belle of the ball

You remember Lee?

To recap, she was invited to a military ball and was trying to find a dress. The ball was last Friday and here she is in her selection, pretty in purple.


I don’t have the deets yet on how the night went, except that she had an amazing time.

On another note, I know I’ve been silent for a few days. I’ve been focusing on my short story, which I know you’re going to love, but it takes up all my writing energy. So bear with my creative processes, and I promise you shall be rewarded with literary genius.

Or at least a funny tale of… well, I don’t want to give anything away.


champagne or gunmetal?


Same dress, two different colors. I’m partial to the champagne gown pictured on the right. Lee is partial to its gunmetal sister pictured on the left. Let’s settle it here with an electronic arm wrestle. No, seriously, please feel free to weigh in with your favorite.

(For those who are wondering what happened to the pink over budget dress, according to Lee the material was very delicate and she had already noticed some snags in the fabric, not acceptable for an $800 dress. She was worried about the gown standing up to a cross-country airplane ride, not to mention the prospects of getting multiple wears out of it.)

Ultimately, Lee has to make her own decision based on what she feels most comfortable wearing, but I champagne plan champagne to champagne work champagne on champagne subtly champagne swaying champagne her champagne to champagne choose champagne my champagne favorite.


Update: the military ball

Belle of the Ball? Style Dilemma? Who has time to shop for a ball, even a Special Forces Ball? Oh right. I need to make time. I promised my assistance to Lee. But this week has been nothing short of pressure-filled, and suddenly it’s Thursday without a dress contender in sight. Don’t you hate it when your day job and adult responsibilities keep you from your hobbies?

Lee says her top three dress options thus far are: a Tadashi Shoji One Shoulder Belted Gown that is sadly no longer available; this Jim Hjelm beauty; and the Amsale Back Cutout Gown in a merlot color that would be gorgeous with her hair color. ┬áIt’s a good start, but my anxiety level might be a little high given that she hasn’t tried on a single gown. Let’s keep in mind my own guest of a wedding style dilemma dress was discovered after many many misses. (To be precise: two online ordered and returned dresses; one unsuccessful visit each to Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales; and two visits and one purchased and returned dress from Neiman Marcus, all before I found the winner at Betsy Fisher.)

Lee is going to have better luck. Lee is going to have better luck. Lee is going to have better luck.

My favorites, sight unseen?

I adore this Dalia MacPhee gown and while I pinned it in silver, the designer informed me that it comes in other fabulous colors too. Last night, a mutual friend pinned this Notte by Marchesa slik-chiffon gown which has an appropriate level of sex appeal. (I hear there is e-flirting going on.) And the dress I’m yearning for is this 1951 Schiaparelli. I know, this exercise is about Lee’s impending ball, not my fantasy one.

But we all dream about being the belle of our own ball.

the military ball

This week’s edition of Must Have Monday is being postponed in order to bring you this special bulletin. Over the weekend, I received somewhat of an urgent email from a friend I’m going to call Lee. The message read something like this:

Help! I was just invited to attend a military ball out of town in mid June, and I want to wear a fabulous dress. I enjoyed reading about and seeing pictures from your own adventures during the guest of the wedding style dilemma, and I would like to put myself in your hands and be your project.

Devotedly Yours in Fashion,


As it turns out, DC Celine and I have been dying for a good fashion project since successfully finding me a dress for Kaitlan’s wedding.

There’s not a lot of time to act. The event is a Special Forces Ball, and the location is some place not subject to high heat and humidity this early in the summer the way we are here. Lee is a busy professional with an active social life so we’ll have to jump immediately on the project. Her open mind on the specifications of this dress should make her an easy candidate to dress. She wants a floor length gown. Unlike me, she doesn’t have a bunch of absurd rules about what she will or won’t wear. (In other words, she’s open to strapless and one-shouldered options.) And she looks fabulous in bold colors. No black dress is going to win this challenge if I have anything to say about it. Lee also works out regularly and will look good in just about any style of dress.

There will be a Pinterest board: belle of the ball dress challenge. (If you want pinning rights, comment here or send me an email and I’ll add you to the esteemed list.)

There will be a Twitter hashtag: #belleoftheball

There will be shopping (of course) and pictures of dresses Lee tries on.

And at the end of the project, there will be a beautiful dress on its way westward for an evening of dancing with men in uniform. While her relationship with her date is platonic, it doesn’t mean the dress won’t get potential date use some other time when she gets back home.

I’m thinking Inaugural Ball.