Internet friend Allison writes:
I’m invited to a black tie wedding in New York in mid-November. Is there a dress you can recommend that comes in a 24, has a sleeve of some kind (I really hate dealing with shrugs and/or wraps if I’m dancing) and is still formal enough for black tie? Also, I’d love if it didn’t cost more than $250. Thank you in advance for any help!
Ah the formal wedding. Those magical evenings when you get to trade your personal sanity, comfort and an expensive share in a 6 quart Kitchenaid Artisan Pro mixer for four hours of clumsy small talk, a feeble breast grope by an inappropriate member of the groom’s family (bonus points if he was born before the New Deal or has to carry an oxygen tank) and all the hangover-inducing champagne you can drink.
Still, there is something appealing about the idea of getting all dandied up for a fancy event and the good news is, now that black is completely acceptable for fall and evening weddings, your outfit doesn’t have to cost as much as that damn mixer.
Case in point, this simple black velvet dress from Macy’s for $109.
It looks semi-casual here but it’s all about the accessories. Trade the hobo bag for a small clutch and accessorize with your very best jewelry and most intimidating heels. Do you have a fur wrap? Now’s the time to wear it. Make the maquillage a bit more dramatic and sophisticated –although I’d shy away from a true red lip unless you’re positive you won’t look like a vamp– wear your hair in the most chic way you know how and at least try to limit yourself to one groomsman.
What to do with the extra money? Well, obviously there’s the Divorce Pool, but if you don’t have a fur stole, why not hit eBay and pick up a vintage one? They can come in handy…just ask Joan Collins.