Fuse #8

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Find Me a Dress


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find me a beautiful red evening dress. Preferably one that I can buy. You have one month in which to do so. You see, I'm preparing for the Newbery banquet with a sloth-like speed, and for such a banquet I need a dress. Preferably red. Ideally silk, but that's just me being dreamy.

I'm a little frightened to ask you all this because y'all are notoriously generous. Really REALLY generous, and I don't want to come into work tomorrow to find twenty potential red silk dresses overnighted to my desk. None of that now. I just need some shopping advice. Where does one go to get a pretty red dress for a reasonable price?

Def: Reasonable price = Affordable on a children's librarian budget.

As I live in Manhattan, you would think locating a red dress would be simple. Nuh-uh. It's springtime here in NYC and that means beige. Beige, cantaloupe, and cream. Red? Good luck with that. I found a close contender at an H&M near my workplace but it proved to be particularly pinkish up close (tarnation!).

So what are your suggestions? Remember: It has to be something I can wear to a banquet. No barbecue skorts. And as my "shopping" is normally limited to gleefully sorting through the leavings of my friend in the fashion mag industry, I bow to your superior judgment on this one. What should I do?

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34 Comments:

At 1:10 AM , Blogger Little Willow said...

I am not a fan of strapless dresses, but I like the style of this otherwise:
http://www.gojane.com/12048.html

Longer, fitted, straps:
http://www.gojane.com/ouidress.html

 
At 5:25 AM , Blogger Monica Edinger said...

Actually that dress looks a lot like my niece's junior prom dress (was last weekend so maybe you could get it secondhand from her?). Seriously,I suggest our local Filene's Basement (79th and Bway) and Loehmann's (73rd and Bway) And also check out Liberty House even closer to home (112th Street and Bway). Be happy to come along if you like.

 
At 7:32 AM , Blogger Mitali Perkins said...

Honey, get thee to your closest South Asian store and find a red sari. One size fits all, the cotton/nylon ones are cheap but pretty, you'll feel tall, slim, and elegant, and since red is what brides wear, they're always available. Buy stilettos and dangly earrings to match; put on bright red lipstick, and you're good to go. Call Pooja Makhijani (Mama's Saris, Little Brown) over to teach you to put it on -- she's in Manhattan.

 
At 7:51 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Good suggestions all around. Keep 'em coming. Though, Mitali, I am the honkiest honky that ever did live. I don't think I'm cool enough to pull off a sari. It sounds so pretty though....

 
At 8:12 AM , Blogger ND Reader chick said...

My mom purchased a very nice dress from amazon.com for $60 or so. Maybe you could check there.

 
At 8:56 AM , Anonymous B. Johansen Newman said...

Mitali gave you one of the exact suggestions I was thinking of. But I want to add: check out last Sunday's NY Times--I think it was the Styles section. Did you see all those lovely ladies dressed in Kimonos, and Sari's and also (my own fantasy dress forever) those classic and classy little numbers that you can often pick up in Chinatown for very reasonable prices?

Were I young and slender, I would get myself one of those, long and with a nice side slit skirt.

 
At 9:18 AM , Blogger Chris said...

It looks like blogger ate my comment. Sorry if this is a duplicate, Try Pearl River Mart for a Mandarin dress (no need to be Asian)
http://www.pearlriver.com/v2/FramesCat.asp?iGroup=241

 
At 9:24 AM , Blogger adrienne said...

You could splurge:

http://www.betseyjohnson.com/Glamorous_Satin_Dress/pd/np/1101/p/2425.html

That's pretty and silk and this designer has a lovely first name.

And, yes, okay, I've been quietly coveting this dress to wear to...? Work?

 
At 9:26 AM , Blogger Cheryl said...

I've found some pretty good dresses at Loehmann's (the 17th St. location). It's always luck of the racks, of course, but they've got a wide range of styles and price points. And don't forget Forever 21 for cheap and flashy (words I would never otherwise associate with you, Betsy!).

 
At 11:05 AM , Blogger PJ Hoover said...

Yikes! I hesitate to say this (becasue there are some not-so-nice bridesmaids dresses out there), but I have a beautiful bridesmaid's dress, long, satin, which criss-cross straps in the back. If you think you might be interested, I could dig out the photos and email you one. If not, it will happily stay in the closet.

 
At 11:40 AM , Blogger olly said...

http://www.vintageous.com

Darling, relatively affordable, and pretty much a guarantee that nobody else will be wearing your dress.

*o

 
At 11:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's one! (Nordstrom seems to have red dresses.)

http://tinyurl.com/2kdr7n

 
At 12:01 PM , Anonymous elizabeth fama said...

J Crew, J Crew, J Crew! I have the Sophia dress in blue silk tricotine and now it's available in red silk chiffon. Here's the link:
http://www.jcrew.com/catalog/product.jhtml?id=prod78054381&catId=cat180147
(Is $165 too expensive?)

 
At 12:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.illuna-fashion.com/illuna-29-418.html

perhaps a bit much for children's book awards...

 
At 12:21 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Oh wow. So these are all magnificent. The Little Willow suggestions was pretty but possibly too close to bridesmaid territory. The Mandarian dress and suggestions of kimonos are cool, but I'm uncertain. Betsey Johnson is cool but a touch pricier than I'd like. I'm adoring the Vintageous link. What are the odds I'd find something cool and not already sold, though? I appreciate the offers of lending me dresses, but knowing my luck I would either A) Spill a drink on it or B) Find a way to get someone else to spill a drink on it. I wouldn't want to put you in that position.

So far? That J. Crew dress is sooooo pretty. Silk chiffon? Ooo! And probably easily adapted to my size.

Keep 'em coming!

 
At 12:56 PM , Anonymous elizabeth fama said...

There's something about the cut of the Sophia dress that looks good on the average figure (hard to imagine that with their gorgeous model), in spite of the fact that it appears to be modeled on Marilyn Monroe's "Seven Year Itch" dress.

 
At 2:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey,

Have you tried http://www.bluefly.com... they have some very reasonably priced dresses.

 
At 2:55 PM , Blogger Nina said...

I second Monica: you need a prom dress. Which means...wait. Wait till the last minute, late May, early June, the end of prom season. Then ferret out the sales and second hand shops...cause that's what librarians can afford!

 
At 3:22 PM , Blogger Gwenda said...

I'm a huge fan of trashy diva (scroll down toward the bottom and there's lots of red numbers).

http://www.trashydiva.com/site/indexSHOP.html

 
At 3:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Macy's they for sure have red silk or at least silk looking red dresses, I was there this weekend and it's in a librarian budget (I'm one too). Good luck :)

 
At 4:28 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

The sole flaw with Trashy Diva is that I'd have to grow a pair of boobs to look good in their dresses.

Thanks for the anonymous Macy's tip! I should do that. I meant to check them out before now but somehow never got around to it. To the Macy's!

 
At 4:48 PM , Anonymous Karen Landis said...

I second Loehmann's although it's tough to go with a specific color in mind. It's luck of the draw.

 
At 7:29 PM , Anonymous Sam H said...

Nordstoms has these online.

http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/2938668?Category=&Search=True&SearchType=keywordsearch&keyword=red+silk+dress+in+All+Categories&origin=searchresults

http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/2853870?Category=&Search=True&SearchType=keywordsearch&keyword=red+silk+dress+in+All+Categories&origin=searchresults

http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/2863678?Category=&Search=True&SearchType=keywordsearch&keyword=red+silk+dress+in+All+Categories&origin=searchresults


Or... can you pull of a babydoll?
http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/2911383?Category=&Search=True&SearchType=keywordsearch&keyword=red+silk+dress+in+All+Categories&origin=searchresults

 
At 7:51 PM , Anonymous --m said...

Nordstrom's personal shopper service doesn't cost any more than the price of the clothes. (At least it didn't as of a couple of years ago -- last time I used it)Tell them your budget, the event, etc, and they'll have you come in and try on a bunch of dresses. Will probably encourage much accessorizing, but stand firm on said budget. v.fun. --m

 
At 10:30 PM , Blogger Hedgehog Librarian said...

check out La Redoute too--they usually have some classy stuff

http://www.us.redoute.com/Default.aspx

 
At 3:28 AM , Blogger Alkelda the Gleeful said...

If you like, you may borrow my long stretchy red dress. I wore it once, for a wedding, and I found it for $11.00 in a NYC thrift shop. At the time I was a size 6.

 
At 7:19 AM , Blogger adrienne said...

Of all the entries in all the blogosphere, this is the one I keep coming back to to see what people are recommending. This is fun! I want to buy a pretty dress for ALA, but nooooo, I can't even go to ALA this year.

Sigh.

Plus, have you noticed that Blogger has named this entry "find_me_dress" for URL purposes? I find that amusing every time I see it.

You do realize, Fuse, that you will eventually have to post a photo of yourself in whatever you wind up buying....

 
At 9:53 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Damn right I will. I mean, I figure people might take some pics during the actual banquet but I'll do a spread to show it off beforehand.

 
At 4:00 PM , Blogger adrienne said...

Bonus points if the mouse puppet is in some way involved.

 
At 7:29 PM , Blogger Kate said...

What about buying the H&M dress and dunking it in some Red RIT dye?

 
At 1:33 PM , Blogger Stacy (my friends call me Stasia) Dillon said...

Go vintage, fuse. Or go to Jackson Heights, buy some gorgeous fabric, bring a pic, and find the closest tailor. You'll have a sweet dress, sewn in a jiffy, for a fraction of the designer price.

 
At 12:33 PM , Anonymous Chris said...

Liz Claiborne is having a sale
http://www.lizclaiborne.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2513813&cp&fDomain=www&searchBySize=yes&fCat=2004213&catName=Missy&sizeChoices=2004213&vSize=S%7CSmall+%2F+4-6&fsize=S&searchId=2004213&sizeText=Small+%2F+4-6&categoryId=2004213&fpricesort=priceDescending&parentPage=search

Sweeten the deal with a code:

LIZSTYLE — 10% off any size order

 
At 11:04 AM , Anonymous Chris said...

Overstock is having a sale:
http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgi?page=proframe&prod_id=2226953&IID=prod2226953

http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgi?page=proframe&prod_id=2332812&IID=prod2332812

http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgi?page=proframe&prod_id=2287374&IID=prod2287374

http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgi?page=proframe&prod_id=2287374&IID=prod2287374
ANd right now you cant take an additional 8% off.

 
At 8:51 PM , Blogger Pooja said...

Late to the party... as usual, but I think you would look FABUlous in a sari. If you are truly interested, drop me a line and we'll shop for one together. I'll show you how to drape it. Trust Mitali and me. You'll look like a million bucks.

 

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