01/17/2012 08:41 am ET Updated Mar 17, 2012

'The Bachelor' Season 16, Ep. 3 Style Recap: Bikini Skiing! (PHOTOS)

Wowee this was a drama-filled week! Between nearly-naked skiing, near-fainting at the Rose Ceremony and the return of "what's-her-butt" a.k.a. Shawntel Newton, the girls of "The Bachelor" had me glued to the screen in horror for the full two hours.

Luckily the fashion wasn't as bad as the drama. While there were some exceptionally bad moments, my best-dressed gals continued to impress and a few new contestants came out of the sartorial woodwork and caught my eye.

First off, Bachelor Ben and his sister, Julia, look EXACTLY alike. Like, identical save for a few extra inches of hair (and only a few). What is quite different is their styles: while Ben rocks his offbeat, California-cool look, Julia was sporting a white button-down layered with a gray blazer with a nice, strong lip. Classier and preppier -- I like it.

Flash to the ladies, casual in their traveling clothes. Nicki's cute in purple plaid and Courtney, as always, stands out by blending in in a loose white tee and cutoffs. Unfortunately Emily stood out for her too-cutesy graphic tee with a big pink heart. Honey, that tee does not say "PhD student!" to me.

But she gets the first date card and cleans up her act. On her one-on-one, Emily and Ben matched in gray tops and jeans (and had coordinating wrist parties going on). They are also sporting adorable pink and blue climbing helmets -- too cute.

After facing the fears and challenges of a giant bridge together (just like in a relationship!), Emily and Ben get dressed up for their dinner date. Further solidifying her status as one of the best-dressed of the season, Emily wears a supremely flattering jersey dress in a deep purple. Sexy without a plunging neckline, short without being "mini," the dress was a perfect first date outfit. Clearly Ben agreed, gifting her a rose.

Then it's group date time! Almost all the girls wore cute day dresses -- Kacie B. stands out in a one-shoulder, green print dress and Samantha glows in white. Monica grabbed my attention, unfortunately, for her bad red lace and floral get-up.

But as soon as I got a good look at the sundresses, off they went! The bikinis were flying by on the makeshift San Francisco slalom and none were special enough to warrant comment. But you have to respect the "Bachelor" wardrobe department for providing the blatantly sexy schoolgirl knee-high athletic socks. Well done.

After falling on their (nearly) bare bums, the ladies put their clothes on for the cocktail portion of the group date. Rachel made it clear she intended to steal Ben's attention, wearing a vivid cobalt cowl neck top. The excessively drapey look wasn't as sexy as she might have hoped, but her blonde hair looked gorgeous as always. It also covered her massive black hoop earrings, which were better hidden away.

Other misguided efforts: Jamie was wearing way too much makeup yet again, as was Blakeley. The latter's is so consistently egregious I might stop mentioning it entirely going forward. From here on out, assume Blakeley's face is coated with bronzer, lipliner and eye makeup at all times.

Another fair assumption: that Kacie B.'s outfit choices are always right on the money. She looked fab in a navy racerback dress covered in sequins and had her hair in a deep side part and ponytail. Understated, sexy and highlights her body in all the right places.

My love for Kacie B. is nothing new, but Samantha was a new style star on my radar. For the group date, she wore pale pink which flattered her tan skin and blonde hair. I've got my eye on her.

Next up: one-on-one. After Brittney passed up the chance to go bungee-jumping/rappelling/shark-diving (fill in crazy "Bachelor" date here), my girl Lindzi snagged the runner's up position and went on the second date of the episode. Lindzi, as previously discussed, has great style and bad beauty sense, pairing adorable dresses with excessive layers of bronzer and foundation.

This week was no different. For her night on the town with Ben, she carefully selected a versatile outfit: flouncy LBD, casual black blazer, double-wrapped strand of pearls and nude patent leather pumps. Although she seems to be having issues walking in the heels at first, the outfit was the perfect pick for an activity-filled night. Now if only we could get her to lay off the maquillage...

Cocktail party time! Some predictable successes: Kacie B. looked fab in a blue two-toned bandage dress, Courtney eschewed sex appeal in a high-necked gray shift dress with black sequins (and looked more fabulous than everyone else, of course), Lindzi looked lovely with her hair pulled back in a complicated updo and Jennifer killed it in an audacious magenta-and-red combo.

Less predictable but equally successful: Casey S. in her bright pink, short sleeve frock. The playful party dress was accented with an artfully messy ponytail for a youthful, sexy effect.

Several girls blended together in black dresses with varying levels of success. Monica continued to prove her style weaknesses with a pair of distracting large and dated gold earrings and a LBD with extra material hanging from one sleeve; Nicki looked cute but not quite fashionable in a one-strap LBD with ruffle around the top; and Jaclyn again chose sequins to cover her LBD. Overall, the black frocks fell short.

None, however, were as misguided as Erika and Jamie. The former, who typically blends into the crowd, wore a flashy aqua dress trimmed in giant gold chains that snaked around the bodice. Bad idea.

Jamie, who sometimes blends into the background, must've decided it was her chance to shine. She wore a full-on evening gown, complete with a bustle. In bright red. It was too dressy and felt entirely out of place in the small hotel suite.

Alas, all the misguided fashion choices could not match Shawntel Newton's misguided decision to crash Season 16 of "The Bachelor." The claws came out fully sharpened and Shawntel's cheery pink dress couldn't match the dark mood that descended over the group.

Ultimately both Shawntel and Erika as well as Jaclyn went home with plenty of tears and a near medical emergency. We wish Erika and Shawntel had been wearing better outfits for their swan songs, but at the end of the day, we're just super excited that our favorites -- Lindzi, Kacie B., Samantha, Jennifer and Courtney -- are sticking around to flirt/kiss/cry another day.

Who were your fashion standouts? Refresh your memory with the pics below and let us know in the comments!


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