Jennifer Garner in black Versace at the Oscars: widowy or classy?

88th Annual Academy Awards -Arrivals
Jennifer Garner was a presenter at the Oscars last night, three years after her husband won for Best Picture and thanked her in his acceptance speech for “working on our marriage for ten Christmases.” This was Garner’s turn to shine as a single woman and she instead chose to go with a somewhat staid one shoulder Versace gown with a half beaded bodice, a thin beaded rope belt and a long draped train. When you look at the details of this dress it’s incredible but the color is taking away from how impressive it could be. Garner could have really emerged triumphant after her (some say) passive aggressive Vanity Fair interview in which she both managed to laud her estranged husband and hint at darker details, but instead she played it safe. Imagine how this dress would have looked in a jewel tone with her hair down. Her jewelry is amazing though, checked out those stacked tennis bracelets.

88th Annual Academy Awards -Arrivals

The 88th Oscars host by Chris Rock, live from the Dolby Theatre. As seen on ABC.

Kerry Washington was in Versace too, in a black and white gown which made no sense to me. I like the idea of a black leather bodice over a white fabric skirt, and the pocket leather detail is clever, but the cut of the top is too boxy. It’s like she has on a modest superhero breast plate. There’s impressive tailoring in the top but the neckline is too high and it’s like the straps don’t belong. I can see where they were trying to mirror the straps along the sides of the waist but I’m distracted be the ill-fitting bust area. Still she looks hot.

88th Annual Academy Awards

88th Annual Academy Awards

Matt Damon and his wife, Luciana, were both in Versace and I think this is my favorite among these three. Luciana also wore Versace to the BAFTAs but this gown is better. It’s got a high leg slit, it’s a bold jewel tone and it’s sexy without being too revealing. These two look so good together.

88th Annual Academy Awards - Red Carpet Arrivals

88th Annual Academy Awards

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92 Responses to “Jennifer Garner in black Versace at the Oscars: widowy or classy?”

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  1. ell says:

    i love the corset of jen garner’s dress, the rest is meh. she needs a new stylist.

    i actually really like kerry washington’s dress, it’s a bit boxy on top but i can see what they were going for and it does look like a breastplate, which i like, she looks very good.

    damon’s wife always dresses like a WAG. she should team up with victoria beckham to get tips on how to appear more polished.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      I love the colour too. If a dress is black it already looks the best it can colour-wise. There is no colour that looks better than black. Impossible. FACT.

      Kerry looks like Xena The Warrior Princess joins an early naughties rnb group. By far the worst of the night, and that’s quite something considering Heidi Klum was there.

      I’ve never seen Luciana look good. The WAG comparison is spot on.

    • pinetree13 says:

      Last night when I saw the dress during the broadcast I thought she/it looked amazing. However, today in these pictures it looks so bad….but in the broadcast I loved it. So maybe it’s just not a photogenic dress? I also never thought of the widowy comparison….oh dear!

      Also spot on with Damon’s wife. I’ve never seen her look good.

  2. Luciana says:

    Luciana looked the best between these ladies.

    • LadyJane says:

      Her hair looks so dried and fried though. It would look so much better if she cut 3″ off the ends – I can hear them crunching from here.

    • zinjojo says:

      I think she looks terrific, but agree with Lady Jane that she should wack 3 – 4 inches off her hair; it really does look damaged. I also wish she hadn’t matched her lip color to the dress and gone with a more neutral lip. Better hair and a different lipstick would have elevated this look to one of the best of the night.

  3. Sisi says:

    I think jennifer often dressed down during her marriage as to not overshadow Ben, and this dress is the opposite of a supporting role. So it is a great choice for her, even though personally I don’t think it is very exiting.

    Luciana makes her husband look washed out with the vibrancy that her look has.

    I’m starting to wonder if Kerry’s move to tv has affected her gown choices, because she stopped dressing interesting right around the start of scandal.

    • Bridget says:

      They only showed up on one red carpet together their entire marriage (the year of his Oscar win), not to mention Garner was styled by Rachel Zoe for years (not sure if she’s still a client) whose rate is way too high for ‘don’t dress me up too high’. Garner’s just never been a ‘fashion’ girl. This gown is nice, but it’s very throwback – it looks like something lifted directly out of the movie How To Marry A Millionaire.

  4. LOT says:

    Kerry: I think that dress was made for a taller woman. They cut the straps for her smaller torso and the result is “boxy”.

    Jennifer: reminds me of the “leg of doom”

  5. Freebunny says:

    Benicio looks good.

    • Esmom says:

      Agreed. It looks like he’s regaining some of the hotness I thought he’d lost for a while.

      I think Jennifer looks really beautiful. My only quibble would be that her lip color could have been slightly brighter.

    • anne says:

      just remember Kimberly Stewart and it goes away.

  6. Snowpea says:

    I really want to like this woman because I know she’s a great mum and genuinely loves those kids.

    But she is just such a dag! The way she simpers around Ben, the adoring eyes, the 1950s housewife thing, the lack of self esteem…oh my stars she gets on my last wick!

    And this dress just proves that. She’s a single woman, and still beautiful. Why didn’t she go all out? Bright colours, jewels, a good tan, chic hair…she could have looked freaking off the charts but she missed the mark. She’s duller than dishwater.

    • realitycheck says:

      I can’t like her anymore. They both created so much useless drama around their marriage. Together not together together again.

    • anne says:

      yep. I have the same impression of Garner.

    • Susan says:

      Plus Jennifer Garner has received the ultimate “mother whitewash” with her image. She is no innocent victim herself. She cheated on her first husband (actor Scott Foley) with her co-star Michael Vartan. Then she cheated on Michael Vartan with Ben Affleck. So it’s hard to have too much sympathy for her now for Ben’s philandering. That, plus all the things you noted (the simpering, the 1950s housewife schtick, the frumpy look).

    • Original T.C. says:

      When did her lips double in size? Botox again strikes. We see daily pics of this woman and I’ve never seen the porn star lips. I actually like her dress, it’s classy

  7. oliphant says:

    I think garner looks insanely good and appropriately dramatic- her body is absolutely insane! sitting eating breakfast in my baggy slacks feeling bad about myself right now…..

    is that an odd choice to pair her with benicio to present? can’t remember any films they’ve been in together…be hot if they were bangin’ ๐Ÿ™‚

    matt damon’s wife looks like a showgirl, as usual- totally agree with the WAG comment above- she’d fit in on TOWIE too…..

    • Carol says:

      I thought Garner looked great too. Her dress looked better on stage than on the red carpet though. And she’s got a great posture to go with her insane body.

      Kerry Washington was a disaster from head to toe IMO. That dress looked awful and her bouffant ponytail looked weird. Too bad because she normally knocks it out of the park at these things.

      Yeah, Matt Damon’s wife always looks like a showgirl but not sure why.

      • Carmen says:

        Kerry Washington looked godawful and that is par for the course on the red carpet. Every outfit she shows up in looks worse than the one before. I’ve said for years, whoever dresses Olivia Pope should dress Kerry Washington. She has the worst style sense I ever saw in my life.

  8. tifzlan says:

    I love Jennifer Garner’s dress. I think it’s beautiful and she looked stunning last night!

    • vauvert says:

      I did too, to me it looked exactly like an Oscar dress should look, elegant, dramatic and fitted her so well. She is beautiful, and she looked radiant and smiling. And look at that body!!! Maybe a red or navy would have worked better but I liked it.
      Kerry, wtf is all…
      And Luciana looked great but not her hair. I am too picky๐Ÿ˜›

      • SamiHami says:

        I was thinking red for Garner’s dress too. She was gorgeous just as she was, but a bold red would have been beautifully dramatic.

    • felixswan2 says:

      Yes, I really loved this dress on Jen. I thought she looked beautiful and it fits her like a glove. Kerry, what happened to your style mojo?

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I loved this dress on her. I thought it showed off her back. The art history geek in my liked the way the line went diagonally over her body. It makes the eye move, and the dress itself had movement and texture.

  9. als says:

    Kerry’s dress is beautiful.

    I still don’t get why Jennifer Garner got a Vanity Fair cover and now she was invited as a presenter at the Oscars. Almost everyone there, with the exception of Stacey Dash, was somehow connected to the nominated movies or the big movies of the year that were not nominated (Emily Blunt) or they have a regular TV show or they have movies (big movies) coming up or they represent big deals in film history like Whoopi or are former winners like Leto.
    Chris Evans and Cavill have movies coming up, I would have gotten Affleck showing up but why was Jennifer Garner there as presenter?

    • Mia4s says:

      Garner has a lot of ties to ABC which aired Alias. I would assume some favors were called in. Well she tried…but I still don’t think anyone cares all that much.

      Kerry wore a much much much better dress to the Vanity Fair party. I was actually mad when I saw it that she didn’t wear it for the carpet.

    • AnotherDirtyMartini says:

      JG has at least 4 movies scheduled to come out this year. I’m really glad she was there instead of her stupid husband ๐Ÿ˜„

      • oliphant says:

        god yes!!!! glad we didn’t have to look at pics of that bloated frat boy douche canoe…there’ll be enough in the coming months for batman v superman.

    • Ana says:

      Garner looked stunning last night. I think the black gown was elegant, dramatic and had an old Hollywood feel to it. And she was there because she starred in two Oscar nominated films: Juno and Dallas Buyers Club. Research your Oscar!

      Kerry Washington and Charlize Theron were also beautiful. I didn’t like the gown and hair of Matt’s wife. Love Chris Rock! Thought he was funny!

    • Tiffany :) says:

      She has a movie coming out very soon, I think in March.

  10. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    I think Garner should have gone sexier, wore her hair down & tousled, and flirted with Benecio Del Toro like crazy.

    • oliphant says:

      ooh yeah- imagine them coming out on stage, her patting her hair down and pulling up her shoulder strap, him buttoning up his shirt… HAWT.

      i really can’t wait to see who she hooks up with ๐Ÿ™‚ i’d love to see her with someone who’ll show her a good time- she needs some fun!

    • JFresh says:

      LOL Yes, this!!!! In some parallel reality this happened. Her dress and whole look was way too safe. But I think CB is on to something. It is widowy. She’s sending a message of some sort whether she intends to or not.

  11. Brie says:

    Her open marriage just died maybe that’s why Garner looks widowy and her usual bland boring self. Ben did whatever and whoever he wanted while Garner looked the other way and popped out 3 band aid babies. Luciana has the best dress of the three.

  12. Illyra says:

    Damon and Luciana are a beautiful couple.

  13. Snazzy says:

    i think all 3 look beautiful a

  14. SarahUK says:

    I think Jennifer looks beautiful. I love the dress but completely agree with Celebitchy that it would have been even more stunning in a different colour, a deep rich emerald, perhaps?

    Unfortunately I really dislike Kerry’s dress, especially the top bit. Maybe I just don’t get it? But I want to like it as I get this really cool vibe from her, like I really just want to be her I think ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Micki says:

    I liked her dress a lot.

  16. TheGrandSophy says:

    Don’t like this look on Jennifer – hair/makeup/dress colour ages her. She usually looks much more youthful.

    Plus, her eyes look sad. Poor woman. Whatever the state of her marriage or any understanding she and Ben have, the end of something you worked so hard for still hurts. And it shows.

    Kerry’s look – evening wear for warrior princesses? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Is it me or does Luci’s face look different? Not that she’s had any tweaks necessarily – something just looks subtly different. Hair styling, maybe?

    • Kaye says:

      I thought that a couple of weeks ago, TheGrandSophy, and I googled some old pictures. I think Luciana’s had a nose job, but it suits her. It’s very subtle.

      p.s. I like your name – a nod to Georgette Heyer.

      • TheGrandSophy says:

        Thanks Kaye. โ˜บ๏ธ

        She’s one of my favourite Heyer heroines – both her and Frederica.

  17. MB says:

    I normally can’t handle Jen Garner, but I thought she looked amazing. Her makeup was perfection and her dress fit beautifully.
    Luciana and Kerry looked fine, but not great.

  18. Minxx says:

    Jennifer looked widowy and bitter. I’m sorry but she did. Her body is amazing and the cut of this dress is great but the color washed her out completely. Kerry’s hips seem to go on forever but I’m sure it’s the silly cut of this hidious dress. Luciana looks different, something about her face. I wonder if there is any truth to the rumor that Matt had a fling with his recent co-star and Oscar winner.

    • anne says:

      Jennifer – yes. the black is mournful and, however beautiful the detail of the dress, it sets a downcast tone.
      Luciana – she’s really going for “sex” here. i always wonder about a marriage when a woman starts pushing that card.

    • Emma - The JP Lover says:

      @Minxx, who wrote; “I wonder if there is any truth to the rumor that Matt had a fling with his recent co-star and Oscar winner.”

      What rumor? Source link, please. Thanks.

    • Lillylizard says:

      It’s been a gossip item over the internet for years that Matt has regular booty call girls ensconced in hotels in several countries.

      • Emma - The JP Lover says:

        @Lillylizard, who wrote: “Itโ€™s been a gossip item over the internet for years that Matt has regular booty call girls ensconced in hotels in several countries.”

        Really? Imagine that … I’ve actively searched Matt Damon articles and Blurbs ‘all’ “over the Internet for years” and not once have I encountered any gossip about him having “regular booty call girls ensconced in hotels in several countries.” I think if that were the case many people posting on “Celebitchy” wouldn’t consider him so boring. Since I’ve obviously missed it, could you please post a link to one of the Internet sites with this gossip item? Thanks!

  19. Allison says:

    I loved Jennifer’s dress. I thought she looked gorgeous last night!

  20. JoJo says:

    I thought Jennifer looked good. A little safe and on the conservative side – typical for her.

    Looks like she and Ben were both at the VF party last night. Interesting, although I bet they were careful to avoid each other in that setting.

  21. Zaytabogota says:

    I love Lucianas dress, it’s beautiful and vibrant, I love her skin tone as well, she always looks very well. I think she’s had a bit of subtle work done on her face. Matt is hot.

    Garner looks boring, she’s had way too much work done on her face and is starting to look weird. I don’t get it, if she is that vain why doesn’t she just hire a stylist rather than a plastic surgeon? Much more effective and without any risk of the rocky horror show look.

    Kerry is beautiful, the dress is OK.

  22. Rhiley says:

    I don’t like Luciana’s dress at all. She looks like she should be teaching the Tango to elderly couples on a Princess cruise ship.

    I do like Jennifer’s dress a lot, but hate her makeup, mostly because I hate black and brown together, and her makeup is very brown. Some green eye shadow, a bolder lip, and she would have nailed. But I agree, she should let her hair down, both literally and figuratively speaking.

    I hate Kerry Washington’s dress. Too much going on and yet so boring. She is a gorgeous lady but the black and white does nothing for her. She should have worn a soft yellow or maybe a nice green. Instead she looks like a waitress at a bondage cocktail bar.

  23. ScotiaGirl says:

    I thought Jen G looked absolutely stunning and loved her dress, but yes it would have been nice in a jewel tone too. She has such great posture and her smile could light up a stadium. She and Affleck were both at the Vanity Fair party, wonder how that went.

    I didn’t like Kerry’s dress and Lucy’s was ok.

    • SusanneToo says:

      I agree. I thought Jennifer looked elegant. The black is fine, but it would be a knockout in deep plum IMO. (My wardrobe is black, brown, charcoal. When I want to get colorful I pull out plum or grape lol.)

  24. Lucy2 says:

    I thought Jennifer looked great, I really loved the lines of the dress and the subtle detailing.
    Luciana’s is similar in the bodice, but when I saw a close-up photo of that dress, the material looked oddly cheap.
    Oh Kerry- so pretty and a nice, smart woman, but such terrible fashion choices.

  25. Amber says:

    I think that’s just Jennifer’s taste. It’s not a reflection of her mental and emotional state or a message. I remember in the first season of the Rachel Zoe Project (stop laughing at me), Zoe selected three beautiful Oscar de la Renta gowns for Garner to choose from. But of course Jennifer picked the most basic and the blackest of them. This was in 2008 I like this year’s look a lot more. I’m not getting “widowy” from it at all.

  26. JoJo says:

    I’m not sure Garner really wanted to use this opp to shine as a single woman. I don’t think she has embraced that title yet (if she ever does.) It seemed like a beautiful, somewhat safe dress – and her face/hair/earrings seemed a little austere – that sends a message she’s not on the market (not that I would ever expect her to send the opposite message, since that would be tacky.)

    As for Luciana, I like the dress and think she looks great. My only “but” is that I don’t like the hair down. It’s just my own opinion, but I feel like wearing long hair down kind of diminishes Oscar dresses/style, and in some cases, can take a great dress and make it look way too casual and in cases even a bit trashy. Same way I feel about sunglasses on the red carpet. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • anne says:

      yes. garner said as much in her recent vf interview. that’s the message she’s sending – loud and clear.

  27. serena says:

    Jennifer Garner dress was incredibly beautiful, as her whole look (minus the nude lips)! I wouldn’t have changed anything.

  28. Mrs. Darcy says:

    I really don’t think black is a great colour on Jennifer G, and her makeup is blah too, hate that deadening putty lipstick. Luciana’s hair is bad/distracting me, the dress kind of pageant-y but fits her perfectly. The colour is lovely on her though. I can’t with any of Kerry Washington’s high fashion try hard dresses here. She could have worn any other dress in the world and it would have looked better than her choices.

  29. Beckysuz says:

    I actually really love Jen Garner’s dress. But then again my closet is basically just 1000 different versions of black with a bit of grey thrown in, so maybe it’s me:). I like the idea of Kerry’s dress, from far away it looks really cool. But something about the top at the neckline is throwing the look off. The neckline is too high. It looks like it needed to be lowered. Awkward fit, which is a shame because the bottom fits so well.

  30. CharlotteCharlotte says:

    Every time Jen Garner smiles, I think she looks like a ridiculously happy, incredibly cute baby duck.

    • anne says:

      my god, you’ve pinned her well. there’s a high note in her smile that’s a bit off-pitch. it’s squeaky. like a disney ending.

  31. DEB says:

    Luciana and Jennifer look absolutely beautiful!

  32. Diana B says:

    I think Jen looked stunning and less of a wallflower than she usually does at these events.

  33. lila fowler says:

    Garner’s dress is so blah, just like her.

  34. Kate says:

    I think Garner looks beautiful. She really is such a beautiful woman….

  35. Snowflake says:

    Jen looks gorgeous, I love that dress. Beautiful

  36. Grant says:

    Jen Garner looks sublime, one of the best dressed of the night–no question.

  37. meme says:

    Jennifer’s dress is gorgeous, Kerry not so much. Luciano looks generic.

  38. Sabrine says:

    Luciana looks stunning. She has an amazing figure and that color is gorgeous on her. It was nice to see Garner ditch her grey frump persona, if only for an evening, but she still doesn’t exactly look great. Her lips are too light. The dress would have been stunning in red, a color she looks incredible in. It’s still a huge improvement considering how she looks on a daily basis.

  39. Sasha says:

    Anyone else get the feeling Kerry Washington might be pregnant?

  40. Jess says:

    Jennifer looks gorgeous, I know a lot of folks here think she’s sneaky and manipulative with her image, but I can’t help liking her! I think she’s genuinely sweet and a beautiful woman, and I think maybe she lost herself in the marriage. I hope she’s able to move on and find love again, Ben would probably freak out.

    Luciana’s dress is very pretty in my opinion, but the hair definitely throws it off, that’s daily wear hair, not Oscar hair. I like them as a couple and it made me like him a little more knowing she was a bartender and a single mom when they met, I figured he’d end up with some young starlet.

    • Diane says:

      That’s kinda what Victor Garber said about Garner in the article, โ€œShe is becoming the person that I could see in her that she almost couldnโ€™t see in herself,โ€ he says. โ€œHer strength, her fortitude. I think she went from someone that wanted to take care of everybody to be someone who said, โ€˜In order to do that I have to really take care of myself.โ€™ ”
      I’m excited to see her emerge.
      It took me a couple of years after my divorce before I was interested in dating again. But, when I was ready, it was perfect and a delightful addition to my life. She’ll be wise to wait until she is ready.

  41. perplexed says:

    I thought Garner’s face looked really good on the television. Maybe she’s still madly in love with Affleck, but cutting him loose has been really great for her face.

  42. Luciana says:

    Damon’s wife always looks so budget. Garner looked great.

  43. Jayna says:

    The more photos I see of the gown, some in movement, I love the gown. I agree maybe a midnight blue would have been gorgeous, but I tend to gravitate to black also. In person, black is always very striking, but often doesn’t show up as well in photos.

    I guess Ben and Jen were both at the Vanity Fair Party, not together though. DM tried to make it like there was tension. But the Washington Post columnist who was at the party and wrote a very witty, sometimes a little snarky, column on what it was like to be surrounded by all the stars at the party, said Ben was with the smoking group outside,but when he came into the party, he went over to the area was Jen was and that Ben and Jen greeted each other warmly and stayed in the vicinity of each other for a period of time, so nothing too awkward.

    Ben’s face is back thin. How did that happen? I saw a photo on DM where it looked like Kate Hudson was checking Ben out. LOL

    • Emma - The JP Lover says:

      @Jayna, who wrote: “I saw a photo on DM where it looked like Kate Hudson was checking Ben out. LOL”

      Oh Deus, say it ain’t so! ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. JoJo says:

    Yeah, DM tried to imply he was leaving with Charlize Theron. I don’t think either of them would be that dumb right now.

  45. Jayna says:

    I agree, JoJo.

    • JoJo says:

      Although now I’m confused – again! If you read the last DM article, it talks about their (Ben and Jen’s) frosty encounter as they left the party. I think DM is just trying to stir the pot, but it does appear that the three of them left together (Jen, Nicole and Ben.) I do think that seems weird. Because, why?

      • hmmm says:

        Checkout recent article on AceShowBiz that will answer your question. Note Nicole’s expression in picture. Wow…if looks could kill!

  46. Mary says:

    she looked stunning.

  47. coco says:

    luciana looks gorgeous,beautiful face,beautiful dress and hair,anyone say something otherwise is absolutely jealous.

  48. lane says:

    she looks nice here … until she opened her mouth on the stage, no sophistication in her and is quite frankly a try-hard.

  49. Emily C. says:

    I love Jennifer Garner’s dress. It looks like a callback to 1930s Hollywood. I bet it looks great up close, with all those sparkles. Also I seriously don’t get the insistence that women wear their hair down all the time. If she looks like a “widow,” it’s one who’s relieved her rich douche of a husband’s finally kicked it so she can travel the world and have many sexy adventures. I would totally wear that dress.

    Kerry Washington’s dress is odd. But it does have me thinking about which superhero she should play.