Wedding gown silhouettes - the (convertible) ballgown, sheath, and fit + flare

I hope each of you are having a relaxing weekend & staying warm! I had been meaning to share more wedding-related posts, but planning fell to the back burner for a while. Recently, the gals at Style Me Pretty asked me to do a guest post on popular wedding gown silhouettes and I happily obliged. You can read the post here, or I've re-shared it down below. I've mentioned before that to my dismay, most bridal shops don't allow photography, but the team at JLM Couture kindly let me take these in their studio. They own a range of bridal brands suitable for various budgets, including Lazaro which has been one of my favorites throughout the dress search process.

I often hear "rules" that petites should go for certain cuts and steer clear of others that make you look shorter, etc etc, but I sure hope all brides-to-be try on dresses with an open mind, and choose what makes you yourself feel the most beautiful! Please note that in all of these photos, I'm trying on sample sizes with excess fabric clipped back, so the proportions and bust cups are not how they would look in the proper size. In a few weeks, I plan to share details about my ordering + fitting experience, including the confusing world of bridal sizing (which typically runs 1-2 sizes smaller than regular clothing) and size/proportion customization options.
convertible tara keely lace dress

The first style I tried on was the (convertible) ballgown - I love how ballgown silhouettes flatter the waistline by drawing eyes inward to a narrow point, contrasted against a full skirt. You guys know I'm a sucker for versatility, so it should be no surprise that I thought this option by Tara Keely (style #2210) was super fun. It converts from a dramatic gown for the ceremony to a sultry little lace sheath for dancing, so you can have a bit of both worlds! It's similar to a 2-pc dress I've tried on before, except actually designed for two different, full looks.
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Favorite pearl statement necklace on sale & styled 10 ways

AnnTaylor_Birchbox_Library EP2

*Update: looks like necklace is now sold out at this clearance price. Please note this is one of AT's "signature" items which they bring back season after season at regular price. I would not expect it to be marked down to this level again, but would still highly recommend it at regular price with one of their frequent promos.*

I was browsing Ann Taylor's extra 60% off flash sale and could hardly believe my eyes seeing one of my favorite necklaces ever on clearance for $15.95 (from $80!). I've worn this so darn much (just see below) I would've wholeheartedly recommended it at full price, but now it's a must for anyone considering it! I might've picked up a few for friends who are always asking about it - totally worth the shipping charge at this price.

There's slim pickings in the clothing arena for this sale, but you can filter for your size under the general sale page. This delicate blue pindot blouse is still left in a full range of petite sizes for $24 (from $80), and if you can wear regular sizing, this dashed 100% silk dot blouse is adorable for $36 (from $98). Please note some items are final sale and the promo is U.S. only, unfortunately.

If you need any more convincing on the necklace, here's 10 ways I've styled it across the seasons:

With blush + gold for spring <photo from this post>
pink dress gold heels1

With colorful tweeds <photo from this post>
pink tweed and mustard2

Aqua days: white skinny jeans + Pleione petites tunic

white jeans mint petite top
Pleione petites tunic, Articles of Society jeans borrowed from friend (starts in sz 23)
Hat borrowed from friend, Nina sandals (old), Goyard tote, AC necklace c/o (review)

These photos were taken at the Royalton Punta Cana resort where we spent the majority of our vaca. Compared to the last place, all the lodging, beaches, pool and restaurants here were much closer together (5 minute walk max) and the facilities were ~2 years old so still looked fairly new. During our stay, temps dipped into the 60's on occasion so I was glad to have packed light pants and sleeved tops. I tried on this Pleione top from Nordstrom numerous times in the past and liked the soft, comfy fabric (smoother on the front half and stretchy on the backside) and the tunic length for covering up the butt. I thought the aqua color would help brighten up my existing wardrobe and look nice against a budding tan.
white jeans mint petite top 2
Here's the length of an xxs petite when untucked - please note the lighter colors of this top are a little sheer. Also, my top did wrinkle on me in the suitcase and needed steaming in a hot shower. To avoid sheerness, I'd recommend this top in the basic wear-with-anything black or the gorgeous "blue mazzarine," both of which I also tried and can confirm were opaque.
UntitledYou might recall this coverup dress from earlier (reviewed here) - it transitioned surprisingly well for dreary weather paired with my trusty BP ankle boots and Blank NYC moto jacket, topped off with a long black wool coat. To keep poly material from clinging to tights, simply wear a half slip skirt. Please excuse my T-rex claw as I adjust to gripping a bigger phone for selfies : )

Level Melia Caribe Punta Cana (+ more beach coverup reviews)

off shoulder ruffle beach coverup1
Swell ruffle dress (also in navy), Philippines clutch (similar), Talbots sandals (similar)
Panama Jack hat (borrowed from Khatu - similar), Accessory Concierge necklace c/o

Many of you know that I'm a big proponent of formulaic dressing, and especially while on vacation! A hat for keeping the face shaded + a breezy dress/cover-up + comfy neutral sandals was my daily uniform. My second keeper from Swell was this cream ruffle dress. I love the sultriness of an off-the-shoulder style but without the fuss and struggle of keeping the sleeves up. This has thin top straps and also an elasticized bust, so the fit is secure and the off-shoulder sleeve things are decorative. Please note that although there's two layers, bright swimsuits or garments underneath does show through, so if you want to wear this alone as a dress be sure to wear nude-colored undergarments. A size S fit well for me as-shown and can easily be worn through maternity days...heheh.
off shoulder ruffle beach coverup
Also as you may be able to tell, I've really been liking Accessory Concierge pieces lately. The costume jewelry quality in my experience so far has been weighty and durable, plus the company is run by two moms which I admire and am happy to support! Along with this necklace, I did request this scarf, just to be able to test out the quality as a suggested dupe for my ASOS one and report back. It's big and cozy and the print is on-point (see on me), but be warned something about this material was statick-y for me and caused wild lion hair. They have another navy/green plaid similar to my LOFT one on sale, which I thought was adorable on Fran and didn't look as frizz-generating against her hair. While playing around, I came up with a new favorite way to tie an oversized square scarf and will post a step-by-step soon.
lush dress beach coverup2
Lush "Kendal" dress sz XS (on sale in many colors/prints), Essie "mint candy apple" polish

I wanted to bring another versatile cover-up with sleeves and thought this Lush dress (see it styled 2 other ways) was perfect for the occasion. As much as I appreciate silks and other finer materials, this type of polyester travels very eaisly, dries quickly, and takes up minimal luggage space and weight when rolled up. I balled up each of these dresses and used them to stuff underwire bikinis and keep them "shaped" in my suitcase.
lush dress beach coverup
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