As we get further into Season 16 of "The Bachelor," we get more drama but sadly, fewer outfits. Oh well -- that means the contestants after Ben Flajnik's heart can run but they can't hide. I will most certainly see what they're wearing.
Episode 4 started as they all do: airplane travel! The lucky ladies put on their leggings and tees to fly from San Francisco to Park City, Utah. Like in Sonoma, the vistas in Park City are awesome; but the weather is cooler, as evidenced by the plethora of cute scarves around the women's necks, including Elyse, Casey S., Nicki, Jamie and Kacie B.
Unfortunately, there was also a plethora of eyeliner around Rachel's eyes -- someone must have reapplied the kohl after getting off the plane. But it's all good because she got a date card. All is right with the world.
After the quick commercial break (which included a lovely Emma Stone for Revlon spot), Rachel heads out for her date with Ben. Normally this is the woman's chance to shine wardrobe-wise, but there must have been some fine print on Rachel's date card encouraging her to wear the most casual, unremarkable clothes ever: jeans, a white ribbed tank, black boots and a thin black and gray cardigan. From the waist up, it looked like she was wearing her pajamas.
For the evening portion of the date, Rachel got a little more dressed up... but only a little. Like the lackluster dinner conversation, the blonde New Yorker was underwhelming in a light brown top and a loopy silver necklace. It wasn't overly showy but it wasn't the slightest bit enticing either. Like the date, the whole effect was totally "blah."
The group date was much more exciting in every sense. Nicki looked like the perfect Western gal in plaid and Lindzi (and her slightly over-bronzed skin) was glowing against her blue button-down, which struck that sexy "I just rolled out of bed and threw my boyfriend's shirt on" note.
Courtney looked adorable in her mustard-colored knit hat and I even approved of Blakeley's vest (mark it, people: first time I have liked something Blakeley's worn).
Another "first:" I wasn't a fan of Kacie B.'s outfit. A graphic tee with writing on it? Not a very mature, date-like look.
Of course, then they all donned those super-unflattering rubber pants and wellies. Super stylish.
Once the evening portion of the date arrived, all pretenses of maturity flew out the window. Courtney was a conniving sneak (in a very sexy bikini) and Blakeley looked like she was about 16 years old and in a '90s girl group in that hat. Casey was boasting blue lacquered nails, Samantha was pushy and petulant with layers of makeup on her face, as usual, and Lindzi wore an off-the-shoulder peasant top that had a few too many ruffles.
The most mature one there was Nicki. She looked lovely and sophisticated in head-to-toe black, including a trim blazer. She was sincere with Ben and he took her seriously -- a win for their relationship and her sartorial track record.
Another fashion fave of mine got the next one-on-one date: Jennifer. The "Little Mermaid" doppleganger is usually bold with her outfit choices, taking risks with color and cut against her deep red hair.
Unfortunately, this was not one of those times. When she and Ben embarked on their death-defying date, Jennifer was wearing a similar outfit to the one Rachel wore on her date: a light brown shirt, jeans and an unremarkable silver necklace. One redeeming factor: her cute white Converse sneakers.
Later that night she threw on a green army jacket, a style I'm quite partial to. Other than that, Jennifer didn't impress me much. This wasn't her standout week, fashion-wise (although she certainly won with Ben).
Before we get to the cocktail ceremony, there is one more amazing beauty moment, one I've never seen before on "The Bachelor." The girls are seen back at the house, hanging out in the bathroom with cocktails... and dyeing Emily's roots.
This. Is. Awesome. It's nice to get a dose of reality, a reminder that these are regular girls with regular needs living out of suitcases, for weeks on end, in a house together. I wonder why we don't see more moments like this (what with all the spray-tanning, waxing and hair-curling that must go on). I admire the women's DIY spirit.
After Emily's roots have been touched up and the facade is restored, the girls head to the cocktail party. While the emotions ran high, the clothes were pretty "meh." Lindzi, Nicki and Rachel all sort of blended together in their little dresses and Kacie B. practically disappeared into the background in a long-sleeve black frock. (Note: props to Nicki for what looks like glow-in-the-dark nail polish. So fun.)
Emily stood out for all the wrong reasons in her silver dress, which had a sort of figure skater feel. Jamie was also super sparkly in a slinky aqua dress. After last week's overly-fancy red gown, this is two cocktail party strikes, Jamie.
Fresh off her one-on-one, Jennifer looked lovely in an black, white and tan ikat print. Blakeley was too sexy, as usual, with way too much decolletage in a vampy red dress with long black earrings; while Monica didn't turn the heat up enough -- were those black flats I spied? Oy.
But no one was as frumpy as Courtney. The Evil Genius usually strikes the perfect balance between sweet and sexy, but this week she wore a shapeless, cap-sleeve dress that looked too casual, plain and -- let's be honest -- kind of dumpy for the occasion.
But it didn't matter. Courtney fooled Ben once and from the looks of it, she'll keep fooling him time and time again. Monica and her overly glossed lips said good-bye to the group and Blakeley's chest, Jamie's sparkles, Lindzi's bronzer and Rachel's cute bangs are all sticking around another week.
Check out some photos from below and sound off: who had the best fashion this week... and who had the worst?
Follow Ellie Krupnick on Twitter: www.twitter.com/elliekrupnick