beach trip try on

Last week, an unexpected delivery arrived. The Lilly Pulitzer team had been sweet enough to send over a few adorable styles for my week in Seaside! Today, I’m so excited to try them all on for you.

This time last week, I was situated under a big blue umbrella next to a glistening, turquoise seascape. Book in hand, hat on head, I can’t even tell you how many hours I spent in that one position last week! It was restful, peaceful and perfect. There’s nothing like a beach trip, don’t you agree?

On Tuesday morning, an unexpected delivery arrived. The Lilly Pulitzer team had been sweet enough to send over a few adorable styles for my week in Seaside!

I was just about to head out to the beach when the UPS man knocked on the door, and once I opened up the treasure trove, I couldn’t help but stop everything to try it all on.

I’ll always be a Lilly girl, but I think the styles currently available are some of the cutest I’ve ever seen. Take a scroll below and see if you agree! P.S. you’ll find my straw headband linked here and my white earrings linked here.

Sabrinah Midi Dress

wearing size 00

There’s nothing as glamorous, or as comfortable, as a soft, billowy maxi on a night out in the Florida heat. The color of this one, in particular, is so beautiful, and I’m living for the bodice detailing! A smocked back ensures a perfect, flattering fit.

Jackelin Romper

wearing size 00

Hands down, the cutest. romper. ever. Have you ever seen anything like it? From the tassel detailing to the adorable seashell motif, this piece is full of summer whimsy and fun and I can’t get enough of it!

Jarrett Romper

wearing size XS

Not only is this tasseled cutie incredibly comfortable, it’s extremely versatile as well! Throw it over a swimsuit to wear down to the beach, or dress it up with wedges, a jean jacket, and hoops. I wore it out to a casual beach dinner with my parents, where you bet I ordered chicken tenders and a margarita. Winning combo, right?

Alpinia Skirt Set

wearing size 00

I’ve had my eye on this two-piece set since spring, and now that I’ve tried it on I’m wondering what took me so long to pull the trigger! I adore everything about it, from the eyelet material to the classy, flattering fit. Plus, you can mix and match these pieces oh-so-easily! See what I mean below…

Alpinia Skirt Set // Leigh Crop Top

wearing size 00 and XS

I’m utterly in love with the gorgeous cerulean hue of this blousy crop top. It’s the perfect thing for University of Florida games this fall, and I’m looking forward to tailgating in it! Plus, it looks picture-perfect paired with the Alpinia skirt!

Alpinia Skirt Set Top // Katia Shorts

wearing size 00 and XS

Bright, bold and breezy, these are the ultimate summer shorts. The Alpinia crop top was all I had on-hand to style it with, but plan on switching that out for a simple white tee or tank for a cute, everyday look here in Gainesville! A word on sizing – I ordered my usual, XS, but wish I’d gone up one size more for an even looser fit.

Novia Bikini Top // Novia Bikini Bottom // Wilda Sarong // Sun Hat

wearing size XS and XS

Leave it to Lilly to create the cutest swim. This pink gingham number is one of my very favorites! The pink is neon in person, which not ly makes for a fun statement but also makes you look even more tan. :) And while you can’t really see them, the bottoms have such a fabulous fit. I’m wearing my normal swim size in both!

I loved these pieces so much that in hindsight, I didn’t even need to pack a suitcase. These ensembles took me from brunch to the beach to dessert and everything in between. Now that I’m back home, I’m so excited to keep styling these for everyday life, too!

Wishing everyone a wonderful start to the week!

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

my 5 favorite #nsale purchases

I wanted to share what have ended up being my five favorite personal Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchases of 2019. These are all pieces I ordered, fell in love with and have been using since the start of the sale. Some of them might surprise you, so let’s get started!

After a blissful week at the beach, I’m so happy to be back in Gainesville. Nothing beats home sweet home with my new husband! (Still not used to saying that!)

Andrew is currently taking a Sunday afternoon snooze on the couch, and I’m trying to type as quietly as possible (harder than you’d think, haha!) because today is the very. last. day. of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

It’s no secret I love this sale, and I’ve loved sharing my favorite styles over the past few weeks. But before we close out this fun shopping season, I wanted to share what have ended up being my five favorite personal Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchases of 2019. (For your convenience, you’ll find all of my #NSale posts HERE.) These are all pieces I ordered, fell in love with and have been using since the start of the sale. Some of them might surprise you, so let’s get started!

 

number one

 

True & Co. True Body V Neck Bra

Y’all have most likely heard me share of my love for this piece of lingerie ever since I bought it at the start of the sale a few weeks back. A sales associate actually recommended it to me, and I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical. Let’s be honest… it’s not the most glamorous thing you’ve ever seen, right?

Well, let’s say I’m a firm believer now that looks can be deceiving, and that’s an UNDERSTATEMENT. This is by far the most comfortable bra I’ve ever worn, and from the many DMs I’ve been receiving from those of you who bought it, it’s safe to say I’m not alone. I seriously cringe whenever I have to wear anything with an underwire now!

It sold out like CRAZY in the #NSale, but luckily for us, True & Co. is honoring the sale price on their website. If I had to guess, it will end tomorrow as well, so be sure to grab yours quickly! Quick tips: I wear my normal blouse size (XS) in this bra and remove the pads whenever I wash it so they don’t wrinkle!

 

number two

 

Pink Jaipur Aneita Area Rug

If there is one category I was way impressed with during the sale this year, it’s been the rug selection! I have found it so very difficult to find affordable, quality and stylish rugs (like seriously, I could write a book on it) and was thrilled to find this lovely, neutral pink rug included in the sale.

Rugs online are tricky, but this one is even more beautiful in person! The pale pink is actually quite neutral and almost chameleons to the shade of its surroundings, looking more neutral and pale in dim light and more warm and rosy in bright light. I ended up buying TWO of them in the 5×7 size, one for our breakfast area and one for my office upstairs, and couldn’t love them more!

 

number three

 

Tory Burch Everly Leather Tote

No surprise here… you’ve heard me go on and on about this Tory Burch tote! It fits my large MacBook, my planner, and countless other pack-rat items to boot. Trust me when I say, this is one splurge to snatch up!

It comes in three colors, including a gorgeous pale pink and a classic black as well, and would be the perfect working-girl bag or Christmas gift for someone special. At nearly $200 off, it’s one buy I am totally behind!

 

number four

 

The Bobbi Brown Essential Deluxe Eyeshadow & Face Palette

It’s safe to say I am no beauty guru, but over the years I have learned what works best for me to achieve a classic, lovely, low-maintenance look. In a nutshell, I stay away from browns and tans and lean towards pretty plum and grey undertones. So when I saw this gorgeous Bobbi Brown palette in all of my favorite shades, I decided to try it out.

I truly can’t say enough good things about it, from the hyper-pigmented eye colors to the lovely blush and subtle highlighter. Even the bronzer is amazing! The last palette I bought was a similar Bobbi Brown compact that was part of the #NSale two years ago (see it here) and it’s lasted me ever since. That’s why I recommend these wholeheartedly… they last so long and are such an amazing buy! This one comes with a mascara, as well!

 

number five

 

Chic Wood & Gold Paper Towel Holder

I know what you’re thinking… a paper towel holder? Really?! And I’ll admit, I felt a bit silly buying it. BUT I had spotted it in the last #NSale, and now that I’m in a new kitchen with lots of neutral and pale colors, was getting tired of the clunky silver and black paper towel holder we had.

It may sound dramatic, but I now firmly believe this is the cheapest way to freshen up your kitchen! For under $30, it transforms something as bulky and obtuse as a paper towel roll into something lovely to look at. Seriously… the neutral colors and elegant shape complement my kitchen instead of making my countertop look junky. Highly recommend for yourself or to give as a wedding gift!

 

Whether you stocked up your wardrobe with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale or decided to sit it out, I hope you’ve enjoyed my coverage of it! (Find my recent posts about it HERE.) Every email, comment or direct message I’ve received from y’all about it has warmed my heart, and I hope you know it means so much to me that you choose to visit Lonestar Southern and shop from here!

I am so excited to have quite a bit of summer left, and can’t wait to share more photos from Seaside with you this coming week! But for tonight, check that #NSale list twice and be sure to grab anything you have your eye on before it ends tonight. Don’t forget… free shipping and returns make trying something out absolutely painless!

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

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bare necessities

The Best Bra
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The Softest Robe

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a summer sunset

One of my favorite things about living in Florida? The incredible sunsets that take place nearly every night. We’re talking vibrant oranges, whispy pinks, deep reds… my favorite color scheme on one giant canvas. Such a dream!

DRESS pink and orange ombre maxi dress (wearing XS, just $35!) | EARRINGS gold statement hoop earrings | CLUTCH rectangle straw clutch | SHOES espadrille platform heels

One of my favorite things about living in Florida? The incredible sunsets that take place nearly every night. We’re talking vibrant oranges, whispy pinks, deep reds… my favorite color scheme on one giant canvas. Such a dream!

Andrew and I love finishing dinner early to head out to our back porch and watch the colors deepen and change across the sky. That’s one tradition I’m excited to continue as temperatures begin to cool off in the coming months!

In the meantime, though, we’re still in full-on summer mode, and when I saw this stunning pink and orange ombre dress, it instantly reminded me of these southern sunsets I’ve come to love so much!

Y’all have heard me talk about my obsession with shopping online at Forever21 over and over. I love sifting through the huge, continually updated selection and coming across amazing, budget-friendly finds. This dress was one of those! And at just $35, it deserves a front-row seat to all of your sunset activities.

The belt is removable, and trust me when I say this maxi looks adorable without it as well! Plus, who doesn’t love a blousy, forgiving fit? I know I’m looking forward to styling it that way in Seaside this coming week! And while it isn’t lined, the fabric isn’t see-through whatsoever, making it a cool option for that crazy summer heat. So many things to love about it!

A couple other recent Forever21 finds I’m loving! This leopard dress I wore in California (and again last night!) and this red halter mini. Cute and oh-so-flattering for a date night, rehearsal dinner or function you have coming up!

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

Thank you, Forever21, for sponsoring this post.

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a few friday favorites

Before I officially let myself enter weekend mode, I wanted to share a few Friday favorites with you today! I did a similar post a few weeks back and y’all seemed to enjoy it. So here’s a glimpse at what I’ve been loving lately!

Happy Friday, everyone! Want to know something absolutely crazy? As of yesterday, Andrew and I have officially been in Gainesville for one month!

And what a BUSY one it’s been. Between Andrew starting residency, myself traveling back to Dallas, our recent trip to California and not to mention settling into a new home, it’s felt like “go, go, go” since we got here. This was our first full week back here without any travels or holidays, and it felt so wonderful to just *be here,* know what I mean?

So much for that, though, as I’m packing up to join my family in Seaside, Florida this Sunday! I’m so bummed Andrew won’t be able to join, but something tells me he won’t mind having full control of the remote for a week. :)

Before I officially let myself enter weekend mode, I wanted to share a few Friday favorites with you today! I did a similar post a few weeks back and y’all seemed to enjoy it. So here’s a glimpse at what I’ve been loving lately!

shirt // skirt // bag // sunnies // headband

 

friday favorites

 

 

one headband to rule them all

Well, I’ve officially become “that girl.” You know, the one who grabs ahold of a trend and milks it for all it’s worth. I ordered this headband a few weeks ago and have hardly taken it off since! I’ve received a number of DMs asking about it, so I thought I’d give it it’s own little shoutout here on the blog. If you’re looking to try out the headband trend, this is the one for you. Comfortable, under $20 and on-trend without being overly aggressive. I recommend the white, as it goes with everything! I’ve loved the style so much that I just ordered this straw one for the beach. So cute, am I right?

home reno inspiration

One of my favorite bloggers, Mackenzie, just bought a house and oh my heavens is it amazing. Now that I have a house of my own, I have a whole new appreciation for renovations, updates, and all things Chip-and-Joanna. Mackenzie’s new abode has so much character, and I absolutely can’t wait to follow along as she makes it her own! Her taste is fabulous, and I have a feeling the house is going the total and complete manifestation of it.

our current favorite show

The hardest part of marriage no one tells you about?! Finding a Netflix show to watch together. Andrew talked me into watching an episode of Chef’s Table a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t stop making fun of him for how boring it was. BUT WAIT. I’m now obsessed… and I don’t know how! If you’re looking for a beautiful, happy, rather melo-dramatic show (shows that add stress my life, apart from Grey’s Anatomy, are not shows I enjoy) I definitely recommend checking it out. My favorite thus far has been the MilkBar episode!

my recent home purchases

Speaking of homes, a few exciting purchases have come in for our little place here in Florida and I’m doing a happy dance! It’s crazy how a few pieces can truly transform a place. First off, this credenza, that I found on Wayfair, has given our breakfast area a whole new breath of life. Not only is it adorable, 5-star rated and fabulously priced, it also stores all of our china! Every time I see it I feel like a real adult – ha! Next? I purchased two of these rugs (in pink, of course) from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Buying rugs online is tricky, but these turned out 100x even prettier in person! I have one in my office and one underneath our breakfast table. Last but not least, these seagrass runners just came in and I’m embarrassed at how happy they make me. When did I get so boring?!

the best bra

I purchased this bra (well, two of them actually) from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale on a whim, as I’ve officially reached the point in my life where I feel like anything “underwire’d” is needlessly uncomfortable and rude. Y‘all. Life. Changing. This style looks smooth and streamlined even under tighter silhouettes, and because of the deep v, works with a myriad of necklines as well. Tip: Remove the pads when you wash them so they don’t get wrinkly and wonky. You can still grab them on sale here, and if Nordstrom is out of your size, no fear! True & Co. is honoring the sale on their site (click here) as well!

recipe recon

As I try to hone my domestic sensibilities, recipe scouting missions have become a daily occurrence. Caroline from Sweet Caroline Designs was sweet enough (see what I did there?) to send me this recipe book as a gift, and I’ve been loving the old-school process of printing off recipes, marking them up and saving them in the book. Plus, it looks so cute on my kitchen counter! I just can’t wait until it’s all filled up with favorites. In the meantime, will you PLEASE send me yours?!

custom monogram giveaway

Last but certainly not least, I wanted to remind y’all that my giveaway for a custom-designed monogram by Shuler Studios is still open! This was, without a doubt, one of my very favorite details of our wedding and is something I’ll use for years to come. (It’s even on our china!) To enter, follow these easy steps:

  1. follow @lonestarsouthern and @shulerstudio on Instagram
  2. download the LiketoKnow.it app and follow LonestarSouthern (if you are confused by/don’t like/haven’t downloaded it yet, my friend Merritt wrote a great post on misconceptions around the app, why I use it and why it’s helpful here)
  3. visit this blog post and leave a comment

Wishing everyone a happy, safe weekend! Check back Sunday for a rare weekend post!

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

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shopping for summers down south

I have to admit it… dressing for summer down here in Florida this past month has been even more fun than dressing for summers in Dallas! Why? Yes, it’s hot as all get-out, but it doesn’t only feel like summer down here. It looks like it!

TOP white topshop bodysuit | SKIRT white eyelet belted mini skirt | SHOES white sneakers with rose gold accents | PURSE small straw handbag

I have to admit it… dressing for summer down here in Florida this past month has been even more fun than dressing for summers in Dallas! Why? Yes, it’s hot as all get-out, but it doesn’t only feel like summer down here. It looks like it!

Palm trees everywhere, lush greens instead of dry browns, and not to mention the most vibrant, colorful sunsets I’ve ever seen… it feels like a dream world, and I’m living for the aesthetic here.

You can bet I’m embracing this setting to the fullest by stepping out in all the feminine skirts, fresh eyelets and summer sandals. One of my favorite destinations for cute, trendy pieces that don’t break the bank this summer is the Topshop collection at Nordstrom!

I’ve been wearing Topshop for years now, always appreciating the on-trend, unique pieces that fall at a great price point. I mean, how adorable is this eyelet skirt? That wicker belt has me swooning. And just wait until you see the romper version!

This summer, there are so many pieces I’m dying to show you that I couldn’t settle on just one, so check out my Instagram Story today (follow me HERE) to see me try these looks on!

Before we get started, let’s talk about sizing! I’ve found Topshop runs small, so I order two sizes up in most pieces. For example, if I’m usually a 0, I order a US 4 in Topshop! I recommend that strategy for each of the pieces below, with the exception of the romper. I’d just go up one size in that!

 

Instagram Story Try On

 

 

 

 

 

SHORTS | White Eyelet Shorts

I’m leaving for Seaside, Florida this weekend for a few days at the beach with my fam, and can’t wait to bring these styles along. Let me know which one is your favorite!

Love from Texas,

Kate

Thank you Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!

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wedding wednesday no. 30 // the story of finding my dream wedding dress

I have always been one of “those girls.” You know, the kind who dreamed about her wedding from the time she could walk down a pretend aisle with a bouquet of toilet paper and her mom’s far-too-big high heels. The kind who would read “Brides” instead of “Seventeen Magazine.” Who…

I have always been one of “those girls.” You know, the kind who dreamed about her wedding from the time she could walk down a pretend aisle with a bouquet of toilet paper and her mom’s far-too-big high heels. The kind who would read “Brides” instead of “Seventeen Magazine.” Who begged to be taken along to weddings with her parents instead of left at home with a babysitter.

I will never forget the day my mother gave me “The Knot Book of Wedding Dresses”. I had never seen so many beautiful gowns! I poured over every page, learning all about the different types of silks and satins, train lengths, and the popular wedding gown styles of each decade. When I came across the following pages, I vividly remember thinking there was absolutely nothing more beautiful than Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly in their iconic, timeless gowns. And that one day, I wanted to look just like them.

 

As years passed, my enthrallment with iconic gowns of generations past slowly turned into a search for current dress designers who brought that same timeless, simple elegance to their creations. And to my surprise, I found that they were few and far between!

So when the search for my very own wedding gown began, I knew it was going to take a bit of legwork. What I never could have predicted, though, was just how difficult the wedding dress hunt would be! I have had more than a few friends find their dress on their first shopping trip, but my story? Let’s just say it involved a few more twists and turns… but in the end, it brought me to The Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus and the wedding dress of my dreams!

 

the hunt begins

 

Once Andrew and I were engaged, it was off to the races! My mother and I made appointments all across Dallas, and showed up to our first bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Once we got to our third or fourth, however, we realized the process was going to be a bit more difficult than imagined.

We experienced just about everything… pushy salespeople, lovely dresses that almost made the cut, unpleasant showroom environments, moments we thought we’d found it only to look at photos after and change our minds… let’s just say I was starting to wonder if we’d ever find it! I even looked into a custom option, but the “unknown” aspect of deciding on the dress design before being able to try it on turned out to be a little too much mystery for me.

As scheduling worked out, our appointment at The Bridal Salon at the historic downtown Neiman Marcus was the last one on our list. I’d grown up walking past the beautiful, gold, mirrored room filled with exquisite gowns while shopping with my mom or heading to lunch at The Zodiac Room (those popovers with strawberry butter, am I right?!) and finally stepping through them in search of my own wedding dress gave me chills. Of all the salons we visited in Dallas, none took my breath away quite like this!

There were so many things that made this visit, in particular, the favorite of any I’d been to thus far. Most importantly – the dress selection. Finally, a stunning and expansive selection of dresses that looked, felt and fit like the beautiful, classic wedding gowns I had fallen in love with as a young girl. I remember looking at my mom wide-eyed like “Maybe it’s somewhere in here!”

I immediately clicked with our wonderful sales associate Karen (who I now think of as almost a second mother) and with a glass of champagne in hand, we had gathered multiple gowns into the dreamy fitting room. That’s when the fun began.

I’ll never forget Karen walking into the room with a pink dress. Yes, y’all. A pink dress! But before I could look too shocked (if we know anything at this point, it’s that I was a pretty traditional bride) she assured me the dress came in white as well. That was all I needed to slip it on, and once I did… I didn’t want to take it off!

 

My sister was actually the first one to “call” that this was my dress. Let me assure you, she was my toughest critic throughout the entire process, but in a good way – I needed her brutal honesty! So when I walked out and she looked at me and exclaimed “Kate, this is it!” without skipping a beat, I knew something was different about this dress. As she proceeded to fluff the train like a true maid of honor (do you see her in the background of the photo on the right?) something felt right. I finally felt like the bride I had dreamed of being one day.

You know what’s funny? I never set out with a certain “style” in mind. I knew I wanted a full, traditional skirt, a loooong train and some sort of strap or sleeve, but more than a specific design element, I was after a “look.” That same “look” embodied by the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. And this beautiful Sareh Nouri design, with it’s bateau neckline, gorgeous back, and beautiful, trailing fabric, delivered just that. I felt like a bride and not just any bride, but the bride I had always dreamed of being.

 

saying yes to the dress

 

We cheered. We cried. We took photos. We clinked champagne glasses. And you bet we got that obligatory “said yes to the dress” pic. But there was still one thing I could get out of my head. The dress was pink. Would I feel the same way about it in white?

 

As fate would have it (or God, honestly, because as silly as it sounds, all of this was truly the best answered prayer!) the dress designer, Sareh Nouri, was going to be at the Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus just three days later for her trunk show!

Those three days felt like an eternity. I felt like finally, after all of the searching, my dream dress was almost within reach. I was utterly terrified that, for some unknown reason, I wouldn’t love it in white and we’d be back to square one.

 

meeting the designer

 

But three days later, I made what would soon become the frequent drive to downtown Main Street, took those golden escalators up to The Bridal Salon and saw it. In white. And I think my heart stopped for a second!

I walked out in it, took a spin in the larger-than-life mirror, and knew it was the one. And that’s when Sareh walked in! Talk about the definition of beauty and joy, y’all. We talked all about the journey of finding the dress, our love for the classic wedding gown silhouette that seems to be so hard to find these days, and our ideas for making the gown fit like a glove.

 

Needless to say, it was a dream come true. I had finally found my dress, and I think my face says it all!

 

customizing the gown

 

Those of you who have been through it before will I’m sure agree… next to waiting for your actual wedding day, waiting for your dress to arrive is the most excruciating and exciting thing ever!

bow wedding dress, sareh nouri brooklyn wedding dress, classic wedding dress, bateau neckline wedding dress, long train wedding dress

Since the dress samples you try on are usually not your exact size, it’s always a bit of a gamble when you place your order. Luckily, the alternations department at Neiman Marcus is insanely talented so I knew I had nothing to worry about. Still, I counted down the days until my dress arrived!

A huge part of the reason I was especially excited to see my dress in person is that we customized a few aspects of it. Every wedding dress designer is different, and some are more agreeable to modifications than others. The Neiman Marcus Bridal Salon team has an amazing relationship with Sareh Nouri, and they were able to translate my vision for the gown to her seamstresses. Then, the Neiman Marcus alterations department (just wait until you meet Thi!) took it to the next level. So, what exactly did I change?

First of all, the neckline! The sample dress was too large on me, so in all of the photos above you’ll see it clipped back. This made the neckline higher than it is in the actual design (the original design has more of a scooped neckline than a straight across bateau) but I absolutely fell in love with it! Karen helped to measure the perfect placement so that the neckline hit right at my collarbone. The Sareh Nouri team made this reality absolute perfection, and I’m smitten with the classic look it creates!

Secondly, buttons. I have always loved button detailing on the back of a wedding dress, and wanted to add a few to the waist of the dress. We decided to cover the top of the zipper with them so that they create a subtle touch instead of overwhelming the train. It turned out simple, sweet and everything I had hoped!

You might notice in the photos of the sample gown that there is one single tail extending from the bow. I’m a sucker for symmetry, and really wanted to add an additional tail to balance the whole look. The Sareh Nouri team was able to send the extra fabric, and then the Neiman Marcus alterations department created the perfect, “twin” tail!

Finally, the skirt fullness. The Brooklyn style has a lovely, soft A line silhouette to it, but I was looking for a bit more “oomph.” After all, I’m only going to wear a ballgown once in my life! I wanted the train to have a full, voluminous look to it, especially from the side, as opposed to a “deflated” feel. When I shared this vision with Karen, we played around with adding additional crinoline to the skirt for the effect I was looking for. My incredible seamstress at Neiman’s, Thi (who I’ll gush more about later) ended up crafting an entire crinoline attachment for us to button on for the ceremony and remove before the reception! You should have seen Andrew’s face as my mom and wedding planner removed the added petticoat before the reception. “THAT was under your dress the entire time?!”

 

getting the perfect fit

 

If I were to give one single piece of advice when it comes to the whole realm of the wedding dress process, it is to find an unbelievable tailor. I would say to prioritize THAT over the dress itself! A fabulous tailor can take a “meh” dress and transform it into a total Cinderella moment, and a bad tailor can take a dream dress and turn it into a catastrophe. It all comes down to the vision, skill, and creativity of the person with the needle!

I was lucky enough to have, truly, the best seamstress in the universe working on my gown. Or at least that’s how I felt. Thi is somewhat of a legend at the Flagship Neiman Marcus store, and her work is nothing short of exemplary. From the second I stepped into my real, actual dress upon its arrival, she had hundreds of ideas for making it perfect, and most importantly, uniquely mine.

One of the things I so appreciated about my experience was that I truly felt like the entire team at Neiman Marcus was an advocate for me. They weren’t there to just simply sell me a gown. They were there to ensure the entire process was a joy, and they simply wouldn’t settle until every detail was not just good, but spectacular. They would see things I wouldn’t and tweak perfectly fine elements and turn them into stunning ones. They were invested, dedicated and relentless in making this gown perfection in every way!

Thi was able to take in the dress for an absolutely perfect fit up top, which sounds simple in and of itself but with the material of the dress and the cut of the bodice, was actually a huge undertaking. She even had a video chat with the Sareh Nouri team to learn how the bodice was constructed, and how to best manipulate it to my shape! The result was an effortlessly comfortable fit, a lay that was flush against my skin and not a single pull or wrinkle in the bodice. I’m still in awe!

She also helped me work with the bow to get it just right. We played around with adding fabric to it, tilting it to one side, and endless other options before decided on adding a bit of volume to it and fastening right on top of the bustle.

Next, let’s talk about length. Did you know that it’s nearly impossible to walk in a full ballgown unless the hem hits just above the floor? I didn’t either until Thi showed me! If the dress is too long, it buckles under the hem and results in a lot of tripping and a not very happy bride. She was able to get it right to where it simply skated across the top of the floor as I walked.

And finally, the bustle. Oh my… this detail turned into my very favorite of the dress itself. I’ve actually received lots of questions from you all asking about what style of bustle it is. Thi actually created it! We tried the American style, the French style, and finally settled on an incredibly intricate technique Thi designed for the dress. It resulted in the most beautiful, billowing folds that spread out into the most beautiful fan as I spun. What a dream!

Here’s a video my sweet mama captured right after Thi had pinned up the bustle. I was instructed to give it a spin (literally) to see how it moved, and then I didn’t want to stop! I think this little video captures the movement and beauty of this gown that you can’t quite get the full effect of in photos. Enjoy!

 

For a finishing touch, Thi added a delicate, clear loop adorned with small pearls onto either side of my veil so that I could wear it around my wrist after the ceremony.

As it ended up raining buckets on our wedding day (more on that later!) this ended up being the biggest blessing to have!

 

the finished result

 

After countless fittings and an endless amount of needles and thread, we perfected the dress the week of my wedding. On Saturday, the Neiman Marcus team delivered it to the church, and I stepped into the most beautiful thing I will ever wear!

Last week, I posted our Wedding Ceremony Photo Reveal, but here are some beautiful images taken by John Cain of the dress itself that I saved for today.!

 

bow wedding dress, sareh nouri brooklyn wedding dress, classic wedding dress, bateau neckline wedding dress, long train wedding dress
bow wedding dress, sareh nouri brooklyn wedding dress, classic wedding dress, bateau neckline wedding dress, long train wedding dress
bow wedding dress, sareh nouri brooklyn wedding dress, classic wedding dress, bateau neckline wedding dress, long train wedding dress
bow wedding dress, sareh nouri brooklyn wedding dress, classic wedding dress, bateau neckline wedding dress, long train wedding dress
bow wedding dress, sareh nouri brooklyn wedding dress, classic wedding dress, bateau neckline wedding dress, long train wedding dress
bow wedding dress, sareh nouri brooklyn wedding dress, classic wedding dress, bateau neckline wedding dress, long train wedding dress
bow wedding dress, sareh nouri brooklyn wedding dress, classic wedding dress, bateau neckline wedding dress, long train wedding dress
bow wedding dress, sareh nouri brooklyn wedding dress, classic wedding dress, bateau neckline wedding dress, long train wedding dress
bow wedding dress, sareh nouri brooklyn wedding dress, classic wedding dress, bateau neckline wedding dress, long train wedding dress
bow wedding dress, sareh nouri brooklyn wedding dress, classic wedding dress, bateau neckline wedding dress, long train wedding dress
bow wedding dress, sareh nouri brooklyn wedding dress, classic wedding dress, bateau neckline wedding dress, long train wedding dress

I will never, ever be able to thank the Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus, along with their incredible team (Karen, Thi, Morgan… I’m looking at you!) for turning what began as a seemingly impossible and fruitless search result into such a happy ending! Like I mentioned above, I visited what felt like every salon in Dallas, and I am so, so happy my search ended in that beautiful room on Main Street.

I plan on writing a post for advice on how to choose your wedding dress, so send in any questions you may have! But in the meantime, my two cents? Make an appointment with Karen at Neiman’s. Something tells me you’ll be just fine. :) Oh, and don’t forget to schedule lunch at The Zodiac Room after your appointment!

 

the details

 

Dress Salon // The Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus

Dress Designer // Sareh Nouri

Dress Style // The Brooklyn

Dress Consultant // Karen at The Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus

Dress Tailor // Thi at The Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus

Dress Customizations // Raised Neckline, Additional Crinoline, Added Structure to Bow, Additional Tail, Custom Bustle

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

Thank you John Cain Photography for such beautiful images, and The Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus for such a beautiful dress!