Sunday, August 17, 2008

Search for the LBD

So, my husband got this new job.

It's a good job. The pay is really nice.

Now I'm one of those wives. You know. The social networking, giant diamond, quad-shot drinking, Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses-wearin' wives*. Except that I'm not that wife.

But as a wife of that guy I have what are called "mandatory events" that I must attend. So, I am in need of a little black dress that will work for cocktail hour. What do you guys think? I have a few requirements but can you guys think of any others?
  • It must have sleeves. I have toned arms but it is chilly here in Alaska and even a summer day can be brisk. I'm thinking short sleeves so it will work for the summer.
  • I want to be able to dress it up or down.
  • I am thinking knit but I know this isn't as sophisticated as a woven. Or is it?
  • I want something knee-ish length.
  • I want something that is more classic versus trendy.
  • I like wrap dresses. They are pretty neutral right?

Here are some options. Do you guys think they would be okay? I tend to err on the side of too casual rather than too dressy. You don't want to be more dressed than the bosses wife.

Here is the really cute jumper from the 09/2008 BWOF. Cute but no sleeves. I will make this but maybe I could make this in a black wool crepe and wear a cute top under it.



I would shorten this to knee length. I like the bust gathering and the stomach runching.



Cute but too froo-froo?


I like this for the unique shape of the sleeves. Would it be dressy if I did it in a black? The pattern is for a woven.

The wrap dress.


I love the shape of this dress. I can't resist boatneck/high neck tops and dresses. No sleeves but . . .


*No offense to anyone out there. It's just not me. I'm more of the polarfleece-wearing, child-carrying, blueberry-picking, cupcake-stained, school teacher type.

27 comments:

Colleen said...

I love the first and the last ones best. But...the last one is the one I like a bit more. I think the two of them are very classy and timeless. Let us know what you decide.

-E said...

The first and last most reminded me of you- and I'm a big fan of wraps and shrugs to add sleeves because you can never predict how high the heat will be someplace.

I love the BWOF one with the groovy animal-ish print, but I think there may be another one in that same issue (121) that might be what you're looking for: http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&reviewnum=28536
I got a beautiful charcoal silk jersey for it (it's number 129 on the list of "to do"). Good luck with the soire ;)

maer said...

I like the first one the best, and I like your idea of a wool crepe. That would be IT if you're looking for classic elegance at its best. Don't wear anything so flashy that draws too much attention to you - at least for the first time out. Clothes that fit well will serve you best.

Is there any way you can find out what the other ladies wear?

Noile said...

Like Colleen, I like the first and last. I can really see them on you. The frou-frou one, not so much. Both styles would dress up or down well, too.

Ugh, I so identify with this problem. For years I dreamed of that perfect single little black dress that would solve it for those kinds of functions.

In the end, I cheated and bought an "indispensable dress" from a travel shop just so that I'd never have to deal with it -- but no way that looks as good as you will once you've found (and made) your dress!

Lori said...

Congrats to your husband on the new job. My vote is for the first or last dresses, they seem to be your style. Good luck in deciding.

Rhoto said...

First & last!! With a shrug... A nice necklace or brooch, esp. if cocktails turn to dinner... You want emphasis on your upper half when seated, eh...
Warm greetings from Rhonda, who's attended her share of (nice, actually!) "mandatory events"

Linda said...

Good on the first one, but Great on the last one w/ elbow length sleeves if you like. The others look frumpy and/or too casual for my buck. Wool crepe, 40mm silk crepe or a wool/silk blend in crepe would be classy.

Retired veteran of command performance dinners on behalf of DH.

peacockchic said...

I love love love the last one. I think it would look fabulous on you

Amanda S. said...

I'm going to deviate from the crowd and vote for the one with the unique sleeves. Although it looks a little low... I like the design of it the best, although I'm not sure if it's your style or just mine. :)

Sue said...

I am going with the crowd I love, love, love the last one (what pattern is it?) then add a wrap for the chill. The first is my next favourite. Perhaps a cute little short length jacket (think audrey hepburn) for the cooler days.

Claire S. said...

I LOVE the last one ! 2nd choice would be the Burda, shortened a bit.

Kat said...

My faves are the first and last. Classic, can be dressed up or down, and the look changed with accessories and footwear.

cidell said...

Well, I dream of being the first wife, lol. Ok, I vote for the last dress. I think it's simple but has enough interest to look sophisticated. Also the gathers will distract from your gag reflex at some of the stupid things people inevitably say at these parties!

Kristine said...

Yes, me too. First and last, leave you many options for jackets, wraps, or shrugs for varying temperatures. I immediately thought black silk jersey wrap dress when I started reading, but I like these 2 options more!

Sigrid said...

Not original: the last one is my favorite for you. It has a nice twist and is not too formal and can be combined with a jacket or shawl if you want to. First one is a good alternative, but I just see you as one who likes a little special touch to the clothes you wear. The first dress is a perfect pattern for a black dress, and would suit you too, but lacks the extra detail.

Myra said...

The last one looks great for you and like said before you could have a great wrap or shrug, say something crocheted with a glimmer in it.

Lindsay T said...

Dawn, go pick up More magazine, the new one with Felicity Huffman on the cover. I know you are too young to read this magazine but they have a great spread of LBD dresses that I think you could really use for inspiration. Good luck! (I need a new LBD too.)

Lindsay T said...

Added to my previous post: You have to look at the actual magazine. More online does not have the same LBD dresses as it does in the magazine, though the online edition does have some LBDs.

Christina said...

How about a knit *and* a woven dress? If you're going for a knit, might I suggest silk jersey? It's pricey but it won't look too casual like other knits might, and it's heaven to wear.

lsaspacey said...

1. The first one, a classic shape with interesting bust detail.
2. I really like the shape of this one, but the example shown makes it clear that it has to be in the right fabric.
3. The fourth one because it works on the hourglass principle, with a nipped-in waist and therefore very figure flattering. Not that your figure can't stand on its own!

maer said...

Oh, and check out this thread at Patternreview about what to wear to a richy-rich wedding: http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/sewingclasses/board.pl?t=31470

angie.a said...

The last one is my favorite, and then the 2nd one because that's on my "to do list" too! :D

Anonymous said...

I vote for the last one also. The first one is nice, but would need something to set it off, where the last one is subtly fancy. You could dress it up lots with jewelry, but it also stands up on its own with just great fabric.

Anonymous said...

I have a lb(lue)dress without sleeves. I was skeptical first because wool dress without sleeves in autumn/winter ?
But it works, I can dress it up or down with different "shirts" (sleeves) I wear underneath. I have some diaphanous, transparent, wing like ones if I want to play fairy, some glitzy ones for a disco vibe and some neutral ones. I have some boleros too and naturally a nice cashmere cardigan. People, even friends do not recognize the dress, even if it has quite distinctive detailing, because of the different sleeves. I have worked the dress from job interviews to Christmas office parties to fun nights out. Always with different sleeves or sometimes funky arm warmer. And since the dress is high quality, the sleeves can be pretty cheap and it still works. So maybe you can try a sleeveless one with the option to put on sleeves if it doesn't work.

Courtney Graham Hipp said...

Love the boatneck dress! I think it would look great on you. Good luck deciding - they're all really cute!

Gaela said...

I think that the last dress would be awesome on you, and I would make a Pashima or some nice shawl to drape it & keep you warm. I love, love, love the 2nd dress. Could you let me know where I could get a pattern for it? Please? My email address is travelin_jack@mebtel.net I just stumbled to your blog and I really love it. I love to sew too. I would really like to be a trial member of your other blog. I Hope I hear from you!

Marji said...

I love the first one best, think you wouldn't go wrong with the last one, except that it's maybe too distinctive to get away with it too often in the same crowd, but the one I see with real possibilities is that 4th one down - looks like a Burda sketch. I see that in a black wool crepe and I think it'd look great on you.