Dressing Room Diary- Spring Special Occasion and Wedding Guest Dresses

Let me preface this post by saying I brought my low-block heels to the store for this try-on session but neglected to bring my control garments. That means more lines and ridges show than I like. These are not indicative of the garment…it’s entirely user error because I’d never skip wearing the right underpinnings when wearing special occasion and wedding guest dresses.

If you’re new here, welcome. A dressing room diary is when I go into a local store for a try-on session so you can see what’s new and how it looks on a woman over 25. For reference, I am 5’4″ and weigh around 140 lbs. I have broad shoulders with straight hips, a long torso, and long arms. I often buy one size larger on top. You’ll see me try on clothes in colors and shapes that may or may not flatter me because I want you to see what’s in the stores and get some styling ideas.

I will tell you what sizes I am wearing to help you understand how things run. I seem to now be a size 10 in most dresses, but many weren’t available in a ten, so I crammed myself into several so you could see them.


This Maggie London sheath dress is fully lined (I love that) and has 4% spandex in the fabric, which makes it comfy and forgiving. Every dress I tried on that had spandex in the fabric was comfier than the ones without. That’s not a surprise, but it made me start reading labels when I had trouble zipping things up. This has flattering princess seams, which are always slimming. This comes in this magenta or vibrant blue, sizes 0-14. The exaggerated rickrack/ricrac edging adds a pretty detail without being girly.


This Maggie London dress also has 4% spandex in the mix. The 8 is too small for me, but I wanted you to see it. It’s got an asymmetrical neckline which is hard to see in these pictures because the blue is so dark. It has a modern vibe with an exposed zipper in the back and elbow-length sleeves. The body portion is lined. This comes in sizes 0-16.

woman modeling Alex Evenings mock two piece cocktail dress for special occaision

I shared this dress with you here in the blue last year. I’m wearing a 4/6 in the blue, but this year, I’m wearing a 10, which makes me pretty frustrated with myself. But onward we go…it’s a great dress no matter what size you wear. It’s available in seven gorgeous colors, sizes 6-18 and petite 6-12.


This dress is very pretty but runs small so I suggest you size up 1 or possibly 2 sizes. I couldn’t zip the zipper past my waist, which is making the bodice looks droopy in this photo. I loved the vibe of this dress, but without spandex in the fabric, you can’t fudge on the sizing. The soft color and rhinestone belt make this great for dressy occasions. It’s fully lined in sizes 0-18.


Another dress that’s too small for me but very pretty. The tie waist is very flattering and gives nice shaping. It comes in six colors, sizes 0-18. It’s an elegant crepe fabric with 5% elastane for slight give. I think I’d hem this one up about 2″. I like the 3/4 sleeves and princes seaming in the bodice.


 This dress is a change of pace for a more casual bridal shower, graduation, or backyard wedding. It’s a very feminine dress with flowy layers and dainty ruffles. It’s lined and comes in sizes 2-16. This has no stretch to the fabric.


This dress would have really benefited from me wearing a smoothing slip for my tummy. It runs large, which is why the 8 fits me. I almost wish I had an occasion to wear this beauty! It’s fully lined and feels substantial. The slate color is unique and striking. It’s just gorgeous in person. It comes in sizes 2-16. Pissaro Nights are known for its “figure-flattering fits and show-stopping designs that are affordably priced and comfortable to wear.” This one also caught my eye on the way out of the store.


 This dress has an outer layer of sheer organza with embroidered flowers. The base is navy, and the description says it runs large, which may be why it fits me :). This would be great for a bridal party or summer wedding. I see it for an outdoor wedding with a big straw hat and pearl earrings. This comes in sizes 0-18.


 This dress is called a maxi but clearly isn’t quite that long. It’s a satiny fabric with beautiful blue and white swirls. It’s fully lined and does have 3% spandex in the fabric. This 8 did fit me, so the wrap makes it a bit forgiving. This comes in sizes 2-16. This pretty dress could be dressed up or down for so many occasions.


 These Komarov dresses are very popular for dressy occasions. Many come with these lightweight jackets for arm coverage. This one is charmeuse that’s “hand pleated and heat set to create signature texture on a luminous dress that’s figure flattering, easy to care for, and great for travel.” This one is really, really pretty. It comes in sizes S-XL. These dresses are an investment you’ll wear for years to come for many occasions.



Do you have any dressy occasions coming up this spring or summer?


  1. The pink is my fav Jennifer.
    But I gotta tell you…you look fabulous in all of them.
    I really like your neutral sandals as well.
    Thanks so much for inspiring me today and every day.

    1. Thanks for being here, Mary Ann.

  2. I wish I had an occasion coming up so I would have an excuse to buy one of these gorgeous dresses. I really like the Tahari print dress. That looks like something I could wear several times because it doesn’t quite scream occasion as much! Thanks for sharing these!

  3. Beautiful dresses for weddings. Problem no weddings to go to. But
    if I had too the plum colored dress would be my choice.
    Thanks for the beautiful showing.

  4. Some pretty dresses here, but many of them seem “senior citizen” to me. I’d wear the embroidered one, though. I’m not concerned with looking older (I’m very old) but many of these dresses look too much like a designer’s idea of what an older lady would wear to a wedding, almost like a uniform for an occasion.

    1. Interesting observation Kay.

    2. I totally agree Kay. I think separates whether skirts or pants paired with a well made structured jacket looks much more modern and can be More comfortable. Putting it together reflects a sense of style, originality and personality in a way an off the rack dress could never do. No matter how old one gets we can all express our true selves if we are willing to create outfits with clothes and accessories that match who we are…instead of matching the too expensive dress that we might only wear once or twice.

  5. All very lovely but have no weddings to attend, however my two favourites are the Maggie London shift dress as feel with the right accessories would even be appropriate for a career/professional in a boardroom setting etc. Whereas the Pissaro Nights one, being ideal for either the Mother of the Bride or Groom or ….. even a mature 2nd-time-around Bride. -Brenda-

  6. I love many of these dresses on you, particularly the Vince Camuto!

    I’ll be attending two weddings this spring and can confirm that the search for a special occasion dress for ‘women of a certain age’ can be frustrating. I’ve found two dresses I love but not before much searching. And trying to find a pair of heels that works for me…eeesh, that was quite a journey.

    As you’ve shown us here, it’s important to try dresses on so it’s good to shop in a physical store. At the same time, the selection in stores is a fraction of what can be found online. Perhaps a good idea is to take a ‘scouting trip’ as you’ve done here, and then order a dress in the same style online. Wish I’d seen this before I began my search!

  7. Love the komarov line of dresses and was unaware of the brand . Thank you . You look gorgeous in all of them

  8. Jennifer, you look beautiful in every single dress. And your comments about shapewear made me laugh, as sometimes I spend more on shapewear than I do on the outfit. It’s just essential to looking good, uncomfortable or not. I just recently found your blog and I am so inspired by both you and your fashion choices. You are especially encouraging to me as I have begun a weight loss journey of hopefully 60 pounds to see that I really could look great on the other end. Thank you so much! P.S. buying you a coffee as I am obviously not investing in any clothes for a bit.

    1. Welcome Denise! I’m so glad you’ve joined us.

  9. I am so jealous! You look great in all those dresses. I’m 5’1” about 135lbs and like you, I also have wide shoulders but am small busted and have saddlebags. Big sigh 😞. Being an older pear can be challenging but at least I’m still a fresh pear 😂.
    I hope you find some occasions to dress up this summer because you look wonderful ❤️

    1. elizabeth says:

      I agree, being a pear shape is hard. I haven’t really found any fashion influencers with a pear shape. So, I take the generous info Jennifer posts and try to extrapolate.. I think the Kamarov dress would work for a pear. 🙂

      1. It’s a great shape for a pear shape.

    2. Love your fresh pear analogy. If you have wide shoulders you’re likely an hourglass.

  10. Those are all beautiful and fit you great!!! No weddings for me this year, but I’m okay with that!☺️
    Have a fantastic day!

    1. Happy Wednesday, Gloria

  11. Shape wear, no shape wear, size 6, size 10…. You looked lovely in them all! Very pretty choices! Love them all!

  12. All of the dresses are nice, but the first pink dress looks outstanding on you! Hope you bought this one! 🙂

  13. Hi Jennifer, you look great in all of these dresses. Our bodies and our lives change with time… don’t beat yourself up so much. You always focus on health, happiness, no cruelty products; lots of positives. Also, your hair looks really good that length. Have a good one and be kind to yourself.

    1. Thank you, Jo. It was interesting to look back and see how I have changed. A bit of a wake up call to keep up my walking and lay off the guacamole a bit when on holiday 🙂

  14. Lovely dresses! I have the exact Romanof dress and it is so beautiful. Got it at Nordies. Six years ago for my granddaughter’s wedding wedding!

  15. All of these look nice on you, but I really like the Maggy London. The color is just perfect on you and it is very flattering to your figure. You are so lucky to have slim hips! And the right undergarments will make that small panty line disappear. So many people complain about shapewear being uncomfortable, but I think one of the secrets is to size UP and you have to be realistic in your expectations. If you have a tummy, try to find something that focuses on your chest, hips or legs, because no amount of shapewear is going to flatten that tummy! I wear Thinstincts too. I have a pair of the shorts and a one-piece and find them comfortable. I am 5’8″, weigh 150, and wear a size 10 – 12 in most clothes. My shapewear is at least an XL. They hide the bulges and smooth things out but they certainly don’t change my shape. Jennifer, I love your blog and look forward to every post!

    1. Thank you, Dena! I totally agree, they need to shape, not take us down a size. Nothing will do that except fewer calories and more exercise.

  16. Ironically, I wore a similar Komorav dress in beige for one son’s wedding and the Alex Evening dress in blue for our younger son’s wedding! I struggle with dresses. First, I need petite sizing to fit through the shoulders and for the shorter sleeve length. Secondly, I don’t do sleeveless. And thirdly, I’m busty and carry my weight through my middle. I’m also print phobic! lol

    I’m beginning to shop for a dress for my daughter-in-law’s baby shower in August. Wish me luck; I’ll need it!

  17. Jennifer, the Pissarro Nights dress that “caught your eye” on your way out of the store is absolutely scrumptious! Wow!

  18. These are all so flattering on you. I especially like the pink long sleeved dress. Really pretty color on you. It’s good to know there are nice dresses to try on now. I really have a tough time finding them.

  19. Wow! This was eye opening. If I didn’t know, I would say the photos were taken years apart, with different bodies. Some dresses are so flattering and some seem uncomfortable and form-fitting and tight. Clearly, I need to do some trying-on.

    Is it possible to tell us which dress YOU found most flattering, and if you purchased one, which one? Or is the purpose of these posts simply to show a variety of styles?

    Thank you, I love this series!

  20. Melinda Beckett says:

    Wonderful post today, Jennifer. I love the styles and you look great in all of them. I especially like you in the pink dress and the dressy beaded one.
    Don’t see any that require more undergarments. Thanks for your continued efforts to keep us informed!

  21. Jennifer, you look great in all,of them! Undergarments?,doesn’t look like you need any help. Your bust looks great in all! Please tell what bra you are wearing?
    The blue tie one with 3/4 sleeves is my favorite and that size 8 doesn’t look too small on you!
    Thanks for so much work!

  22. Jennifer
    All of the dresses are perfect!

    I must add it’s nice to see the true you…without the under garments and you spoke up right away. Kudos. All ladies of a certain age have a few bumps and ripples. I often shop and forget those treasured items. You rock! Would you please share the brand of shape wear you use. I have just purchased two Shapermint tank and cami tops. Not too firm just slimming enough (so I can breathe and eat) though I would still wear a strapless bra with white and a light blouse or jacket.

    1. I love these Thinstincts shorts but am on the hunt to replace my smoothing slip. I’ll let you know what I find. Shape wear shouldn’t be torture wear 🤣. I like it to just smooth things out. I’ll have to try Shapermint. Thanks for the recommendation.

  23. What a beautiful selection of dresses! And, you looked great in all of them – despite your concern of no control garments! Thank you for sharing these ideas – now I just need to be invited to a wedding!

  24. Judy Whitmore says:

    Some truly lovely dresses here but my wedding needs this year call for
    full length for a garden wedding. And a full length for a cocktail after party.
    Would you try to find some to meet this need.
    Thank you.

    1. Yes, I’ll find some full length options for you.

  25. The tie sheath deep blue would be my choice looks great on you and the last light lighter blue fussier one is also lovely for a special occasion it also suits you very well

  26. These dresses are so pretty, I hope someone I know is getting married this summer.

    1. Cindy Casani says:

      Love most of these on you. Which do you feel is the most flattering length? I have a dress similar to your first one that I will wear to my granddaughter’s First Communion in a few weeks and it hits me mid calf. I am also 5’4″. Debating if I should have it hemmed to just below knee length

      1. I prefer just the below the knee. Dresses always look nicest when they end at a narrow spot on your leg. It makes the leg look shapelier. I’d hem it.

  27. Let’s just say everyone is cutting corners these days and that includes using slightly less fabric. Things are smaller/tighter than they used to be in the same size 😁
    You look lovely in all your choices!

    1. I love you Hellen. You’re so sweet and funny. Have a great day!

  28. In love with that Komarov blue dress! It looks fabulous on you and would be perfect for so many events. V necks are always so flattering! Thanks for the parade of Spring special occasion dress options. Have a lovely day!

  29. The blue charmeuse dress is just stunning on you! The color is gorgeous. It looks comfortable and very chic. I wish i had a wedding to go to so i could rush out and buy it!

    1. It’s such a great brand. I see why they’re so popular.

  30. Pat Patterson says:

    Good morning, it’s a beautiful sunny day. I really like the dresses you modeled, so many good choices, yeah! Gives me hope I’ll find a dress for a June (family) wedding in Colorado.
    Have a wonderful day

    1. There are some beautiful dresses there. WOW! There are at least 3 that I would have a hard time deciding on. The Pissaro Nights…gorgeous!

    2. There are lots of great options this year. Happy Thursday Pat.

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