As I’m sure you all know by now, I’m straight up obsessed with BCBG! I picked this gorg LBD up during a blowout sale at their factory outlet store a while back. They were offering customers an extra 50% off already-reduced prices so I went a little cray. I bought 7 different things for only $200. I say “only” because their clothing’s usually ridiculously expensive – at full price, a haul like that would’ve easily cost $1500+.
Their designs are second to none though. Every time I walk into a BCBG, I just want to throw my money at ’em. I mean, they might as well just take all of it from the getgo! How many of you guys are fans? They’ve been one of my favorite stores for years now, but I only really shop their factory outlets. I guess that’s the sensible part of me speaking! I won’t ever pay full-price for anything…unless it’s an investment bag or a classic I’ll wear forever.
Now, a perfect LBD is an absolute must-have – every woman should have a killer version in their wardrobe. This number’s very “look-at-me,” but that’s because I have a dozen other styles hanging in my closet (from classic to jaw-droppingly sexy). So, how do you find the right LBD for you? Simple – just consider the following factors: fit, style, and pricing.
Fit: It’s important to know your body shape. Figure out what your best physical attributes are and highlight them accordingly. If you have killer legs, purchase a mini-dress to draw attention to your stems. Want to cover your tummy? Go for an empire waist. It’ll mask your middle and create a killer hourglass figure. Looking to minimize broad shoulders? Wear a v-neck or plunging design and avoid dresses that elongate them (ie. off-the-shoulder or strapless).
Now, ask yourself…
Am I comfortable in this number? If you find yourself tugging and pulling at your dress, you’ll never want to wear it again, no matter how great it looks. Your ideal LBD should make you look and feel like a goddess. You may look like a supermodel, but if you’re uncomfortable all night, that’ll shine through and you’ll end up feeling self-conscious.
Can I wear it as is? Unless you visit a tailor regularly, this will most likely keep you from wearing your new LBD out and about. The last thing you want is for it to gather dust in the back of your closet, and I guarantee it will if you’re not a fan of the fit right from the getgo. Think about it this way! It’s like purchasing something you want to wear once you lose 15 lbs. How often does that work out?
Style: For your first buy, I recommend choosing a dress that’s both versatile and sophisticated so you can whip it out for any and every occasion – I’m talking dates, office parties, weddings, and so on and so forth. It’s important to keep things classy so go for a subtly sexy design…and please use common sense.
If you know that you’ll mostly be wearing your LBD for corporate events, seek a midi dress. If you’re in college and see yourself dressing it down often, opt for a shorter length. You can easily pair it with tights and a cool moto jacket for a casual everyday look. Avoid crazy embellishments and dramatic cuts (like plunging necklines). It’s best to keep things simple! Remember, you can always expand your LBD collection after you find a reliable (but still fabulous) version.
Pricing: You guys know that I’m all about saving, but I’m a huge believer in splurging on classic pieces because I view them as investments – the LBD just so happens to be one of them. Plus, if you think about CPW (cost per wear), you’re really not dropping as much money as you think you are. Now, since splurging means different things for different people, I’m going to list several stores below so you guys have options.
Where do I purchase my dream LBD?
TJ Maxx Runway: Thank the shopping gods for this amazing store. They carry designer items for MUCH less, and you can browse their collection in-stores or online. In addition to cute clothing + shoes, they also carry investment bags…and I mean SERIOUS brands like Celine, Givenchy, and Bottega Veneta. Also check Last Call Neiman Marcus + Saks Off 5th for more designer finds. Stores like Marshalls and Ross also carry name brands from time to time, but as I’m sure y’all deduced, not as many as the aforementioned shops.
H&M: For those of you looking for (even more) affordable options, I highly recommend H&M. They carry high-quality designs that are wallet-friendly. I purchase a lot of office-friendly workwear here – their blazers always seem to be on point.
Premium Outlet Malls: Factory outlets are my go-to! Be patient and wait for a blowout sale to get the most bang for your buck. TIP: Go to customer service and pick up a coupon book in advance to further up your savings. It costs $3 or so, but you can get it for free if you have AAA. If you’re paying for it, take a second to flip through. After all, you want to make sure your favorite stores are listed! I frequent Nine West, Banana Republic, BCBG, Ann Taylor, and Brooks Brothers.
Browse cute LBD picks here (varying price points):
Photo credit: Dennis Christians