WERQ: Melissa McCarthy in Calvin Klein at Elle’s Women In Hollywood Celebration

Posted on October 22, 2013

Yes, you heard us. Girl is WERQing the shit out of this look.


Melissa McCarthy attends the Elle’s 20th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration in Beverly Hills, California in Calvin Klein.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, she has found it difficult to find styles that suit her for red carpet appearances. The mainstream fashion industry simply has no real tools for dressing a woman shaped like her (meaning, she almost never gets lent designer clothing) and she herself has demonstrated either some poor instincts for dressing her body or some issues with allowing her body to be put on any display. Lots of hugely unflattering tent dresses or oddly shaped ensembles that didn’t, shall we say, speak of a surplus of self-confidence.

We don’t know that this is the perfect look or shape for her (although we’re leaning pretty hard in that direction), but it’s boldly declarative, and it actually has a shape to it, which is a nice change of pace. There’s real style on display. Love the shoes; love the hair. About the only area in which the look is weak is its surprising lack of jewelry. But then again, maybe that’s why this is working. Whoever designed this at Calvin Klein for her (Calvin Klein! For her! Who knew?) took the very house-specific tack of paring everything down to minimalist shapes and drawing the eye in different directions in order to take the look in. This is in contrast to her controversial Elle cover (and most of her past red carpet choices), which was all about obscuring her shape as much as possible. In keeping with that minimalist CK style, maybe the lack of jewelry makes sense.

The important thing here is: SHE DOES NOT LOOK EMBARRASSED TO BE MELISSA MCCARTHY, which is how she tends to look on the red carpet. On the contrary, she seems thrilled with the idea of being Melissa McCarthy at the moment. How the fuck is that not a WERQ moment? THREE SNAPS IN Z FORMATION, BITCH.





[Photo Credit: Janice Ogata/PRPhotos.com]

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  • RussellH88

    She actually looks like she feels good, which accounts for a lot.

    She obviously prefers being covered up (which is why I don’t get the upset over the Elle cover), but this outfits marries a sense of style and shape to it that is usually lacking in her red carpet outfits.

    She looks good.

    • filmcricket

      I loved the Elle cover. I wished we could see more of her dress, but her hair and face looked fab and that coat was to DIE.

      • gabbilevy

        Me too. I thought she looked divine. Here too.

      • RussellH88

        The coat was amazing, and I think she was the one who suggested it. A celebrity who feels comfortable and looks like they’re feeling the outfit always looks better than someone who looks uncomfortable and self-aware.

      • mightbewrong

        I agree. Yeah, her shape was covered up by a coat, but it didn’t look like she was uncomfortable or hiding. She looked stunning!

      • Claudia Berry

        yeah me too! the coat color is gorg and her hair and makeup are smoking hot!

    • Danielle

      I think you nailed it. When a woman of ANY size feels good, it shows.

    • MilaXX

      I think if there was less of a tendency to either swathe a big gal in fabric or do a head shot only when they are on the cover of a magazine AND this wasn’t so soon after that horrendous Gabby Sidibe photo shoot, Melissa’s cover would barely have been a blip on the radar. The uproar was because it felt like more of the same old hide the fatty mentality. Many missed the statement that Melissa picked the coat and she liked it.

      • RussellH88

        Yeah, I want to make the argument that it’s entirely possible that those women don’t want to be in something form fitting and the photo shoot is being done in a way to make them comfortable but at the same time the fashion industry and the media perpetuate the notions that would lead these women to feel uncomfortable with their bodies in the first place. It’s very circular.

      • Kate Andrews

        I liked her coat, and I guarantee, based on the way we see her dressed all the time, that Melissa didn’t want something form-fitting.

      • Sarah T.

        Isn’t there some grey area between “melissa loved the coat and didn’t want anything form fitting” and “yet another fat woman on a magazine cover absolutely drowning in fabric?” Isn’t that grey area the place where the fashion editor and photographer wield their power? Isn’t that grey area what critics of the cover are actually trying to address? McCarthy may have loved the coat, but she didn’t pick that cover photo.

        • MilaXX

          That’s a good point. I don’t know whether she did or did not have final say over the photos. Unfortunately most of the criticism I read was over her being covered up. Especially when you compare it to the more body con looks of the other two.

        • Darren Nesbitt

          I agree with Sarah, I have a feeling Melissa doesn’t want negative conversation surrounding her Elle cover so she just said “I choose the coat” when in reality maybe they had a selection of huge coats for her to wear.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      She really does look comfortable and confident in these photos, which means it’s working!

  • xmixiex


  • Awesomeness In Stilettos

    • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

      Amen, brother! She looks happy and lovely.

  • Akemi

    She looks fantastic! L O V E those shoes.

  • Rhonda Shore

    Love the hair! Hip look…

  • HarmonyScofield

    YES. I rock a Melissa McCarthy-esque figure, and I have worn this silhouette a lot lately — loving the leather leggings and kickass shoes. This is exactly where she should be heading. It is flattering and fun and unapologetic, and she looks terrific and confident.

    I know what you’re saying about jewelry, but I also think there’s a push to get big women to wear big jewelry when they don’t always need it. I can see leaning toward a statement earring or a long pendant, but I think the minimalist look is really working here.

    • marlie

      I wonder if it’s about big women wearing big jewelry, or about ANY woman wearing jewelry. Because there’s been a trend over the past few weeks (months?) of not wearing jewelry at all. There are some conversations about that in the most recent Reese W. post.

  • Glam Dixie

    I’d dearly love a little less height in the hair but I’ve gotta say, I love this for her.

    • HarmonyScofield

      I agree — the hair is a skosh too tall. But it fits the rocker chick vibe, overall.

      • Targettaste

        That’s funny. High hair is rocker chick to you, sister wife to me!

  • nannypoo

    I don’t like the hair, but I love everything else. She looks beautiful.

    • tereliz

      I don’t like the execution of the hair so much as I like the idea of it. It elongates her face and gives her some height.

  • filmcricket

    Nice! See, this is why I love black and white, it’s hard for it to not look chic.

    I have some quibbles: I don’t like the hair, and I kind of wish the jacket was white all the way down, as in these photos it looks like she’s wearing three layers instead of two. I also think more dramatic earrings might have worked. But she get serious props for working those shoes, hoo boy!

    • Maryanne525

      Oh, good point! I honestly thought it was more of a little shrug, not a full jacket. Couldn’t tell it was half black. You’re so right, all white would’ve really been awesome with this.

    • I wish the jacket just stopped where the black begins. I think all white would have taken it into doctor’s overcoat territory.

      • filmcricket

        That’s a fair point, although I think the shape of the sleeves might counteract that?

        My concern with it stopping at shrug length is that frequently loose shrugs tend to roll, or fly away at the edges, which adds the illusion of volume. Presumably, though, something made by Calvin Klein would not have that problem, since I think it’s a cheapness issue, heh.

    • mshesterp

      Ohhhhhh…I totally didn’t get that was the same jacket (white with a black bottom)–I was thinking it was a short white coat over…something…black that was OVER a leather tunic, and thought that was one too many layers. I wish it had a little more definition from white to black (or have slightly more pattern). Still though, it’s interesting.

  • Maryanne525

    GIRL. As a big girl, may I say I’m terrified of heels that tall, but she is kicking some SERIOUS ass in them! She looks lovely. Trendy, fun, trying new things with the hairs and the clothes…love it. Just love her!

  • Danielle

    Those shoes! Snaps of RESPECT!!

  • Calvin Klein has become more size 16 and up friendly in recent years. Love this, love her, love her husband, hate that her hair is down.

  • mshesterp

    The white jacket is still a little blous-y for my taste, and the hair a wee bit too tall, but she does, for once, actually looks like she respects her body (and a designer respects it as well), as well as those badass shoes and leggings and leather, so I’m giving her a B+.

    And while I understand the body-hiding issues with the Elle cover, I do think she looks GORGEOUS and drop-dead sexy in that shot, from the style of the coat to the look on her face to her windswept hair. Effing gorgeous. Own it, MM!

    • MilaXX

      Surprisingly this is the second time I have seen her in leather pants looking great. I wonder if she is more of a pants person.

      • marlie

        Was just thinking the same thing.

  • bellafigura1

    I love it too, except for the white topper. I’d have loved to see that in a color, the white is just too bright white against her delicate coloring.

    I think the Elle cover is fantastic — I love hiding in a giant coat, and before I realized it was “controversial” I did a mental run-down of my closet to think about how to duplicate the look, or buy one … and I’m not her size. It never occurred to me that she’s hiding her shape — she looks sexy and undone and sophisticated.

  • “Love the hair.” Can’t agree there, but the rest is indeed, well played.

    • Sarah

      I will say for the hair that it’s too high for my tastes but it has the advantage of showing her whole face, which is very pretty. And helped, of course, by her happy expression.

  • Diego!

    WERQ! Stunning look! She looks gorgeous! Killer shoes btw… 🙂

  • Dan_In_NYC

    I have a lot of quibbles that prevent me from giving this a WERQ – but it certainly merits Attagirl for me.

  • mjude

    good. for. her.

  • SewingSiren

    Love this on her. It’s the best I’ve ever seen her look.

  • Vickiefantastico

    I don’t know, guys. The hair is so NOT working for me that I can’t even see what’s happening with the rest of her.

    • Imasewsure

      Agreed. I really never like this hairstyle on anyone and it makes it hard to see anything between the hair and the shoes (which I like). Just not my thang I guess

  • Bexxx

    I really wish this was a top and pants.

    • Bexxx

      And that they’d cut the bottom half of the jacket off

  • jbj

    Hate the hair but love everything else about the look. I’m astounded that CK did this for her.

  • MilaXX

    I don’t care for the bump it hair, but this is the gal I often see on talk shows looking great. WERQ indeed.

  • Malibufire

    The hair: ugh. The rest: rockin’

  • Joanna

    She looks REALLY good!

  • another_laura

    Totally agree with the T Lo analysis. It’s all working!!

  • erikagwen

    Seriously – Calvin Klien does amazing things with clothes for plus-size girls. Just look at the selections at Nordstroms or Macy’s. I have been telling my friends for years – CK knows how to dress us fat chicks.

    • poggi

      You are right. Calvin Klein has some nice plus size options (I am wearing a CK dress at work right now).

  • CeeRich

    Love the look. It’s edgy, clean and badass. Love the shoes and the hair. The best part is, she KNOWS she looks good and it shows in how she is carrying herself.

  • Heather

    Fun and sexy. Love this look on her!

  • BRAVA.

  • sagecreek

    Brava, Ms. Melissa! And thanks, T-Lo, for featuring her!

  • JaCory Deon

    Best she’s ever looked having her picture taken. That said, with softer hair she’d be killing this (the Berlin-esque hair doesn’t do it for me). Please let CK dress her all the time from now on!

  • Kelly

    Yes, definitely a WERQ. I just can’t like the hair, though. I get that it’s supposed to lengthen her look and all that, but still — poufy pouf is poufy and looks 80s-hair silly. It undercuts the sleekness of the rest.

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    Finally! Good for her and for Calvin Klein. (I’ve never seen Mike & Molly but I have seen an advertisement for it and she had a cute dress on in the ad so I knew she had it in her.)

  • poggi

    This looks fun and stylish. She seems like a fun person and this suits her. She does look happy in this too which makes me happy to see.

  • Shawn EH

    She looks like a fashion editor. One of those tough British girls parodied on AbFab. Which in no way contradicts the WERQ!

  • alyce1213

    Love the outfit, but that hair is just NO. No hair bumps ever! (except for editorials)

    • DTLAFamilies

      I hate the hair so much it’s making it hard for me to appreciate the rest of it, even though it’s a personal best for her.

  • kcnitch

    Wish her hair wasn’t so high, but otherwise, this is fabulous!

  • Rand Ortega

    YES! YES! & 1 more thing: YES!

    Edgy, sexy, STRONG. A movie star of MM’s talent/caliber should look like this on the outside every damn day!

    (Too many capitals, sorry.)

  • tereliz

    Between the skinny legs and the high hair, the proportions are just perfect. Plus, I love her a little edgy. Gives her some youth instead of the matronly looks she’s been sporting, and reflects her personality. LOVE IT!

  • Coleen

    There’s an Instagram floating around of her and Mister Joe Zee, and I’d eat my hat if he didn’t have a hand in steering her to some more flattering style choices. She looks awesome.

  • GorgeousThings

    I hope she sticks with Calvin Klein. She looks great, and except for the pinchy shoes, comfortable.

  • az67

    Those shoes are bitchin’.

  • LaSylphide

    Don’t really like the hair, which i don’t think really flatters her pretty face, but otherwise Amen to the WERQ.

  • carnush

    Sexy, modern and confident! Love it.

  • msdamselfly

    Yes, she looks great. Although I’m not loving the sleeves.

  • Joanne Abrams

    Don’t like the hair

  • webslice33

    she looks great

  • In_Stitches

    She either needs to put the rest of her hair in a ponytail or to drop that bumb down a few inches. Aside from that, perfection.

  • Toby Wollin

    Do NOT want to hear/read any interviews with designers re: plus sized women where the lame-ass excuse of ‘it’s too difficult’ to design, manufacture, etc. is used. Do NOT want it because if Calvin “if I can’t see your clavicles, get out of my sight’ Klein designers can do it and it looks good, then it can be done..and it should be done. Ms Melissa is lookin’ very very good here (ok, so I’m not keen on the hair, either, but it’s certainly more fashion forward than her usual, ok?) and it having a heck of a great time with it and obviously feels great, comfortable. If she could do the ‘mirror twirl’ (my measure for if a piece is a success), she would be twirlin’ the heck out of that thing.

  • Nice_Shirt

    And this, kind sirs, is why I sing your praises in the “fatshion” and fat acceptance communities. Because when it comes to dressing women of size, you get it.

  • CeeQ

    Love that last photo which may be captioned as “Yup. Go ahead and love me.”

  • Jecca2244

    I was surprised that Joe Zee covered her up so much on the cover. but then again he probably asked CK to dress her in custom for the night. so maybe one good crosses out a bad?

  • OpinionatedMtnGirl

    I am a curvy girl and Calvin Klein is my go to. Their stuff is classic and works really well on my body

  • Trickytrisha

    Very pretty face, hate the hair pouf, am so pleased to see her being fashionable and cool looking. I do adore those shoes, so fierce.

  • Gloriana Reginata

    Arghh, I’m sorry, but I just can’t get past that hair. The artificial skull mound is a horrid look on anyone, male or female, round-faced or square. If you can’t go the whole hog, and wear Louis XV pompadour wigs that touch the ceiling, then let these half-arsed partial versions alone: they just look like a bird sat on your head to die.

    • Imasewsure

      Adam Lambert and Louis XV (maybe Louis XIV on a good day too)… but no one else

  • ashtangajunkie

    She looks awesome! And even more so because she appears to think so too.

  • boweryboy

    OMG! The bump-it hair.

    Ok, with that out of my system what I don’t understand is this: She’s a successful, wealthy actress. Instead of trying to wear straight-off-the-runway designer clothing why not hire a personal dressmaker who will work closely with her to design flattering clothing?

    It’s not like she can’t afford it. And it’s not like there aren’t talented people out there who know how to design for full figured women. Just sayin’.

  • formerlyAnon

    As noted , Best Thing: She looks like she KNOWS she looks good.

  • PastryGoddess

    I’m adding a neck roll to those snaps

  • As a Melissa sized gal: appreciate the height of the hair though a little softer would have worked better; rounded necklines aren’t our friends – v-shaped is better to lengthen the neckline; hate 3/4 length sleeves with the passion of a thousand suns – just cuts us off at the wrong spot. Don’t know how she’s wearing the shoes but good for her! Overall – a great look however.

  • Ann VerWiebe

    She looks like she finally got a stylist that gets her – and a fashion house that showed her respect.

  • Imasewsure

    And how about some positive props for a woman who didn’t want to be in her underwear (or a skin tight mini or a cat suit) on the cover of a national magazine? She looks fantastic and I’d love to see more fashion and less skin from our leading ladies especially those of a “certain age” or a certain level of success and talent (and yes I’m looking right at you Halle Berry!)

  • marlie

    I love this! I love how fun and funky and edgy this is. I think my problem with a lot of her red carpet looks – and which could play into her feeling embarrassed on the RC – is that this look has a clear and declarative *personality*. We know who this woman is, because of her clothes and demeanor, and it’s more than just having clothes on so that she’s not naked.

    The hair is a smidge too high for me, but I LOVE the shoes. And I love how she seems so much more confident than usual.

  • phylora

    I love her, but I don’t like the hair, or the white jacket which makes her look even bigger. Maybe a dark gray? Love the shoes.

  • YoungSally

    Everything good except the hair bumper.

  • Ros

    WERQ!!!! So happy to see this look.

  • elzatelzabelz

    She looks comfortable in the outfit, but not Werq-worthy.

  • jjjoy

    i can’t get past the hair. see Rebel Wilson’s gays for how to dress, Melissa!

  • largishbearishAtlish

    Normally don’t notice (or comment) on shoes, but day-um! those are just perfect! a nice with out being garish or tacky… my only complaint is the odd hair ‘bun’ top thing…looks like she used something from a late night infomercial…

  • GTrain

    Finally! She looks great.

  • jjtxgrrl

    Yessss. WERQ!

  • imakeart

    The hair? Really, guys??

  • Pterodactyl111

    Looooove the hair

  • Qitkat

    So I’m guessing stylists have created a new rule of thumb: “Okay, honey, we’re going to go with the bumpit today, is that OK with you?” “Mumble-mumble.” “GREAT! now just let me get out my ruler and measure your forehead. Ahh, 8 inches.** AWESOME!.” “Whatryoudoin?” “Just hold still a moment. [Aside to assistant: go grab the XXTall one.]” “Now, darlin’, this is how it works. We use the bumpit that is at least a half-inch taller than your forehead.” “Ahh, don’t know that I really like that idea.” “Sweetheart, TRUST ME! you’re on the cutting edge here. You look Magnificent!

    **It is possible that there has been a slight exaggeration here, but that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

  • Qitkat

    P.S. I love this on her, except for the hair.

  • If you think about it, the Calvin Klein aesthetic is a natural for plus sizes. Which made me google to see if they had a plus line. And they do. But while there are a few nice pieces, much of it falls into the same tired plus size tropes.

    But this? I bet plus sized women would buy the ever living hell out of this. Hint, hint, Calvin.

  • quiltrx

    The outfit and face look great.
    But I can-NOT with that (what I have come to call) Ashley Judd Emmys Hair.

  • Virginie

    She looks stunning.

  • peebles808

    Love the look, love her, and think CK should get put these garments into mass production asap!

  • ItsDicey

    Not digging the hair, but everything else is fierce. You go, gurl!

  • Lily-Rygh

    While I could stand to take the hair down an inch, this look warms my heart. And I’m embarrassed to say it, but this is the first time I’ve noticed how striking her eyes are! Well done.

    • Laura Renee

      Don’t be embarrassed, this may be the first time she’s been in a good outfit with great eye make-up, too.

  • Hell, YES, lady!

  • Aaminah Khan

    Noooooooope, I just can’t with that hair and makeup.

  • sk8tfan

    Love this on her. Wouldn’t have guessed she could rock edgy, but she should dress like this more often. Minor quibble that she could have worn more statement earrings, but that’s just a quibble. She looks great, and I love the shoes.

  • julnyes

    I’m not as overjoyed with the hairstyle as some (I think it is too high) but otherwise I think she looks fantastic

  • RoseJB

    At first I thought she was wearing jodhpur pants and I thought, “NO!!!” But in the final photo I saw that it was just a layering piece. Nice save. Very cute.

  • Agatha Guilluame


  • frannyprof

    I love this!!!!! The look on her face says it all. She looks great and feels great.

  • Randy Noak

    NOOOOOO. Snooki hair.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    Love the outfit, especially the jacket, but am not down with the hair. Everything but the hair…

  • Nancy Karpen

    She looks wonderful! I like the minimalist look on her, certainly far better than the tents she’s worn in the past.

  • kimiakay

    The look on her face says it all. This WERQs.!

  • Michelle Gennari

    Great outfit! And I loved the Elle cover. But you know people gotta talk… I am not totally onboard with this hair. Agree it gives her some height but… she’s got gorgeous hair and think something else could have been done with it.

  • HobbitGirl

    I don’t like how the black jacket thingy stops at her knees. It makes her look like she’s wearing jodhpurs. I like the sleek B&W look, though. And LOVE the skinny pants. Rock those skinny pants!

  • I don’t really like that hair! Otherwise, it’s good.

  • Love this look on her. WERQ it!

  • heartbot

    I actually think Calvin Klein does a better job for bigger girls than a lot of other designers. After my daughter was born and I had trouble getting off the baby weight, their dresses were my go to for dressy events. They were really basic, classic styles with clean lines, good fit, sturdy fabric, and color blocking that turned my mushy bits into curves.

    She looks wonderful here. I hope more designers give her clothes. She’s adorable and deserves nice things.