Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Art of the Recycle: Formal Wear

I have a very robust collection of evening wear because we had many opportunities to dress up in Texas in a way that we don't currently have here out west. When I purge my closets throughout the year, it is very hard for me to let my formal gowns go because I've attached such special memories to them. The occasions that I do get to rewear a dress only serve to inject additional meaning to each one.

I am wearing:

Dress: JS Collections (Splurge | Steal)
Bag: Jimmy Choo Sunglass Case (Similar)
Earrings: 2011/2013 Costume Chandelier (option) | 2015 Tiffany & Co 

Shoes: 2011/2013 Manolo Blahnik | 2015 Jimmy Choo (current)
His Tuxedo: 2011 Jones New York (similar) | 2015 Black by Vera Wang

This hot pink one-shouldered gown by JS Collections didn't start off that way. I really wanted to find a great looking teal or amethyst gown. At the time, I really wasn't feeling very great about my shape and I was so happy to find a gown that I thought draped nicely and hid my flaws, so I bought it in spite of the pink hue and had my tailor take up the hem the week before the event.  After I had it cleaned, it sat in my closet for a couple of years before I needed a dress at the last minute for a friend's birthday party that I was hosting at our house. She LOVES to dress up and when we were thinking of what she would want for her birthday, we knew that it had to involve dressing up, jewelry, and a tiara at the bare minimum. The post from that party is here.  I didn't know what I was going to wear until that afternoon and again I picked this dress, because it was easy and I already knew it fit.  Last year, we were invited to the Inglenook Estate in Napa for the Annual Rubicon Release Dinner by friends who are members at the vineyard. Since our friends hadn't seen this dress yet, I quickly pulled it out of the closet, steamed it, and wore it again. It was a wonderful experience and we got to meet Francis Ford Coppola!

I am wearing:

Dress: BCBG Max Azria (current halter option)
Clutch: 2012 Cole Haan (similar) | 2015 Anya Hindmarch

Necklace: 2012 Solitaire (Splurge | Steal) | 2015 Gioielli Nikki Baker (similar)
Earrings: 2012 Kendra Scott (current) | 2015 Plata
Shoes: 2012 Badgley Mischka (current) | 2015 Jimmy Choo (current)
His Tuxedo: 2012 Men's WH Rental (Option) | 2015 Ralph Lauren Dinner Jacket

This lime green dress is definitely in the very "meaningful" pile. The very first year that I attended a blogging conference was in New York back in 2012. At the time, the fashion blogging community was still "cool" and everyone got invited to everything. I remember being floored when I was invited to the BCBG Max Azria presentation. It is probably STILL a highlight of my blogging life.  The invitation arrived in a very cute envelope clutch (which I still use frequently!) and inside was also a gift card. I remember visiting the store in Manhattan and it was HUGE compared to the one I was used to shopping locally. It had multiple floors and the Runway section occupied half of an entire floor. As I perused the racks of clothes, this dress caught my attention. I immediately loved the color and knew that I had nothing in my closet in this shade. Of course in Manhattan, the only size that would be left would be a Large, but that was perfect for me because that is just my size. I tried it on and realized that my tailor would have to basically rebuild the entire dress for me because I was not (and still am not) a beautiful, tall, amazon. I didn't care. I plopped down my gift card and credit card to pay the balance and brought that dress home with me.  I then wore it to the wedding of very dear friends. Their is still one of the best weddings I have ever attended AND just look at how gorgeous my husband looks in a morning suit. The post for that wedding can be found here. Last year, when we went back to Texas for our summer formal, I remembered how well the jersey travels and quickly packed it for the trip. The post for that event can be found here.  I still love it and I get so many compliments when I wear it.

For me, the key to recycling is to really space out the events. These dresses are bright and memorable, I couldn't get away with wearing them to three different events in the same year, even if worn with different crowds. But when you space out the wearings and change your hair, accessories, and your husband's tuxedo!, even people who have already seen it will have trouble pinpointing exactly where they saw your dress before.


  1. Thank you! I always tell him that because he is definitely more comfortable in jeans and a trusty polo shirt! :)


Tell me what you think, but be nice! You catch more flies with sugar than spice!