November 2008 Weddings
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black tie gala attire

I have an event on oct 12. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to get a dress lol! I'm hitting up Nordstrom Rack today, hopefully I can find something on sale.

My question: is it ok to get a cocktail length dress for this (not above the knee)? Something like these?

I keep finding conflicting etiquette. I just feel like if I buy some long evening gown, I'll never ever wear it again and money is tight, so I don't want to be wasteful here. I do a bunch of freelance design for the president of the company, my tickets were free. DH will have to rent a tux, that's at least $100 right there. I REALLY want to stay under $150 for me, but there are going to be lots of local celebrities and NFL players & their wives there, I just don't want to look cheap next to them!!

Re: black tie gala attire

  • Of those three choices #1 is the only one I would even consider wearing to something like this, the other 2 just dont look as dressy for a black tie gala.

    Perosnally I would wear something floor length...Do you have any consignment shops in your area you can hit up? I always go to those first when I need something fancy that is out of my preice range!

  • I would say that number 1 looks most appropriate for black tie.  Something about the scalloping on 2 makes it more causual/kiddie to me.  Number 3 is just NMS enough to like it.  I am sure on someone else it would look fab but on me i would look like a stuffed sausage especially if I were going to be around a bunch of hot chicks.  LOL


  • I think the first or the third one. The second one seems a bit to casual.

    I think you would look lovely in the third one. With the right accessories this would be HOTT!! Yes

  • Karrey I think we are twins seperated at birth...Our style is so similar!
  • I would go floor length if DH will be in a tux and you'll be with celebrities.

    I like the consignment shop idea  - and you could always sell it back and get some money back on it.

    Even this would be good too - it is $98 at Nordstrom online.


    imageimageJS Boutique Strapless Ruched Satin Gown

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  • I think #1 is the only I'd consider for an event like that.  But, really, I think for something black tie I personally would choose a longer gown.  I'd worry that in something shorter I'd appear under-dressed (I also believe it's better to be over-dressed than under-dressed though, but that's me).  I agree with Kirsten's suggestion--try checking out a consignment shop near you.  They'd probably have something, and it's a more economical option.
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  • Karrey I think we are twins seperated at birth...Our style is so similar!
    agree 100% Big Smile
  • I would do floor length if you can (you never know what you can find at Rack), but of the choices, I think that the first is the only one really appropriate enough for a "gala".  That word just ups the ante.
  • Black tie gala = floor length dress.  The one softskate posted is the one I'm plannnig on getting for the Marine Corps Ball this year just because it's under $100.  If you go that route let me know maybe I could buy it from you afterwards.

    Saw this and thought it might help a little.  I have to disagree that black tie automatically translates to floor length but the trick to a non-floor length gown is tons of accessorizing which could end up costing you more in the long run than a full length gown unless you have all these glamorous bits lying about. 

  • I liked the first one, too, but I'd still be ify... if they say black tie... I'd think floor length.   Love the consignment shop idea!  Are there any that do more upscale stuff?  (these are some from JCPenney that are not too $$)

    Long Satin Dress-BlackBeaded Grecian Chiffon Dress

    OR... sometimes Ann Taylor at the KOP mall has some long gowns they are getting rid of... Macy's, too...second dress comes in a cobalt blue @ Macy's...

    Alex Evenings Sleeveless One-Shoulder Empire Waist GownSpeechless Dress, Strapless Gown with Rose-Waist Detail



  • AND... I think any of these 4 would be cute with a shorter hem AFTER the event!
  • Thanks ladies! I'll definitely try to go long! I was going to wear my wedding earrings, which are super glitzy and I have a few shoe options and a nice clutch, so all I really need is a dress. Off to nordstrom, I'll let you know how it goes!
  • Black tie is floor length.  Not as fancy as white tie, but right up there.  No tea length or short...although that first dress is adorable.

    Try Marshalls or Ross, too.  I find great dresses there.  Or Windsor?  I don't know if they have these places in PA.  And like Agent said, consignment.  You can get great stuff that's been worn once (or never).

  • I love #1. I think if you accessorized it right, you'd be fine. But I think a lot of ladies will be wearing a floor-length dress.
  • ditto Aria on Ross or Marshalls! I have a floor-length black dress that I got there for a black tie event that I had to go to, and it was only $39! I went with a pretty basic black dress so that I can keep it in my closet in case something like that comes up again, and I can just change up the accessories. Let us know how your shopping trip goes!
  • Jumping in on the post a bit late,,, please let us know how you made out in a new post!
  • I think the 1st would be appropriate, but if you can find a floor length dress you like, I'd get it. Since you're concerned about not wearing it again, why not try to look for a dress you can shorten after you wear it.
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