Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Dear My Readers,

What do I wear to an April wedding in the Texas Hill Country?

I want to look uber cool, obviously, but without looking like I tried to look cool. And need to look SMEEOKIN hot because at least one of H's crazypants ex-girlfriends will be in attendance. But again, just sort of casually smokin hot. Like, "Oh, this? I just found this on the floor of my closet" kind of hot.

So. Would some form of t-shirt dress be too casual? (Like I care.)

Should I attempt to rock my snakeskin cowboy boots?

Would sequins be too much?

I'm lost now that Rob has killed all my romper fantasies. Please advise.


p.s. My budget is $17.

Photo: Cosmic Wonder via I'm Revolting via ermie + Houyhnhnm


  1. Well, DEFINITELY NOT BURLAP. Good lord, woman.

    Question: is this the good Texas Hill Country or the goat-roping Texas Hill Country? You must understand, you're attending a wedding in my home area.

    Boots are acceptable, but you'll risk coming off as a Southern trust-fund brat. Sequins: depends on the wedding.


  2. @kat all i know is it's near(ish) austin. there may or may not be camping involved, which i am definitely not excited about. WHO WANTS TO PRIMP IN A BORROWED TENT?

  3. Ha! Well given that you tend to lean towards Keith Richards hair, I think you'll do fine :-) And camping can be wicked in that area - it's beautiful. I get homesick every time I see a goddamn cedar bush.

    Sequins are OK, but you'll have to adhere to the rule that they are for nighttime events.

    Luckily, since it's in April, it won't be so ungodly hot outside.

    You mentioned a t-shirt dress. Accessorize the shit out of it and make it look like you didn't *actually* find it on the floor of your closet. Killer heels (or amazing flats), awesome jewelry, etc. I think you'll be fine, since, obvs, you have an amazing sense of style.

  4. here's a thought: wear the romper in the post below. except it's approximately 23x your stated budget (i calculated).

  5. @Ashley the romper is dead. rob killed the romper.

  6. sequins!!!

    or even better, a sequined t shirt dress! do they exist?

  7. F*ck Rob. If you want to wear a romper, you WEAR A ROMPER. Take it back. Own it.

  8. Oh my god I love you. And your $17 budget. What the fuck with the camping? That is enough to make me drink too much. And yes. Wear those fucking BOOTS!


  10. @kat @Naurnie yeah, i'm so not wearing a romper.

  11. But can I hope for the boots!?

  12. @Naurnie you may retain a sliver of hope. (i'm afraid i'll look like a fraud next to the REAL texans, but h thinks they're hot. so...)

  13. http://www.etsy.com/listing/59930342/love-wins-dress-asphalt?ref=cat3_gallery_1

    with boots.

  14. @esb I'm too intimidated to make serious suggestions! I shop at Target.

    ask nicole, she's good at this game.

  15. don't be afraid to wear the boots; you can pull them off. you people from CA have a right to them, too :-)

    but definitely not with a dress with words on it. ick.

  16. also: someone who has actually *seen* you might be able to answer the philip lim question - it's been AGES since I saw that one photo of your wedding (that was up and then, ahem, taken down, if I'm not mistaken). that dress would look good on pretty much 1 or 2 body types. otherwise, it's fabby.

  17. It's not exactly $17 and it's probably too much white for a wedding, but this would be the type of thing I would want to wear to a wedding that includes camping/outshining my husband's ex-girlfriend.

  18. I have seen you, and I approve the Philip Lim dress. Now it just needs to be gotten for $17.

  19. what's wrong with your a. wangs?

    I'm hesitant about the boots.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Things that are good to know about Texan women:

    1. They always do their hair and makeup, always.
    2. They overdress for every occasion.

    This means that even if you are camping, you need to be wearing a dress and high heels OR a very short dress and boots. Careful wearing boots if you are not 100% comfortable in them. Often Texan women will wear plain brown boots with white stitching and there is nothing like flashy boots to make you look like an Yankee. Also, a t-shirt dress could be acceptable, but I would need to see it because often they just look like pajama tops. You want something that conveys how effortlessly beautiful you are... such as:

    for an evening wedding paired with heels: http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/110306

    for an afternoon wedding paired with boots: http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/110535

    Note: Both of the above choices assume that you have killer legs.

    Alternatively you could wear:

    this: http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/111526

    or this: http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/109335 (but only if you have a great ass)

    If it were me I would wear:

    this paired with the highest heels I own: http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/103357 (dressed down with a classic denim jacket with the sleeves rolled up)

    or this: http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/105164 (paired with a black belt and black heels)

    P.S. Clearly I ignored your budget because if you are going to Texas and competing with an ex-girlfriend then price should not be determining your choices. However, I understand that poverty is prohibitive, so with any luck you already own something appropriate. My vote: post photos of things you already own that you suspect might work and allow us to give you feedback.

  22. Something from AllSaints!! slightly pricy but... always awesome. Particularly this one which not only looks like a bandanna, but has sequins:


  23. @Heather Q -- While the AllSaints dress is sexy, I am concerned that the sequined bandana backless dress look is too costume-y. To me it says, "Hey, I am not from Texas, but I am pretty sure that the women here dress like slutty cowgirls and I want to fit in."

  24. Why has no one suggested the titty dress from daily candy! That is my vote.

  25. T-shirt dress in a bold colour and awesome fabric? Accessorize to make it fab... or maybe the under-rated maxi dress if you have the body type that can rock it... note though maxi dress and boots can be messy but shorter dress + cowboy boots always make legs look awesome ... why is that? and were are my boots.....

  26. I've lived in Texas my whole life and I swear if I see one more person with bedazzled cowboy boots, I will start stabbing them. Don't wear cowboy boots if you're trying to look like you're part of the costume party. I hate those women and most of them are from Texas too. [And I'm from Fort Worth so we know our boots.]

  27. Preach on, Kayla!!

  28. soooooo about that romper........

  29. Okay, so since your romper dreams are ruined and you'll need some pockets for camping, how about this skort I found for you on sale? (only $3 over budget!)


    Stretchy AND stain resistant, eh? eh?

    Now if you can just find some sequined Teva sandals.

  30. Is anthropologie out? Cause I super love this dress, which is wayyy too expensive. http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=20042354&catId=CLOTHES-DRESSES&pushId=CLOTHES-DRESSES&popId=CLOTHES&navAction=top&navCount=36&color=079&isProduct=true&fromCategoryPage=true&isSubcategory=true&subCategoryId=CLOTHES-DRESSES-PRINTED&templateType=subCategory

  31. Okay right after I posted the above I saw these on Refinery 29. The action shots are freaking hilarious...


    I mean if those girls are hiking and gardening in those shoes, camping should be a cinch.

  32. Here's my suggestion:

    If the color works then my vote would be for with boots!

  33. Here's what the Urban Outfitters "sale" page had to say about cheap sequins:

    Motel Gem Dress:


    It's not seasonal! Even the model's hips look lumpy in it! But if "Motel Gem Dress" doesn't say hot-lady-in-Texas-not-sleeping-in-a-tent, well I don't know what does.

  34. I think this would be great for a spring time wedding:

    ---It's also got pockets. Do you really have to go camping first? I would wear heels, high ones, unless the wedding is on dirt. Actually, I'd still maybe wear them.

    This is a bit more subtle:

  35. Tie-dye. http://www.stevenalan.com/catalog/Mina-Stone-Hera-Dress-p-18870-c-987-21879.html

    Or this zipper dress that I find hot as hell. http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/105301

    Both are expensive :( But probably worth it, if ex-gfs will be present...Or at least that's how you can justify the purchase to husband. ;)

  36. Go CLASSY! NO BOOTS!! Especially not to a texas wedding. Get a cute little black dress and some killer platforms - then rock the accessories.

    Think classic chic - you have crazy ex to contend with - not a time to be trying new uncomfortable styles.

  37. How about this dress:

    Awesome double skinny belt - think mango or gold
    Sweet platforms in mango - beautiful gold earrings, loose crazy hair, maybe a barrette

  38. Yes. You should definitely wear the boots. And something like one of those fucking sweet watercolory dresses you posted Sunday. Get it at Forever 21 something. If you feel smokin' hot, you'll look smokin' hot.

  39. Dear ESB,

    Pleeease wear this!



    Rompers can be cool!

  40. If it's a wedding for a couple that lives in Austin then I don't think that they are the same as what anonymous is talking about. I lived there for 5 years & just moved from there so I know.

    Anyhow temps are already getting up in the 90's during the day, but it can still get quite cool at night, so I would wear something that goes well with a shrug or cardigan or what have you. My fashion sense is less fabulous more practical, so if it were me I'd wear a strappy sundress, with a shrug and fabulous sandals so your feet don't get too hot.

    please kiss tx for me thank you.

  41. OK. last post:
    mango shoes: http://www.zappos.com/multiview/7796475/2957

  42. WHAT? - I have no advice to offer because I was actually going to write you about this. I too, am going to a wedding where my new husband's ex will be in attendance. The look I hope to obtain is effortless hot.
    And now scrounge I read the comments ...

  43. btw - is it too hot in april texas to do this instead of boots? kind of like it.

  44. dear esb,

    no boots. no romper. wear a shirt dress with amazing earings, amazing nails, amazing bracelets and i'd go with ballerina flat's. i'd go with a messy bun also for an outdoor wedding. is it?

    and KILLER lipstick like morange from mac or something. you'll look like a million bucks.

  45. I skimmed the comments so forgive me if someone else suggested an all-in-one - something backless, floaty, 70s style, HOT.

  46. I just got this for something...


    highly recommend. with a small fitted jacket and cowboy boots?

  47. whoops. sorry for the huge link. anyway it's long and blue and from anthro.

  48. I just moved to Austin and have been waiting to wear this dress somewhere.

    It's a T-shirt dress, but is fitted and one shouldered.fits would be easy to dress up with heels, sandals, or would probably look great with cowboy boots as well!


  49. I love the watercolor dress idea. And it's not already getting to the 90s.... it's in the 50s right at this moment. Early to mid April is pretty mild; don't worry about the heat. I think my final suggestion is to wear a short dress with either boots OR flats (& I would say that decision lies in the dress), killer jewelry (maybe some of that awesome unpolished stuff you keep posting on Pinterest), a TOP BUN (yep, I said it), and an "I'm better than you, you stupid tramp" attitude.

  50. Whoops...meant *it would be easy to wear....

  51. One teensy addition: if H thinks the boots are hot, wear them. Nothing will seal the deal more than that chick seeing him ogle your legs all night. WINNING.

  52. Sequins are too much. You don't want to look like you just got back from a bad Texas crafts extraviganza. Plus, its going to be hot as balls. That just doesn't shout "sequins" to me. I say a sexy/casual romper with your boots. I know I'm partial, because I am, in fact, a Texan, but snake skin boots are ALWAYS cool.

  53. What about this?


  54. or this?



  55. As though you aren't the HOTTEST ONE. You wear whatever you want, lady.

  56. you rock the shit out of t shirt dresses, this i know. and that p lim dress looks like it has a similar fit to your a wang one? i wholeheartedly approve of that fit on you.

  57. how about this one = £15.00??

  58. About the boots - What Kat said. One-upping is best achieved by looking like you are about to get/just got laid.

    That said, maybe this? http://bit.ly/f6q5WU

    But for over $17 any one of these will look effortlessly smokin' with boots:


    However, my vote is for this combo. (With the boots).


    I officially spent too much time doing this today.

  59. Austin...hmm...austin...well...it's pretty much a suburb of a national neighborhood known as silverlakemissionwilliamsburg..no?

    So I think you wear what a young lady from LA wears to the high desert. Some cute and potentially leather flats or flat boots with an urban aesthetic, but country sturdyness, plus a one of a kind vintage dress in a bright or floral coloring, an adorable shrug or long drapey sweater with a hot belt, and DANGLY earrings.

    Also have you seen these: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/jeffrey-campbell-lookbook-oxford/3149222?origin=category&resultback=2593 ? I'm pretty sure exgirlfriends melt in the presence of a shoe this fecking fabulous.

  60. THAT bronze Philip Lim with some broken in, kind of dirty boots is my suggestion. Sounds like there's a small chance of getty dirty and that dress won't show it.

    OR, somethin' with a similar shape. The majority of weddings I've been to here people will look fucking ridiculous and inappropriate, so basically anything badass and fashionable is key.

  61. Austin (and around Austin) is the best part of Texas. I am so ready to move back.

    We're having schizophrenic weather right now, so be prepared for anything from 50 to 95. (It's chilly today, but the warmth is supposed to be back this weekend - highs are upper 80s/low 90s.) Wear whatever you want, but make sure you have a light jacket/sweater/something to go over it in case a front blows through/for nights.

    And definitely wear the boots. H thinks they're hot and an ex may be present, so that part of your outfit should be decided. (I am, of course, assuming they aren't bedazzled in any way, because we're talking about you. Bedazzled boots are a bad idea.)

  62. @esb, plz do not flake out on us like your "dear esb-ers." We need to know the final decision!

  63. i'm ignoring your budget. This, http://usa.frenchconnection.com/product/Woman+Collections+Dresses/71BC5/LARK+RISE+LACE+DRESS.htm in navy, with boots and a messy ass hairdo.

  64. @nikki - thanks, girl. I'm on it.

    I guess geographically Austin is considered "Texas hill country," but it's not some dusty old rural town. It's a hip, stylish place.

    You should rock the boots + a dress with an interesting print. Like Heather Q, I suggest AllSaints. They do great prints. Like this one:

    and this one: http://www.us.allsaints.com/women/dresses/zami-beach-dress/icing-bitter/wdh257-2180

    If you are dead-set on a T-shirt dress, it's gotta be banging. Like this: http://www.us.allsaints.com/women/dresses/tiara-dress/black/wdg011-5

    or this: http://www.bonadrag.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=549

    Sorry I couldn't stay in the $17 range. Situations such as these (ex-girlfriend in attendance!) call for (reasonable amounts of) splurging. GOOD LUCK!

    Oh, and while you're in Austin, I recommend stopping into Feathers Boutique. You may find some great accessories.

  65. I would go with a simple t-shirt dress and really do it up with accessories and probably some really hot heels, but depending on how casual it is, you could rock the boots too.
    I also love the Malu AllSaints dress Nicole posted! (First link.)
    Ps. Random, but I just found out boys don't like rompers either. Seriously, it's not just Rob. I had this exact convo with several of them over the weekend when my sister was looking at rompers online, and they were all like, "Gross. That's the least sexy thing I've ever seen."

  66. I like the Tibi dress Anon 8:22 posted. If you can't buy it, do you have something in your closet that's similar? It's a hot, fun dress that's not too formal (so it doesn't look like you're trying to hard). Also, I vote no on the boots. They may make you look like a tourist. *shudder*

  67. this: http://totokaelo.com/store/products/rachel-comey/ss11/picnic-dress/putty

  68. Whats sexier than "the naked dress"! ONLY if you have a hot ass because your body is doing all the work here:

    $10 over budget, but free/fast shipping so you'll live.
    Cowboy boots in Texas? - Do you bring sand to a beach?
    Is sequence what too much? dress - probably, clutch - no.

    you BETTER show us what you wore!! :-)

  69. I vote for anonymous 9:43 am 's asos Naked Dress! Love it and you would look so hot! You could also bring a variety of accessories with you so you can slightly change the look last minute and cover some of the naked if you panic (which is what would happen to me). Have fun!

  70. Don't listen to Rob . Wear this, but with some awesome shoes.


  71. I'm all about the boots ... but I'm also from Wyoming and think they're effing awesome. It's a little tongue-in-cheek. Ish. Also? Def. accessorize the shit out out of a smokin' T-shirt dress.

    And wear a barrette.

  72. $17 budget? That puts almost every shop at of question besides goodwill or a another thrify shop. I know its forever 21 but they have some good basic dresses that could show off some games with boots, platforms or I recommend super high wedges for walking purposes for an ourdoor wedding....with mutiple accessories to personalize of course.




  73. Holy crap, I read through the first 18 comments and then gave up. I've been an Austinite for about 8 years now, and you can never predict what to wear to any wedding around here, it really depends on the couple. So I vote whatever you love. I'll veto boots (and veto that comment that Texas women overdress and over-makeup and big-hair it all the time -- I'm a native Texan, and think that only applies to Dallas, and *for sure* not Austin or Hill Country) bc the only girls who wear cowboy boots to these events are (1) non-Texans trying to look Texan or (2) high school or college girls. Um, we're older than that, right? Okay, maybe if there's some bad weather, I've seen boots busted out. Nutshell rec: simple silhouette that highlights your best asset, solid color (black is still iffy); fab accessories; fab shoes. And if you really want to rock those boots, do it at the rehearsal dinner or other non-wedding event.

  74. T-shirt dress as long as H thinks it's hot. Kat is spot on with regards to the boots. Thank you for nixing the romper. Enjoy crushing the crazy ex's self-esteem.

  75. And Rob comes through with a dose of YES

  76. If you're serious about being low budget...




  77. I recently attended a winter wedding in the Texas Hill Country just outside Austin and I decided to go through the photos to see if anyone was wearing boots. I know, great use of my time, right? Anywho, I found that not a single woman was in boots. Many of the men were, but even though it was an outdoor WINTER wedding all of the women were in heels... Even the bride's grandmother! Thus, my totally unscientific conclusion: Texan women don't wear boots to weddings. So feel free to wear your boots, but know that it will likely brand you as a foreigner. Yep, because Texas is its own country.

  78. I vote Lounge Lover - all of her wee dresses would be perfect for you, especially the first one:




  79. Yes to the tee shirt dress, if it's slinky and modal and will gracefully fall off of your shoulder!

  80. Bring the boots, but don't wear them to the wedding. Wear them for a last minute roll in the hay - yes, pun intended - before the wedding.

    Yes, guys hate rompers. Rompers are things only children should wear.

  81. Although there have been many contributions to the romper debate as of late, I still feel like throwing in my 2 cents. Honestly, this event sounds like the perfect opportunity to romp in a romper. The short shorts add sex appeal, but aren't as potentially 'try-hard sexy' as a mini skirt would be. The Band of Outsiders romper would be beautiful, although not suitable to your budget. That being said, y'all need to bust out the good stuff for a showdown with your hubby's exes. This is no time for frugality, bitches need to get schooled.

    And, in one last defence of the romper, I need to wholeheartedly disagree with @Anonymous above: my fiance likes my rompers - he actually bought me one. Perhaps rompers with hearts and unicorns are for children, but an expertly tailored "playsuit" in beautiful fabrics (like the B of O one! Seriously! Thiiiink about it!) can be totally refined and adult. Not to mention cool in a "I'm not wearing what all the other girls are wearing" kind of way.

  82. You ARE going to post a picture of yourself in your hot ass outfit, RIGHT?!?

  83. this is fantastic. you have to watch the video to see it properly. not sure if the colours are what you are after but....


  84. I am from Texas Hill County, got married there, and the only people who wore cowboy boots to our wedding were 1. actual cowboys and 2. my college friends from out of state who bought them in Austin the day before. But if you want people to roll their eyes at you, then sure, go for it.

    Also, all these romper and t-shirt dress suggestions? The ex-girlfriend will just think you're a bitch. But maybe that's what you're going for.

  85. boots- if you're hesitant & don't ALREADY have the "im going to rock the shit out these" attitude, then don't.

    ok, ok. no romper suggestions.

    but howabout you stray from the usual baggy sack of potatoes look and go for BOMBSHELL

  86. As a Texan from the Hill Country area, I would also veto the boots, but if you really have your heart set on wearing them and don't mind some people thinking that you put on your gal-from-Texas costume, then I'd say it's fine. Austin is an interesting place, and you will see just about all styles represented there, so, as another commenter mentioned, it really all depends on the style of the couple and their wedding.

  87. Pretty silk sack, & accessorize well!

  88. Dear ESB,
    Please post the outfit you settle on and what kind of reaction it gets at the wedding.
    Hating myself for caring so much

  89. Please don't wear a bun on the top of your head. I work on Robertson and all the idiots running around there do that to themselves, it's oh-so-boring. Try this: http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/110643 or something like it that is seventeen dollars? Sexy camping...

  90. I couldn't even begin to give a recommendation, as I don't live in Texas, and it seems to be a highly-typed social signals environment. But I do like that ASOS White Cupro dress above, because that's how all of us (who live in suburbs) dream that everyone (who lives in LA or NY) dress.

  91. What about these?

    I shouldn't show them to you b/c they are out of your price range, but they are bangin'.



    both of them say "i am seriously too cool for all you ex's"

    or when all else fails, target!


    (this seems very "texas chic" to me, although I am positive I couldn't pull it off)

    and when you just can't decide... just go with simplicity



    good luck chick, I hope I helped :)

  92. I vote mini skirt, floaty falling-off-a-shoulder silk shirt and booties with messy hair and a demure simple necklace with a chunky cuff
    (if its a day wedding out doors)

  93. You're awesome, ESB. Hilarious.

    (Sure you'll look effortlessly hot whatever you pick.)

  94. A New Orleanian here but I often visit Austin friends- please keep in mind ESB that Austin's official slogan is "Keep Austin Weird". And it is 20-something hipster central.
    That being said, I would rock the cowboy boots with a romper (like the floral one or the silk bluefly one a previous poster suggested) all weekend long, but when it came to the wedding, you are in need of a badass sexy dress with gnarly wedges. Not heels with any point on them- wedges. I also support that ASOS naked dress. I really like this one too:


    And although I hate tie-dye, this one seems less hippie to me:


    NO SEQUINS. Luxe fabrics are acceptable, though.

    Messy hair is necessary.

    Austin in April is super pleasant and ranges from mid 50s-low 80s, but it is HUMID, which will translate into a totally different kind of heat.

  95. PLEASE don't wear boots. I'm from Austin, and boots at Hill Country weddings make me want to puke. So incredibly overdone that sometimes even the bridesmaids wear them. And high heels do not work for an outdoor function. So if the whole thing is outdoors: flats. Fabulous ones. With a very-mini-skirt.

  96. Wait. Amendment to my previous statement. Please don't wear COWBOY boots. I think motorcycle-esque boots would be a good choice, or just about any other kind of boots, really.