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.”
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 Nordstrom.com 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!
Marcy Twete is the Founder and CEO of Career Girl Network and the author of the book “You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works.” At Career Girl Network, Marcy provides women with information, resources, and networking to empower them in their careers and to advance the work of women in business as a whole. Prior to launching Career Girl Network, Marcy worked in numerous nonprofit organizations and as a consultant in the field of nonprofit fundraising, marketing, and community relations. Marcy is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and a native of rural North Dakota. She is the Vice Chair of the Chicago Board of Directors for Step Up Women’s Network in Chicago and a member of the Advisory Board for Girls on the Run Twin Cities, and is dedicated to advancing the work of organizations that move the needle for women and girls worldwide.