We have a family wedding in about a month in Vail, Colorado, and it’s the most excited I’ve been to go to a wedding for the sheer spectacle of it in a long time. It promises to be a gorgeous event, and Della, Evy, and Nola are all going to be flower girls (which…honestly…could either be super-cute or super-stressful; praying for the former).
4 years ago, my cousin, Amanda, got married in a vineyard in California, and I so wanted to go, but I was 37 weeks pregnant with twins, and for some strange reason, my midwife wasn’t real thrilled with the prospect of my flying thousands of miles away so near my due date. I guess I see her point.
Even so, I was disappointed to miss it.
And I think I’m channeling all of my frustrated outfit planning from four years ago into this wedding because I’ve spent hours (spread out over weeks) scouring the internet for thee perfect dress.
As always, I have a very specific vision in mind. And, as always, I can’t find the exact look I want. BUT! I am sharing the creme de la creme of my research with you guys on the off-chance that you, too, are searching for the perfect maxi dress.
Because that’s what I’ve decided will work best for this wedding for not one, not two, but three reasons, which I will of course share whether you want to hear them or not: 1) I think, for such a special occasion, as few people as possible should be forced to endure views of my right leg, which still shows the rather vivid marks of 6 babies worth of varicose veins, and the long skirt of a maxi is perfect for shielding innocent eyes (wouldn’t want to give the bride cold feet at the prospect of what awaits her currently unblemished stems. ha!) 2) even in the middle of July, it actually gets a bit chilly in the evenings in Vail, so I think I’ll be glad of the extra leg-coverage come evening, and 3) I would really like to be able to enjoy the evening without fear of a wardrobe malfunction a la Theo sticking his hand up my skirt and giving it a good flip. I don’t wear short skirts as it is, but with a maxi, he can flip away to his heart’s content, and a clear shot of the varicose veins is about all I’ll be risking.
ANYhoo…I actually spoke a bit erroneously when I said that I couldn’t find what I was looking for because I didfind the perfect dress…without even looking for it over a month ago.
It’s this Vineet Bahl Portia Maxi from Anthropologie.
I found it NWOT on Ebay for $50, which, while more than I usually pay for an article of clothing, is an absolute steal for this dress.
BUT! They only had a size that was on the lower end of my possible-wear range, and, although it fit everywhere else, it was suuuuper tight (think straight jacket) right across the chest. Which is kind of funny considering that I am far from well-endowed. Apparently, this was made for a twiggy kind of gal, which…I am not.
Fortunately, I was able to resell it for the same amount that I paid, but unfortunately, I haven’t found anything I like even close to as much. I know. My life. It is so, so hard.
Still, I have unearthed a few that I’m mulling over…
1. This one is cute, cheap, and has good reviews, but…the print is kind of dark, and I’m not a big fan of strapless.
2. This Free People lace maxi from ebay is more than I want to pay and a little casual for a wedding (although, I think it could be dressed up with the right accessories. Read: NOT the combat boots the model is wearing). In some ways, it’s my favorite of the group because of the color and textures, but it’s not quite my size, and that, coupled with the price, make me wary.
3. I was thisclose to ordering this gorgeous embroidered dress from SheIn because I had 40% off of my order as a new member, but then I put it in the cart and realized that 40% off was as high as the discount could go (NOT the amount extra it was subtracting), and since the dress was already considered 35% off, that fancy 40% off coupon only made it a whopping $3 cheaper. Without having a clue how it would fit and no reviews of the quality, I wasn’t willing to shell out over $70.
4. Ordering from ASOS is always appealing because they send you prepaid return labels for anything that doesn’t work (plus free shipping your direction too). I like the idea of this navy/white floral maxi. The neckline is pretty, but I’m not a big fan of the keyhole cutout in the front. It could be fine. Or it could be racy. Hard to tell.
5. I luuuuuurve the color of this dress. I tried on a similar saffron-colored dress in Anthro in Canada and was surprised to discover that the color worked well for me. Also from Asos. Also easily returned. Hm…tempting.
6. This one from Nordstrom Rack is probably my favorite cut of all the options. The neckline is high and modest, but it still highlights toned shoulders, which is one of my favorite features. For some reason, I don’t love it on the model, but when I picture the colors on me, I think they might work (I promise I don’t mean that as arrogantly as it came out; it’s definitely the opposite of my normal reaction, which is: it looks fabulous on that goddess of a creature, but I’ll look like a dowdy mouse).
7. For some reason, a weird glitch wouldn’t allow me to save a picture of the front of this dress from thredUP. Honestly, it’s out of my price range, and it’s a sweetheart strapless neckline, so it’s not even a real option. But! The color is GORGEOUS! (If you manage to get sucked into perusing the 3,600 !!! maxi dress options they have over there, you can use this code for $10 off your first order).
8. This one is a pointless wishful pick. It’s from Anthro but sold out everywhere. I love the subtlety of the print and background color and–again–that lovely neckline.
So, far, I’ve scoped out all of the brands listed here plus Old Navy, GAP, LOFT and…I’m sure a few others I’m forgetting.
What have I missed?
Which one(s) do you like best?
Any suggestions for me?
I’m definitely–ahem–maxed out on this particular dress hunt.
6 or 8 are great!!!
#3 gets my vote. Check out Modcloth too for maxi dress options
Going on appearance alone I say #3!! it is so so pretty!!
I love options 4 and 6: they’re pretty and feminine and definitely free of any potential wardrobe malfunctions. I’m so glad maxi skirts and dresses are in style right now. Beautiful options!
So my 2 faves are the 2 Anthro ones, go figure!! haha!! Caviar taste on a tuna budget….what can I say. So of the other choices, my fave is 4 and stitch up the key hole if it’s too revealing. I do think you’d look fab in that deep purple. I have similar coloring to you and I bought a deep teal maxi from Loft a few years ago. Wore it to family pics at the beach and they were my fave family pics to date! Jewel tones for the win! Also, I’ve had great success with dresses from Antonio Melani from Dillards. I wear a size 4 and they always fit like a dream. When I have a special occasion I always hit up eBay. I purchased 2 Antonio Melani dresses on ebay for my brothers summer outdoor (in the College Station Texas June heat) wedding 2 years ago…one for rehearsal and one for wedding. In fact, one was a teal watercolor looking maxi dress…..maybe I’ll just mail it to you…..like swapping clothes with your roommate in college, lol!! Best of luck on your hunt…..you’ll look fab in whatever you choose! And I’m slightly jealous of your Vail wedding invite….sounds dreamy! But I know you’ll share lots of fun pics with us 🙂
I love 4, 5 and 6! Five is so unique.
I’m going to pick #5! That’s not a color that just anyone can wear and I think you could totally rock the color and the style!
Number 6 for sure!
I love #6!
#6 was my favorite for you before I even looked at your comments!
#5! I think it would look GREAT on you, and you can’t beat the swish factor!
You could sew up that key hole.
I can’t count !! I said the wrong number…..it is number 5 !! The yellow one.
Number 4 !! That would have such an elongating appearance on you which would, of course, make you look slimmer and taller. Get it !! pretty please.
I love everything about #3!
While perusing dresses, I kept coming back to this one. The sizing is in UK, but I think you could find it in your size. https://us.nextdirect.com/en/gl6994s9#L45810
And I found a few more, of course, after publishing the above comment.
I thought maybe with a cute light-weight, lacy or crochet-like sweater over it if you find the back a bit too racy.
This is cute, but maybe a bit too casual? https://www.lulus.com/products/flowers-forever-cream-floral-print-maxi-dress/328022.html
I’m not sure if you use ebates or not, but those last two dresses will earn you 2.5% cash back if you do!
I like #4. That keyhole can easily be handstitched up if it is too revealing or you can wear a lace undershirt under it in a matching color. My favorite place to shop online is http://www.nextdirect.com. They are a UK based company and the quality can’t be beat. Free 3 day shipping on orders over $40, I think. I have never ordered something for myself because I’m too chicken that things won’t fit me (like 95% of the things I bring into a dressing room don’t…) but in order almost all my 6 girls’ clothes from there. So, so good.
Clearly I am having too much fun with this, haha
And I like #6 from your options. 🙂
Old Navy an option? I love this one!
Love all these dresses! I’ve never commented here before, but love your blog! Have you tried Poshmark before? I’m kind of addicted
when I saw the group of dresses I immediately thought no 8 for you. the color would emphasize your complexion coloring contrast with your dark hair. I would bet you could easily create this dress yourself if you cannot find either it or something super similar.
Oh! This one is good too…
I love number 6 it’s just looks very you. It also looks like is has some blue or Teal accents in the dress that you could play up with accessories and we all know that you love Teal/Aqua! 🙂
I’ve had my eye on this one for some time (and think you’d like it too!). 🙂
#6 is the winner!! It’s totally you! How do I know? Well you’re my best friend
Number 6 just looks like you !
4 or 6. 6 is my favourite!!
I have a gorgeous maxi from banana republic. It’s a v neck floral and looks much prettier in person. I got an extra 40% off so it was about $70 still more than I wanted to pay but I knew I could get a ton of use out of it. I wore it to our daughters baptism so it was pretty modest. BE is always a good place to check too. Otherwise I really like 3 or 6. Have fun!! 🙂
#3 is GORGEOUS!
number 6 for sure!
It’s Vail, not Vale.
your* I am from**
Love you excitement! From CO and VAIL is beautiful! You will love love love it. Drink lots of water!
Laughing over your “typos” after I typo’d the name of your hometown. 😉 Gotta love brains and fingers that don’t cooperate!
I love either #6 or #8!!! Love love love!!!
Try Lands’ End! I’m absolutely obsessed with the way their dresses fit. Plus, they’re usually on sale online and can easily be found on ThredUp and Ebay, too 🙂