I've been on the hunt for a new dress to wear to our Welcome Cookout. The cookout, you might remember, is our version of the rehearsal dinner, only it's ultra-casual with bbq/beer/shrimp, everyone who's coming to the wedding is invited, and it's out on the lawn of the rental house that will become our honeymoon house, overlooking the beach. The worst mistake I could make with this outfit would be wearing something too dressy; it has to be paired with wedges or flip flops and be fine if it gets sandy/dripped on with barbecue sauce.
I headed over to Sak's today to see if I could make some magic happen with their Friends & Family Discount. The shopping conditions could've been more ideal: I forgot to bring along a strapless bra and had to get on my tippies to represent good shoes, which pretty much means every photo is blurry and a bit, um, saggy. Not to mention we're dealing with horrific department store lighting here. But in the spirit of letting it all hang out, and to kinda celebrate that I dropped a dress size, let's review the tape! (click for larger images)
I adore DVF, and try to make her work for every occasion possible. This dress needs nude heels and a briefcase, though. Sorry D!
This is Marc Jacobs and it's ultra-cute, but more suited to a fun restaurant than salty sea air.
This is Shoshanna and definitely has the most "rehearsal dinner" look about it. But since we're not having a standard RD, I think it's a tad dressy. But pretty anyway!
As you can see from my artful additions to the photo, this dress shows off one of my pet peeve areas. As many arm, shoulder, and chest exercises that I do, those areas continue to firm up and that smooshy area looks even worse by comparison. So no. But great color!
I originally wanted a red dress, and this tomato shade is great. This dress is cute and casual, but just not cute enough. It also has major tomato-sack potential in photos.
I knew this would look bad on me, but the print is so fun I had to try it on anyway. And yep, it's a green and yellow Juicy disaster.
Hell YES, but not for this event:
I only allowed myself to try on one dress in this category. It's a Nanette Lepore that I've been eyeing for ages. I adore what her dresses do to figures like mine. She and David Meister pretty much have the curvy girl market blanketed, in my opinion. This dress is in no way right for our wedding weekend. But while trying it on, I figured out what it is right for: My engaged friend Amy deciding to elope to an island and inviting a select small crowd at the very last minute, as her procrastinating self is wont to do. I will throw open my closet, grab this dress and my very favorite bright pink patent leather peeptoes, splash on some self-tanner, and run to the airport. Hear that, Amy?
Tied for First:
So I found two dresses. Tonight, a fashion show to decide, and then this weekend, a sad return of one of them. Unless, of course, I decide I also need a frock for rehearsing, or getting our marriage license, or going to the post-wedding brunch. Hmmm.....
First up, Marc Jacobs. It's a great lightweight fabric, is a pretty blue with flecks of pink, and has an adorable reddish pink belt (I'd cut off those weird belt loops, never fear). Now I'm not wearing a bra in these pics, so we can all imagine an upgrade in that area at the actual event. I think this dress is cuter in person than in these pics, which might be a warning about its value as a dress that will be photographed.
The other contender is Alice + Olivia. In a word, adorable. The top feels like your oldest, comfiest cotton t-shirt, and then the skirt is a flowy little number that's ultra-cute. I wouldn't have guessed purple and yellow for myself, but I'm kinda liking it. The straight-across strapless neckline can be tough to pull off all the time, so I worry about the potential for unflattering photos, although in those photos I'd be damn comfortable even if I didn't appear to have dropped that dress size. ;-)