On the hunt for party dresses

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I’m attending a big, splashy 50th birthday party for a good friend this weekend, and it’s a party where I’ll see a lot of people I haven’t seen in a while, and because of this I have been unduly preoccupied with what to wear. I’ve driven myself crazy looking for the perfect dress—something that is as chic as it is comfortable and easy. In the end I decided not to buy anything new and instead plan to wear a Maria Cornejo silk caftan I’ve owned for a while, but I found several good options, starting with this two-piece number from Allsaints, which also comes in this quite good orange.

This lightweight cotton number would be perfect for a summer barbeque.

I’ve included some sleeveless dresses here, which I usually don’t do, because so many good party dresses come that way. Just remember you can always throw on a cardigan or cropped jacket, or just go with a wrap if you’re self-conscious about your arms. This zebra print sundress is pleasingly graphic.

I don’t usually like one-strap dresses, but this is just lovely.

I almost purchased this one and still might: the pinstripes here are unexpected but really good.

This looks like Missoni, but brighter and more fun (and cheaper, while still not cheap).

A slinky ruched dress in a really rich blue; here’s one that’s similar, but striped and slightly more casual.

Just a simple but statement-y pink dress to throw on whenever. I like it styled with gold jewelry and footwear, just like here.

This eyelet dress is the priciest of today’s bunch, but just so feminine and pretty.

A simple white dress with nice Grecian lines.

A cute sundress from Rachel Comey in a cocoon-ish shape.

A bright floral dress with puffy—but not too puffy—shoulders.

 

 

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9 Thoughts on On the hunt for party dresses
    Gleaming the Cube
    18 May 2022
    11:55am

    I clicked on the zebra sundress with trepidation, especially when I realized it was headed to Net-A-Porter, but it’s under $200! Yay. I am very, very tempted. I LOVE that Rachel Comey one (I’ve rarely met a cocoon dress I didn’t like), but alas that will have to wait for a very steep discount. And I’d probably buy that Xirena dress immediately if it came in black. It looks a lot like a DvF dress I bought on mega final sale at Barney’s in 2008 that I wore endlessly until the elastic completely gave out.
    Also, Kim, I’m with you on not wearing a new outfit to big events. I’ve realized that I like the comfort of familiar things, and I don’t like being surprised by things that are much more sheer than I thought, things that ride up, weird itchiness, etc. Life is hard enough as it is.

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    Jess
    18 May 2022
    6:35pm

    How I wish that gorgeous pink dress came in navy or black!

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    grldchz
    18 May 2022
    11:43am

    Wow, the Veronica Beard is fantastic! It’s hard to find an eyelet dress that isn’t white.

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    Betsy P
    18 May 2022
    11:00am

    Love the Norma Kamali and the Sezanne in particular.

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      Viajera
      18 May 2022
      11:34am

      Ditto, also the Xirena. Any many others too. Fun post!

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    Mamavalveeta03
    18 May 2022
    12:26pm

    Love the simplicity of most of these choices, Kim. I’ve got a big event coming up soon and nothing (in my price range) has sparked joy. It seems that the fashion world is still drowning in prairie dresses – ugh.

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    cw
    18 May 2022
    12:30pm

    LOVE the AllSaints! Very flashy in a good way. And it covers ones arms! And it looks comfy!

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    TW
    18 May 2022
    12:54pm

    Wow – this is one of your best dress compilations ever! Thanks so much!

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    Suju
    18 May 2022
    3:08pm

    Love the Norma Kamali (if only I had smaller breasts) and the Sezanne!

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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