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Dress me! Formal dinner in NYC

(59 Posts)
WhatWouldFlopDoToday Fri 12-Jan-18 18:37:52

Dh’s work is very generously paying for me to go and stay with him for a few days while he is over in NYC working for 3 weeks in March.

There is a formal dinner on one of the nights that partners are invited to. This sort of thing fills me with dread at the best of times, but this time I don’t know anyone apart from dh, it’s in a city I don’t know and I have no bloody idea what to wear.

Any suggestions? It’s black tie, I’m 5’8” size 12 with cracking legs from the knee down, shoulders to knees is a bit of a disaster area that doesn’t need highlighting!

WorldPeasAndSweetcorn Fri 12-Jan-18 18:39:23

Fashion Advice

WorldPeasAndSweetcorn Fri 12-Jan-18 18:39:38

What’s your budget?

WhatWouldFlopDoToday Fri 12-Jan-18 19:51:26

Thanks worldpeas grin That’s not quite the look I was going for though!

I have some savings that I’ve always planned on spending on myself so bigger not too much of an issue - not 1,000s though!

WipsGlitter Fri 12-Jan-18 20:05:41

I'd not go mad spending on a dress for one night. Are you sure it's black tie?

OlennasWimple Fri 12-Jan-18 20:09:13

Do you know what other women are going to be wearing? (Any photos from previous work dinners floating around on the internet?)

Would you feel confident to leave shopping until you get there, then hit Macy's and Bloomingdale's to look for something? (Take a couple of pairs of shoes and bags with you to maximise your options)

WhatWouldFlopDoToday Fri 12-Jan-18 20:25:07

It’s definitely black tie as dh has been to one before but without partners. I haven’t seen any pictures sadly and dh doesn’t notice what people are wearing at all - only that the women were wearing dresses. I know I’ll get it wrong either too dressy or not enough. Should I just go for (not all that) lbd with some nice jewellery and posh shoes?

OlennasWimple Fri 12-Jan-18 20:38:22

The big thing is whether to wear a cocktail dress (probably) or if long dresses are expected. Can you find that out?

Personally I would always rather be too dressy than underdressed, but of course ideally you would want to get it right...

NY big earners are likely to have big rocks to show off, by the way. My biggest suggestion (unless you have some yourself) is not to go down the bling route as your lovely diamonds will probably look tiny in comparison grin

OlennasWimple Fri 12-Jan-18 20:39:36

Hopefully I've done this right, but @Want2besupermum might be able to help with suggestions on dress code

VanillaSugar Fri 12-Jan-18 20:44:09

Go to Reiss and do as Kate Middleton does. You can't go wrong.

calzone Fri 12-Jan-18 20:46:20

What about a fab black jumpsuit with a statement necklace and completely clashing shoes?

calzone Fri 12-Jan-18 20:47:07

Get new underwear and a proper bra.

Get hair blow dried.

Shellac manicure

Job done ✅

NotEnoughCushions Fri 12-Jan-18 20:59:05

If it's definitely formal and black tie I would go long and fairly elegant. Would much rather be overdressed than the only one in a cocktail dress. I know they don't have the size but something like this https://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/women/frock-and-frill-sequin-maxi/d827596.pd#277008649 with high heeled sandals, clutch bag and understated jewellery.

halfwitpicker Fri 12-Jan-18 21:00:24

Want2bsupermum had a great thread about dressing in the US. About two years ago.

You have to wear tights and get your nails done. Other stuff too obv

halfwitpicker Fri 12-Jan-18 21:01:38

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/style_and_beauty/2346464-Dressing-for-work-in-an-American-corporation

Am I good or what?

ImNotChangingMyUsernameAgain Fri 12-Jan-18 21:11:34

LK Bennett has a number of great options:

https://www.lkbennett.com/product/CDELOUISEPOLYESTERMultiBlack%20Chalkrose~Elouise-Black-Lace-Dress-Black%20Chalkrose

https://www.lkbennett.com/product/CDNICHOLSILKVISCOSEPrintGold~Nichol-Gold-Silk-Dress-Gold

https://www.lkbennett.com/product/CDNICHOLSILKVISCOSEPrintGold~Nichol-Gold-Silk-Dress-Gold

https://www.lkbennett.com/product/CDSALENAPOLYESTERMIXBlackBlack~Salena-Black-Dress-Black

ILoveMrDarcy Fri 12-Jan-18 21:14:44

Look at Reiss and Coast definitely. Nice heels too.

SenecaFalls Sat 13-Jan-18 02:53:03

You have to wear tights and get your nails done.

But not opaque ones. But if you wear a long dress, you may want to wear strappy sandals; in which case, no tights.

I would probably go for a long dress in a dark color, but simple, no glitz.

I agree that hair and nails will all be impeccable, including a pedicure if you wear sandals.

MountainVista Sat 13-Jan-18 03:30:19

LBD from a brand that you can't buy over there!

Second calzone's suggestion, it's hard to out-groom Americans

KickAssAngel Sat 13-Jan-18 05:42:08

I live in the US mid-west, which is def. hicksville compared to NYC.

But - if black tie, I would expect full length dress, and black would be unlikely. Think more like 1980s prom dress style. There's likely to be lots of gold jewelry and blingy rings, with fairly big blow-dried hair (or super smooth, chic, updos).

However - as a Brit, you can get away with something you feel more comfortable in, and pass it off as Euro-chic.
e.g. a floaty hi-low dress with flowers on would be unusual in the US, but pretty standard for a UK wedding and/or evening do. Plain black would be unusual unless it really is super, super upmarket. Plain white also unusual. But you could prob. get away with either and claim it's standard in the UK.

Iwanttobe8stoneagain Sat 13-Jan-18 07:23:16

I’m a big believer in wearing what suits you. Look on you tube at royal Caribbean formal nights on cruises out of the US (99%american clientele and not many old people) to see if any style catches your eye maybe.

WhatWouldFlopDoToday Sat 13-Jan-18 16:20:03

Thank you so much!

I hadn’t considered wearing Reiss and passing myself off as KM. If I get a dress from there then I have an excuse to spend loads of money on a pair of shoes.

It’s going to be pretty bloody posh - the companies honorary president will be attending and he’s a prince although a bloody idiot of one. So I’ve got the added worry of flicking food at him and being excommunicated or something.

I don’t think I can bring myself to wear a long dress, I didn’t even do that for my wedding. I’m going to order a few bits tonight, when they arrive I shall solicit opinions again if that’s ok.

Swimminguphill Sat 13-Jan-18 17:27:00

There has just been a great thread about a black tie event where the OP ordered a lovely black jumpsuit and a gorgeous Phase 8 dress to try. Both cover arms and lumps iirc and I thought she made excellent choices - there may also be some good suggestions on there. Can anyone link to it?

Swimminguphill Sat 13-Jan-18 17:30:16

Also on the parisienne thread Botemp linked to an online designer discount shop (towards the end of current thread) with some stunning givenchy and st Laurent dresses for a couple of hundred quid, and she gave a 15% discount code. I was so tempted by a black velvet givenchy number but then remembered I don’t live in the film Sabrina (even remotely).

Swimminguphill Sat 13-Jan-18 17:36:09

Be still my beating heart

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