Wedding Guest Seeks Blue Dazzler
November 2, 2018 9:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm attending a wedding in one month and I need a dress. In blue. That fits my persnickety list of requirements. I also hate clothes shopping - help?

The grooms are requesting everyone wear blue, which, is a color easily found and I like wearing, so that's the easy part. Here's my wish-list:
I'm 5'10" and a size 14 with a big tummy. I look pregnant. I'm not. It's where all my weight sits. Fit-and-Flare looks great on me. Sheath/bodycon/etc. are OUT.
I have a flat chest.
I need sleeves. They can be short (the wedding is in Florida), but they have to exist.
A more modest style is my style. I can happily show my legs, but no open back, plunging chest etc.
I want something fun. My friend is fun. The wedding is in their backyard. I always like dressing up a little more than I have to, so fancy is desired, too. Patterns/stripes/other colors are fine; the blue requirement is flexible.
This is basically the most beautiful dress ever, but my budget needs to cap at $300. (you guys, help, I am so close to buying that dang dress and I can't afford it.)
If anyone has local options, I'm in Cincinnati, and will also be in Columbus and Las Vegas before the wedding.
Also, accessories/shoe recommendations gratefully accepted.
posted by missmary6 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not sure if this fits your sleeved requirements, but I have worn this navy Ted Baker dress to 2 weddings and it is very cute, I get lots of compliments. And it has pockets!
posted by radioamy at 9:13 AM on November 2, 2018 [5 favorites]

That dress is sooooo pretty I can see why you're so tempted! I've just searched ebay for "chiffon lace dress blue" and there's so many knockoffs of this type of thing.
posted by london explorer girl at 9:15 AM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Have you considered Rent the Runway? You could stretch that $300 budget into something pretty kickass.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:18 AM on November 2, 2018 [18 favorites]

I just got this myself; they have the XL still in Navy.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:24 AM on November 2, 2018

These from Anthropologie (1) (2) might be a little less fancy than what you are going for, but are both lovely and could be dressed up quite a bit with accessories from your leftover budget

In the fancier dress category (and if you are ok with Navy blue), a few options: this floor length and this velvet number or this draped dress
posted by nuclear_soup at 9:25 AM on November 2, 2018

This lace one from modcloth isn't too far off from your linked example

Not as "fun" but this could work as well

I don't think this back is too plunging for you either
posted by raccoon409 at 9:25 AM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Anyway Macy's has the best engine for selecting by criteria; they can show you everything that's blue, has sleeves, of whatever length, and is available in your size, for a formal party, all at once. Something like this is nice and flowy over the tummy. Oh and shipping (over some reasonable minimum) AND returns are totally free so it's easy to buy a bunch and return what you don't keep.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:31 AM on November 2, 2018

Same dress in a shorter length at Dillard's for $315 (note size guide; some reviews say dresses run big from this brand)
(Tadashi Shoji's sale page might be worth a scroll)
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:43 AM on November 2, 2018 [10 favorites]

What about another blue Tadashi Shoji dress at just a tad over your budget?

I find that Tadashi Shoji styles don't change that much from season to season, so you could also try looking for dresses on sale or at retailers like Nordstrom Rack, Off Fifth, BlueFly, etc.
posted by CiaoMela at 9:44 AM on November 2, 2018 [6 favorites]

I recently got a dress from Asos for a wedding and it worked out very well. I liked ordering multiple styles and sizes, trying them on at home, and shipping them back easily. For your requirements, look at this one and this one.
posted by xo at 9:53 AM on November 2, 2018

Maybe check David's Bridal. There are more than 250 options for blue dresses that cost no more than $300.
posted by jenny76 at 9:57 AM on November 2, 2018

Ooh, fantasy shopping!

Is a print okay? It's got that fit and flare shape and elbow-length sleeves.

Or maybe velvet is more your speed? Sweetheart neckline, midi length. The color is gray but looks blue to me.

This one's got cap sleeves and lace overlay.
posted by tuesdayschild at 11:07 AM on November 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

Definitely take a look at Rent the Runway if you're open to renting. There are a lot of good dresses there that meet your requirements. Take a look at this one!
posted by mjcon at 11:10 AM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

eShakti dresses can be customized (including adding sleeves for the sleeveless dresses below). Here are some pretty navy & blue options:
- ruffle chiffon dress
- ruffle dot tulle dress
- navy blue dupioni floral dress
- floral embellished yoke dupioni dress
posted by aabbbiee at 12:07 PM on November 2, 2018

How about this navy dress from Modcloth? This one is cute, too!
posted by bluedaisy at 12:21 PM on November 2, 2018

These dresses from amazon come with all sleeve lengths, are super comfy and super cheap. They have pockets! They also come in 100s of styles.

From what I can tell, some factory in china just spits them out because they'll be under a different brand name every week.

I've seen lots of people dress them up for weddings using shoes and belts.

It's $20.
posted by bbqturtle at 12:25 PM on November 2, 2018

This and this from BHLDN are both lovely and have sleeves without being dowdy! BHLDN in general is a nice place for formals that cap out at about $200.
posted by assenav at 12:50 PM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Based on your description of your body type the dress you linked will be unflattering (sorry). You need something that doesn’t draw a ton of attention to your natural waist. A bit of a nip in is likely fine, although may make the fit off, but a serious lace detail ending at bellybutton level is not going to do what you want it to.

I agree about the BHLDN Mendoza dress linked immediately above.

The Diane Von Furstenburg site lets you sort by size and color and has a lot of wrap/sleeves styles in your size. Definitely on the fun side of things!
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 1:31 PM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

This blue floral dress at Bloomingdale's has the right shape and a cap sleeve. Not at all like the example dress though.

Off 5th has this Tadashi Shoji
posted by crush at 1:55 PM on November 2, 2018

I wore this Modcloth dress to my sisters wedding in July. You and I are the same size / height... I was about to get out dry cleaned and... I don't know. I have zero use for nice dresses generally so if you're interested just MeMail me. It's a really nice dress.
posted by jrobin276 at 5:15 PM on November 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

I love this one from Long Tall Sally, and it's fifty-freaking-five bucks.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:28 PM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh, do the shorter one Iris Gambol links to! It’s so gorgeous and you’ll actually get more wear out of it since it’s knee length. Tadashi Shoji dresses are so beautifully made and so fantastically detailed, and that style of pleated skirt is very flattering to women (like myself!) who carry out weight in the stomach.
posted by alleycat01 at 10:20 PM on November 2, 2018

You might also look at Adriana Papell gowns, which you can usually find in the $100-300 range. I bought and tried on this one for a recent wedding and it was very flattering, but sadly they didn’t have my size. (I personally like that gorgeous electric blue of the Tadashi Shoji better, but this could be a good option if you want that skirt style in a longer length in your budget!)
posted by alleycat01 at 10:27 PM on November 2, 2018

Different shade of blue, but same designer and an extra 25% off the price listed here. It's a 16 instead of a 14, but I'd rather have the room for alterations, especially if it's being shipped. Would look totally fabulous with silver sandals.
posted by dancinglamb at 10:40 PM on November 2, 2018

Another designer you might want to check out is Eliza J. Her stuff is carried at Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor, Dillard's, etc. Very well made, but her sizes seem to run a little small. I bought a stunning cocktail dress for a party over the summer and had to go up a size because it was lined (and had pockets!) but had absolutely no give to it. She has both regular and plus sizes, cocktail and full length dresses in lace, prints and solids. Absolutely in the affordable price range.
posted by dancinglamb at 10:50 PM on November 2, 2018

Oh, sorry, the dress I linked to doesn’t have sleeves :( Reading fail! My apologies.
posted by alleycat01 at 11:31 PM on November 2, 2018 is the clearance site for zappos, both of which usually have a good selection of nice dresses. I usually start with those sites when I'm looking for something with specific requirements.
posted by vignettist at 1:18 PM on November 3, 2018

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