The winner is:
This frock received the most votes. The color is great and the eyelet fabric is ideal for summer, so lots of potential for other occasions/events this season.
The other candidate:
was also purchased because I couldn't make up my mind despite the reader comments. The fact this dress was made out of 100% cotton really appealed to me, as did is simple-with-a-twist style. I figured whichever dress worked the best I'd keep and return the other(and gave myself permission to keep both if they looked equally fabulous).
Well folks, turns out both dress missed the mark! And here are some less-than-flattering selfies to prove it...
Okay, granted I'm not wearing a proper bra, and I have on leggings and flip-flops for the try on, but the eyelet had a heavy/lumpy texture that didn't come across in the vendor pics. Yet, for the heaviness there wasn't much structure, and the higher-waist, which I had hoped would work with my body, ended up swallowing my torso. It comes across as more of an empirical waist in this picks and I'm so NOT in the market for that noise.
Empire-waist dresses and tunics are the last things a woman 7-9 months out after giving birth wants to wear. I mean, I don't feel any particular pressure to be back to my "normal" pre-pregnancy size/body/weight. But, there's this underlying desire to give the appearance that I've "bounced back" so to speak. Part of it is my head and part of it is the feeling I "should" be back in fighting form. That's a whole deep and many layered issue we don't have time for here. Suffice to say I don't want to wear silhouettes I rocked while pregnant now that I am totes post-parm.
Anyway, the striped dress didn't fare well either....
I think my expression says it all in these pics. I was just not impressed. The second dress was extremely flimsy and the front-tie felt like an awkward last minute add-on that got in the way, as opposed to being a complimentary feature that adds shape. Again, I'm not wearing supportive undergarments that I normally would IRL. But even without styling either dress as an actual outfit you can see they just don't make the cut, especially for a big family event where I want to look my best. Both have been returned and I'm back to the drawing board... This may end up being a Rent the Runway situation.