Rehearsal dinner outfit

16 August 2012

Y’all, I need some help finding a dress for our rehearsal dinner. I was initially inclined to choose something white and go with the whole bridal theme, but if I’m purchasing a new dress, I’d like it to be useful post-wedding, and seeing as I already have a short white dress, I probably won’t have too many opportunities to wear both in the foreseeable future.

So no white – probably. Our rehearsal dinner is ocean-side, so something with a little nautical flair might be good, or I could see myself wearing “something blue” — Marget wore the cutest blue skirt and white top to her rehearsal and dinner, which I loved!

In the course of my hunt, I’ve searched the following sites:

Anne M. Cramer (nothing caught my eye), Anne Taylor, Anthropologie, B.B. Dakota, BCBG, Belk, Bevello, Gretchen Scott, H&M, J. Crew (nothing looked good), Kate Spade (too expensive), Kiribilla (too expensive), Lilly Pulitzer, The Limited, Loft, Madewell, Modcloth (either they were out of my size, the length was too short, or the fit+fabric had poor reviews), Nordstrom, Piperlime, Shopbop, Topshop, Trina Turk, and Zara. Whew.

After searching those 23 sites, here are the seven possibilities I found:

1) Coral one-shoulder dress by BCBGeneration via Piperlime ($89.50)
2) Color block tuck shift dress via TopShop ($95)
3) Colorblock crepe dress via Nordstrom ($98.90)
4) Cotton pleated sleeveless dress by LOFT ($85 – not available in my size online, but I might be able to find it in a store!)
5) Colorblock crepe de chine dress by Eliza J via Nordstrom ($92)
6) Jacquard cotton dress by Taylor Dresses via Nordstrom ($92)
7) Tylar dress by Lilly Pulitzer ($298)

Is anyone surprised that my favorite of the bunch is also the most expensive? I just adore the scalloped hem on the Lilly, and love that it has some nautical flavor (and is something (dark) blue) while still being endlessly wearable. I’ve also seen it in person, and the quality and fabric weight is awesome.

So, friends, to stop me from spending $298 on this dress, please suggest your best alternative shop or design. Or try to convince me that one of the other seven is a better choice. Or try to convince me that I should just go with the Lilly :)

Thank you in advance!!

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August 16, 2012 8:59 pm

Sorry – the Lilly is the best of the bunch!! I thought the same thing after scrolling through all of them, even before I read that it was your favorite (and of course the most expensive)!

August 16, 2012 10:40 pm

Frankly I LOVE option 6. I believe it’s a classic, fun, and flirty look. It seems very Jackie O. Plus leaves more to splurge on the shoes! :)

August 16, 2012 10:54 pm
August 16, 2012 11:28 pm

Definitely the gorgeous Lilly dress…that would be so stunning on you! Perfect Rehearsal Dinner dress that you can wear over and over again!

August 17, 2012 7:44 am

Go with the Lilly dress! $298 becomes a lot less if you wear it several times vs. a $100 dress that you may only wear once! Plus, it’s the prettiest! :D

August 17, 2012 7:57 am

I have that Lilly dress and I love it! Try looking around some Lilly Via websites and call the stores – most have all of their summer stuff on sale. Try The Pink Pelican, The Pink Silhouette, The Pink Crab, etc. Also, Lilly has their annual big sale on the 21st. I don’t think that dress will be on sale but it might!

August 17, 2012 7:58 am

I agree.. sigh… The Lilly is the cutest one!! (I can totally see it on you!!) But MAYBE, since summer is coming to a close, you might be able to find it one sale?! I would check Palm Avenue in Raleigh or Belk and just see if they’ve even marked it down a fraction so it’s better justified! I understand not wanting to spend the full price. It’s worth a shot to find out?! I’ve been having the same dilemma this week actually.. Finding a great rehearsal dress is tough work! Good luck!

August 17, 2012 8:45 am

I love #5! Have you thought about They have Lilly dresses on there

August 17, 2012 8:55 am

Hi Emily! Like you, I could never justify spending $298 on a dress that I won’t be able to wear on even a monthly basis. I absolutely love the Lily one too, but the first dress and the sixth dress are just as high on my favorites list. I had to buy a dress recently for an event, and a friend suggested I try Francesca’s. I really liked their selection and all of the dresses I tried were not too short (my #1 fear!).

Here’s the link to their dress page:

Good luck, Emily!

August 17, 2012 9:26 am

I feel your pain, I’m on the look-out for a cute rehearsal dinner dress too. I couldn’t find any white ones that I liked, so I’m just going to find one I like the best, no matter what the color.

I went by Dillard’s the other day, I don’t usually shop there but a friend suggested that I try them. They had a lot of really cute dresses and they were reasonably priced ($80-$150). I didn’t like their website, but the store itself has some great options.

August 17, 2012 9:58 am

@Carly: I just checked out Francesca’s, and they have some really cute stuff! Great tip!

@Laura: Will definitely check out Dillard’s! Thank you!

@Elizabeth: Yes, I’ve definitely considered Rent the Runway, but their Lilly dresses rent for $50, and if I’m going to spend $50 on a Lilly dress, I kind of want it to go to one I can actually keep. I think if I was stuck on wearing a white dress, I would seriously consider going the RTR route!

August 17, 2012 10:08 am

Not so much a fan of the 1-shoulder options. I love #6!

August 17, 2012 10:28 am

I love the Lilly! It was my pick at first sight. It’s perfect for a rehearsal dinner by the ocean. I would always rather spend more to get the item that I love than settle for something that I like a little less. You can’t help but to feel disappointed knowing what could’ve been. Plus, this is your wedding! If you have the funds for it, then I see no reason to hold back. : )

August 17, 2012 10:55 am

Whitney, you are my hero!! I called around to a few Lilly stores, and the fourth one had Ms Tylar on sale for 25% off, AND they were willing to ship my size in from another location! Going to pick it up next week! :)

August 17, 2012 1:27 pm

Upon first glance, I IMMEDIATELY gravitated toward the Lily as well, but feeling your pain, I think that plenty of those other dresses will be just as fab. Of all of them, I love #5 and #6 the best, besides #7 of course. I got a STEAL on my rehearsal dinner dress. From anthro, originally $200+/- and I got it for $59! I saw you found the Lilly on sale after all! Congrats!

August 17, 2012 6:47 pm

That’s awesome! I’m glad you will get to wear it :)

August 17, 2012 9:16 pm

#7 head and shoulder cuter than the rest.

August 17, 2012 9:49 pm

I came across this same problem when looking for my own rehearsal dinner dress this spring. Have you checked out Cameron Village? I ended up finding my at Charlotte’s for half of the price of a Lilly dress.

August 18, 2012 2:59 pm

i KNEW palm avenue would have it on sale! :)

August 20, 2012 9:08 pm

I LOVE the lily dress! I’m considering buying it for engagement photos but I’m not sure I can stomach the price tag!!!

August 21, 2012 1:02 pm

#7!!!! Em-It drew me in! I love it. I’m always attracted to the most expensive, too :( I think you can totally wear it many times again in the future, though. Look for coupons!