I Need a Fabulous Dress
June 4, 2018 2:03 PM   Subscribe

I have been invited to a wedding at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. The dress code is "creative formal." I need to find a fabulous statement dress to wear. Help!

The couple getting married is known for their epic parties, and they have super, super cool and fashionable friends. I'm not very fashionable, but I'm not scared to go out of my comfort zone and I'd like to go all out!

I have been looking on Pin Up Girl clothing and Anthropologie's websites, but haven't found the right thing. If we can find one, we are going to rent a powder blue suit for my husband to wear - so, I'm picturing a kind of flowy dress with a 60s/70s vibe, but it needs to make a statement!

I'm not particularly tall or thin (5'6" 160 lb), so I'm not sure any serious designer dresses will work for me. I am willing to spend up to $300.

Any other websites or stores that might have some options for me? I live in Denver, if anyone local has ideas. Thank you!
posted by GoldenEel to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Rent the runway. I was skeptical, but I'm shorter and weigh more than you and I got three dresses that were stunning.
posted by dpx.mfx at 2:08 PM on June 4, 2018 [10 favorites]

Seconding Rent the Runway!
posted by something_witty at 2:10 PM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

You might want to try a vintage clothing store like this one.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:13 PM on June 4, 2018

There are some really fun dresses of all kinds of styles at ModCloth that will look fantastic on you and are stylish and fun.
posted by jillithd at 2:20 PM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Etsy has lots of great vintage dresses. You can find any sort you're looking for there, and really narrow it down by era.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 2:25 PM on June 4, 2018

Depending on how much time you have you can also try Trunk Club. Nordstrom owns them but if you tell them your budget and what you're lookign for they will send ten of them to your house and you can keep what you want and return the others. If you have a nordstrom card, it's free, other wise I think it's $20. THe stylist will call you and talk to you enough to get a pretty good grasp on what you want.
posted by dpx.mfx at 2:26 PM on June 4, 2018

Possibly not formal enough for you but I bought this dress just because I loved it that much (it's less royal blue than it is in the photos -- the video is closer to the color it is in person). I'm about 5'2" ~155 pounds and I think this dress looks fabulous on me. (It at least, has the flowy '70s thing down).

ASOS is worth a look, anyway, although it's a lot to go through. Returns are free & you have the option to fill out a size profile, which is pretty accurate in my experience.
posted by darksong at 2:27 PM on June 4, 2018 [9 favorites]

One of the great things about Rent the Runway is that you can see pictures of the dress on regular people of varying sizes.

I think this would look good with a powder blue suit.

If you're adventurous, separates are really in right now.
posted by FirstMateKate at 2:38 PM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Madonna Inn fanatic here. I am so jealous that you are going to a wedding there with a "creative formal" theme. Whatever you do, don't think subtle for your outfit and accessories. Think:

- pink and gold
- cherubs
- glitter and opalescent shine
- caveman
- jungle
- carved dark wood

Seriously, go to town. darksong's blue cape dress would be beautiful with some strong accessories. Have an awesome time!
posted by queensissy at 3:03 PM on June 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Oh my god darksong that cape dress is amazing.

If you're interested in going in a disco glam direction, might I suggest a formal jumpsuit? I have a wide leg
posted by LadyNibbler at 3:07 PM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ugh hit post too soon. I have a wide leg one that I love and makes me feel 1000% cooler than I actually am! Rent the runway has some great options:



With a cape!
posted by LadyNibbler at 3:16 PM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I live for the day I can wear something from unique vintage to an event
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:29 PM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I also thought wide leg jumpsuit!
posted by jbenben at 4:08 PM on June 4, 2018

eshakti! They'll customize for things like length and neckline too.
posted by AliceBlue at 4:27 PM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

The suggestions for dresses are excellent, but I'm going to suggest another direction:

If you already have a basic dress that you love, wear that and spend your budget on accessories.

A fancy hat or a horned headdress? A mask? Some wings? A glorious body chain? Go wild.
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:33 PM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh my. I have found the dress for you. That dress with some fabulous hair, and you're set.

If you want bolder, try this one. And it would be perfect with a guy wearing a powder blue suit! Again you'd need over the top hair.

Lastly, this might change your guy's choices, but I think it would be so, so awesome if you wore this dress -- with a top hat.
posted by OrangeDisk at 6:36 PM on June 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

Nthing Rent The Runway, but be sure to look at what kind of underthings they say you'll need.
posted by honeybee413 at 7:13 PM on June 4, 2018

Thank you all! I'm going to check out Rent the Runway, but I think ASOS may have that touch of weird that I am looking for!
posted by GoldenEel at 9:23 AM on June 5, 2018

Madonna Inn should be on the National Historic Registry: kitschy and over the top, splendid and appalling at the same time. You should look at hundreds of pictures of the Inn to immerse yourself in the gestalt. Queensissy summarized the pastiche: every hotel room has a different theme, from Mermaid to Tarzan, with Marie Antoinette and Liberace as the guiding principles.

Any stock character, as a camp caricature, would fit right in.
posted by ohshenandoah at 7:27 AM on June 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

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