For once in my life, I do not want to go shopping.

I have just been informed that I need to acquire a floor-length formal gown appropriate for a black-tie affair. Oh, and I have to get it within the next two weeks. (It's a work-related boring story, but the takeaway is that I'll be at a black-tie gala with a bunch of federal judges and other assorted Very Very Important People With Corresponding Expectations for Decorum and Formal Dress. Oh, and it's in the South, which adds another layer of formality. Gah.)

Everything I've read indicates that for a black-tie event, women may wear knee-length dresses and be fully appropriate, so that was fully my plan. However, I mentioned this plan to my boss, who looked utterly horrified, and who told me very clearly that if I wore anything other than a floor-length gown, I would be judged very harshly. As a big part of my job is Making Friends, I want to mitigate the things that people are going to dislike me for. Thus: the search for a formal gown.


1) these things are ridiculously expensive.
2) most of them are strapless, which I have a feeling will be judged, in a professional setting, as harshly as if I showed up wearing a minidress.
3) this is clearly the kind of dress you only wear once.

This is, for the record, the first time in my life that I am truly worried about being underdressed for an occasion. Overdressing is what I do. But this web of "must be black-tie formal/ must be Professionally Appropriate/ must involves straps or sleeves/ must be floor-length/ AND OH YEAH I REALLY DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO BUY SOMETHING LIKE THIS*" is freaking me out. Sigh.
*(The dress-rental boutiques, I briefly thought, would be my salvation. Until I saw that there's a waiting list much longer than two weeks for anything in my size.)

Contenders, which we'll pretend do not come with a price tag:

Sigh. On to scour vintage stores this afternoon in the hopes that I'll run across a gorgeous-but-not-too-"interesting" dress that fits like a glove, requires no repair, and will raise no "goodness, that's inappropriate" eyebrows.

I don't wanna go shopping.


Ruth said...

i love the grey one shoulder one! and don't worry---you'll now have this dress for the next five formal occasions you have to go to...opera...this event for the next three years...steppenwolf red and white ball?

Anonymous said...

Well, lordy, those are some pretty choices. I love the grey one. It seems like it would work for the event, but isn't so Southern-belle-at-the-ball that you might actually be able to wear it again (famous last words) (not, of course, that any of the other choices are too belle-ish). I've totally been in your shoes and even with the luxury of more lead time, I still didn't wanna go shopping -- or be at the event for that matter.

Eve said...

The first two are my fav.

mrs.j said...

i love the one shoulder black one, both bc it is versatile, could be worn to mulitple events, AND you could probably just add some sort of pinned-on peacock feather back piece for your super glam halloween costume.