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Lauren Conrad's Favorite Picks
Before Lauren Conrad was a reality TV star, parlaying her fame into a versatile career (designer, lifestyle blogger, New York Times best-selling author), she was a Laguna Beach kid imagining wedding fashions. “In high school, I wanted to design clothes and own a boutique,” she says. “Bridal is unique because of the quality of the fabrics and the silhouettes—it’s such an important part of someone’s big day, and I always thought that was cool.” So of course Lauren took our assignment seriously. After scrutinizing hundreds of dresses, here are the gowns Lauren pronounces truly aisle-worthy.
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Amsale Fit-and-Flare Gown
"This has a classic feel. I Iike the simplicity and clean lines because they're flattering. and you could wear your hair up or down—the placement of the straps would make either hairstyle look good with this dress."
Amsale "Allen" silk fit-and-flare with belt and wide straps.
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Lela Rose Lace Trumpet
"Lace can read lots of different ways, and this version is romantic—there's nothing stuffy about it. A bride could wear it for a barn wedding with cowboy boots, and it would look beautiful."
Lela Rose "The Inn" cotton-guipure lace V-neck fit-and-flare with bustier slip lining (available at Hitched Salon).
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Angel Sanchez Ball Gown
"I haven't seen a lot of this textured fabric in bridal, and I like the faux boning. I usually go for 'less is more,' but I gravitate toward larger skirts because there are so few occasions when you can wear one, so why not?"
Angel Sanchez crinkle-silk organza ball gown with bateau neckline, N10003.
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Vera Wang Trumpet
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Elizabeth Fillmore Ball Gown
"Okay, I love this one. It's flirty and playful—this would be great on a young bride. Plus, it's already styled! You do nothing to this dress. Anything more is going to look crazy."
Elizabeth Fillmore "Plume" eyelet-embroidered organza high-low wrap ball gown with ostrich feathers (available at Gabriella New York).
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Austin Scarlett Trumpet
"The combination of the beading and tulle makes this gown feel whimsical. I imagine this girl getting married in a forest with twinkly lights."
"Daphne" beaded tulle-and-satin-crepe trumpet with illusion neckline and silk-ribbon embroidery (available at Neiman Marcus).
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Carolina Herrera Ball Gown
"You could see a bride wearing this 50 years ago or today, and it wouldn't look out of place in either scenario. I'd do it with open-toed shoes and go minimal with the jewelry and makeup—nothing too retro-y."
Carolina Herrera "Audrina" bonded-lace strapless ball gown with shortened front.
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Jenny Packham Sheath
"The Great Gatsby is my favorite book, and this gown has that vibe. It's got a vintage feel, like it could have been the bride’s grandmother's dress."
Jenny Packham "Utopia" silk-chiffon beaded sheath with stacked sequins.
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Hayley Paige Ball Gown
"This is a traditional bridal dress for a traditional wedding, but the detail along the edge, with the wide hem, makes it more modern."
Hayley Paige "Londyn" silk-radzmir strapless ball gown with crossover bodice and full tulle skirt.
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Monique Lhuillier Mini Dress
"For a bride who'll wear two dresses, this is the one I see her in at the end of the night, getting into the car with the 'Just Married' sign. I'd wear it with a simple nude pump."
Monique Lhuillier "Andie" ivory guipure-lace coat and strapless mini.
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Soft by Rosa Clara Sheath
"This has a slinky feel. She's getting married in a fabulous place, with lots of Champagne. I'd style it with a vintage brooch in my hair."
Soft by Rosa Clara "Ulema" bias-cut satin sheath covered in chiffon and embroidered with beads and sequins.
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Johanna Johnson Trumpet
"It reads very glamorous and Old Hollywood to me—Marilyn Monroe would wed in this dress! The fabric and bodice make it—I don't want to say sexy, but it kind of is."
Johanna Johnson "Lucielle" silk-satin corseted strapless fit-and-flare.
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Oscar de la Renta Gown
"There's something so sweet about this one, and I think a lot of it has to do with the veil— I love the scalloping. He kept the same shape in the skirt without it feeling too matchy-matchy."
Oscar de la Renta silk-faille gown with sweetheart neckline and tableau skirt.
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Claire Pettibone A-Line Gown
“This is for the boho bride. It’s very romantic and unique. She’s definitely getting married outdoors.”
Claire Pettibone “Charlotte” Chantilly lace long-sleeved A-line lined in silk and with a vintage floral belt.
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Ines di Santo Trumpet
“I like this one because it’s a little bit different than the traditional strapless lace dress. For one, there’s the neckline, and then I liked the nude underlay because it wasn’t so stark white. But it still felt very classic and pretty.”
Ines di Santo “Cannes” guipure lace down with taffeta underlay, deep sweetheart neckline and illusion back.
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Legends by Romona Keveza Ball Gown
“I chose this for its full tulle skirt. I love the idea of a little girl wearing her tutu and her grandmother’s jewelry, you know what I mean? It represents your youth and your growing older, which is kind of cool in a wedding because you’re making that big step.”
Legends by Romona Keveza point d’esprit lace and French tulle ball gown with illusion boat neckline, #L509.
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“The peplum is pretty, and I like that it’s lace so it’s not overwhelming. Peplums are much more flattering that people think they are because if you have the curves, it shows them off, and if you don’t have them, it gives the illusion.”
Marchesa corded lace strapless gown with high-low peplum and draped tulle skirt, #B90802 (available at Mark Ingram Atelier).
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Reem Acra Trumpet
“This is definitely for a girl who wants to wear a sparkly dress, and probably for an evening wedding. I would wear hair up to show off the details around the neck. ”
Reem Acra “Ilona” embroidered illusion column gown with applique dropped tulle skirt.
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Romona Keveza Tea-Length Dress
“I love tea-length wedding dresses. I feel like this one could be dressed up with a color. You could do a little pop-of-color shoe or a bright lip. You could have fun with this dress.”
Romona Keveza silk strapless pearl-covered waltz-length dress, #RK529.
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Charlie Brear Lace Shift
"I could see a young bride wearing this, and I could also see a bride in her forties or fifties wearing this—it's ageless. And the cut of it makes it look effortless."
Charlie Brear "Versailles" 1940's-inspired cowl-neck lace shift