Where Do You Shop For Black-Tie Appropriate Dresses?

With the arrival of spring comes the start of wedding season. For me, this has meant lots of frantic dress shopping because I have several nuptials to attend, and, unfortunately, two of them require black-tie attire.

I thought that, as a society, we were getting more casual when it comes to clothes. We don’t dress up when we ride airplanes. Not everyone puts on their “Sunday best” to attend church services. And we can wear jeans to see shows on Broadway. So, what’s with all the fancy weddings? I can’t figure it out — and I really don’t know what to wear. When I think of black-tie events, I think of men in tuxedos and women in gowns. I know this isn’t the case anymore — suits are allowed and dresses don’t have to be floor-length — but how does this differ from just getting dressed up?

Figuring out what’s appropriate hasn’t even been the hardest part — actually finding a dress has been the biggest issue. My choice seems to be between conservative J.Crew styles or short, slutty numbers. What’s a girl who doesn’t want to spend a ton of money to do? In the comments, share your secrets for where to find a black-tie appropriate dress that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Thanks for your help!