Finale

Thank you for your patience with this one!

Before I get to the recap, a couple of housekeeping notes:

  1. I’ve kept up with doing a Women Tell All fashion-only post, which you can find HERE.

  2. I finally got around to updating my own fashion IDs from The Morning After videos—you can find them in Shop Hub.

  3. In case you missed it, I joined Reality Steve on his podcast to discuss this finale. You can listen to it HERE!

  4. I’m seriously contemplating being done with the mailing list and want your input. Mailchimp charges me growing fees to keep it up and running but this blog really isn’t the size where I make the most of their services. (This is far more a personal site than a business, and I truly only send mailers for these recaps and thus only use it 6 or so months out of the year.) It’s something I’m not sure is worth it, especially since I’ve noticed that when I do publish a recap a day or two before sending out the mailer, many of you end up finding the recap on your own anyway. This is where you come in. Let me know if the mailing list is something you really use and if it makes a difference in your likelihood to visit the site. (Also let me know if, as a subscriber, you’d be open to receiving a very occasional non-Bachelor-related mailer!) Or, let me know if simple Instagram Stories and tweets announcing my recaps would suffice.

Without further ado, let’s dissect this beast of a finale…


“I would rather risk getting my heart broken than risk losing Cassie.”

—Colton

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LAST WEEK, CONT’D

Our two-part finale picks up with Colton finally being found tearing down the streets of Portugal. Chris Harrison is promptly sic’ed onto him, and in this moment we get a tap at that 4th wall where Colton openly admits he doesn’t have his own phone…

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This is the first of many examples in this episode of the show pulling back the curtain. I feel like you, my readers, have known for years now that phones aren’t allowed (in addition to computers, internet, books, and music), but in general, it amazes me how many people don’t know this.

The scene ends with Colton being whisked off in a camera-less car and Chris Harrison checking in with us in real time. He promptly addresses Colton’s virginity and I had to capture this moment to highlight and applaud the blonde woman in the front row who, appropriately, couldn’t keep a straight face…

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Chris Harrison really earns his paycheck in these Live specials. Like, no way in hell does he give a shit about or want to talk about the virginity of a 26-year old man, but not only does he do it, he manages to do it with the straightest face imaginable. I also must point out how incredibly tasteless the virginity reference is here (like, even MORE tasteless than usual). Never mind that we just saw Colton angry and completely heartbroken. WHAT ABOUT HIS VIRGINITY?! It’s referred to as some problem needing to be dealt with.

THE MORNING AFTER

Chris Harrison comes knocking in the morning and what ensues is some top notch unintentional comedy. Colton—a White, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, 6’3 former pro athlete—launches a diatribe about how hard life is and has been for him (never mind that he’s the one who has sought out a lot of these “hardships”), and I laughed out loud at Chris Harrison’s appropriately feeble attempt to pity him…

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Colton recaps Cassie’s departure with Chris Harrison and, in another moment that truly made me laugh, shows his off his Holmesian skills of deduction…

Elementary, my dear Watson.

Elementary, my dear Watson.

... and shares his new plan to corner pursue Cassie. More on that later.

TAYSHIA

First on Colton’s To Break-Up With list is Tayshia. Season after season, it amazes me how the lead is, for all intents and purposes, “falling in love” with multiple people, only to “realize” their true feelings and turn on a dime. Think about how many leads have admitted to knowing who their final contestant would be within the first few weeks of filming. (At least Colton, to his credit, downplayed it on Kimmel by saying he knew Cassie was “something special” in Week 4.) During this break-up, we get a great Direct-STARE-Into-Camera from Tayshia, as well as some solid 4th wall breakage as Colton openly looks toward his producer…

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One of the things I especially enjoyed about the above was how Colton’s fuck-it attitude from last week (or rather, the previous night) clearly bled into all of his subsequent actions. Like, the way he shrugs in the above clip reeks of “I don’t give a shit, we can do what we want.” He’s suddenly the one calling the shots and not only does it make him a far better and intriguing Bachelor, it also, in my opinion, makes him a more appealing, assertive potential mate.

I recently got in a discussion with a friend and fellow alum about Colton as Bachelor. This friend felt Colton was a good Bachelor while I felt he was just OK. Let me explain: I don’t think a good Bachelor means someone’s a good person and vice versa. I happen to think Colton is a very good person. And I absolutely appreciate certain aspects to him as Bachelor. As I’ve said over the last few months, he’s been a great listener and a caring lead. He’s a bit nerdy and quirky in an endearing way. Most importantly, he is super sincere. Like, I believe he REALLY wanted to find love on this show and did everything in his power to make that happen for himself.

However, and admittedly as a word and language person, something I just can’t get past is his inability to articulate his feelings. This might not sound like a big deal, and as a contestant you can get away with it. But as a lead, just about every scene is about YOUR feelings, your ability to describe those feelings, and most importantly, your ability to distinguish one relationship from another. Not being able to do so can grow pretty tiresome pretty fast. I mentioned in an early recap that he’s a bit Chris Soules-ian in his way of starting a sentence without really knowing where it’s going. (I do say this with love as I adore Chris Soules.) This was well demonstrated in Tayshia’s After The Final Rose segment, where Colton (I think?) was trying to express gratitude for Tayshia being an understanding break-up-ee. But listen to the journey this simple sentiment goes on, and yet how he sort of cops out at the end…

Arguably the most tedious ever .GIF to make.

Arguably the most tedious ever .GIF to make.

All he had to say was, “You were really kind and understanding with me. Thank you.” Going on a tangent about how hard things were for him and ultimately telling her “she already knows” how “incredible” she is is a double cop-out. Just give a person a compliment, not painted in the context of them “already knowing” said compliment. (It’s like when men say, “You know you’re beautiful.” UGH, just pay a compliment or don’t say anything at all!) Also, telling someone they’re “incredible” isn’t really saying anything. (Although, with Colton’s arsenal of “unbelievable”s, “indescribable”s, he’s at least consistent.) I know he meant this kindly, and that’s nice and all, but the above really encapsulates my problem with him as Bachelor as a whole. He could say a whole lot more with a whole lot less.

Am I taking into consideration the fact that he was on live television in front of millions and probably nervous? YES. And I am sympathetic to that, I swear. But there were still months’ worth of filming where it was more of the same. Again, I think he’s a probably a great guy and I’m sure the majority of this show’s demographic saw the above as wonderful. But, hey, standards are different here at ATPP. 🤷🏻‍♀️

For her part, on ATFR, Tayshia was every bit as gracious as one could hope for. She stressed being happy for him and cherishing their memories, and in general she let him off the hook BIG TIME.


HANNAH G

Things go less smoothly with Hannah G, who does NOT let Colton off the hook the same way Tayshia did. During the breakup, some highlights include: “I really thought it was for sure going to be us”, “I want to get out of here”, “I didn’t think it was possible for there to be a better connection than what we had”. As kind as I think Tayshia was for taking on the comforting, understanding role in her breakup, I’m really glad Hannah G didn’t make it so easy on him. Best of all, after speaking her mind in the moment, when it comes time for the traditional tearful farewell drive, she declares…

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… and appears to STICK TO THAT (below), which is pretty badass considering how many people crack and begin pouring their hearts out to their producers in this car. We also get more proof that the show is more and more willing to pull back that 4th wall curtain as we’re shown shots of the glaring camera light and her producer sat directly across from her…

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At ATFR, Hannah is still pissed—but not heartbroken—and I was ALL ABOUT IT. Too many people identify as still heartbroken, which I have a hard time with given it was months ago and I struggle with how one can continue to hold a candle for someone who blatantly deceived them. Not only is Hannah G no longer pining for Colton (she even says, “I’m not in love with him anymore”), she focuses on how confusing it all was, especially having watched the season back. She holds Colton responsible for his actions. Instead of just rehashing having the rug pulled out from her under her, she focuses on being brought to a point where it was even possible to have the rug pulled out from under her…

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I love how Hannah G, without becoming a tearful sad sack, focused on THIS. It’s about the betrayal and the confusion, not about how she can’t find love or some other nonsense. Her approach felt appropriately angry, and it felt the most how I imagine I’d feel in her shoes.

It’s a serious shame that this was the most personality we got from Hannah G all season. It really feels like she got the short end of the edit stick, especially considering how far into the season she made it and how she’s evidently intelligent and well-spoken and has zero affect to her. She made it to the top 2 or 3, yet it feels like we know every other woman in the Top 5 better than her. To me, it almost feels like when producers knew they were leaning towards Hannah B for Bachelorette, they stunted Hannah G’s edit. Hannah G lasted weeks longer than Hannah B but we got to know her about half as well.

Anyway, what I loved about how both Hannah G and Tayshia handled this whole thing was how they covered all bases. We got VARIETY: one can let him off the hook, or they can hold him responsible for his actions. Both paths, especially when done with the grace of these two ladies, are valid and commendable. QUEENS. 👏🏼👏🏼

CASSIE

Phew, so we’re FINALLY into part two of this finale. I’m not going to lie, I thought this second half was pretty brutal to watch. Not because I think Cassie and Colton are a bad match or that their love story isn’t legit or anything, but rather that we were shown about 20-30 minutes of programming we’d actually WANT to watch, yet stretched out to fill a 2-hour slot. I found myself too bored to even formulate many strong opinions, so past the point of caring was I. And for the record, I blame the show, not the players. The truth is, NO ONE is interesting enough to carry 2 hours of television while hemming and hawing about their relationship.

Colton is greeted by a suspiciously unsurprised Cassie and he attempts to change her mind about their relationship by, as he puts it, showing her how he feels rather than telling her. Now, first, I’m all about this. If you’ve been reading my recaps for awhile, you’ll know that I’m a big proponent of “Show, Don’t Tell”. I was first told this by an ex, a British journalist, with regards to writing and it’s always stayed with me, not only in my writing but also in life. So, I totally support what Colton was going for here.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really count as “not telling” when you remind the person you’re “showing” just what a sacrifice you made in doing so…

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… nor when you drive the guilt-trip home with how the women you broke up with could’ve “given you everything”…

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… nor when, later in the conversation and while agreeing that the timeline of emotions is unreasonable, you slip back in there how much you “gave up”…

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Like, I get that the bigger picture here is the grand gesture on Colton’s part, and I don’t actually think it was the wrong move. (In fact, it certainly wasn’t since it seems to have worked out for him and they’re happy clams now.) But there’s no way around the fact that, at least in this scene, Cassie is completely cornered. She didn’t have a choice but to have her mind changed. How can you shut down the man you previously claimed to “love” when he takes away the timeline, the competition, and the terms (a proposal)? If she turned him down here she’d be hated by America for not rewarding a man for moving mountains—the very mountains she claimed were the issue—to win her love.

I’m not saying Cassie wasn’t moved by Colton’s actions and that she didn’t want to get back together with him. But I am saying, it’s GREAT that she was moved and did want to get back together, because she sure as hell didn’t have a choice.

So, on first watch, I think I was pretty hard on Cassie. I found it very tedious to watch these conversations about feelings since she couldn’t articulate a single one, even something as simple as joy or relief.

Since then, and having rewatched a few scenes, I’ve softened my stance a bit. I’ve thought a lot about how she handled this and decided that, the impossibility of her rejecting Colton aside, she seems to lead by deflecting and downplaying her feelings instead of simply embracing and owning them—whether positive or negative—up front. Below is just one example of many from this conversation alone—note how instead of just allowing herself to be be some variation of happy (which she does appear to be), she leads with how things are “weird”. It was made officially .GIF-worthy by Colton, our lead, straight-up calling the whole thing “not normal”, which is pretty great…

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I’ll touch more on Cassie’s Deflect & Downplay later. For now, Colton asks Cassie if she wants to meet his parents in Mallorca, and of course, in more ways than one, she can’t refuse. So off to Spain we go…

CASSIE MEETS THE FAM

The only redeeming thing about this entire segment is that we get more of Colton’s dad, Scott, my appreciation for whom I documented back in Episode 7. Scott gives us more of his no-BS desire for specificity…

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This might not seem like a big deal, but not enough people ask this simple question. Why do you feel this way? Why did you make that decision? Too often, people think “why” sounds pointed, like your decision-making is being questioned. But, in reality, it’s an invitation to reflect on and verbalize the thought process behind that decision-making. It’s an ear being lent. It’s a gift, not an accusation.

And of course, Scott once again gets down to the heart of what could be at play here…

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I’m not saying Colton liked Cassie the best because of the chase. (I actually don’t think that at all, as evidenced by my predictions week after week that Cassie would be the last lady standing, long before she ever balked at the thought of a proposal.) But what I love here is that his dad WENT there. It’s a very reasonable thought given the circumstances, and one that most people might not have the balls to suggest. BUT SCOTT DOES. 👊🏼

CASSIE’S OVERNIGHT

The episode just WILL NOT END. Colton takes Cassie on a date in Mallorca despite the fact that it’s just the two of them now and there’s really nothing more to discuss. Like, just let them go already! Let them go date in the real world, shack up together during the Happy Couples weekends, and skip to ATFR so we can find out if they’re still together. The last thing we need is another long date, complete with forced drama in the form of rappelling down a cliff. Ugh.

During a voiceover, Cassie reflects on Colton’s love in the least reassuring way possible…

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In all seriousness, though, I do think this is more of Cassie’s aforementioned Deflect & Downplay. Instead of simply saying she feels his love and it makes her feel a certain way, she tip-toes around really saying anything at all by referring to it as something she can “kind of accept”.

In the evening, there’s more of the same…

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Now, I do think this is a sweet moment because, indeed, it IS not every day that you feel this kind of love, where someone values your happiness first and foremost. That said, it once again feels like Deflect & Downplay to me. Instead of it feeling XYZ to be on the receiving end of this calibre of adoration, it becomes an observation of how rare it is to be on the receiving end of this calibre of adoration. I know I’m nitpicking here, and if there were just one or two examples of this, I probably wouldn’t notice or mention it. But literally at EVERY SINGLE TURN, Cassie sidesteps sharing actual feelings or describing how it feels to be loved to whatever degree. For what it’s worth, I think this is a personality thing (I would know—I too am a bit of a downplayer) and not a reflection on her lack of affection for Colton (not in the present day, anyway).

The only remotely redeeming part of this entire date is the fact that the 4th wall gets completely shattered. It’s fascinating how the show embraces this a bit more each season; it’s as though they’re realizing the 4th wall isn’t some sacred thing needing to be preserved, but rather something we love seeing broken….

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Finally, Cassie and Colton realize they’re still mic’ed and ask for assistance. I know I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating: you’re not allowed to handle your own mics. You’re not allowed to attach them, turn them on/off, or remove them….

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Even one time, when my sound guy and I established the best place for my mic (given my dress which, knowing me, was probably backless) was on my upper thigh in a very Lara Croft-esque fashion, it was not something I physically was allowed to attach to my own body.

AFTER THE FINAL ROSE

We’re FINALLY brought back to the present, to the only part any of us care about, which is how Cassie and Colton are doing now and whether or not they’re still together. It’s quickly apparent that they are, yet note how the first thing out of Cassie’s mouth is more Deflect & Downplay, this time followed by a quick correction…

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No one cares as much about Colton’s virginity as this show seems to think we do. It’s honestly nuts to me how many times it was brought up in this finale when there were clearly much bigger fish to fry than whether or not he’s ended up having sex. Overall throughout this season, this has felt like such a gimmick (after the premiere I called it a tired old lifeboat that they’re clinging to and I stand by that description), it’s hard to imagine it wasn’t a major factor in Colton being cast in the first place.

Of course, Chris Harrison, earning that paycheck, promptly brings it up. Colton’s response was evidently planned (note how much more articulate he is with a little planning!) but I appreciated his answer and thought it was in good taste. Nonetheless, I laughed when Chris Harrison responded and then cackled at his own joke…

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Something about the above cracks me up because it shows Chris Harrison’s dark sense of humor. Like, you can tell this is a REAL laugh, like he derived true pleasure out of shutting down Colton’s careful cop-out of an answer.

On the whole, though I’d anticipated it, even this ATFR felt tedious. It became clear there were more minutes to fill with less content than usual, so we were subjected to some seriously vapid television, including but not limited to watching Colton and Cassie WATCH Colton and Cassie WATCH a message Cassie had SENT TO COLTON... (yes, for real) …

Inception , Bachelor edition.

Inception, Bachelor edition.

The strange choice of bringing in Air Supply was made additionally strange by, considering Cassie and Colton’s story, the song they played is called “Making Love Out of Nothing At All” and some of the lyrics literally go: “I know the ways to fame… but I don't know how to leave you”. Even this segment felt like a desperate grasp to add precious minutes to this finale, and once again we were subjected to Cassie and Colton watching Cassie and Colton…

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Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Cassie and Colton full well deserve to recap and bask in their love story. I’m sure it was very exciting to watch it all back after being in hiding for months. I just think a lot of this could have been done in private and not televised for the fourth hour of an already glacially slow finale. Again, with this, I blame the game and not the players.

This is the problem: Most of the time, by this point, we all congratulate the happy couple and feel invested in their relationship. But we were OVEREXPOSED to Cassie and Colton in these last several episodes (thanks to a lack of footage, and therefore us being shown mundane footage that would normally not make the cut), to the point where I’m more interested in the light at the end of the recapping tunnel than feeling moved by their relationship. At any rate, Cassie and Colton seem happy together and I truly do wish them the best.

I do give credit where credit is due: Cassie and Colton really challenged the rules of this show and it’ll be very interesting to see how that plays out in the coming years. Since the rules didn’t apply to them, will they apply to future couples? So many people on this show claim, “I’m not here for a girlfriend/boyfriend at the end of all this”, but if it were an option, would they feel differently? Will others allowed to “just date” at the end, à la Paradise? And if so, wouldn’t that seriously diminish a reliable crutch for drama every season, the “being ready” argument? It’s hard to imagine The Powers That Be would allow it.

Thanks for following along with me all season, fellow pandas!
In case you missed it, my Flare recaps for this finale are here: Part 1 and Part 2

THE FASHION

Requests

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Cassie’s Lulu’s “Hollis” top sells HERE. Her GRLFRND “Devon” high-rise boyfriend jeans are sadly sold out (HERE) but there’s a look-for-less HERE and a super similar pair by the same brand HERE. If you’re hell-bent on Cassie’s exact model, there’s a pre-owned pair selling HERE. Her Steven by Steve Madden “Sonner” leopard mules are sadly sold out (HERE) but there’s a super similar pairs selling HERE and HERE.

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Cassie’s UO “Taylor” corduroy mini dress is sadly sold out (HERE), but there’s a similar option with buttons that I happen to think is way cuter (AND super on sale), HERE. A few of you have request her vertical bars necklace. I wasn’t able to find Cassie’s exact version, but there’s a very similar one selling HERE, and a near-identical one but with 7 bars, HERE. (Thanks, Renee!)

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Cassie’s Invisibobble scrunchie (or “sprunchie” as they call it) sells HERE.

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Cassie’s Beyond Yoga “Alloy Ombre” leggings (in Navy Gold Speckle) sell HERE. Her Free People “Nikala” top sells HERE.

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Cassie’s J.Ing “Queenie” dress sells HERE.

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Hannah’s The Mighty Company “Lecce” metallic pink leather biker jacket sells HERE, but if you’re a size Small you’re in luck as it’s on sale HERE.

Best Dressed

Thankfully, there was seriously strong fashion to offset the weak television. My first Honorable Mentions is Tayshia with her gorgeous ATFR look…

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My jaw pretty much dropped when Tayshia appeared. She looked so glam and goddess-like. I love how she balanced the drama of this dress with understated jewelry and makeup, and her side-swept hair was a perfect choice. Tayshia’s “Rome” gown is by bridal brand One Day Bridal and sells HERE. Obviously it’s not easy finding a decent dupe for a $6K+ gown… the best wallet-friendly option I could find is sequined (HERE). Tayshia’s ear cuffs were a stylist loaner, but I found some solid dupes HERE and HERE.

My other Honorable Mention is Cassie with her white AFTR jumpsuit…

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It’s interesting observing Cassie’s style from start to finish on this season and witnessing it evolve. (Remember when she wore that sort of “meh” floral dress on Night One?! It’s hard to imagine that same girl wearing leopard print mules later on in the same season.) Of course, it helps when you have a stylist in your corner and you’re hooked up with couture pieces, but this was still a fantastic look which she deserves credit for choosing. The silhouette of this jumpsuit felt modern, the ivory really popped on her, her haircut was ON POINT and felt fresh, and overall she looked lovely. Cassie’s officially graduated to Bachelor royalty status as her jumpsuit is by Bachelorette go-to designer Randi Rahm (specifically, the 2019 Bridal Collection). The closest looks-for-less I could find sell HERE and HERE.

My runner-up for Best Dressed is none other than Hannah G in her ATFR ensemble…

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I really applaud being able to look like a million bucks without a stylist-curated couture piece and Hannah G takes the prize for that accomplishment here. Let’s be honest, it’s a hell of a lot easier to look expensive when what you’re wearing IS expensive.

This dress is edgy, sexy, and unique. I usually loathe shoulder pads but they somehow work here and give the dress a structured feel. While I would have loved a low-do, her hair still feels formal enough. The color is the big star here—it made her eyes practically glow. It also made me want to go buy everything in emerald green that I can get my hands on. Most impressively, her dress rings in at under $200, yet she looks just as styled and polished as every other $$$$ piece on this list. This is no small feat. Her NBD “Chloe” mini dress sells HERE. There’s a similar dress (and look-for-less) in a maxi length selling HERE. Several of you asked about her earrings; they’re another budget find, from Soca Clothing (a Birmingham boutique where Hannah used to work; she appears to still model for them). I couldn’t find them anywhere online, suggesting they were in-store only, but I did find a super similar (and similarly wallet-friendly) pair, HERE.

Finally, my Best Dressed is none other than our Bachelorette-to-be, Hannah B…

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Man, this dress SLAYYYYED. Fire emojis were invented for this dress. 🔥🔥🔥 It takes edgy to a whole new, exaggerated (but still in good taste) level. The color is spectacular. There’s more shoulder pad action, in the best way. I love the pleated wing sleeve and how it adds lightness and movement to an otherwise rigid dress. This is the look I most covet out of my four Best Dressed options, landing it my tip top spot. I think this bodes well for the season ahead!

Hannah’s dress is the Alex Perry “Lorin” one shoulder crepe midi dress (evidently altered to knee-length for Hannah), but it is sadly sold out almost everywhere (HERE and HERE). The only one I could find still available is an AU size 8 (about a US 4), HERE. It also sells in Black, HERE. The closest look-for-less I could find is a super on sale maxi length dress (an easy hem), HERE.

Worst Dressed

Nothing stood out to me as terrible and I’m SO ready to be done with this recap, so no Worst Dressed! Yay!


Thank you for following along with me and I look forward to your thoughts on this finale in the comments!

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