Sunday, February 27, 2011

Formal Dresses

I have been receiving some about where to purchase formal dresses... I, myself, have amassed quite the collection over the years.

I love dresses.

Where are the best places to get formal dresses?  It really depends on your price range.  I will include some ideas and suggestions for different prices.

Nordstrom 
BP always has some cute options for lower prices.
Notes: Avoid "satin" like material... it looks cheap.  Also avoid weird ruffling and Jessica McClintock inspired dresses..... yea. No.  (For instance, don't buy this dress.)

While in Nordstrom (or on Nordstrom.com), be sure to check out Taylor Dresses as well.  The dresses range from casual to more fancy.
Note: They start at size 2, so if you're little, be aware that you might have to get alterations.





Lilly Pulitzer
Known to not shy away from color and prints, Lilly has recently begun adding dresses appropriate for evenings.
Notes: The length of the dress must be taken into account.  Too short and you will look out inappropriate.  Also, consider the venue.  A Lilly may be too much for some more subdued events.  Not to be forgotten is the material... some cotton dresses just won't make the cut.  (As for shoes, you are better off going with some sort of heel or wedge.  Flats + Lilly look too casual)

[Side note: The dresses are a bit pricey, but Lilly ALWAYS marks down dresses... Always.  You can pretty much guarantee never paying full price.]






Saemus Dress - $398

Neiman Marcus
Hands down my favorite place to dress shop.  The best brands are always in stock.
Note:  Be prepared to spend a little bit more money, but always walking out with a FABULOUS dress.  My sister and I both bought our senior prom dresses from Neimans.





Kate Spade
Loving the LBD silhouettes.
Note: Normally, I would say to go nice and light on jewelry for evening wear, but I think Kate Spade dresses are designed specifically to have fun with accessories!





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On a budget?  Take note of some of the styles that I've posted.  Or, go through websites of your favorite designers and pick a look you like.  Print it out or take a mental note and look for similar dresses from other stores, where the price tag is much easier on the wallet.

Some places I suggest searching:
Nordstrom BP
(refer back to my notes on how to avoid cheap-looking dresses)

{click the links for my favorite dresses}

****
xoxo

18 comments :

  1. gorgeous dresses! i especially love the last four :)

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  2. Lilly has been making some dresses lately that are not at "lilly like" if that makes sense. Check out the Kiki Dress; it's classic and fits beautifully!

    Christina
    summer-year-round.blogspot.com
    (check out my giveaway!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Carly! Love this!! I asked you on tumblr a few weeks ago about prom dresses and you are seriously a lifesaver! I went to Neiman Marcus's website and looked in their sale rack. And there was a beautiful, preppy navy chiffon dress! It was $150 but it was $500! I was going to email to thank you. There was one left and it was such a small size that we didn't think it would fit me but we ordered it anyway. And it fit! It was the exact dress one of my friend's sisters wore last year to her prom and she's like my preppy inspiration so that made it even better! Thank you so much Carly. That dress made my prom that much more perfect. I really really appreciate your preppy words of wisdom!

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  4. i love nordstroms, they always have the best stuff. ann taylor loft is hit or miss, but i've bought a gorg black dress on sale there for $20 that ive worn a few times. xoxo jcd :: cornflake dreams

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  5. Another good place is a BCBG outlet! I have found some very cute LBDs for around $39 dollars!!! And, I always feel like the dresses that end up in their outlets are the more "conservative" ones... which is always what I am looking for!

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  6. Loehmanns always seems to have some

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  7. Can't forget J.Crew! I can always find timeless little black dresses there :)

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  8. Great pics. My favorite is the yellow one.

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  9. Love this post! I always try to look on sale for dresses, or sometimes even borrow a friends.I recently purchased this dress http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/dresses/weddingsparties/PRDOVR~19961/19961.jsp from J.Crew for 85$ which I thought was a great deal! I'm wearing it for a formal in March. J.crew always has good dresses on sale and sometimes has sales on their sales!

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  10. how does a college student afford the stuff you feature on your blog? guess i just live in a totally different world.

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  11. So with you about avoiding Jessica McClintock styled dresses! I also despise "bling". Loving the Lilly Eryn dress--so pretty! I've actually had some luck getting BCBG dresses for cheap on the Dillard's sale rack, and I've even found some cute dresses at H&M!

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  12. I have to comment on the "satin looking cheap" statement. I think it completely depends on the dress, and the figure of the person wearing it.

    I bought this dress from Nordies: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/calvin-klein-stretch-satin-sheath-dress/3083479

    And it is definitely not trashy. Though I'm sure I could bleach out my hair and get fake nails. Ha.

    Cheers,
    Dom

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  13. Love all these dresses! You've got amazing taste, and may I say I'm in LOVE with your blog. You actually inspired me to start one of my own - and thats a feat because I don't usually take much more on than I can, but I think this is going to be a lot of fun!

    Thanks for your inspiration and I LOVE your blog ha ha

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  14. While these are all lovely dresses, I personally feel that they are not appropriate for a formal event. When I think "formal" I think evening gowns and floor length dresses. Every sorority/fraternity formal, charity gala, or any other formal event that I have attended, every lady (including myself) has been in floor length dresses. A gown just adds to the whole concept of it.

    The dresses you've shown would be more appropriate for a semi-formal event, wedding, or cocktail party but not a formal event.

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  15. I'd also recommend checking out Rent the Runway if you just need a nice dress for one night. Designer dresses start around $50, and you get them for about 4 days. They also do accessories. All the dresses are in great condition and dry cleaned between rentals. They even send you 2 sizes so you can be sure it will fit. I've got a closet full of formal & semiformal dresses that I've only worn once, and would love to have had this option to save some money for all those events. I recently used them for a black tie charity event and I've been recommending it ever since.

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  16. I always have the hardest time finding a formal dress I like.. haha & this year I'm wanting a short dress for formal because it's more functional and easier to move in!

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  17. Hi, My name is Claudine and I represent P&G brand Always as well as other products from the P&G family. We'd like to get your permission to include you in our list for outreach around Always as well as other P&G brands. Please reach out to me at claudine.case@mslgroup.com for additional information.

    ReplyDelete

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