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July 19, 2016 4:14 PM   Subscribe

Mr. Terrier and I have been invited to a late August wedding....and we actually want to go! The couple in question are good old friends of ours. The bride (in her 50s) will probably appear in a smashing cocktail-looking number. Natch, I'm going to wear a nice dress. Nothing currently in the closet is special enough, so I went online (a dangerous place.)

Here are two finalists:

1. This gorgeous multicolored fit-and-flare, that will look smashing with my silver/white hair.

2. This super two-tone that delighted me at first glance, and has year-round possibilities.

Knee-length and sleeves that aren't vestigial are a must. I'm having a hard time deciding...the second one seems more versatile and can be jumped up with a colorful scarf. The first one is completely adorable, but seems spring/summer only.

I have a belly that is toned-down sufficiently in a fit-and-flare style, which both of these are.

Push me one way or another. I can't buy both. Thanks!
posted by BostonTerrier to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (28 answers total)
Is it possible to buy both, then return one? It's hard to judge fit online. I will note that the first one is cut a bit above the knee and could be too short in person.
posted by mai at 4:18 PM on July 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

Food can be measured in price per pound, and dresses in dollars per wear.

I would choose the option that I would wear more often.
posted by aniola at 4:22 PM on July 19, 2016

The first one is beautiful and so joyful for a wedding! Love the color and while it is more summery, it could transition with black tights/boots if needed.
posted by ceramicblue at 4:24 PM on July 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

I really like the first one.
posted by belladonna at 4:26 PM on July 19, 2016

#1! Fun and festive, perfect for a wedding.
posted by emd3737 at 4:27 PM on July 19, 2016 [6 favorites]

I like the first one so much! That one gets my vote.

I have a small chest and find that faux wrap dresses tend to gape alarmingly in front, so if that describes you, you might have the same problem. But! A safety pin or a couple of stitches in the front and I am usually good to go.
posted by quaking fajita at 4:33 PM on July 19, 2016

The first one is so pretty :)
posted by ainsley at 4:38 PM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'd think you'd get more wear out of the black and white one, and I like the style of that one a bit better, myself. Seems a touch more sophisticated.
posted by Medieval Maven at 4:47 PM on July 19, 2016

The first one looks too casual for a wedding (for my tastes), but the second one is beautiful. Red heels would brighten it up for a wedding, boots and tights for winter, and it looks really flattering. Have fun whatever you choose!
posted by billiebee at 4:50 PM on July 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm around your age, and I like the first one better. The second one looks too demure and schoolgirlish to me. As much as I hate shopping i'd recommend that you go to your local department store and check out some other options. I've made the mistake of ordering dresses that looked wonderful online but not so wonderful on me.
posted by mareli at 4:51 PM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I really love the first one and I notice you describe it as "gorgeous" versus the second as a more restrained "super." Go with the one that's gorgeous!
posted by areaperson at 4:57 PM on July 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

If you choose the first one, I think it needs a fancy belt to make it really great for a wedding.
posted by amtho at 5:06 PM on July 19, 2016

If it's a day wedding, the first one. If it's in the evening, the second!
posted by platinum at 5:20 PM on July 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

The first one. Its beautiful, and you can totally wear it to other events, like dinner in a nice restaurant. You will get plenty of wear out of it if you choose to. The second one is a bit too severe I think, I could see it as office-wear, but not for casual every day wear. Also you spoke much more lovingly about the first one. Buy clothes you love and will want to wear, because then you will wear them joyfully, and love how you look. That feeling is priceless.
posted by Joh at 5:27 PM on July 19, 2016 [6 favorites]

The first one is 5% spandex. This will have some give, making it more comfortable. Being comfortable will help you enjoy the wedding more and make you more likely to wear the dress again.
posted by Michele in California at 6:10 PM on July 19, 2016

1, without a doubt, it's lovely! Unless the shoulders and armholes are somehow oddly cut (doesn't seem to be the case, but +1 for trying it on), I bet it'll be very comfortable, as well. If the bride's wearing a cocktail-style dress, I think you can totally get away with it even for an evening reception (with accessories & shoes & hair etc done).

2 - I'm not sure about the block pattern, it looks like the round black shape at the front that curves down and around to the back is intended to mimic a different kind of dress, and it feels like that shape's arguing a bit with the stripes at the bottom of the skirt. (Overall effect is too blocky, even for a block pattern)
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:32 PM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I don't know about your particular bride, but there are some out there who have traditional objections to black and/or white on guests' dresses. The colorful print seems like the safer option from that perspective.
posted by sardonyx at 7:35 PM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Number 1 is gorgeous! I like number 2 but it seems a bit formal and/or stiff for a wedding.
posted by mulcahy at 8:01 PM on July 19, 2016

#2 will be dated far sooner. I love #1, though.
posted by oflinkey at 8:10 PM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think the first one is gorgeous and more wedding-appropriate. It does look like a spring/summer only dress, but that's not a bad thing. Personally, I like to have different dresses and occasionware for each season.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:04 PM on July 19, 2016

To me, the sleeves on number 2 look very tight. The dress could sit very poorly if you either have broad shoulders for your size, or arms even a little more muscled than average. It's not a pattern I would risk buying without trying it on.
posted by Azara at 1:22 AM on July 20, 2016

Number 1 definitely!
posted by Hanuman1960 at 5:16 AM on July 20, 2016

If I were you, I'd buy the 2nd one and spend the $30 you're saving on a fabulous choker-length colorful necklace. Maybe something like this would look good against your hair, too.
posted by witchen at 7:48 AM on July 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

So I'll caveat this by saying that I prefer limited patterns and block colours and brigth colours.

I think the 2nd would look more modern if paired with bright accessories and a brigth red lipstick. If you were planning on monochrome accessories it could easily be boring.

The 1st is lovely in terms of brightness and summer colours but the pattern and style make me think of a wearer of a certain age. That may be age appropriate and what you're aiming for and if so that's great.

But the 2nd would look stunning on a woman of the same age if you keep it all resolutely modern including accessories and make up. And it is made out of jersey so should be comfortable enough.

But you have to try these on with good foundation garments - order both and return whichever you like less when you wear it.
posted by koahiatamadl at 12:16 PM on July 20, 2016

Disclaimer: I'm a minimalist.

I think the second one is more sophisticated, contemporary, and lends itself to a larger variety of 'looks' - daytime casual, evening glam, summer elegant, fall/winter sleek - depending on how you accessorize with jewelry, shoes, scarves, clutches, makeup, etc.

For this occasion, I'm sure you'd look lovely in it if you paired the dress with a sleek silver necklace, small silver earrings and a black or white clutch and shoes that maybe have some small silver details on them. The silver will brighten up the outfit. Add a solid pashmina if you think it might be a little nippy at any point.

Oh, but definitely buy both and try them on first!
posted by Everydayville at 12:28 PM on July 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

#1, hands down. Much more elegant yet fun, and way more appropriate for a wedding. But would absolutely get both and go with whichever looked better on. [but seriously, #1!]
posted by widdershins at 12:49 PM on July 20, 2016

I much prefer the 1st one. The second one looks too day-timey/officey to me. BUT, it would a great dress to have in your wardrobe if you can afford both. Also, I agree that, because you can't tell about fit until you try them on, it might make sense to order both and return the one you like less--or not. Have fun!
posted by primate moon at 3:33 PM on July 20, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. I didn't anticipate such cyberlove for the first, colorful splashy print dress, so I broke down and ordered both of them. I have freakishly good luck with online purchases, so I'm anticipating they'll both fit well. if so, I'll keep them both. Your input was very valuable to me.

The black and white dress is extremely me and I visit its picture on the web several times a day. That's obsession.
posted by BostonTerrier at 7:36 PM on July 20, 2016 [4 favorites]

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