IN or OUT: Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji at the 2013 Hollywood Film Awards

Posted on October 23, 2013

We know Tadashi’s her go-to, and with good reason, since he’s done right by her pretty much every time her dressed her. But we’re not sold on this one, kittens.



Octavia Spencer attends the 2013 Hollywood Film Awards in Beverly Hills, California in Tadashi Shoji.

Tadashi Shoji Fall 2013 Collection/Model: Magda Laguinge

The shape is nice, but man, do we ever not love those horizontal bands or the craftstore-looking trim around the neck and shoulders. Strangely enough, we think the shoes are working here, even though we tend to hate heavy, focus-pulling shoes like that. Of course, that should tell you something about the dress that we’re praising the one thing that takes your eyes away from it. But maybe we’re being to harsh. We love the color combo; her makeup looks good; we’re not a hundred percent on the hair, and the bag is sadly invisible.

Kittens make the call:



Vote Now!


IN! I love it! Especially the ________________!


OUT! I was fine until I got to the _______________.


The hearts of the Bitter Kittens are full of love for Juliette Lewis, because they couldn’t bring themselves to do anything but vote her very distracting hair and gown IN.




[Photo Credit: Andrew Evans, Izumi Hasegawa/,]

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  • Ros

    I actually think it would have been better if she’d kept the original length. That balanced out the horizontal bands, but in the shorter version, they don’t work at all.

    • MGMcD

      Ditto…the length also made it dramatic enough so the brocade elements didn’t seem so silly. As it is, it looks like to much froof for a somewhat casual cocktail dress.

    • alyce1213

      Proportion is so important.

    • willworktomorrow

      Maybe even mid-calf. That would allow her to show some leg and still balance the stripes.

    • Jessica Goldstein

      At this length, the top band needs to move up a smidge, the waist band can stay, and the hip band has to go. I’d like to see this again with those two changes.

      • jonesybj_notreally

        EXACTLY. and if that doesn’t work, the same changes but make it the long version.

    • MoHub

      In the shorter length, it looks like a rugby shirt gone formal.

  • Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

    OUT! I was fine until I got to the ticky tacky trim.

  • Random Compliments

    Oh no. OUT. She looks 100.

    Hair is a miss, dress is hideous. Oh, no.
    Sad face.

  • theblondette

    I think she did the right thing having the dress shortened, as she has slim, shapely legs and we don’t see them so often. But the trim is weird. And the top looks awkward round her bust.

  • Jumpingjacks

    It lost the air and lightness it had on the model…

  • Rebecca Bledsoe

    Sadly, OUT. Love the shoes, LOVE the face, but that craft project of a dress is just awful. Illusion netting sleeves are bad enough, but is the skirt made of the same material layered? Just no.

  • NinaBoo

    She doesn’t look 100% with the look either.

  • nowlo

    Out. The dress is dreary and shoes are great, but not with that dress. I like her hair, but that blush looks too heavily applied and is a little too far down on her cheeks.

  • sagecreek

    Nope, the shoes aren’t helping at all. Unless you are tall and willowy, best to avoid the ankle cutters.

    Oh, I just don’t know if I can vote Octavia out. It would have been okay without the sleeves, and the skirt, and the shoes…

    But yeah. This isn’t good. Okay, with tears in my eyes…out.

  • dorothea_brooke

    Hmm. I like it. I think I like it because it breaks a few fat chick rules. Thou shalt not wear bold trim! Thou shalt not wear horizontal stripes! I don’t see the trim as cheap, to me it looks vaguely Eastern European. But we agree on the shoes, which are fab. At any rate, it’s an interesting way to wear a black dress.

  • boweryboy

    OUT! I was fine until I got to the shorter length of the dress, and those hiddy bear trap shoes.

    The original dress length provides much needed drama that this shorter length lacks.

  • another_laura

    Out out out out. Tacky-looking widow’s weeds-y schmatte.

  • Janet B

    Sorry, I don’t like any of it. Rare fail for Miss Spencer. OUT

  • Paulette Kessler

    In, because I like the dress on her. But I beg to differ re the shoes — make her look as if she is nailed to the floor.

  • marlie

    LOVE the shoes. Love the colors in the dress. HATE those horizontal bands. Sorry, O, it’s an out.

  • SophieCollier

    IN. She looks fabulous.

    • kirkyo

      Me too but are we ever in the minority here.

    • NOLA_gal

      Agreed. An odd choice, but not a bad one!

  • decormaven

    Out. Somebody got busy at the notions counter.

  • Vickiefantastico

    I really like it, although based on her facial expression and body language, I think she doesn’t love it that much.

  • MilaXX

    I think it may have worked if she edited down the blue bands. Keep them at the collar & cuffs, change the others to black. The color change cuts her up and makes her look stumpy. Everything else except the bag works for me. Sadly OUT

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    OUT…makes her look wide and short. The shoulder seams hang down on the arm too far, and the long sleeves aren’t helping, especially since she’s wearing a shorter version.

  • ringthing

    IN. I like the color combo, the length and the shoes; it’s a younger, sassier look for her.

  • Ashleigh

    I respectfully disagree 🙂

  • NoveltyRocker

    It’s an IN for me. Seeing the dress on the model, I think its boho tunic-y look would come through at a size up but it still looks great on her more fitted. The curls are pretty. Agree about the shoes but it all works together enough.

  • Trickytrisha

    Out. Geez, is that designed for a funeral during Oktoberfest in Germany?

    I love this lady so much, I want her to be wonderful and sparkly and impeccable every time she’s photographed. She usually is. I think her go-to guy let her down this time. PS… love the shoes.

  • DesertDweller79

    I kind of like it. The colors are nice, her makeup is nice, I like the shoes with it. The longer skirt on the model probably would have been better. But, I don’t dislike it enough to say out, so she gets a marginal IN from me.

  • Katie

    Out. Poor fit and her posture is telling me she isn’t feeling it. In the past, her confidence has really made things work for her even if there were minor quibbles.

  • The spacing on those bands…the bottom tow could have gone lower, but that top one? TItscrepency no matter where you go.

  • shopgirl716

    Love it, love her. In!

  • Belvane

    I think the waist and hip bands would have worked with a very plain black top and striking blue necklace. The shoes are awful no matter what. When will the hideous booties trend end? Regretful OUT.

  • kimiakay

    Sorry Olivia, OUT. There are many possibilities for good here, but the way it is isn’t working. The blue bands are all you see until you get to the pleated skirt, which seems incongruous in a sheer fabric. I didn’t even realize you had a clutch until I read it in the post. I do like the shoes which focus on your beautiful legs. Your makeup is fine, hair is a no.

  • lunchcoma

    Out. I don’t like anything today, apparently.

    I like the stripes and the color, but the length is off. I mean, I understand why she shortened it, as her legs are one of her best features, but some dresses just don’t look right at knee length. This is one of them.

    Still love her, though.

  • In! I was fine until I got to the skirt. I like the top just fine, but I imagine it as a blouse, and paired with fitted black pants. The rick rack is pretty and a nice color. (But I guess Poles are partial to rick rack.)

  • embers618

    OUT! The shape is great for her, but the bric a brac, the top band blue band, the skirt fabric, and the cuffs are all issues. I actually like the idea of the blue bands around her waist and hips, but that top band makes it seem like she’s got her boobs in quarantine.

  • OUT. I know she’s not tall, but I would have liked to see it with the length.

  • kimmeister

    Out. Love the colors, but way too many horizontal lines between the dress and the shoes.

  • Sara__B

    OUT. It was fine until I scrolled past her face. The dress. The lace trim. The shoes. No.

  • rebeemoon

    OUT. the horizontal stripes and the rickrack trimming are ticktacky, and do her no favors. Too bad, because the color combo is neat.

  • A reluctant OUT.

  • trisker

    Love her but hate this dress. Out.

  • Imasewsure

    This dress is awful…. better long but still not good. Keep the shoes and the designer and start over! OUT

  • carpediva

    Oh no no no no no no. It pains me to say but this is tragic from head to toe. And from her expression, I’m not sure SHE’S completely sold on this one either. OUT. (I’m sorry Miss Octavia!)

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    I’m with Uncles T and Lo about those horizontal bands, and their crafty look. Tadashi has done better for Ms. Spencer. I’m sorry to be calling this an out.

    • Florence Whytingale

      Totes. Also, 100% agree that the shoes are (surprisingly) the only thing that works here.

  • MichelleRafter

    One too many rows of purple ric rac

  • nannypoo

    You can tell she’s not sold on it either.

  • StylishDreaming

    IN! It’s certainly a daring choice for Miss Spencer, but it works. I love the shoes and accessories.

  • Jangle57

    No, no, no. Too many bands between the dress and the shoes – both of which I dislike. She and Tadshi can do so much better. OUT

  • iloathethesea

    Out. But those shoes are on point.

  • quiltrx

    OUT. I was fine until I got to the….at least three different black fabrics going on.
    Fix that, and make the bottom two bands of blue farther away from the top one, and this might work.

  • penguin momma

    OUT! I was fine until I got to the– well, the length, and the way the horizontal stripes hit her at all the wrong places. Also, she desperately needed some color on her lips, like a nice basic red, and longer earrings to compete with the little ringlet of hair hanging down the side of her face— maybe she could have borrowed the earrings the model wore on the runway..

  • solidcurrency

    I hate the sleeves and messy hem and shoes. OUT.

  • formerlyAnon

    Out. The horizontal blue bands don’t work with her figure. (They ensure that the breasts look over-sized, in an ENTIRELY matronly way. ) That’s a dress for the flatter-chested. Which is a shame, since she looks pretty content with the ensemble.

  • bellafigura1

    Big out, too many horizontal line, and these are not her colors, she’s swallowed by them.

  • SewingSiren

    I don’t hate anything , except maybe the harsh lighting. It’s not her very best, but I have no problem with it.

  • Julia McLean

    In. Is it her best look? No. But she’s fine.

  • Maya

    out. the proportions seem wrong and i hate the shoes

  • Coco Cornejo

    OUT! The proportions of the horizontal lines are off. They cover too much vertical space and make her look shorter than she probably really is.

  • Cubana Loca

    OUT. I was never fine. Agree with the comments below – she should have left it the original length although maybe that was too formal for this event? It’s too tight on her – look at the puckers in the upper arms and under the bust. Bad fit! The hair is the only good thing. The makeup is invisible like the clutch.

  • MaryAtRealityTea

    OUT. I love her but no.

  • MzzPants

    GAK…NO…OUT. The fit is awful and that trim puts it into costume land.

  • Out. I hate those sleeves

  • Every one of those blue bands is hitting in a completely wrong spot. Doesn’t even look good on the model, which should be a sign. Plus I am SO not a fan of that see-through sleeve look, save perhaps on a bridal gown. OUT.

  • unbornfawn

    Something about the proportion and placement of the blue bands that isn’t quite working for me. OUT. The hair is OK.

  • frannyprof

    OUT. Not her best look and she knows it.

  • elemspbee

    Dress In. Shoes out. Too heavy.

  • poggi

    It’s a fabulous folk dancing costume, but not great red carpet wear. It just seems to cutesy and folksy for Octavia’s style. She seems more glamorous and sophisticated than this. Pack it off to Zooey Deschanel and she can accessorize with a flower headband and twirl around the red carpet.


  • MaggieMae

    It’s not awful. She’s done better. Cannot vote the girl out for this small mis-step. Tepid IN.

  • Cognitive.Dissonance

    In. Just love her in this … that is all.

  • kittentoes

    Nope, nope, nope.

  • Richard Banger

    The trims are just awful. OUT

  • conniemd

    OUT. Don’t like the horizontal bands, too many of them, don’t like the sheer sleeves or the neck stuff.

  • Eric Stott

    It does her no favors.

  • AnneElliot

    Out. Love the color combo, hate the skirt. I also like the hair. She looks uncomfortable.

  • Tatiana Luján

    it’s not as good as it cpuld be (the blue trimming looks cheap), but the shape and colors are flattering and she looks happy. IN.

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    In until I got to the sheer skirt and the Franken Shoes. I must disagree with the sweet Gay nephews on the footwear (you two are actually the same age as most of my nephews). My first thought was that she needed more delicate sandals. But the top is folksy, so if the skirt had been solid and she rocked some edgy boots, this would have much better, IMHO.

  • Judy_S

    I am going to give her an in just because she is wearing horizontal stripes and looks good. I do think the hip stripes want the longer skirt, though.

  • Jessica Freeman

    OUT. The shoes are for sure the icing on the OUT cake.

  • KinoEye

    Oh dear. Definitely not big on the horizontal stripes, but that shade of blue is great for her. I want to burn those shoes. Hate, hate, hate the trim. A dress this expensive shouldn’t look so flimsy and cheap. Love her to death, but this is a big ol’ OUT.

  • carnush

    Oh lordy no. OUT.

  • crash1212

    OUT. She doesn’t look comfortable. I think shortening it really threw the proportions off. At least one of those bands needed to go when the length went. Love the shoes.

  • GillianHolroyd

    Easy out.

  • prettybigkitty

    In. Can’t say I love it, but I don’t hate it!

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    Out. Too matronly.

  • Spreecord

    There’s nothing I’m loving, but there’s also nothing so horrible that I want to set my eyeballs on fire. I give it a marginal IN, and may God have mercy on Tadashi Shoji’s soul.

  • stubbornthoughts

    This doesn’t offend me, so IN. I think I’d like it more if the top horizontal stripe wasn’t there. But I really love the shape on her, she look great!

  • OUT, because it fits weird in the chest and arm area. I don’t hate it but I sure don’t love it.

  • lesmaha

    Sorry I have to vote this one out, including the shoes.

  • Aurumgirl

    I was fine until I got to the bands of entubment. And the shoes? They make all of it look like a Bibendum version of a Mistress of the Dark Arts costume. I’m really sad about this as this designer seemed to know exactly what cut of dress made Olivia look her best, but I had an idea he’d abandoned that style when the last runway collection was shown on here.

    • formerlyAnon

      “bands of entubment”

      Multiple gold stars for you!

  • MoHub

    Lose the shoes and go back to the original length, and I think it would be stunning.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    The top of the dress isn’t working for me. I’m afraid she dips over into OUT.

  • lubilu

    OUT. It’s just not her dress. The small-scoop neckline and the band across the chest are there to give women with no boobs (ie. the model) the illusion of boobs. Instead with her it makes everything look constricted and as if her boobs are struggling to break free. She doesn’t have the length of waist between the boob band and the band beneath the waist, so everything round there also looks wrinkled and constricted and the sleeves should have been widened so that they look ethereal as on the model rather than wrinkled and tight. And that length is just about the most frumpy anyone can wear.

    And I say all this with love as another shortwaisted, big boobed woman. She has such SPECTACULAR curves when they’re allowed to breathe.

  • JP

    She doesn’t look like she’s comfortable in it — not that it’s supposed to be comfy like a pair of sweats, but she just looks like “I don’t feel right.” Out, for that reason.

  • CurbGirl

    OUT-those stripes are holding a lovely lady hostage, and not in a good way!

  • Presumptuous Insect

    OUT because I have seen her look ten times cuter than this.

  • LJCdoc

    I see your points, but I still think she looks good. IN.

  • demidaemon

    I too think she should have went long with this dress. It’s just not right at this length. I also hate her accessories, especially the shoes. OUT, for ruining a good dress.

    • J. Preposterice

      yeah, I think there’s both a slight fit issue right under the boobs, and that the short length is throwing the proportions off. The close-up of her face, I suddenly LOVE the blue chest band, but I think the wonkiness below is messing with it.

  • StarburstLady

    The color bands are just badly placed for someone with her body type, particularly the one across the chest. OUT.

  • naomiow

    in – the stripes make it interesting/different, but putting it on the cuffs was too much. What bothers me is the skirt – should either be original length or fitted & not pleated. Shoes work for me too.

  • E. D.

    OUT, but would be better sleeveless.

  • Jenna Marie

    Out. It looks cheap.

  • CatherineRhodes


  • LittleKarnak

    I vote OUT based solely on the alleged fact she is doing an “updated” version of Murder, She Wrote….really Octavia??

  • ThesisMonkey

    OUT. the craft trim pushed it over the edge. The hem length is bad, but I think the longer version would have looked worse.

  • melanie0866

    OUT. It’s the horizontal bands AND the pleated skirt that make it tragic.

  • pdquick

    OUT. I was fine until I got to the … outfit, shoes, hair, and makeup. The forelocks. The too-glossy lip that reflects the glare just so, the horizontal stripes and stumpy length of the dress. The shoes that cut her leg length even more. She normally shows how it’s done, though, so she gets a pass. Let’s call it SAFE.

  • Badriya Al-Badi’a

    In, especially from the bottom of the ribcage and up. I don’t like the shoes, it’s too many horizontal bands, but the colors are so good for her, and her hair and makeup are so pretty.

  • oohsparkley!

    In. The shoes accent her nice ankles and calves. The dress is better proportioned when long, but I still think she looks good.

  • Jacob Bowen

    OUT! The bands across her midsection make her look stout and squish her boobs in a box.

  • Lily-Rygh

    Granted, the trim looks suspiciously like something you might find in yardage at the Fabric Depot, and Octavia herself doesn’t seen entirely sold on this look. But she looks sassy and cute and it’s refreshing to see a plus-size ladystar showing off her gams. For that reason alone, if nothing else, IN.

  • Hildegerd Haugen

    mrs Spencer looks good.

  • It’s sweet and on-trend but she’s looked better almost every time she’s left the house in the past 3 years. In, but barely.

  • guest2visits

    If the dress was long with 3/4 sleeves; maybe. As is, out.

  • swanpride

    out…the stripes make her look boxish