Even though the 2013 Mad Hatter’s Black & White Ball has already passed, there is never a wrong time to dress fancy! Check out our recommendations of stores and shopping websites where you get everything ranging from dresses and suits to accessories and shoes:
THE MAIN OUTFIT
Dress hunting can be really fun, just go with friends. Especially on Fridays when you are done with classes and you’re ready to relax. With all those worries about your classes and homework out the window, now you can get into weekend mode. Whether you’re hitting the clubs, going to a frat party, or just hanging with your friends, here are a few tips to amplify your outfit for Friday.
If your style is more on the preppy side, Forever 21 and Foreign Exchange are good places for you to consider. Forever 21 has dresses that work for this event. Shown below is a strapless black dress with a studded sweetheart bodice, asymmetrical skirt, and a chiffon top layer. That style is very versatile since the chiffon top layer makes the dress more elegant and the asymmetrical hem lengthens the legs. The material of the dress also moves with you and adds some flare to your strut.
Foreign Exchange is not necessarily available in every town but their website (www.shopfe.net) works just as well. Shown below is a burgundy strapless high-low dress. The price ranges for these store are from $10-$50.
If your style is more vintage, Shabby Apple (www.shabbyapple.com) is a great place to consider. Since the store specializes in making very modest dresses (i.e. all dresses have sleeves and are not higher than the knee), you wouldn’t have to worry about revealing too much skin like the white dress in the image below. The price range for the store is $75+.
If you want a more unique style, then Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange are definitely for you. Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange are both thrift/consignment stores so the style is definitely going to be unique and affordable.
If you want to go for more classic and elegant styles, Windsor (www.windsorstore.com) is a good place to check out. Windsor is a bit on the expensive side but the key is to look for sales and markdowns. Their markdowns can be pretty affordable. As for Windsor, they have a wide price range so you’re bound to find a dress you like and can afford. For example, they have this long red strapless dress that looks elegant because of its length and that the sweetheart bodice is very classic and can go with many types of shoes and many types of accessories. The price range for the store is $30+.
If you are more curvy, Torrid is a great place to look. The store specifically caters to plus-sized women and has many cute options. Shown above is a strapless black dress. The style and the color can also go well with a variety of accessories and shoes. Plus black and darker colors tend to be more flattering for the wearer. Eloquii, another plus-sized clothing store that is located inside the Limited, is also a good place to consider. However, their dresses are a bit on the expensive side. Another way is to wear an empire-waisted dress since that will bring out the hourglass figure more.
If your style is more on the alternative side, Tomboy Tailors (tomboytailors.com) is a great place though they seem to be on the expensive side since the clothes are custom made. They are located in San Francisco. Another option is Dutchess, which is a store based in Portland, Oregon that has a showroom in San Francisco. Both the stores offer custom suits that cater to a variety of genders. Dutchess even claims on their website (www.dutchessclothier.com) that since they are proponents of marriage equality, human rights, and equal style opportunities, they want to be able to make suits for everyone. They are available for monthly style appointments in their San Francisco showroom, so you must decide in advance. Men’s Wearhouse is also a great place.
Accessorizing is important. It can make any outfit go from casual to formal or from plain to bold. In this case, we’ll be accessorizing to be more elegant.
With that said, gold and silver-toned jewelry are good options since they are classic and can look expensive. Rhinestones and gemstone jewelry can also do that effect too. Just look at the Duchess of Cambridge Kate! However, since you’re most likely going to be dancing and moving a lot, wearing less and simpler jewelry is probably a good idea. It can make the dress bolder and more shapely. Again, clutches should definitely go with the dress though you can’t really go wrong with black or white.
Also, if you are wearing a black of white dress, neon or colorful accessories (including the shoes) are the way to go to make your ensemble stand out. If you are wearing a colorful dress, stick with a solid colored accessory so that your outfit will have an elegant balance of color to it. ModCloth and Forever 21 are great places for accessories.
As for shoes, well obviously it must go well with the dress you’re wearing. For example, black, red, or nude heels go well with most ensembles. Pumps are very universal. If you want to go for an edgier style, studded heels are a great idea. If your ensemble is mostly preppy, pastel colors work well.
If your ensemble is dominated by darker colors, don’t be afraid to try neon-colored heels. If you are wearing a form-fitting dress or the dresses like that of Shabby Apple, pointed-toe heels are ideal. Plus, since pointed-toe heels were popular in the 60s, they would look great with the dresses from Shabby Apple. With strappy heels, they look good with most dresses whether that be flowy or form-fitting.
As for clutches and crossbody bags, again, it should match the dress well. However, the style of the bag you’re carrying should be based on what you usually do at parties. If you want to have the bag with you at all time, a crossbody bag is ideal.
If you are going to put it down for a while, a clutch works. You can never go wrong with black or white. Studded clutches and crossbody bags are great with edgier ensembles. If you want to go bolder, animal prints are an awesome idea. Again, don’t be afraid of neons, especially when wearing a simple ensemble. Metallics can amplify your ensemble by adding a little more shine and pizazz, especially to a simpler ensemble. Nice embroidery and appliqués are also a great idea on a clutch or crossbody.
As for makeup, it depends on the type of outfit you’re wearing. For night time events, going bold with the makeup is a great idea. Definitely don’t be afraid to try something you usually don’t with a casual ensemble.
A winged cateye is good for bolder dresses while a dramatic smoky eyeshadow is good for more simpler, classic dresses to keep the balance in check. Don’t be afraid to try fake eyelashes, they can make your eyes pop. Otherwise, when else can you wear them?
As for the lips, you can hardly go wrong with nude or red lips. Don’t be afraid to try hot pink or fuchsia, they can make any ensemble bolder. Again, that night is the time to go bold and take fashionable risks. However, pink lips are better for the fair skinned, as coral is for the golden-undertoned, and plum for the darker-skinned. The night is also a great time to wear blush and bronzer. The eyes will be on you, so why not contour your face!
Today is definitely the time the week to go bold with your style and relax — or go crazy, whatever you like, my darlings.