Is anyone else obsessed with Westworld? My initial intention with this Splurge or Steal was going to be a high fashion western editorial shot at my mother-in-law’s horse ranch in Dripping Springs. Sadly, that quickly changed when we had to keep rescheduling because of the rain. There’s no way I was going to step into a muddy stable in a $3,000 pair of Lucchese boots next to a horse that won’t stand still! Needless to say, this weather has put a damper on shooting anything outside! I was running out of time to shoot these gorgeous black maxi dresses so we ended up picking the next best thing; Fredericksburg.
I feel like the stars aligned with this shoot. Well, sort of. Austin Woman Magazine was planning to do a big article on things to do in Fredericksburg. The creative director is a great friend of mine so she invited me to tag along for a 3 day adventure in the Texas Hill Country. Let me tell you, it literally rained the entire time. Not even rain, it was a torrential downpour. If any of y’all follow me on Instagram and watched my Stories you probably noticed the time we couldn’t leave our hotel because of the flooding. The Lodge Above Town Creek is exactly what it sounds like… Obviously, no one was expecting to get that much rain to see the creek rise that fast. But hey, that’s Texas weather for you. Yes, we did make it out eventually and it was absolutely hilarious in the meantime.
I loved this hotel so much we decided to shoot my column there. It literally rained the entire time we visited Fredericksburg so we were getting desperate with shoot locations. The Lodge Above Town Creek had all of the rustic vibes I was looking for along with an area that had some cover. If you’re ever planning a trip to Fredericksburg I highly suggest looking into staying there.
I knew I wanted a high fashion western vibe for this Splurge or Steal so when I spotted this dress I knew it was what I was going to base this column off of. It’s funny because I rarely base my articles off specific pieces of clothing. My process is to normally think of a theme and start searching for clothing ideas online until I find pieces that look identical with drastic price differences.
I immediately put this dress in my cart and started perusing the web for look-a-likes. Every single accessory was matched to this dress and I was even more ecstatic when I found another maxi that looked ridiculously similar. I quickly started checking out and had everything express mailed out so I would get it all in time to prep. About an hour later, I get an email saying that the dress was cancelled!!!!!
Let the major freak outs commence… I was running out of time to next day 2 new dresses plus accessories to shoot in two days. Luckily, I found the exact dress in my size on Amazon but it wasn’t Prime-able! I started scrambling to find entirely different looks and ended up spending about $8k on new outfits. The stars aligned again because the Amazon order made it in time so I was able to use the original dress I had based this entire Splurge or Steal on.
Finding a similar black maxi dress was actually more of a challenge than you might think. Being a stylist, I like everything to be perfect. I am literally OCD about it so the looks have to be identical. It makes me ridiculously happy when people are like Whoa… I literally couldn’t tell a difference at all in which one was expensive and which was the cheaper version. That is what I want to hear every time.
Even though this dress wasn’t that identical, it photographed pretty dang close. Finding something with nude, lace insets was pretty tough considering that’s not something you normally see on super casual, cheaper dresses. Everything else came together pretty swimmingly given the unexpected circumstances!
I completely forgot to finish what I was saying about West World… This spread wasn’t even going to have anything to do with West World but once I saw the photos that’s the only thing I could think about. These looks seemed like they came straight out of that show! I text Niki, the creative director and was like am I crazy or does this look exactly like something out of West World?? Then the issue came out and she titled it Westworld!
Overall, both of these looks are amazing. I wanted to keep the Splurge dress so bad and might actually order it if they still have my size! If you want my opinion on which dress I suggest… I liked the Splurge dress way better than the Steal. The fit was perfection and the details were out of this world. It is a dress I would literally wear all the time.
Want to see my some of my other Splurge or Steals?? Click HERE!
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