It’s Time For a New LBD

I’m aware that spring is coming and the time is now for flirty florals and peaches and all that crap… But I have an emergency on my hands: My LBD is totally gross.

It honestly might as well be covered in sludge and ripped into shreds. The material (polyester, I know) is eager to absorb every textural stain it can possibly dig up, and the seaming around the bust (admittedly put under a decent amount of stress – ahem) is starting to fray and pucker… I originally bought the dress for an audition at Teatro Zinzanni (that I totally got cheated out of, by the way) and it’s been almost two years – it’s time for a new one.

I’ve decided on some criteria:

  • I’d prefer natural fibers, as long as it’s not dry clean only. I wear my LBD at least once per week and can’t afford to be taking it in all the time.
  • I think I want it to be sleeveless.
  • The hem should be at or just above the knee.
  • POCKETS. If available. I’m just a pocket freak.
  • NO bubble hems. That is a good way to accidentally show your ass to someone.
  • V-Neck, unless it’s a really creative cut.
  • Empire waist, or some kind of waist-defining apparatus must be present.

That shouldn’t be too hard to locate… right?

Right?

Women: Jersey empire-waist dress - Black
Banana Republic Jersey empire-waist dress – Black
$89.99 $39.99

Okay, this is the first contender. It’s not much of one, though, really. The sleeve are long (but… they kind of look nice on this extremely plain, boring, uninteresting dress). Actually, wait… If I tip my Macbook screen to just the right angle, i can see that there’s some pleating around the neckline. Ooh.

Pass.


J. Crew Crisp Plissé-Strap Dress

$78 $49.99

Machine-washable, baby! Wide enough straps to put a bra beneath, and textural and architectural details like the straps and the tulip skirt will keep this one interesting without being “HI LOOK AT ME”-ish. Could be paired with heels or sandals (I like the way flat sandals look on the model) – there’s one one issue: It’s… not black. It’s dark grey. Do I care? Maybe not…


ELLE Pleated Dress
from Kohl’s
$50 $34.99

The frilliness of the collar might limit this dress’s’s’s versatility a little bit, but I like the cut, and the light, summery feel. I just hope it would be long enough.

Women: Back-zip sweater dress - Black
Back-zip Sweater Dress
$98 $44.99

I don’t really “get” why this need to have a back-zipper… But I don’t really have to. The fact is this is a long-sleeved sweater dress that I’d be buying for summer. The problem is… I’m really attracted to it (in a platonic way) and would like to learn more. Is it worth it? It’s on major sale from Banana Republic, which is quality, but who knows…

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Women: Silk ruffle dress - Wood ash
Women: Silk Ruffle Dress
$130 $84.99

This is essentially… a good basic, black dress. But that’s it – it’s good. It’s versatile, and the ruffles are cute, but I could take it or leave it. (It’s also “expensive” in the context of this post.)

So confusing! Which dress do you think I should pick?

xoxo.

  • I’m quite a fan of the Kohl’s one (and hello! It’s ELLE, like you!), but I’m quite a fan of the last one as well. While it’s a bit more spendy, you could assume the quality is slightly better & you won’t have to replace it as soon?

    But in my world, a ruffled neck is still versatile.

    Ashe Mischief´s last blog post was Etsy/Indie Designers: The Friday Mish-Mash!

  • I vote J. Crew. It’s architecturally interesting AND easy-to-wear fabric. It seems like something you could easily dress up or down for the occasion.

    Birdie´s last blog post was A Picture of Beauty!

  • Honestly I like the Kohl’s one the best, granted it’s long enough. The other’s don’t really catch me, and especially not in a curvy girl way. My LBD right now is a cocktail style dress, which I love and need to replace as well, but I’m going to look for similar styles because they fit my shape well.

    Uhm, and now that I’ve jacked your post to my LBD needs, I’ll mosey along.

    Freya´s last blog post was Raspberry Beret!

  • Jen

    Like Birdie, I also vote J. Crew. I didn’t see that one posted in our LBD IMs…you were TOTALLY holding out on us. ;)

    Maybe it’ll work for a Demoiselles post?

    Jen´s last blog post was It’s Been That Kind of Week!!

  • I’m voting for the J. Crew dress!

    lisa´s last blog post was Top Secret No More!

  • Darn you Ms. Elle – you’ve found some steals…I’m off to buy that gorgeous Banana Republic knit dress!

    Broke Bettie´s last blog post was Oops – I Did It Again!!

  • I LOVED the back zip dress but I also like the last one and I think it’d look fab on you!

    Jasmine – Fashiongrail´s last blog post was Lady Gaga: “The Fame” Mini-Movie!

  • I like the J. Crew dress or the ELLE for Kohls dress. Sleeveless and frilly is definitely the way to go for summer!

    Chelsea Rae´s last blog post was Shoe Chat…!

  • I’m not really feeling any of them. But if you hard to force me, I do like the J. Crew dress. However, if you’re a bit on the plus-size side, you could try these dresses:

    empire waist dress

    little black dress

  • Louise.C.

    If you’re buying something that is “dryclean only” but contains natural fibres, you shouldn’t be drycleaning more than every 6months, or maybe 4-5 if you really thrash it. Drycleaning chemicals kill your natural fibre and reduces the wear of your garment.(This is what I recommend to customers buying 100% wool suits anyhow)

    I love the Elle dress, I think its interesting but still easy enough to wear.

  • I like the ELLE dress the best, although I’m not a huge drooling fan of any of them, in all honesty. I did find this at Modcloth.com – dunno if you’ve seen it, it IS polyester but looks cute as all get-out and is pretty inexpensive too. Good luck finding something that suits your needs!!

    Michelle´s last blog post was Public Service Announcement!

    • Other ones you might want to look at (sorry, I’m dress-shopping myself) – the Stella dress on Reddressshoppe.com, as well as “Mystere”, “Couture”, and “Derby Doll” (which I think is ADORABLE, is 97% cotton, and inexpensive). Of course, these are all retro-inspired to one degree or another, but I thought I’d throw ’em out there anyways.

      Michelle´s last blog post was Public Service Announcement!

  • Teresa

    I vote the J.Crew one. It’s not black and the material might not be proper lbd material but it’s adorable! I think i’ll pick up one for me!

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