Episode 8 of "The Bachelor" brought the infamous Hometowns, when the Bachelor gets to journey to the remaining contestants' homes and see them in their element -- for better or for worse.
In terms of relationships, things were generally pretty successful. Bachelor Ben Flajnik drew closer to both Nicki and Lindzi and even walked down the aisle with Courtney in a creepy mock wedding (we know -- so weird).
In the fashion department, things were slightly less successful. First of all, there is an abundance of boots, some good and some bad.
When Lindzi brought Ben back to her hometown of Ocala, Florida, at her family's horse farm. The first thing we glimpse are her boots, brown leather things with traditional gold spurs. I approve of the cowboy-esque gear here, mainly because it's authentic: Lindzi actually rides horses, as everyone will recall from her famous first entrance, and greets Ben atop one once again in Episode 8.
Also greeting Ben: Lindzi's fit bod. She's got a white cami on under a flattering, sheer print blouse, the hem of which hits just at her waist. Belting her slim-cut, boot leg jeans is a wide brown leather belt, accenting her small waist and a taut bottom that the camera lingers on for quite a while. Between her pants and all the horse maneuvering she's doing, we spend a fair amount of the opening minutes checking out Lindzi's backside. But hey, it looks good. I'm sure there was no complaining from viewers. (Scroll down to see this and the rest of the outfits in the photos below.)
From Lindzi to Kacie, we transition from good boots to only-OK boots. Kacie greets Ben on the football field in her Tennessee town, showcasing her baton twirling on the damp grass with a full-on marching band. Luckily she's not in uniform, opting instead for black pants, a very loose red blouse and knee-high brown leather boots.
The boots as well as the blouse are just fine -- no big fashion statements and certainly no major sex appeal. But this is the hometown date and, as we all soon learn, Kacie's family is very traditional. So no low-cut tops here. All in all, she looks cute, but not like the grown-up woman Ben's looking for, as becomes clear at the Rose Ceremony later (sniff, sniff).
Then we head to west to Nicki where we get a strong dose of Texas and even more boots: shots of Texas Longhorn cattle, guys in cowboy hats, the whole nine yards. Since it worked so well on their one-on-one in Puerto Rico, the pair played dress up again: cowboy boots, ten-gallon hats and even a super flashy top for Nicki. It was cute, if not that romantic. I'm still not seeing enough sparks between these two, but at least Ben looked better in the Western get-up than he did in the all-white San Juan ensemble.
For dinner Nicki gets back into her regular clothes, which consists of skinny dark pants, black heels and an off-the-shoulder gray striped top. Simple, but the proportions (loose and sexy on the top, slim-cut on the bottom) are perfection and flatter her curves just right.
Last but not least is Courtney, who was clearly planning on a wedding theme for her hometown date and wore a white dress for the occasion. But she strayed from the dress silhouette that'd been working so well for her lately -- the low-cut, strappy maxi dress -- and chose a highly unflattering tiered look. Both the bodice and the skirt flounced away from the body, shrouding Courtney's toned bod and cutting her in all the wrong places.
She might have saved it by wearing delicate flats or flip-flops. But instead, Courtney chose clunky, knee-high leather boots with wide-cut calves. It made her legs look stocky and shrunk her typically long, lean figure.
But no matter. Out of all the boots (and the ladies wearing them), Ben meets the ladies once again at the Rose Ceremony. But before they all say good-bye, we get a chance to see the girls out of their boots and in their cocktail dresses. The result? I can't say I was pleased. Courtney's whole ensemble was head-to-toe disappointing, with an overly sparkly dress in a weird camel-color that washed her out; and she again opted for chunky sandals that cut off her long, lean legs. Lindzi also made a poor shoe choice, wearing excessively glitzy sandals that contrasting oddly with her understated, moss green frock. And Nicki wore a strapless (her fave) LBD that was just a bit too long, hitting her legs at the wrong place and making her look stockier than she really is.
Kacie, unsurprisingly, did the best in a black and white ombre dress with vertical pleats and a bubble hem. She wore her hair in her typical Rose Ceremony style -- deep side-part with a low bun -- as well as her traditional shiny pink lipstick.
Unfortunately, it was the last time we'll see Kacie and her great fashion choices. Ben sent the unsuspecting sweetheart packing, leading to plenty of tears in the back of the limo.
Next week? Expect more boots and some parkas as the last three Mrs. Flajnik hopefuls head to Switzerland. To sate your "Bachelor" thirst in the meantime, scroll through the pics below. Who had the best look of the episode?