A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

They Say It's My Birthday; or, Sparkle Dresses!

My birthday is Sunday, but my birthday party isn't for several more weeks. Lawyer Guy is throwing my a cocktail party at a restaurant downtown, and I wanted to wait to have it until the semester was over and I could actually relax and enjoy being with my family and friends without stressing about papers to grade and/or write.

So I haven't actually bought a dress yet or done any intensive shopping. I've got a few criteria in mind, though. The lucky chosen dress must be: cocktail length; sparkly (either sequined or beaded); a color other than black (nearly every cocktail dress I own is black and I want to branch out already!); and ideally a little bit sexy. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are a few likely prospects:

Prospect #1: Antik Batik Jessica dress:

This dress is gorgeous. I stumbled upon it when I stopped into a shop on the Upper East Side before my thyroid-checking appointment with my doctor a few weeks ago. It fits perfectly, is sparkly and fancy but lady-like at the same time, and I love it.

There are significant drawbacks, however. For starters, the dress is about $200 more than what I had anticipated spending. LG would NOT be pleased to see that credit card bill. But I could get past this if not for the second drawback: the color. It's an off-white/ivory shade, which is beautiful and looks great on me, but is severely limiting in terms of the kinds of events I could wear the dress to. As in, the wedding I have to attend in Florida in late June. If I'm going to spend this much money on a dress, I want to get a lot of use out of it. And an off-white dress--even a short, obviously non-wedding off-white dress--just isn't going to allow for that.

Prospect #2: Alice + Olivia Maggie Dress

This dress is super cute and a much better price. But I haven't tried it on yet, and it appears to be sold out on the Alice + Olivia website and at Bloomingdale's. I'm not sure how I'd get it if I chose it.

Prospect #3: Alice + Olivia Beaded Tank

Another cute, sparkly dress from Alice + Olivia in my price range, but this one is still available (so I could presumably try it on). Again, though, there's a problem with the off-white color. I'll have to see it in the flesh (the cloth?) to decide if it looks more sparkly-silver or more creamy-white.

Prospect #4: Tory Burch Rannon Dress

I must confess, I'm a huge Tory Burch junkie (and Lilly Pulitzer and J. Crew-- I'm basically your walking nightmare of a stereotypical Junior Leaguer). I already have this year's summer T Burch sample sale marked in my date book (June 22nd!), and I never come away with less than six things. I own three of her dresses already, although they're all tailored linen shifts rather than sparkly plunging-v cocktail dresses. But they fit me like a dream-- I think the form they use to fit my size must be to my exact measurements or something. So this dress is totally appealing. And it's not off-white!

Prospect #5 (and beyond): Rent the Runway

I don't have pictures for my final options because I'm considering a rather unorthodox approach. I joined Rent the Runway a few weeks ago. It's a new site that allows members (membership is free) to rent designer dresses for a few days, rather than purchasing them. If I did this, I could wear a much pricier dress than I feel comfortable buying (and a cursory search showed some very pretty ones). But the rental fee is around $100 or $200, which seems like an awful lot to spend for a dress you wear once and don't get to keep. Like I said before, I'm all about buying semi-expensive clothes and then wearing them into the ground. So I probably won't choose this option, but felt it was worth mentioning just in case.

Let me know what you think about my prospects! I may end up buying none of these dresses after shopping and trying them on, but whatever I get will be along these lines.


  1. The Tory Burch would be way too racy for this girl, but the print/color is great.

    I'm partial to that third dress. I think it's adorable, but still sexy.

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  3. My vote is for prospect 4. I think 1 is a touch matronly, and 3 is overly retro /costumey. That said, my fashion sense is crap. And I'm just bitter 'cause I'd look awful in all of them!

  4. #3 for the same reason as Kelly. It's cute, but still sexy. Let us know what you decide!

  5. i like all of them, but 2 and 3 are my fav's! love that they're all short and sexy :o)

  6. I vote for #2 and #4!!! Totally and completely looooooove them! You're going to look awesome. So fun!

  7. I love them all but my favorite is #3!

  8. Okay, here's my opinion.
    My fave is #1: Antik Batik Jessica dress. It is so, so elegant, but the sparkle adds and edge. I get what you're saying about the colour... but from the picture the sequins effectively add a darker shade (because of the lowlights/shadows) and you could probably get away with it at a wedding.
    My other choice would be #4: Tory Burch Rannon Dress. It's less elegant but sexier than #1. Oh. So. Sexy. Is it black under the gold, and if so is it different enough to your other dresses that you wouldn't feel like you'd ended up with another LBD?
    Numbers 2 and 3 are sweet, but for me they just don't cut it for YOUR THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY PARTY.
    I'm sure you'll look great in whatever you choose.

  9. Of these #4 is my favorite!

  10. I agree with Bunny that #1 isn't sexy enough. Hold off on that one for your 50th... although I am sure it would be lovely for a more conservative event, such as a charity event featuring mainly older people or something.

    I am also jealous that you can wear short dresses without stressing about knee chub! Maybe I should just do some squats or something, but longer hemlines seem so much more convenient... :)

    I personally like the rental idea, because I think your issues is that you DO fundamentally need a one-use dress for this occasion. You don't want to go to your own 30th b-day looking like a wedding guest!!!

    Thanks for sharing-- thinking about dresses is awfully fun!!!

  11. Can I just be able to wear one of those dresses for one day? Wow. I like all of them but I really like #3!

  12. Oooo- fun dresses!

    I agree with bunny that #1 is a little too matronly and you're right that you wouldn't get to wear it to weddings, etc. I like #3 or #4, I think, though I couldn't pull off either one!

    Let us know which one you decide.

  13. Whoa...ladies here are all across the board. Definitely do 4. Why? Because I would be saying at that party that you were the smokin'est hottest glamorous hotty without looking like you are headed to a nightclub. I lean more toward retro myself, but if these rock on you, there's not a bad one in the bunch.

  14. I can't decide - they are all gorgeous! I haven't worn a pretty dress in years so I am very jealous.

    Have a great birthday!!

  15. Love them all, but #4 is my fave. I really like #2 and #3 as well...#2 looks super short, but you never know until you try it on.
    Your b-day celebration sounds great. It's always fun to have an occasion to shop for!

  16. They're all pretty - I really like 4. It's dramatic without being too much:) Happy (early) birthday - any of the above would be great for a swank cocktail do!

  17. Love #3 and #4, but these are all great options!!! Sounds like your bday bash is going to be so fun, and you're obviously going to look amazing in whichever dress you decide!!!