Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dear Thumbelina: Black Tie Advice

Vera Wang Lavender Label, Strapless Ruched Gown, $695 at Saks

Dear Thumbelina,

I am going to a black tie reception at the Plaza. It is in the Champagne Bar and hosted by a hedge fund for investors. I am definitely not an investor! Just the date of a lawyer to the fund. I am 27 years old. What do you think-- long or short? I never know what to do with black tie events.



Dear Tied-Up,

While black tie rules are certainly looser these days (women can wear short, cocktail-y dresses), the location and crowd are important additional factors to consider. Since it's at the Plaza, an upscale New York City place, and an event for bankers, I'd choose a long, simple, and elegant gown. Choose one single stand-out accent (a sparkly pair of long earrings, a statement necklace, or a large cuff) and a boxy clutch in a matching or complimentary shade.

As for the dress choice, I'd recommend an asymmetrical design. Here are some options:

1. An inexpensive version that's still glamorous: T-Bags Asymmetric Jersey Gown, $275:

2. A red-carpet worthy version with built-in bling: Marchesa One-Shoulder Long Dress, $4,840:

Don't hesitate to wear color (purple or red are strong options) or metallics:

3. Notte by Marchesa, Silk Strapless Gown, $990:

Have fun, and let me know how it goes!




Anonymous said...

events for investors don't call for a long gown. short cocktail dress will be fine. And the Plaza ain't what it used to be.

Thumbelina Fashionista said...


I can definitely see your point, but I'd rather err on the side of caution and be overdressed than underdressed. (That's why I recommended a rather simple design to avoid looking ridiculously overdressed. A long dress can work for cocktail events, too.) But yes, you're right about the Plaza not being what it used to be!

Thumbelina Fashionista said...
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