(btw, the Reem Acra above is pretty... but was never really in the running. I'm not a fan of dropped waists...even if they're dropped only by an inch.)
THE CUTE EDITORIAL ONE
This was cute but also subversive, unblingy but also luxuriously, meticulously made. Maybe you could call it adorkable (my Kleinfeld stylist would tell you no, please don't call it adorkable). This dress felt the most "me" as I am everyday, as opposed to my nebulous Bride Persona. Amsale Lake Gown. Similar here (I want this one as a rehearsal dinner dress).
The OVERGROWN V-NECK
Pretty! And with such a nice, soft, flowy skirt. Though, what a difference skin color makes. Ivy & Aster Secret Garden.
THE APPLIQUE A-LINE
I grabbed this one even though it was exactly what I didn't want: the princessy puff. But I couldn't resist the floral applique detailing and beadwork on the bottom (a kind of starry beaded connect-the-dots that you can't see here). From the short time I was in it, I could tell it was also a comfy dress, one you could dance, eat, and hug in. BHLDN Ariane Gown. Similar here (actually, very very similar, such that the Ariane is likely a direct rip-off and ultimately why I didn't want to go with a company that's known for doing this to indie designers).
THE DAISY CHAIN BUSTIER
This dress amused me, with its sweet daisy straps and neckline... and then a bustier bodice and SEE-THROUGH side panels (yes, I am wearing black underwear in this pic). This had a Rihanna-esque pretty but DGAF attitude. The fit is a bit off here...the cups weren't really cupping the right areas... but you get the idea. Tara Keeley 2501 Gown. Similar for everyday here.
THE WEEPING WILLOW
You've seen the Glamour Closet dressing room a lot. That's because my like-to-try-on ratio was very high here. They carry A-list designers (Vera Wang, Elie Saab, Naeem Khan, Reem Acra, Carolina Herrera, Mira Zwillinger, Lela Rose)... but because the dresses are all samples or discontinued styles, they're 50-75% off. Maybe that's why I liked so many of them, too.
Anyway, that means that the selection can be a little oddball and the good, au courant stuff (plunging V, illusion necklines) goes fast. This Oscar de la Renta had the sweetheart/strapless/ballgown look that I was avoiding, but the leafy applique bottom made up for it. This was the first dress where I did that happy skirt swish you see before a bride gives the word on Say Yes to the Dress. Oscar de la Renta 44E16.
The Simple Slink
Ah, and you thought I was all botanical appliques! This looks body-con in a potentially worrisome way, but in fact this whole genre of dress is pretty flattering. There's no boxy top, just a heavy skirt that pulls on a clingy bodice that's little more than illusion netting, flesh-colored cups, and lace. Instantly form-fitting, with enough weight to smooth out your curves. Martina Liana 775 Gown.
Which brings me to...
The BETTER-FROM-THE-BACK dress
This Maison Signore shares the same basic mechanics as the Simple Slink dress, except there's more lace, more sheer panels, and more butt-hugging. Those Italians sure know how to treat and appreciate a woman's body (to the tune of 1.1K likes when this pic was reposted on Maison Signore's Facebook page. Yikes!). I couldn't find the exact dress online, but this Maison Signore is close.
Reminder... I already have my dress. Have you guessed what it looks like now? (Here are all the posts in the series if you need to catch up.) A slightly kooky comfy sheath with botanical appliques and minimal bling? Sorry, but that's not how it worked out.
What was your favorite dress?