The Desire Gown Throwdown

Hannah emailed me about some absolutely gorgeous gowns and models on the cover of some Harlequin Desire novels, and collectively, we agree: she is Not Wrong.

Amanda: The Desire line still reigns supreme for best wardrobe.

Sarah:  We could do a whole post of “which gown on a Desire cover is the greatest?”

Amanda: Everyone submits their own contender.

Sarah: YES. The Desire Gown Throwdown! Who’s in?

Shana: Meeeeee!

Amanda: We must use this gif and I’m in!

Show Spoiler

Aretha Franklin saying great gowns beautiful gowns

Amanda: I have a real wild card and I can’t wait for you all to listen to my TED talk

Maya: I’m in and here’s my favorite totally appropriate gif!!

Show Spoiler

Whitney Houston saying to Brandy in Cinderella She Can't Handle how Fabulous Are

Ok, maybe I have two favorites:

Tracee Ellis Ross in a blue embroidered gown from Black Ish with the caption I am ballin out of control

Lara: I’m so very much a thousand percent in!

Sarah: Ok, y’all. The Desire Gown Throwdown has begun!

Here are the Rules:

  • You must select one (1) gown from a Desire cover.
  • Pub date is not important.
  • Trope is not important.
  • The gown is the only thing that matters (she writes as she wears wool socks, two pair of sweatpants, and slippers).
  • Make your best argument! A moving soliloquy about why your Desire gown is the greatest of all Desire gowns? Absolutely! Bring It.

Shana: I have narrowed it down to my top four options, but I’m finding it hard to choose!

Kiki: Following many days of contemplation and several screenshots taken while riding an MBTA bus, I have made my final decision.

One Night in Texas by Charlene Sands. a model with a round pregnant belly is wearing a sparkly silver off the shoulder gown with draped short sleeves and a princess neckline - extremely elegant

We have sparkle, we have shimmer, we have a sweetheart neckline AND a little off the shoulder sleeve to help hold all that goodness up while giving the décolletage alllllll the attention it deserves.

Perhaps a semi transparent skirt along the side of the legs?

A little baby bump accommodation space? But no one is looking at that bump, they’re looking at that choker!

A gown that is all that and STILL has room enough not to be over shadowed by a jeweled choker?

Fine folk of all genders, as Beyoncé once said: “Texas.”

Sarah: This is a throw. Down. Also I love a sweetheart neckline.

Amanda: I welcome you all to this meeting tonight to really challenge our definition of the word “gown.”

Shana: I think you should get to define what gown means to you.

Sarah: I agree. You pick and TED talk your entry however you want!

Amanda: To me gowns – beautiful gowns, gorgeous gowns – are the epitome of fashion and often make me question: Would I wear that?

Out of all the Desire covers I spied, there were indeed some lovely dresses but not any I could be sure I would wear. (I love a strapless or off the shoulder moment, but my larger bust size means having to wear an uncomfy strapless bra.)

Then I saw this little number.

Fake Engagement Nashville style by Jules Bennet features a woman in a sleeveless white top and tight, shiny black leather pants and silver heels kissing a dude in front of some neon

Everything is on point – from the jewelry to the shoes to her cute little accessory wearing a fashionable Western wear shirt.

But what makes this the most superior out of all these other choices?

It’s the most likely to have pockets. I rest my case.

Shana: No one makes me drool over dresses like Harlequin Desire. But I’m also a member of the big boob club, so I can’t help noticing that few of these strapless, backless gowns would work with a comfortable bra. Even fewer would actually look good without bust support.

Marriage by Arrangement - the model is kneeling in the embrace of a dude in a suit on a couch. She is wearing a long apricot colored gown in a flowy matte fabric with spaghetti straps and a long deep vee in the back

Enter, this slinky orange number. It’s undeniably sexy, with luxurious fabric that looks like it would slip over your skin and pool heavily on the floor.

But even better, you don’t need to wear a bra. At least, she’s not wearing one, and I wouldn’t either. This dress is basically an upscale version of a nightgown. The top is low enough to allow a lover easy access to your best bits, but covered enough to wear out of the house. It’s perfect for my glamorous pajama femme lifestyle.

This is clearly, the best Desire gown.

Amanda: Definitely a swanky house dress for sure, Shana. A lot of dresses are bejeweled too, so I like this more simple design.

Lara: Scrolling through pages and pages of Desire gowns is no hardship. Stunning! Gorgeous! Love them! BUT once I started imagining myself INSIDE these dresses…. that changed the game. I present for your delight, my entry into the Desire gown throwdown: this sapphire blue number!

Sin City Seduction by Zuri Day featuring a Black model with long curly hair blue shiny silky gown with a v neck and long sleeves and a high slit up the side long and elegant

First, you can totally rock your comfiest bra with this gown. Major bonus points.

It *maybe* has pockets too – I mean, look at that volume – pockets could so easily fit in there! Also, the combination of the satiny smooth fabric, the volume of that fabric and that picture perfect thigh split makes this a sultry number.

It’s giving me sexy pyjamas, and that is the PEAK of desire for me.

Amanda: I love a dress with sleeves!

Shana: Damn, that is a fabulous dress. I love a high slit.

Sarah: It has sleeves???!!!! How? How is this possible??

Lara: It is the gift that keeps on giving!

Maya: Ok, so I struggled a bit with this extremely low stakes exercise, because I am forever ridiculous. Blessed with an abundance of fancy dresses on the Desire covers, I’ve spent more time than was likely necessary trying to decide what my favorite gown was.

Was I looking for something sparkly?

Or a dress with a daring split?

I do love intricate lace!

But short and tight is always fun!

Through the many MANY pages I clicked through, I remembered the most important thing about a gown is how it makes it you feel. In the best kind of dress all of the detailing becomes irrelevant because you feel beautiful and the luminosity of that joy takes over everything else. So my vote for the best gown is all about who looks like they are having the most fun in their gown. BEHOLD:

A Family for the Billionaire by Dani Wade featuring a white dude holding a baby in a white and peach gown who is absolutely delighted - big smile laughing extremely happy baby it's absurd levels of adorable

Sarah: And no shoes!!

What fashion. What panache!

Maya: Babies don’t need pockets!

Sarah: And yet both my children had clothing with 10 times the number of pockets than I had, and at that age too.

Maya: That is so wild that I have no words, besides the thing I’m always at the verge of yelling regardless of circumstances: Burn down the patriarchy!

Lara: That tiny child is living her best life in that gown!

Sarah: I don’t know if I can top the delighted baby or the pockets (that child is living their absolute best life) but this is my submission to the gown throwdown:

The Rebel Heir by Niobia Bryant - a tall black woman is walking in the city wearing a light purple gown with a halter top and a very silky fabric in astyle that is draped over her hips and with a slit up the side

Silky, flowing style, gorgeous color, and while it does appear to be a halter top, that can show off the elegant assets to marvelous effect.

But what grabbed me about this gown, in addition to the color, is the way the style of the bodice and skirt, with the overlap of fabric and the pleats at the waist, will allow the wearer to eat and drink and dance as much as they want.

This is a gown that would make me feel comfortable and elegant and that is what I want in formal wear. Usually there’s dancing if I’m dressed up that much!

Lara: This gown is dreamy!

Shana: I like the argument that this dress is the fancy version of elastic waist pants. And Purple is my favorite color!

Sarah: It’s going to be a TOUGH Contest, y’all.

And now – THE VOTING. We have each submitted our contender for the Desire Gown Throwdown. The winner is up to you! Please cast your vote below, and if you’d like, you can support your choice with additional arguments in the comments. We want to hear what you think!

Which gown reigns supreme? Click your choice, then hit “Submit!” 

a pie chart with purple and green colors showing nearly equal votes for two of the covers but one night in texas won by one vote!

Update! And our winner, by one vote, is One Night in Texas, submitted by Kiki! Congratulations, Kiki! 

None of the reviewers knew this, but the prize is comfy pajamas. 😀 Enjoy your comfy pajamas Kiki!!

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