Monday, August 13, 2007

Occasion Shopping

I've been on a very specific mission to find two dresses for two very specific types of occasions. Typically, whenever I'm "occasion" shopping, I like to make sure that whatever I choose can be worn later on down the road. I hate to see a beautiful dress languish in my closet, trapped within the protective confines of a garment bag, never to see the light of day again. I'm a firm believer that when it comes to clothes, it's all about cost per wear. That stunning dress is just wasted money if it's not being taken out for a spin. Like every rule, one can always make an exception here and there (I sincerely hope you're not recycling your wedding dress over and over again), but for the most part, cost per wear is a good guiding principle. I've decided to use my recent fashion quandary to illustrate how to get more bang for your buck when shopping for those occasional outfits. The scenario:

The first outfit is for an evening out with my friend and his older co-workers. We're going to a fancy dinner and seeing La Boheme, which I'm so excited about. Unsatisfied with the options in my closet, I decided it was about time to get a new dress anyway. Even though the event isn't for another month, I happened across the perfect choice and decided to scoop it up immediately, lest it be gone later when I embark on an 11th-hour search and I'm forced to settle for something I don't really like. This Nicole Miller dress fits like a glove and features an elegant, flattering neckline that's not too low for the company I'll be keeping. It's also a classic look that won't go out of style and should last me for all manner of special event for years to come. Plus, it makes me feel fancy, and for me, much of the fun of getting dressed lies in how the clothing makes me feel, how it affects my mood, and where it takes my imagination. Available at Saks, $220.

The second is a bit trickier. It's for a rooftop party. Normally, this conjures up images of flip flops and casual halter tops, but the host has emphasized that it's supposed to be a swanky, moonlit affair involving dancing and drinking under the stars (stars in Manhattan? More like urban-glo, but oh well -- at least we'll have a killer view). Unsure of what kind of attire this called for, I decided on this Tbags dress. Made of comfy stretch cotton, it bridges the gap between casual and dressed up. Looks like I may have gotten the last one from Shopbop -- as of this post, it's no longer available there -- but not to worry. Active Endeavors has it for $211.

Photo credit: 1 - 2, 3 -

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