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LBBD–Little Black Bridesmaid Dress

2010 April 12

One of my best friends is getting married in August. She has graciously decided to allow her bridesmaids (myself included) to wear the black dress of their choosing. I was ecstatic at first. I thought this would be a great opportunity to not only let a little bit of my personal style show in a subtle way through my choice, but also to finally allow myself the extravagance of buying the perfect little black dress every woman should own. What could be easier??

However, it’s less than four months to the big day and I’m no closer to finding that elusive dress. I spotted a fantastic dress last weekend on Newbury St., on a mannequin outside of Poor Little Rich Girl (my favorite vintage shop). I went inside and asked the sales person if I could try it on–it had no tag, and I had no idea if it would fit. Turns out, it fit perfectly, but there was something about it that didn’t seem right. “It looks like an 80’s prom dress,” I said uncertainly from the dressing room. It seemed about the right level of formality, but the material was limp and the one-shoulder details seemed a little too out-there for my friend’s wedding. Sure enough, the tag said “80s vintage” upon closer inspection. I reluctantly left the dress behind, but I’m haunted by the questions it raised–I’m looking for a dress that will be both formal enough for a summer wedding, but also appropriate for future weddings/fancy cocktail parties; affordable but not cheap; unique style details but not too wild that it will go out of style any time soon.  Oh, and I need to look hot in it, but not too hot. Is that too much to ask??

I decided to turn to my trusted Polyvore account for some guidance. Here are the best options I was able to find:

Little Black Bridesmaid Dress

Pacificplex Strapless cocktail dress {via Amazon.com}: $67

Modcloth Life of the Party dress: $75

French Connection Black Beauty dress {via Zappos}: $150

Pacificplex chiffon satin dress {via Amazon.com}: $60

Betsey Johnson cotton poplin tulle dress {via Zappos}: $185

Fred Segal Splendid fitted dress: $125

Mori Lee ruched strapless dress: $152

Ella Moss deep-v cinched dress {via PiperLime}: $162

What do you guys think? Would any of these be appropriate? Does anyone have suggestions on where else I could look for the right LBBD?

6 Responses Post a comment
  1. Amy G permalink
    April 12, 2010

    I think all of these are cute–but I’d be wary of anything with a non-black accent (assuming these are in clockwise order, the Modcloth one) or that’s quite short (the FC, Betsey). The Ella one looks a little too casual to me. My fave of this bunch is definitely the Fred Segal, because it’s appropriate, classic but still interesting, and it meets the “hot, but not too hot” criterion–plus it’s simple enough that the accessorizing possibilities are unlimited (within reason/your friend’s preference ;). I was in the same exact position for my friend’s wedding and found MY perfect LBD on Bluefly!

  2. Mallory permalink
    April 12, 2010

    I love love love the Betsey Johnson dress, but it might be a bit short for a wedding. The same goes for the Mori Lee. I assure you that the Ella Moss dress is comfy as hell, but probably also made from jersey–too casual for any wedding I’ve seen.

    As usual, I offer up some J.Crew advice–I think this dress is pretty great (style #19961 if the link doesn’t work).

    http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBrowse/Women_Shop_By_Category/dresses/thelittleblackdress/PRDOVR~19961/19961.jsp

    It has volume without being 80s poufy, and is somewhat understated (as I think a Bridesmaid dress should be).

    This dress (style #22512): http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBrowse/Women_Shop_By_Category/dresses/thelittleblackdress/PRDOVR~22512/22512.jsp

    is fantastic in person (Julia has it in blue), and would be great for a summer wedding–it’s light, airy, and breezy, although it strays a bit from the typical LBD territory.

    I looked around at some of my other favorite websites, but since summer isn’t exactly prime LBD season, I didn’t find much that excited me.

    Post a pic when you find the dress!! Happy shopping.

  3. Mallory permalink
    April 12, 2010

    P.S. The second dress is actually corseted, so although it looks like it could have the potential to be a fake pregnancy dress, it is actually quite flattering.

  4. April 13, 2010

    I vote for Ella Moss or French Connection. You don’t want to be in anything too ruffly or over the top. BR has some nice ones at the moment:

    http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/category.do?cid=41558

  5. Rosie permalink
    April 13, 2010

    A year ago, I had to choose a bridesmaid dress just based on it being green, so I know it’s trickier than it seems.

    I really liked this dress: http://www.dessy.com/dresses/bridesmaid/6513/ but the greens weren’t quite right.

    I also LOVED the watters too line (http://watters.com/catalog_list.php?coll=wtoo). They’re affordable, but be careful not too wander over into the regular watters collection…

    Good luck!!

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