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.