Black Tie Optional

Posted November 14, 2011 by Marcy Twete in Building Your Brand
Having worked in events for as many years as I did, my closet is full of “the little black dress.” I have wrap dresses, sheaths, sleeveless, long sleeve, 3/4 length sleeve, and more. But somehow, none of them can stretch beyond cocktail to “black tie.” So imagine my surprise when I have to attend a black tie event and have….nothing to wear. I’ve always been able to skate by on cocktail.

So one Saturday afternoon, I dragged my husband to Nordstrom to find a “gown” or “black tie appropriate” dress. I went in search, first, of the Sosie by BCBG dress pictured below. I’d tried this dress on a few weeks ago, and just felt it was too dressy for the workplace. But unfortunately, trying it on again, it still wasn’t “black tie worthy.”

Sosie by BCBG – $178 at
So I moved on to a beautiful grey Calvin Klein gown. I tried this on in grey, and another dress in red that was similar, and neither of them felt like “me” – No one would accuse me of being frugal, but I absolutely hate having to buy something for a single purpose that I don’t feel like I’ll wear again (I could write a whole separate piece about how much I want to figure out how to repurpose my wedding dress)! So I just didn’t love this one.
Then, I picked up a dress I’d seen online in some form for years – and finally decided to give it a shot. My husband said, “Yes!” when I put it on, so I knew it was something special. This dress made me feel great! It’s a little conservative for my taste, but not a long gown, so I’ll probably be able to wear it more frequently in the future. And though it’s listed below on for $158, I got it at their half-yearly sale for $78!
I think it’s the perfect “black tie appropriate” but still “me” dress. Crossing that off the list takes some stress off the table!
Adrianna Papell at for $158

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."