Once in a while I find myself in need of a fancy dress for a night on the town. Usually it's related to something for G's work--a black-tie charity thing or the holiday party, basically Mom prom--and I greet it with mixed feelings. On one hand, it means a great night ahead with G (who will be consistently and easily handsome in a tux). On the other hand, it means some anxious wardrobe quandaries in the meantime. (Shh, I know. Talk about first-world problems.)
Here's the deal: I'm in my early(ish) forties. I'm no young ingenue or prom girl and, for me, covered shoulders and some length (at about the knee or longer) are non-negotiable. But here's the other thing: I'm not a (grand)mother-of-the-bride or the aging Dowager Countess/grand dame either. And, sadly, those seem to be the two main categories in the world of formal dress shopping.
Maybe you're in the same boat now and then? Let's crowdsource this, ladies! I'll show you mine if you show me yours. These first two are dresses I've worn in the last couple of years:
Both were from Nordstrom (which ships quickly to Australia, by the way) and I was happy with both dresses--the one on the left was a bit more flattering and the other one was more comfortable.
These next dresses are currently in stock at Nordstrom. Apparently I like dark dresses:
I also really like the idea of separates, like a ball gown skirt paired with something dressy or modern on top, like these:
In my dreams, I wear something vivid or flamboyant or a bit over-the-top. Maybe I'll work up the courage for something like these someday (Lauren did bring me home a formal sari from India, after all):
I'd always rather be just a bit underdressed than overdressed. These little black dresses have the advantage of being classy and versatile (and generally cheaper) and could be dressed way up or way down, depending on the occasion:
Okay, admittedly not every invitation requires a new dress. I'm a big fan of rewearing a black dress or great long skirt over and over again by using different accessories and looks. I'd be thrilled with any of these:
Finally, if you have more time, these are some great options for ordering something special:
- Eshakti allows you to customize a dress: length, neckline, color, sleeves--everything.
- Rent the Runway allows you to rent high-end designer dresses at a fraction of their price. There are some really great dresses there and I like that they have photos of real people wearing their dresses to real events.
- Sarah's post on ordering customized prom dresses from an overseas company may help with ordering formal wear, too, for those of us who are at the post-prom stage of our lives.
Okay, friends. Now it's your turn. If you find a dress or trend you like or have any ideas or resources, will you put a link in the comments?