Vicarious shopping challenge! I just joined our city’s symphony chorus and need to find a black evening gown that complies with the most restrictive concert dress code I’ve ever encountered.
Here are the official requirements:
-Sleeves (two of them!)
-No open back or cutouts
-No “light-catchers” such as beading or sequins, except at the cuffs and neckline
And here are my personal requirements:
-Not super frumpy
-Washable or dry cleanable (side note: who is buying all these $$$ dresses that you can’t rewear, resell, or donate because they are “spot-clean only”?!?)
-Not plus-sized, which rules out some options with sleeves
-Available within the next few weeks, which rules out some bridesmaids’ and MOB dresses
-Ideally under $350, although I could go up to $600 for a really fantastic dress
I have scoured the webs!tes of Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Anthro/BHLDN, Mac Duggal, Ralph Lauren, and even David’s Bridal with no luck. Nordstrom had a few MOB dresses that met the requirements but were spot-clean only. There are plenty of gowns with no sleeves and no bling, but all the gowns with sleeves have bling. I guess old ladies are supposed to love sequins? Where else should I be looking? Where would Helen Mirren shop?
Bonus question: We are also required to wear sheer black hose and black shoes. I usually wear sandals with evening gowns, which won’t be possible with hose. Where can I find proper closed-toed evening shoes that are fabric, not leather, and not shiny? I haven’t seen anything like that since the 1990s.
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