I Tried On My 8 Favorite Cocktail Dresses From the Shop To Find One For a Wedding

Plus my real reactions to each style (including the sexy slip dress I loooved).
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Last weekend I attended a wedding at the Evergreen Lodge in Yosemite, and felt like I needed something a little more, shall we say, piney than the options in my very L.A. closet. Luckily for me, I work at an e-commerce brand, which means we always have samples of beautiful clothes hanging in the office that our entire team has been known to borrow... Before heading to the wedding last Thursday, I tried on my favorite dresses in the office, which turned into a mini fashion show. Because I rarely buy anything until I've had a chance to see it styled on a "normal" person, i.e., not a model, I shot a quick photo of each dress (front and back) to share with you, along with my reactions to each. For the photos, I wore them with my favorite gold hoops (the 'Mila' in small) and go-with-anything block heels, which happen to be under $25. Don't forget to check out my styled wedding lewk at the end.

P.S., Some of the styles are selling fast, so in the case of sold-out pieces, we'll be providing links to the styles around the web if we can find them! 

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I gasped the first time I saw this dress in person; I loved the posy print so much. I rarely go for dresses that hit above mid-calf since I just don't think they're that flattering on me and feel more comfortable in a long dress, but the tiered hem on this one is so, so pretty. Bonus points: When you twirl, it spins out in a really pretty way (I'm the first and last on the dance floor at weddings, and this feels like a dress you can boogie in!).

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Hello, red dress!! I almost never wear red (and when I do, it's a more muted brick, not quite a fire-engine red), but this one is eye-catching in the best way possible, with a white floral print that feels dainty, not childish. I'm also careful when trying on any wrap dress that it not fly open (ask me about the time I spent an entire wedding shower sitting with my underwear and stomach hanging out of a wrap dress), and this one felt very secure since the ties loop all the way around, and nips in nicely at the waist. I tried on both the size extra-small and small, and felt better in the small!

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I actually wore this dress to a rehearsal dinner two weeks ago (big fan of borrowing dresses over here) and feel like it's a perfect, safe 'wedding guest dress.' It doesn't take any attention away from the bride, is low-cut without being overtly sexy, and just looks really classy overall. For the rehearsal dinner, I wore my hair down in waves, but I actually prefer it pulled back into a top knot after seeing these photos (kicking myself now for not taking photos at the rehearsal dinner, so I could show you!). 

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To be totally honest, I was nervous to try on this dress! Pink! Leopard! Slinky! Words I'd never use to describe myself (unless I was blushing). The first thing I noticed about it is that there are no zippers—you just pull it over your head to slip into it, and it's much looser than I thought it would be, in a good way. The satin fabric draped over my belly and hips instead of clinging to the "jiggly bits," as Bridget Jones lovingly calls them (as much as I love my jiggly bits, I don't need the entire world to see mine in full display at a wedding). I also love the neon line that runs diagonally through it, a detail I'd never noticed in photos or on the hanger. In short, I was surprised at how fantastic I felt in this dress, but it was a little sexier than something I'd normally reach for. But someone give me an occasion that fits for this dress, and I'll go just so I can wear it! 

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I really wanted this dress to work because it looks so cute on Emily, and I love the bright coral color, but it just isn't my cup of tea, mostly because it didn't fit me well. The sleeves are fairly restrictive and squeezed my arms, and the waist was too tight despite it being my normal size (small). At the same time, my boobs didn't fill out the front, and it felt a little tight on my bum (why am I speaking like Bridget Jones all of a sudden?). It's a beautiful dress, but one I personally wouldn't feel confident or comfortable moving around in for a night. 

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I actually bought this exact same dress in navy blue with a beige slip years ago—and wore it to nearly every wedding I attended at the time (see the photo below from a wedding last year!). I thought I would love it, but compared to the other dresses, I felt like I looked a bit too young. (I'm usually careful to wear anything that makes me look younger. At a wedding two weeks ago, the bartender winked at me and said "I got you," instead of looking at my ID because he just assumed it was fake. I'm not kidding.) 

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Same dress, but different wedding (before I learned I can't do high heels at weddings) 

Same dress, but different wedding (before I learned I can't do high heels at weddings) 

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This dress looks fabulous on a hanger, and it's no secret that our entire team is a wee-bit obsessed with the whole "black grounded floral" thing, myself included! I love the movement of it, but when when I wasn't twirling and whirling, it looked like I was caught under a rip-tide of fabric. If you're a little bit cooler and taller though, I highly recommend you try on this dress. No surprise, it looked fantastic on Jess and Emily.

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I've always loved the idea of a slip dress, but could never fully get behind the trend until this one! The floral print, asymmetrical hem, and lace edges (hard to see here, but very pretty in person) make it more approachable than edgy. This is the type of dress you wear to a wedding if you want to get a billion compliments, and who doesn't?? Also, this dress is on sale right now on the Shop!

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I ended up bringing three dresses to make a last-minute decision (part of the joy and glory of driving instead of flying). I brought the slip dress, Soleil Midi, and Ali + Jay dress, and ended up opting for the safest option, the Soleil Midi, that felt most at home in the tall pine trees that towered over the wedding party. I felt comfortable, happy, and pretty all night—and had a wonderful time! I have a feeling this won't be the last time I borrow this dress... 

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