Thursday, April 6, 2017

review: dresses dresses and dresses (including engagement shoot options!)

Okay so I've been stock piling some review pictures from the past eight weeks, so I'm splitting them into a few different posts. Today's is all about dresses! Some were from when I was going down to Alabama and wanted a few cute dress options, some are for upcoming graduation celebrations, and the last ones are options for our engagement pictures. I'm excited to hear what you guys think!

Okay, first up are the casual ones:

 Embroidery split-neck dress

I actually ordered this dress after I came back from Gulf Shores, but we all know that if it had been before, I would have 100% kept it. So this is from Gap, and I ordered a tall medium as reviews said it was relatively short. This dress is adorable - it's a rayon/cotton mix, is lined, and has drawcord at the waist. Even with it being white, I didn't think this was very see through (I'm wearing black underwear here, and you can't really see them unless you look really really closely). It does run short though - even with the tall sizing, it's a good four inches above my knees. There is also a bit of excess fabric in the back, which isn't a huge deal but worth mentioning. One of the big cons is that the dress pre-sales is $90 - $90!! It's a cute dress, but definitely not worth that much. I did get it for 40% off, but for a dress I would probably only wear on vacations, I don't know if it's worth that to me. I'm still kind of thinking it over because it's such a cute dress, but it also kind of screams cover up, so I don't know if I'd wear it as much as I should in every day (weekend and evening) life. If you have a warm weather vacation coming up, or maybe live somewhere warmer than Ohio, this dress would be a really cute option for the summer, especially if you get it during a good sale!

 Calson Stripe Linen Shift Dress
The next dress is from Calson, which is one of the more inexpensive lines at Nordstrom, and one I've really started to like. This is their linen shift dress in the blue wide stripe style. I'm wearing a large here. I would say what it looks like online is pretty much what it looks like in real life. The weird sleeves are really what I don't love about this dress. I can tolerate a cap sleeve (although prefer a regular short sleeve), but these were just like an oversized cap sleeve that were not flattering. It was also too large on me, but sizing down would have made it too short. The linen fabric was thick and felt great, and would have been great for a beach vacation, but the cut just made it a no for me.
 Linen-Blend Cutwork-Embellished Shift Dress for Women

Okay this next one makes me seriously LOL every time I look at these pictures. This is another linen dress, this time from Old Navy. I can't stop giggling every time I look at this because I feel those shoulders and sleeve make me look like a Lady Gaga extra. Online this looks super cute and casual. I was hoping "hot tamale" meant it was a bright red, but this was firmly in the orange category. Like bright bright orange. I'm wearing a large here, and maybe if I had gotten it in a tall medium this would have looked better on me, but all around, this was a pass for me. I even tried to see if a belt would help, but nope, that made it even worse 😂
Okay, on to dresses for graduation! So we have several events over graduation weekend, as well as a graduation event for my residency program that we are invited to. I found two dresses I really love, so I'm excited for all of the upcoming events! The first one is J.Crew Factory's split neck dress. I ordered both a size 10 and a size 12, as I'm kind of in between those sizes. I put the 10 on first, and it fit great, so that's what the pictures above show. If you are also between sizes, I'd suggest sizing down. It is a poly blend dress that is lined, has a zipper in the back, and is machine washable (big plus!). I love the fit of this dress as it goes in at the waist, the split neck breaks up the top without showing too much cleavage, and it has pockets! The pattern is white polka dots on a black background, which I really appreciate since most polka dot dresses are on a navy background (and I already own something with that pattern, which I very much love, and am also planning on wearing to one of these events). I think I will probably wear this for our own graduation ceremony, as we have to wear pretty heavy robes, and this is nice and airy. 
The other dress is Loft's short sleeved lace dress (which I just noticed is now on sale + 50% off!). On the left I am wearing a size 12 regular, and on the right I am wearing a size 10 tall. I found the 12 to be too big on me - in the far left picture, you can see it the skirt sticking out pretty far, and it all around was kind of puffy on me. The 10 tall fits perfectly though, and is a great length (about an inch above the knee). The lace is beautiful, and since it's such a neutral dress, it's great for a variety of events (weddings, graduations, parties, date night). I got the dress for $60, but like I said, it's now on sale, so you can get it for even less! I would suggest sizing down, if you are interested. 

 Geo Lace Dress
Last are the dresses I've looked at for engagement pictures. We are probably doing two sets of outfits with our photographer, one a bit dressier and one more casual. For the dressier one, I wanted to wear a white dress. I fell in love with Banana Republic's lace dress the second I saw it. I loved the lace, the full sleeves, and that it's a bit unique without being too strange. But you guys. This dress is awful on me. Like I'm embarrassed to even post these pictures because they are so so unflattering. I took these pictures the same day I took the pictures of the two black dresses and the gap dress above. Just look how unfortunate that stomach area of the dress is. First of all, for those of you with love handles, you know that they are something you try to camouflage, and this dress is like pointing two arrows to it saying LOOK HERE. The banding at the top and bottom just really cut in at that worst possible places, it's almost unbelievable. You can see my belly button! So bad. I had ordered both a 10 and a 12, tried the 12 on first (in these pictures) and obviously didn't bother with the 10. I can't really look past the unfortunate stomach area of this dress to tell you the good things about it, it was just that bad on me. I think if your stomach isn't your "problem area", then this could be cute (see it on Jean here - it looks adorable on her!), but it just wasn't the dress for me. The reviews online are split too - some people love it, and others hate it for the same reasons I do. I could have wrestled myself into two pairs of spanx and made it work, but that is not something I want to deal with, nor feel like I should have to. The dress is the problem, not me. 
 Leith Pleat Surplice Wrap Dress
Okay, but this last dress? She's a winner and I'm obsessed. This is the dress I mentioned in my post on Sunday, and yes, I ordered it the second I found it. It's from Leith, which is a brand new to me. I'm wearing a size large here. This is a polyester dress with plisse pleats (and yes, I had to google that term), full short sleeves, and is a faux wrap style. I just love this dress, and it's basically exactly what I was looking for! I want it to be pretty and soft without being overly done or stiff. If I had to change anything, I wish that it was maybe an inch longer, and that the ties weren't a bright white (just a bit brighter than the fabric of the dress) but especially since this is for pictures and not for work, those aren't bit factors for me. I will probably either use fabric tape or put in a little stitch at the neckline so I don't show more cleavage than I want (always the problem with those faux wrap tops and dresses), but I just think this dress is so darn pretty. The grey version would also make a great wedding guest dress if you love the dress but don't want it in white. Plus it's under $70, which makes me love it even more.