About 2 months ago I received an invitation to a close family friends quinceanera (15th birthday Hispanic celebration, think Sweet 16 or a Bat Mitzvah). At the bottom of the invitation were 4 words that would make dressing for the event much more difficult: Black Tie/Formal Attire. As if dressing a plus size physique for every day isnt difficult enough, finding a formal dress was sure to pose a challenge. Most formal plus size options ranging from unflattering granny dresses to downright ugly. Still, I set out to find the impossible: an Oscar-worthy floor length gown.
As a big girl, I know very well the importance of getting an early jump on shopping. We bigger girls do not have the luxury of waiting until the last minute and picking up a great dress at any shop we choose. Needless to say, life has been so hectic lately, that even with all my past experiences, I left shopping until the last minute. So, although the party was this Saturday, I started shopping for my dress last Monday. Because Im also a practicing fashion stylist, I was also shopping for my best friend, who happens to be a size 0. Nowyou wont believe thiswhile I was scouring the racks for my galpal, as if by some miracle, I found a stunning deep teal Tadashi dress in a size 16 that fit seamlessly and was reduced from $495 to $35!
A miracle to be sure, but ladies do not follow my lead, as these miracles rarely happen. My best advice for you when faced with a formal event: 1) Start early 2) Try everything on! Some dresses arent done justice on a hanger. 3) Accept that you may need to spend more money than you had hoped. 4) Purchase a versatile dressnot one that will sit in the closet waiting for another once-in-a-while occasion. Looking for a wild splash of color? I suggest the stunning Tadashi Shoji One Shoulder Gown with a ruched bodice in an eye-popping violet. If you prefer a black dress that could be dressed up or down, consider Montif Cs Marilyn Long Convertible dress. If you have always wanted to try the Grecian goddess look, check out Badgley Mischkas incredibly elegant Plus Size Extra Long One Shoulder Dress.
Dont forget the proper undergarments! A stunning dress risks being instantly ruined with an exposed bra strap or panty lines. Find smoothing and discreet undergarments to enhance your look, and dont forget to add amazing accessories to top it all off. Best of luck dressing for your next black tie affair. If you need any advice, dont hesitate to email.
Your BIG GIRL IN A SKINNY WORLD
Email Ashley here!