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I have a black tie dinner next week (hadn't realised it was black tie) and nothing to wear, or at least nothing that fits post DC.
I need something with sleeves and flattering around the tummy area. I'm a fairly unglamorous size 14 blonde. Will have about 15 seconds to get ready upon arrival so needs to be easy to put on and look good with loose, unstyled hair.
This has caught my eye but is a bit pricey and I'm not sure it would work for black tie:
In the good old days when we were actually at uni we used to get properly dressed up for these dinners (ball gown type outfits) but I'm not sure I would now... can't picture myself in an evening gown somehow.
No one I can ask, the only friends who are going are male and wouldn't have a clue.
Both dresses are lovely but they are both cocktail dresses and not black tie.
You just need to work out how bad you would feel if you were the only one underdressed. Personally I wouldn't give a fuck and would brazen it out amongst all the floor length ball gowns if it came down to it!
I like the sound of that. I don't really care actually. It seems in any case from browsing that there are very few evening gowns that are flattering to those with a bigger than ideal stomach, especially if you also want sleeves.
I don't think the Phase8 one is any more 'black tie' or 'stunning' than the Ralph Lauren one you already have (which, indeed, I slightly prefer), so, I'd save myself 200quidd and treat myself to something else I fancy - it's just one night.
Just posting to say I wore my 'old' green dress pictured above to the black tie dinner and it was just right. It was 80% men but all the other ladies were in simple cocktail style dresses so something long would have looked out of place. Strange that black tie doesn't come with clearer guidance for ladies
Thanks for all your advice. The Phase Eight dress for as lovely but wouldn't have travelled well, crinkly material..
Cocktails dresses are fine for black tie and I would wear the one you feel best in. The black tie dress code has relaxed so much now you actually don't see that many long dresses except on some older women. I go to quite a few and always wear cocktail I've seen a few very dressy jumpsuits so I don't think you will feel under dressed in cocktail length.
I definitely think you can wear a cocktail dress to a black tie dinner - the last few black tie things I have been to I have worn cocktail and been very appropriate. I think unless it is a very smart, extravagant ball or something like that that you will find a huge mixture of long and short-wear what you feel good in. I never want to be the most dressed up person at an event-accessorise with the aim of being classic and elegant and you will not go wrong.