How does a fashion-challenged (...that's putting it mildly...) and budget-limited gal transform a cheap (but cute!) white dress into the perfect outfit for a fancy/stylish Parisian-themed "black and white" party? Details, photos, snowflakes, and Bonus Questions inside!
For her 30th birthday, my uber-stylish bestie is being thrown a Paris-inspired cocktail party with a black and white theme. I will be attending from out-of-town as a surprise for the birthday girl (yay!). Unfortunately, this means that my usual go-to resource in times of fashion-related desperation and distress, the very stylish and always fabulous birthday girl herself, is unavailable to me. I am therefore at a complete loss. I have the dress
(#4 in that pic), but have no idea how to transform it from cute-ish-but-bland-and-obviously-cheap into fashionable-and-able-to-pass-as-fancy-from-a-moderate-distance-in-a-darkish-room (which is really the best I think I can manage. My lack of style-skills is pretty astounding for a 29-year-old woman). I have a hunch (though it remains unfounded) that my goal can be accomplished through the mysterious dark magic of accessorizing....about which I know nothing. That's where YOU stylish, fancy, beautiful people come in. Please hope me!
- Here are more shots of the dress (with apologies to whatever random internet girl I am shamelessly re-posting photos of....thanks, Google image search). It's pretty plain
, but there are cute white mesh panels on the side wais
t that awesomely show off my lower-rib tattoos, and an interesting cut-out detail
in the back.
- The invitations for the party suggest we dress in the black and white theme, and with "Parisian flair". I have no idea what that means, but these photos were included
- I have very little budget for this project (plane tickets were spendy!), so I'd like to spend no more than $40 on this metamorphosis. There's a chance I may be able to scrounge/borrow a few items from friends, but I'd rather not have to depend on that. Cheap is OK, durability is not really a concern.
- I will be wearing black brocade-ish peep-toe heels on my feet that look more-or-less (but not exactly) like these
- The party is being thrown at this bar here
, in Toronto's swanky Yorkville neighbourhood, but most of the guests are, like myself, not the usual clientele of this sort of fancy locale...but I'd like to look like the part.
- I'm interested in putting together a look that is theme-and-venue appropriate, and yet still fun/funky/creative (I'd like to still feel like my whack-o, goofy self while still looking swanky)
- The party is Oct. 26, so the option of ordering things online is available, but risky time-wise.
- I am in a large-ish US city, and have access to brick-and-mortar stores of many of the usual suspects in the cheap/mass-market fashion industry (though not to H&M), and will have some time in Toronto on the day of the event to pick things up there if you have Toronto-specific suggestions (though I'd rather not be shopping that day if I can avoid it)
- My initial impulse was to find/borrow a black blazer to wear, and add a skinny black patent belt to the dress, maybe some pearls...but that's about as far as I got, and I'm not convinced it's an entirely good idea...I'm sure you all have WAY more creative/fun/funky/gorgeous thoughts.
So, fashion-forward MeFites, what sort of accessorizing does this dress need? I'm open to any and all suggestions, and especially in need of help in the jewelery department. Visual aids would be super helpful. Bonus points if you can point me towards where I can actually acquire the items you suggest (either online or in person). Double bonus points if you have gorgeous and EASY suggestions for what the crap I should do with my hair to compliment the look (the hair is very long, but I am very inept). Triple bonus points if you have suggestions for what The Manfriend should wear. I can't even begin to comprehend that one...
Merci beaucoup, mes amis!