The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
Our current site is here:

In or Out: Oprah

Oprah Winfrey hosts The Oprah Winfrey Show: Fridays Live From New York at Rumsey Playfield in New York City wearing a Tadashi Shoji gown.

Tadashi Shoji Fall 2009 Collection

We think she's IN.

She's been on a, shall we say, upward swing, scale-wise, and she hasn't always made the best choices determining how to dress her latest body. This isn't perfect by any means, but it's got more right than wrong. She always has a tendency to go big and blousy when she's packing on the pounds, but fitted is always a better choice for the big gal. She looks like her boobs could use a little more breathing room, but aside from that, it fits her well and flatters her. Our body language reading skills are telling us that she's not comfortable in such a fitted look, which is a shame.

[Photos: WireImage/]

Post a Comment

Totally agree! Also though, you mean more right than wrong, right?

If it fit her better, it would be an "in".
But the skirt is too fricking tight.
There are intentional folds but when the folds of tightness take hold, it stops flattering.

I'll give the color a bye because I don't know what the color really was as that sort of shade of saturated pink often doesn't photograph true.

She can be out sometimes, but the attitude of this woman always pushes me past that. The woman embodies confidence.

I also agree. Good idea to ditch the belt, O.

Maybe it's how it photographed, but do the shoes work with this? It seems to clash.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree! Also though, you mean more right than wrong, right?

Yes, fixed. Thanks!

T Lo

I would like it better without the '50s hairdo and makeup.

Gorgeous color, but somehow it seems very unflattering on her. Her chest seems to be really low, needs some uplift. Not crazy about the Valley of the Dolls hair on her either.

Oprah is always OUT in my book, regardless of what she wears. I am not a fan.

But here, she looks like she's trying out for a high-society, mid-life production of "Dreamgirls."

So I still say OUT.

mll (another lulu)

The folded shoulder treatment acts as an element to just widen her already broad shoulders, and that's not flattering. I also think that a fitted solid color dress with no contrast is not necessarily the best choice for a larger woman. Boring with no pizazz.

I think it looks good on her. I like the additional length and elimination of the belt. Furthermore, a cocktail dress with a sleeve? Fresh.

The folds do make it look like it's pulling and too tight and I intensely dislike what this is doing to her boobage area. I don't like this dress on the skinny model either, so my dislike isn't about Oprah's size. The color looks better on Oprah than the model.

I think it would have looked a bit better with the belt, as it was styled for the runway. She's got an hourglass shape, so the belt would have highlighted the smallest part of her torso, and it would have been a nice break from all the pink. Pink dress + pink shoes is a lot of unrelieved pink! IN.

Great color. But I think she looked better in the dress she was wearing the other day, for the Mad Men show. It was similar, but better fitted.


I actually think that the dress looks much better on her than on the model; it hugs her figure better, in a Joan Hollo...way.

I think she looks nice, too. But I was hoping you would comment on the color combination of dress and shoes. I don't get it, it looks off to me.

It's fine, but there's a sort of restrictive quality to it that makes my skin itch. Maybe if it had shorter sleeves, or something. I dunno. It just feels like too much fabric somehow.

Oprah is like Aretha-she is always in!


What I like about this is not so much the look itself, but the fact that the sample size was probably about a 4, and Oprah clearly has it in a 12, which is proof that designers can certainly be convinced -- okay, given enough money -- to make their stuff work for almost any body type.

A different neckline would have worked better. It makes it look like it's trying to strangle her. But I think from the ribcage down it looks just fine. Shoes are a bit matchy-matchy, but that's okay.

Fit across the chest seems to be the bigget flaw in this look. Otherwise I think she looks alright. Its appropriate, colourful, shows her shape nicely. I agree with the IN even with the flaws

I wanted to say IN but I can't. She's an OUT.

Dresses are hard when you are a, um, wider woman. Some kind of empire waist or separated are generally better.

All the money in the word and still OUT.

Maybe it's my eyes, but is she wearing a pink dress, red shoes, purple eyeshadow, and lilac lipstick?

It is a great color and shape for her, but you boys are right when you say that she doesn't look comfortable in it. Which is too bad b/c she does look good.

Hey, Kool-Aid!

eJerry... a 12????

Wasn't she a 10 for like 2 weeks when she wheeled the wagonful of fat onto the stage?

And no I am not being catty. My SKELETON is a 12, so nowhere to go but up. But I thought that she wa wearing a 16 a couple years ago when she had already gained some of her weight (and she looks bigger now). She could do more for other bigger woman if she acknowledged her size and pushed designers to make pretty clothes with shape for larger customers

yeah - youre totally right - if she was owning it, shed look 100x better, cause its a cute dress & it fits her really nicely. of all the women in the world, miss oprah winfrey should not be standing on stage with the posture of a wallflower.

Hmmm . . . that's a hell of a lot of pink. I'd say IN, if another color.

Anonymous on 9/23/09 at 12:53 PM said...eJerry... a 12???? Wasn't she a 10 for like 2 weeks when she wheeled the wagonful of fat onto the stage?

She was a size 8 after Optifast!


"Great color. But I think she looked better in the dress she was wearing the other day, for the Mad Men show. It was similar, but better fitted.


maybe this time she ditched the 60's underwear/body armor :) she seems to be really uncomfortable in it, but i think it did wonders for the fit of that dress on monday. i think she looked fabulous.

with regards to this one, it's more in than out, i agree. it's just not quite there. i kind of like the clashy shoes. i'm not a big fan of super matchy matchy so i think it looks good.

I do like the dress on her. But her makeup and shoes are pretty awful... not a good match. Not crazy about the hairdo, either.


ugh, OUT for me. It makes her look wider than she is and stumpy. Looks uncomfortable to boot.

I think part of the uncomfortable body language is coming from the shoulder wrap treatment, which is in effect pinning her arms down.

I'm surprised by my reaction, but she's IN. This isn't the best look she's ever rocked, but the color is great on her, and ITA that fitted is better for her size. I even like that she dropped the belt -- but maybe I'm just "belted out" these days.

This is the best she has looked in quite some time.

But she looked absolutely fantastic in the 'Mad Men' pic.

But I can't be mad at her. O is probably the only celeb that actually BUYS her clothes.

It's the shoulder treatments that disrupt the look on Oprah, IMHO. A public figure like Oprah gestures a lot, arms up and moving, particularly when she's "on." Those drapey things look like they're meant to stay down, the arms are supposed to stay demurely at one's sides. When Oprah is moving her arms, the drapey things bunch up and look wrong.

The red shoes are wrong, too. The rest of it, I have no real problem. Nice color on her.

Whenever I see Oprah gaining a few pounds, I wonder if all the people in her circle are afraid to tell her the truth. I mean, I saw this month's cover of O magazine at the checkout and she is airbrushed within inches of honest recognition. It's deceitful ... & I call shenanigans!

All that just to say she looks good in the dress.

I remember one of the bra-fitters on Tim Gunn's separate Bravo show saying that the boobs should be half-way down to the elbow, not all the way down there. Oprah needs to get herself trussed up properly. Even Dolly Parton keeps 'em higher than this.

Unfortunately, the saggy boobs take center stage with this design, too. The color is good, the fitted design just does NOT work with such a chunky body. I say go to more flowy, semi-muumuu type stuff with great flair until she gets this under control.

At the very least she should be taking her cues from flawlessly dressed larger ladies like Queen Latifah.

Cynthia said: "The color is good, the fitted design just does NOT work with such a chunky body. I say go to more flowy, semi-muumuu type stuff with great flair until she gets this under control."

I heartily disagree. Flowing designs look fine are "chunkier" bodies, but fitted, shape-hugging designs are far superior.

This was a big eye-opener for me when I started making my own clothing. Well-fitted, detailed, tailored clothes are MUCH more flattering to a larger figure than mumus.

I love your in or out posts. More please!

I'm indifferent about this look, and possibly more right than wrong. There is something that just doesn't work for her with all of the ruching/folds in the wrong spots. I think it would have been better with the belt. I think from waste down it fits her well, but there is just too much fabric going every which way up top in an unflattering manner. A different neckline or sleeve would have been nicer. The color doesn't bother me.

And she needs to have her hair and makeup look updated!!!


To quote the Dutchess, "What was she thinking?"

This big pink potato sack just is NOT working.

The elbows being kept close to the body and avoiding wide arm gestures makes me suspect that the arms on this dress were too tight at the top for unrestricted movement. Oprah looks like she's afraid the armhole will rip if she raises her arms or gestures too widely.

And this draggy, saggy boobage? NOT a good look. Also, when you're that overweight, a belt just draws attention right to the blobby hips and the thick chest.

Fer cryin' out loud. There are very common sense rules for dressing fat ladies. Who's the idiot stylist who lets Oprah keep deluding herself that she can wear these skinny-girl looks when she has clearly packed it on in all the wrong places? The woman is rich enough to afford the very best in stylists. Suggest she spend her money more wisely.

Nononononono. No.

There's draping (almost always flattering) and there's pleating (can be flattering, with proper placement and immaculate execution) and then there's scrunchy (fine on ambulatory toothpick models and hardly anyone else).

Scrunchy in all the wrong places, plus bad styling?

Would have loved to see her in this color with something simpler, tailored or at least properly fittted, but in any case, without the scrunch.

All that hate a few weeks back for the toilet neoprene scrunch and this passes muster? Don't get it.

Sorry she looks uncomfortable and like a wad of bubble gum OUT

Wow Mouse - that was a little blunt and insensitive, not only to Oprah but to any woman with weight issues. "Blobby hips and dressing fat ladies". WTF? I know you call 'em as you see 'em but that was brutal and calloused.

It's pretty weird to me that there is a "correct" way for a woman's body to be that is so detailed as to where exactly her boobs fall on her torso and that kind of thing. It's just so... tyrannical. I mean, the most beautiful people I have ever known were kind and confident; she looks fantastic, and the only improvement I can think of is if she looked more comfortable in it.

Meh. It's awfully reminiscent of the '60s dress she wore on her show on Monday, which brings me to a MUCH more pressing question:

Does anyone know who made the fab dress January Jones wore on Oprah?

I wish Oprah would go back to her curly hair style. I like it so much better!

Just a thought.

The big problem with this look on this woman is not that it's fitted but that it's been fitted wrong. Form-fitting looks for busty women of any size need to be altered down from the size that fits the bust, not have extra fabric added at the bustline. The bad fit at the arm-eye and the upper chest are evidence that this garment has been let out rather than taken in, and there's no good way for that to end.

It's always a temptation for those of us of queenly proportions to hide behind extra fabric, like the modified shawl collar on this dress, but the truth is, that sort of detail just adds bulk and horizontal emphasis.

Finally, she looks good in Schiaparelli pink, but it's still a noxious color.

"The color is good, the fitted design just does NOT work with such a chunky body. I say go to more flowy, semi-muumuu type stuff with great flair until she gets this under control."

I'm so tired of seeing bigger girls trying to hide themselves by layer upon layer of flowy fabric. It just makes you look like a blob. Something like this, with enough structure to give your body a defined shape (Oprah's body looks bigger here, but she looks like a woman and like she has a waist and delicious curves!), with a heavy enough fabric and a bit of texture (ruching, for instance) to hide any bumps and jiggles, and GOOD UNDERWEAR to keep the girls up and the rest of it in get a much better look.

I think it's sad that there are still people who think big girls need to hide themselves in muumuus. While I think this look has some minor issues, on the whole, I think she looks really good. Much better than she would if she were in something that gave her no figure at all...

Out, out, out. Horrible styling. And don't hate me but this dress just doesn't work for a really overweight body. (It's adorable on the skinny model, however.) And to top it all off that neckline is doing her no favors at all.

It's good look for her and a nice dress, but I think a black belt (with black shoes) would make her look less blobby.

I think that it's a good color choice for her, but she needs a better bra and a more flattering neckline. This one not only accentuates her broad shoulders but also makes her breasts look like large, saggy territory. She should stick to v-necks, scoop necks, and sweetheart necklines to break up the large tracts of land.

Oh, and I agree that the shoes seem to have wandered in from a different outfit. I wonder whether the shoes looked like they matched under indoor lights but turned a different color outside/on camera. This is one of the pitfalls of the matchy matchy trend we're seeing now.

Love the color on her. But you're right, she looks a bit uncomfortable. She get's a big "in" for trying something different from her usual formulaic dressing (lots of volume and blousy/flowy when she's heavier).

- edina -

Feh. She looks like she's afraid to lift her arms.

WANT the puppy though.

She's totally PLUS SEXY!

Love you guys, but totally have to disagree on this one. Maybe retro is in, but this is so out because it is a Hallowe'en costume I bought at Goodwill in the 80's! Add the bouffant hairdo, maybe a martini glass, and you are the quintessential PTA mom. Is that the secret to designing? Recycle the worst clothes from our childhoods and pretend they're new?

Skirt's too tight and the side seams are crappy. Other than that, I like the look on her.

But it's still an OUT. Wear stuff that fits!

Other than the too-tight bustline and the shoes (which I really don't like with this outfit), she's IN, big time. I love her hair and makeup, too.

Oprah sure knows how to accessorize.

I like how the microphone was gold even though the bangles were silver.

And I like how the purse didn't match the pink shoes, but I fear that PETA will have a thing or two to say about using a real dog as a purse.

Hm, I don't know. I give her an out, mainly because it's SO wonky in the boob area. As a large-chested woman myself, I can say with certainty that if the chest isn't right, it throws the whole look off (and yeah, you feel really uncomfortable and self-conscious).

Also not a fan of the red shoes with the pink dress (or is the color reading wrong on my monitor? sometimes it's hard to tell).

I dunno. I agree that a fitted dress is better for her figure but the neckline and it's pull on the bust is a disaster. She needs a scoop or v to make better use of her assets (I believe in hetero male circles they're referred to as 'puppies'?).

Sorry, I'm just not a fan of Oprah, and I can't be a fan of this look. Everything is style, color of dress and shoes, fit of dress. It's just a big out for me.

She looks so uncomfortable. I think she must be wearing an industrial-strength Spanx neck-to-knees bodysuit underneath it all.

I liked it. What I don't like is her hair which she also tends to go big with when she's heavier. Still the color and fit is pretty good.

The color is good on her and it's *almost* an in, but I vote OUT.

It's interesting that you "read" her as being uncomfortable in the dress. I thought I was just projecting onto the dress the discomfort *I* would feel in it. (I'm not as big as Oprah, but no svelte reed either.) The skirt looks a tad tight and there is something wrong in the shoulders/chest - too much material or the wrong drape. I always think that women who are larger in the chest and shoulders should go for a regal, commanding look, like figurehead on the prow of a ship. This is more like a pile of cushy sofa pillows.

Wait- straight male kibitzer informs me that some find the cushy sofa pillow look sexy, I'm just not looking at it right. (Hmm, now I know something about you I didn't before, Mr. Kibitzer.)

Anyhow, she's worked damned hard to become influential and wealthy from nothing and I love that she says outright that she refuses to feel guilty for being rich. She can wear what she wants and more power to her. So she's far from perfect - should I be so scrutinized I'd love to think I'd come off as well.

Sorry, boys, but I have to disagree. It's a good effort but still a miss. I always applaud Oprah for taking risks but, unfortunately, this one is not doing her any favors. No amount of confidence can change that.

As others have pointed out, she clearly could use some better support. The wide draped neckline only emphasizes the problem. She does not need any additional "bulk" in that area from the dress itself. It is too fussy and just creates one big bulge from chin to waist that no woman wants to see on herself.

Lose the drapey collar and it would be so much better.

Noooooo to the "mi first makeup" styling.

The wring in the upper part of the dress causes a bad case of titscrepancy (from the TLo Thesaurus) that is all the more evident in a large breasted lady.

Also, I don't know about the shoes.

She can de better, clothes and styling-wise.

It's a cute dress, but she definitely needs some better support and all the bunching makes it looks as if it doesn't fit her quite right. I also prefer the black tights with it.

Kinda looks chicken-chested.

I think she looks gorgeous, I love the dress!


OUT. The fit is just not flattering. Also that color is horrifying to me. I know some people like it but it just abhorent to my eyes.

Like Oprah, but this one is a pass.

Thulsa Doom in the house!

asparagus lust

She loves large upper draping that has drama, accentuates her neck and face and detracts from all the rest of the body. This dress flops miserably and looks like a rubber band stretched to the breaking point on top, making her out of control sized (she never bridles them enough_ bosoms look even wilder than usual. Nice dress, nice color, complete OUT. She can try this again in 60 pounds. (Not that I ope she will be thin. She isn't meant to be.)

In!! IN IN IN!!
Great color, great silouette for her.

I don't like her in that outfit. the top looks like an open sack and it looks like she has far too many potatoes stuffed in there.

As a rather buxom lady myself, I have to partly disagree. I think everything about this is fabulous on her except the bust, where the large expanse of bodice is making her chest look bulky rather than keeping it in balance. I think it needed to be cut lower, or (and this is a distant second choice) done in a more symmetrical v.

IN except for the shoes, which are pretty but since when do red shoes go with a fushia dress? If she'd done a fab royal blue or yellow Louboutin now how fab would THAT have been?

Beautiful color. But she still looks like Miss Piggy.

i'm not dorothy gale

You know that sizing is fantasy when designing for celebrity clients. "Want to be an 8? We'll sew in a size 8 tag."

If Oprah is a "real" size 12 I am going to be the next Pope. And I'll design my own mitre.

Dear Oprah,

Please stay in New York. Close their streets for days. (Oh, and if you want the Olympics here, YOU pay for them. You can afford it. We can't.)

Thank you.

A Chicagoan.

It was said before, and I'll say it again.. Oprah's pushin a 16+ right now, NOT a 12 as a few of you said. Trust us size 12's... we know em when we see em, bitches.

Trust us 16's, "bitches." She's pushing OFF 16 and heading upward. And that dress does her no favors. She just looks FAT!

This is an ugly dress whether it be in a 6 or 16. There are so many better styles for her. I just don't understand why she chose this one.


Julie said it best, this dress was fitted WRONG!

And yes, she is pushing upward of a 16; certainly NOT a 12.

I'm indifferent to Oprah as a person so my opinion of her look is completely objective...a big OUT. Sorry guys, but I don't agree, I think she looks like an undone sausage in this monstrosity of a dress, which looks like a potato sack on the model!

Oprah needs a personal shopper that knows their stuff. Someone that can have her fitted properly for the right size bra (and replace the tag if she's size shy), knows what proportions look good on her and what don't and dresses her accordingly. Instead of someone that knows trends and tries to shove the poor woman into as many as possible before the trend ends.

Whomever she has now should be shot for picking that dress, trying to have it *tailored* for her and ended with THOSE HIDEOUS SHOES! To say NOTHING of the hair...UGH!

So overall, OUT and FUGLY. They made her look hideous.

She's starting to suffer from Aretha Franklin syndrome: massive breasts run amok.

Uh, 12? That's no 12. When I'm at my ideal weight my boobs STILL need a 12 and I think Oprah's got me beat. 16, easily.

It's obvious Oprah is very uncomfortable with her weight at this time. However, I do like this dress on her. And I like the collar treatment as she does NOT have broad shoulders.

I like her better in a fitted look, but this one is poorly fitted on her. See all that pulling around the waist? That's not intentional. OUT.

In?! Ugh NO! It looks like a bottle of Pepto Bismol spilt all over her. FUGLY

It makes me sad that Oprah spends so much time fighting her genes and trying to be thin. I think she looks great at the weight she is at, if she would embrace it and dress for it she would look FABULOUS. I know so many gorgeous size 16s and 18s, it makes me sad that she wont represent and be one of them due to shame.

There are so many plus size gals like me would love some great fashion that fits them well. Oprah could totally help us achieve that, but she wont, because she's been told there is something wrong with her all her life.

I actually like the shape of the dress for her but the fit is weird, and it just doesn't look right. Also, I would not have gone with the matchy matchy shoes.

(Also, this show was a big boon to retailers, the traffic in Michigan avenue stores received a huge boost according to a local firm.)

If it ain't you, it ain't you. It's a gorgeous color on a gorgeous froc meant for another personality.

It looks "crumpled" on her. Stifled.

She always looked pulled together, but this is not one of the better looks.

"[F]itted is always a better choice for the big gal." Spot on again, TLo! As a woman whose weight has fluctuated a lot over the years, I can say, it's really hard to choose a fitted garment when you feel bad about your body (you want to HIDE under tent-like dresses) but you're absolutely right, the bigger you are, the more you need neat, clean, tailored clothes that actually fit properly. Bravo to Oprah for making the right choice here! -victoria

Sorry, but that's a big no for me. From the tightest of it, to the proportions, it just chops her up and makes her look even bigger.

I don't care how big Oprah is, she has a waist, and it's all a matter of accentuating the curves. I think Tim Gunn would send her back to try something else on.

asparagus lust

Just what we need, another size comment, but here it is. LADIES! 12, 16 ... No way in double hell. LOOK at her. 20-22, and that is being kind, designer style!!

That air brushing brainwashing "fit" on you all. And I know I am right about the actual size. She is enormous.

Asparagus said "LOOK at her. 20-22, and that is being kind, designer style"

I'm a 20-22 and Oprah is smaller in the waist than I am, foundation garments notwithstanding. I'd put her at an 18, personally.

But seriously folks - why do people keep ragging on her weight? So she's bigger? So what? Does she look fabulous? This dress doesn't do her a lot of favors, but she doesn't look bad. Most of the time she looks amazing, regardless of her size.

O can buy and sell you in 10 seconds.

As far as I'm concerned, the bitch can wear whatever the hell she wants.

BALMAIN for women

Blog Archive

Search This Blog


Project Runway