If Medvedev is presenting, I can't wear my old prom dress.
March 30, 2011 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Where would you go in NYC to find a very formal gown for a tall (but, maybe conveniently, sample-sized) woman? Catch: poor student.

I'm going to be attending the Global Energy Prize gala (yes, I am excited!) in St. Petersburg in June, and I need a dress. I'd like something floor-length and classy; I'd rather shy away from bridesmaidey styles and I have a real weakness for structure and draping, though I generally can't afford them. Ideally I would spend ballpark $300 on a gown. Are there any boutiques, consignment stores, or websites that list sample sales that you could suggest? I don't live in NYC, but I'll be there for a visit in a few weeks. I'm tall and skinny, and I'd ideally like something floor-length; BCBG, for example, is always too short.
posted by you're a kitty! to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total)
I don't have time to do the google foot work, but some ideas:

Sample sales - nymag and others

Consignment stores (upper east side)


posted by cestmoi15 at 9:24 AM on March 30, 2011

You can always try Loehman's, 17th and 7th. The very top floor has designer evening gowns of some variety. The third floor has evening gowns that are slightly cheaper (definitely within your price range). I would suggest going on a weekday afternoon when it will not be too busy.
posted by nikitabot at 9:36 AM on March 30, 2011

Along the same lines as Loehmann's, you can try Century 21 in the Financial District. Be prepared for general shopping craziness- every time I've gone, it's been near-madness. But if you can tolerate that, and small, loud, only-semi-private dressing rooms, you can find some fantastic deals on designer dresses.
posted by rachaelfaith at 10:38 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Rent the Runway is really really awesome and I highly recommend it. You can spend less than $300 to get an amazing designer dress (one that costs many thousands of dollars), it will be floor length, you can try on multiple sizes, etc etc. Unless you plan to attend a lot of galas, I'd definitely go with RtR. A lot of my friends have rented gowns from them and had great experiences.
posted by telegraph at 10:44 AM on March 30, 2011

Yes, Century 21.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:44 AM on March 30, 2011

Response by poster: Rent the Runway is a great idea, except that I'll be out of the country for a few weeks. I did look into it, but they don't offer rentals that long, and I wouldn't want to try and ship internationally.

Thanks for all the great ideas so far!
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:49 AM on March 30, 2011

ebay, dude. Thats where people buy this stuff...wear it once...TRY to wear it one more time, and then toss it on ebay because its a lost cause.

posted by hal_c_on at 12:13 PM on March 30, 2011

Ina, on Prince Street, is an excellent couture consignment store.
posted by nicwolff at 12:42 PM on March 30, 2011

I know you said no bridesmaidy stuff, but Amsale, Thread, and J Crew have structured drapey bridesmaid dresses that don't look bridesmaidy. Amsale and Thread you go and make appointments and then order; J Crew you just order a bunch online and then return the ones you don't want.
posted by pipti at 5:07 PM on March 30, 2011

Filene's Basement upstairs from DSW at Union Square had a nice selection of formal gowns at fantastic prices...I found a floor length pewter dress last week that would have been my ideal 20th anniversary vow-renewal dress had I not opted out of the whole vow-renewal shin-dig.
posted by squasha at 6:10 PM on April 1, 2011

whoops, forgot the point of mentioning my dream dress; it was only $185.
posted by squasha at 6:11 PM on April 1, 2011

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