ugliest dress of the ceremony.

Bad makeup too.

Reese has no taste!

sewdragondesigns on

Everything about her last night overwhelmed her. Her makeup around her eyes was too dark and heavy, it almost looked like it might have looked good the night before, but she slept in it and didnt remove it.

Reese is so small and angular herself that this dress having sharp angles also is just too much for her. Maybe if it was a different color against her creamy skin.

Michael on

Awful dress, what was she thinking?

Reese Witherspoon is a redneck woman.

Sharon on


Mr Blackwell on

That dress is AWFUL. For starters, it looks like she’s wearing a backpack with those black straps. The back section and around the shoulders was a pink/skin color mesh – if you want backless, wear backless, don’t try to cover it up with something that’s supposed to look like your skin. The zipper was also lumpy and visible. There were also little plastic bra straps she was wearing, what’s that about? And then to add to the mess, her hair was stringy and she wore heavy makeup and cobalt blue eyeshadow. Ugh.

Geez on

Reese Witherspoon has bad figure and fugly face, she should take care to look presentable.

Ro on

Okay, I usually love Reese in her awards gowns but this is definitely not a favorite of mine for her.

Karen on

Color is beautiful,the style is not attractive.

Karen on

The color is beautiful, the style is not attractive.

Christine on

The dress is ok, but I thought the problem was her makeup. Reese is a cute girl and she usually looks elegant, but her makeup made her look the opposite (too much eye makeup and horrible color).

Nora on

There were reports a few weeks ago that she was pregant. As soon as she came out, that is what I thought. I like the dress. She looked great. She is just adorable.

ex fan on

Reese Witherspoon was the worst part of the Oscars.

Ugly dress, fugly face and phony class act.

Sophie on

Love Reese, but lose the dark eye makeup. She looked tired.

couturerocks on

It looks like her Halloween costume. I was expecting her to choose something way more spetaclar.

Snip on

Reese looked incredible. She took a chance, and it paid off big time.

jeffies on

I liked the dress but personally I didn’t like how dark her eye makeup was it made her eyes look further apart and just hid their natural beauty.

Rita on

I thought the gown was beautiful but I did not think it was a very figue flattering dress to wear. I thought it made her hips look very wide.

Katie on

The dress was fine, not one of my favorites but not certainly better than some. However, her hair and make-up were terribly unflattering.

Jon on

Reese Whiterspoon’s dress was very nice.

Kate on

I thought she looked wonderful. It’s “a lot” of dress, but there is no overshadowing that smile of hers. Good Choice!

brittany on

hey.. (:
I like Reese.. She is a very good actor..
the dress is cute but i dont like the thing going around her kneck..(i guess its a sorta sash)
but other than that i guess its okay.. (:

janice on

I am all for the new young designers, but the gown did nothing for Reese. It was a distraction from her stunningly beautiful self. When I buy a dress, I a make sure it works for me, not against me. This gown worked against her and didn’t do her any justice.

Sandi on

I was very distracted by the clear plastic bra straps that she was wearing. It looked so tacky that it took away from the dress.

Miran on

I loved the dress it looked great on he but the hair needed work it just looked like it was just put there

Denise on

I loved the colors, just not the straps on the shoulders, could have done without those.

JM on

That is probably the worst dress of the evening! I am very disappointed in Reese this year, usually she does so well!

cissie on

I think her dress was very pretty but someone should have made sure it was all laying properly before she entered onto the stage…by not adjusting the flow of the dress made it look awful and it shouldnt have…if the folds were all in the right places and even, it would have been lovely.

s peterson on

When Reese walked out I thought she must be pregnant. The dress made her look heavy.

Nadia on

I literally gasped out loud when she came on stage – that dress is gorgeous. The colors compliment each other so well and the dress looks so comfortable and elegant. Great job!

Trish on

Reese could be in a paperbag and come off looking as cute as the paperbag princess. It is a little unusual, but that can be good. I like it. I don’t love it, and I don’t hate it. Not the best I’ve seen her in, but kind of cool.

Lindsay on

I liked everything about this dress except for the clear plastic straps that went over her shoulders. These straps were not hidden under the sash, but stood out separately like plastic bra straps. They aren’t clear in pictures, but on an HDTV, they were extremely visible during her closeups, and took away from how polished she looked. It was a little tacky. Otherwise, I think the dress is beautiful.

All Man on

Reese is a knock-out. The ladies who dont like it are probably the dogs that would look horrible in it. They’re just jealous! I love how they can rip a person with their comments–shheessh I’d love to see how they would look in anything.

Heather on

I like the blue shades and black but the style is a bit weird and kind of “heavy” on top (the strap seems kind of harsh, can’t think of the word).
She looks heavy around the hips and tummy area.
The hair is too dark and severe.

Rebecca on

It’s Reese… how can you not love it?

jaci p on

i dont HATE it, but its not the best on her. id like it better if the black on top was the brighter blue like the bottom — a more flattering color for her, and it would help balance it out. the dress itself is such a statement, she almost gets lost in it…. ultimately, reese looks good in pretty much everything…

jaci p on

to all the critics on her wieght:
she’s MAYBE a size 6, or (God forbid)an 8… what kind of a message are you sending to anyone reading who may have unhealthy obsessions over THEIR wieght??

Jessica on

I think the blue eyeshadow was the part of the outfit that didn’t work. The dress was interesting and I think she pulled it off. The blue eyeshadow was terrible!

Debra Besthof on

Spectacular! One of the prettiest gowns on the red carpet. Enough already with all the “basic” black gowns. Right on Reese!

Sharon on

I did like the dress, but the black sash around the collar kind of ruined it for me. Strapless would have been the way to go.

Debra B. on

Having said the above, she does look pregnant??

Oscar Notes « Kanlaon on

[…] Cruz’s gown.  She thought that, for the first time in her long history of Oscar appearances, Reese did not look well.  Ben Stiller did a pretty convincing impersonation of a certain crazy ex-actor […]

Amber on

Reese could rock a paper bag. She’s adorable.

LRS on

she’s beautiful but the dress isn’t.

Lots of ugly dresses on this year’s oscars.. you know, these people have so much money you’d think they’d always look great, i dont understand how they could end up wearing ugly dresses!

Valerie on

I kinda like it. She always looks beautiful.

Judy on

The dress was o k but the hair and make up were bad. I was surprised at her look and thought that she might be pregnant or ill.

Aspen French on

This dress is overwhelming for Reese’s petit frame. NOT a good choice!

Alicia on

Reese can pull ANYTHING off

Mo on

Too bad all of the money and attention spent on the celebrities and gowns couldn’t help those out of work, out of money or down on their luck. Is this the right time to focus on all of this ostentation? Where is all of this change that we are supposed to be seeing – or are all of these celebrities exempt from the economic tragedy going on in our country and world right now? Do they really care – show us!

Candy on

It made her look wide

Lisa on

Reese looks so stunning; love this look.

Peaches on

I’m stunned. This dress is horrific. I like Reese a lot, and I know it’s hard to be critical of this charming and talented star, but her gown does not work. It isn’t “fashion-forward”…it’s an overwhelming, convoluted mess. Better luck next time.

That's me on

Didn’t Queen Latifah have on the same dress? It looked better on Queen.

Mpisha on

She looks gorgeous,she never disappoints her fans.Glad she rocked the Oscars.

debi on

Awesome, thats what she is. a doll. her persona supercedes anything else.

Julie on

I don’t like it so much…I doesn’t seem to fit her as well as previous gowns. Check out my Oscar coverage (and Fashion Week) at!

Julie on

I don’t like it so much…It doesn’t seem to fit her as well as previous gowns. Check out my Oscar coverage (and Fashion Week) at!

Nancy on

I believe she is pregnant.

megan on

It’s a gorgeous dress, but really unflattering on her. She is tiny, but the asymmetrical straps make her upper body look huge. Not a good look

marie on

Love the colors!

Scarlett on

I really don’t like the dress and it makes her look big

betty on

what was with the clear plastic straps on that dress – it looked so bad! otherwise the dress was pretty…

Amber on

No one seems to be noticing that she wore the hanger straps.

KawaiiKitty on

umm, I think it makes her look fat… unfortunantly!

Great color! Terrible lines!

Andi on

Reese’s dress was awful. It didn’t flatter her figure, and the straps were very confusing and didn’t lay properly; if you looked closely, you could see flesh colored straps underneath.

Madge on

The dress may be very beautiful, but much too “old” looking for Reese to be wearing. It looks to me to be a dress for an older woman to wear.

John on

Reese is always a stunning addition to the Oscar line-up. My only disappointment was her hair style, a little blaugh!

Tania on

Same, old Reese Witherspoon – she has no taste.

Does Reese still pretend to date that gay actor?

katecp on

I love it, but I would just remove the black straps or alter them.

Matt on

Reese Witherspoon looks like white trash who stole some expensive clothes.

Sarah on

Reese looks great no matter what she wears!

Diana on

Her eye makeup was so distracting…that I hardly noticed the dress. Whoever did her makeup…should be fired.

fancyfortunecookies on

I really wanted to like the dress…. because I love Reese, but really couldn’t get past the black sash. Just too much!

T~ on

What if i dont LOVE it, but i dont hate it, what if i just like it. Its a pretty gown, but i dont love it!


Hlleo rat vui duoc vao web nay

marcie on

i think that this dress makes her look fat, but i dont think that its a horrible dress and i still think she manages to look good. but she is not a fat girl and this makes her look fat unfortunately. she usually looks so gorgeous and i was a bit disappointed i must say.

Dibs on

The dresses were the best part of the oscars. The rest of it was pretty bland. I liked what this guy had to say:

Nicole on

I think it would be okay…

…if she had worn a (better) bra.

Jim on

That dress and makeup have to be the worst in recent Academy Awards history. It looks like a home economics project in high school or a reject from Project Runway that was put together in a shortened time period. Very disappointing from normally very stylish celeb.

ladyneny on

reese witherspoon looked great on the dress. i love it.always good to try something new and daring without always thinking of what people would far as you really feel good and comfy wearing it.

robscott2007 on

Love it – she can carry it off – not many could!

Sherihan on

One word came out of my mouth when i saw that pic, WOW!!! she looks stunning in that dress and i am really impressed that its desighned by such young ladies, WELL DONE!!!
plus reese looks always amazing :D:D

wonderwoman on

love it. she can do no wrong. color is stunning.

Jonathan on

Clear bra straps?!?! FAIL.

elizadeath on

Oh dear. She looks beautiful. Something about the fit just doesn’t sit right with me. Regardless, I commend her for a bold choice.

Bailey on

SHe looks super cute. but would be even cuter if it was shorter like a little above the knee not, a mini

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Usually like her style but those clear straps (even worse in HD) were hideous!! What was she thinking? And her hair looked like it needed colored and the makeup washed her out. Something must be up with her. Did she decide to go to the Oscars at the last minute?

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