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. â€śIn high school, I wanted to design clothes and own a boutique,â€ť she says. â€śBridal is unique because of the quality of the fabrics and the silhouettesâ€”itâ€™s such an important part of someoneâ€™s big day, and I always thought that was cool.â€ť So of course Lauren took our assignment seriously. After scrutinizing hundreds of dresses, here are the gowns Lauren pronounces truly aisle-worthy.
"This has a classic feel. I Iike the simplicity and clean lines because they're flattering. and you could wear your hair up or downâ€”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.
"Lace can read lots of different ways, and this version is romanticâ€”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).
"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.
"Okay, I love this one. It's flirty and playfulâ€”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).
"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).
"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 makeupâ€”nothing too retro-y."
Carolina Herrera "Audrina" bonded-lace strapless ball gown with shortened front.
"There's something so sweet about this one, and I think a lot of it has to do with the veilâ€” 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.
â€śI like this one because itâ€™s a little bit different than the traditional strapless lace dress. For one, thereâ€™s the neckline, and then I liked the nude underlay because it wasnâ€™t so stark white. But it still felt very classic and pretty.â€ť
Ines di Santo â€śCannesâ€ť guipure lace down with taffeta underlay, deep sweetheart neckline and illusion back.
â€śI chose this for its full tulle skirt. I love the idea of a little girl wearing her tutu and her grandmotherâ€™s jewelry, you know what I mean? It represents your youth and your growing older, which is kind of cool in a wedding because youâ€™re making that big step.â€ť
Legends by Romona Keveza point dâ€™esprit lace and French tulle ball gown with illusion boat neckline, #L509.
â€śThe peplum is pretty, and I like that itâ€™s lace so itâ€™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 donâ€™t have them, it gives the illusion.â€ť
Marchesa corded lace strapless gown with high-low peplum and draped tulle skirt, #B90802 (available at Mark Ingram Atelier).
â€śI 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.â€ť
Romona Keveza silk strapless pearl-covered waltz-length dress, #RK529.
Browse photos of our favorite rings, plus wedding-worthy necklaces, earrings, and more.See the Jewelry