Privilege Blog

How To Squeeze Value Out Of An Expensive Dress

As I have said, my brother’s getting married this spring. The event promises to be creative, given that my brother and his fiance are both therapists, and both involved in the Burning Man community, whereas the venue is old-style San Francisco,  Very happy events, family weddings, and often occasion for new clothes.

Except the fading family fortune cannot support the purchase of that festive Erdem or Etro print, at the moment.

While it’s possible that I’ll find a dress I can afford (Jessica? Ms. Simpson? I did ask you to call, if you’ll remember), more likely I’m going to repurpose a dress purchased in the previous 18 months. Because while Grandes Dames love their designer frocks, Sturdy Gals want to wear them into shreds.

First up, Narciso Rodriguez. (Many of you reading are new. Thank you for coming. Here’s the dress purchase story.) I love this dress, which, to set the scene, is quite close-fitting round the ribcage.

However, I suffer old school reservations. I can throw off qualms about a lot of wedding etiquette, (contrary to popular opinion no gods sit on the summit of Style Mountain, throwing down thunderbolts, and weddings create their own particular microclimates), but I cannot quite forget that black is for mourning. And we will be celebrating. With abandon.

If I do make my peace with black, however, I certainly would need some festive, even subversive shoes. One cannot wear Louboutin Simple 70s to a celebration which may include spirit totems. But these would do,

except they cost almost as much as a new frock.

As do these.

Lanvin Ruffle Sandals

The fashion-forward Ms. Bunny of Bunnies and Beagles introduced me to Loeffler Randall booties, which, on sale, are closer to a price I would consider. But as long as we are approaching real, I have to admit I am not going to dance in a 95mm heel.

So let’s consider a Prada dress. (Again, purchase story, here.) Which is black, white, and pale yellow-brown..

I’m wondering if adventurous color could take Ms. Prada all the way to Burning Man-meets-Arts-and-Crafts-Era? Not my strong point, color. Not my area of expertise. How about these rose-red shoes? Comfortable, pretty, and, even better, mine for the past 6 years.

And maybe this, wrapped round my wrist as a bracelet?

Turquoise, San Benito Magdalena

I even have some handcrafted turquoise earrings – although I gave them to my daughter, I’m sure she’ll loan them back. But that begs the question. Do I really have the Artsy Cousin cajones to mix turquoise, red, brown and black? Italian runway with handmade semi-precious? Or must one hew to the Sturdy Gal path and wear something more predictable?

What would you do?

Manolo Blahnik via Barney’s
Lanvin, via Barney’s
Loeffler Randall
Virgins, Saints, and Angels San Benito Necklace via Ylang23

63 Responses

  1. Although I wear a lot of black, and would wear black to a winter wedding, somehow it seems all wrong for a summer event. Mourning color, yes, and also like you had absolutely nothing else to wear.
    I think the Prada dress would work with gold sandals or maybe even a citrus color shoe. I think I’d look for a platform sandal with an espadrille or cork wedge, and then gold or citrus straps. And, if you need a wrap, something in a similar color family to the shoe. The Prada dress has the pale yellow in there, so I’d work on pulling out that color – the turquoise, raspberry, etc. – all fight it.

  2. OOh, I would do the Prada dress. It definitely has a more light-hearted party feel. I think the idea to do the turquoise necklace as a bracelet is fabulous, but that leaves me questioning the shoes. Do you have shoes with either the gold or turquoise tones in the necklace, or even a nude sandal?

  3. The Prada! The Prada! It’s so chic and festive. Gold sandals, or black sandals with lots of gold accents. Gold earrings and lots of gold bangles. With your hair, fabulous!

  4. i wore a black linen dress to a wedding last summer and it was fine. if i were you, i’d wear that gorgeous prada and go to nordstrom and get a pretty gold (reasonably priced) sandal that i could dance in. and then wear your pretty jewelry. you will look beeeautiful.


  5. I continue to covet the Prada dress. LOVE it. I just bought my first high-end day dress. I can’t wait to write about it. And now that I have my costly frock I thank you and benefit from your exploration of how to squeeze value out it. Thank you!

  6. “Do I really have the Artsy Cousin cajones to mix turquoise, red, brown and black?”

    You are going to have half the battle won when you replace the word Artsy with Artistic. I’m not the firt person to tell you you’re an artist, an artist who paints vivid abstractions with words. Embrace your Artistic Sister/Sister-in-law Style, wear that Prada accessorized with watevertheheck you feel inspired to wrap around yourself at the very last moment, just as you’re getting dressed. Wear the same shoes you wore with Reg and Max, just take them off for dancing…[“LOOK, look at Lisa, Gawd can you believe she’s dancing BARE FOOTED!”]

  7. I love the idea of coloured shoes with that Prada dress, but those particular shoes, for me, have too much pattern and texture for that dress (at least, the shoes look like suede in this photo, whereas in summer I’d prefer a more matte, or even shiny, leather, but not suede). Anyway, since you’re shopping your wardrobe for the dress, I’d say you can justify a new shoe easily, especially a fun coloured pair. But a bronze metallic sandal could work as well and you’d get lots of wear from these beyond the wedding (again with the rationalizaton!)
    Love to see how you’re working the CPW for the Prada dress
    and btw, my mother-of-the-bride dress for my daughter’s wedding seven years ago was black. Light-hearted summery black, though, if that’s not oxymoronic — and it was a beach wedding AND the bridesmaids wore black and pink . . . they’re still married so I know the dress wasn’t a jinx . . .

  8. Lisa, I love them both, would go with the Prada.

    Also adore the red suede shoew, though I would do a lighter color in a sandle or pump that would bring a lighter feel to the ensemble.

    Perfect jewelry!


    Art by Karena

  9. Both ensembles are lovely! I would have them both ready to go, and on the morning of, make my decision, based on which I would feel most comfortable in that day!

  10. The Prada for sure…and some pretty sandals in gold or if you feel like flirting a bit…some shoes with a smattering of yellow.

    Add a pashmina wrap and some bling…
    maybe borrowed from your friendly resident jeweler…

    Emma Thompson wears a black dress to a wedding in the movie I think it’s called Last Chance Harvey and looks stunning…have you seen it?

    Whatever you choose to wear it sounds like an occasion for the memory book… tuck a lacy hanky into your clutch you might need one.

  11. The Prada dress gets my vote, it’s gorgeous, I also love the red shoes but see that gold sandals are advised by many of your other followers, that sounds good too. Just don’t do a Helelna Bonham- Carter and wear shoes in different coloursxx

  12. “one cannot wear Loubs to a wedding which may include a spirit totem”- you simply kill me. slay.

    I know MoMo would agree with my idea too (she loves a good black dress almost as much as you- but black is her color)- I’d wear the NR dress and go very turquoise-heavy on the jewels- very RL Santa Fe.



  13. My first thought when I saw you were considering the Rodriguez dress was “Black? For a Spring wedding? Ballsy!” Proving that while my vocabulary needs improvement, I’m not a complete fashion Philistine.

    Seriously, though – I LOVE the suede shoes (I’m not impressed with any of the black heels; the second pair is awful, IMHO), but with the black dress – yes, I’d totally wear red shoes with a black dress, and accessorize accordingly. However, since it IS a Spring wedding, I’d go with the Prada and yes, as has been suggested, perhaps a gold sandal. I’m not big on jewelry, especially turquoise, so I’m kinda “meh” on that idea – I could take it or leave it.

  14. I can’t let you wear black to a wedding, my mother would never forgive me!

    Like you, I cannot and will not justify buying a posh frock solely for a wedding.
    I think the Prada dress is a stunner and could easily take centre stage – ok maybe not centre there is a bride to consider but yes to Prada.

  15. Despite my arty cousin status (and we artsy types often favor black), I caution you against the beautiful black dress. I wore a lovely black dress to my brother’s spring wedding a few years back because It was the only one I had found that fit my then size 18 figure. The bride actually looked at me agast and said “you wore black to my wedding??? I blamed it on being a New Yorker. It took her 3 years to forgive me. So I say to you Prada, Prada, Prada!

  16. I’ll never forget the first time I saw black at a wedding…picture New York, the Lady Chapel @ St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, 1982.

    I was shocked then and am still somewhat shocked now.

    So I’d vote for the Prada also, and I love the thought of bronze/gold shoes of some sort and a wrap if needed.

  17. I see that Prada dress with the red shoes and orange accessories. I suggest the orange lean closer to the reddish-orange variety. Although, I am not against black for weddings, as improper as some may see it.

    And thank you for linking to me! I feel honored.

  18. Definitely the Prada dress. I’d personally opt for a bronze sandal, but my coloring is much closer to your daughter’s. I would like either the red shoe, or the turquoise – I dont think I’d mix them with the Prada print. Either a neutral shoe and turquoise jewelry, or a colored shoe and lots of gold jewelry.

  19. My initial thought was that I’d like to see a picture of you in the Prada with the turquoise, et als, to see what you had in mind; but with most comments coming in with the Prada and gold sandals, I’d heed their advice. You’d be very welcomed to take a picture in the P&T anyway!
    Do let us know what you decide, dear.

  20. Hi Hon, It’s your long lost Italian Artsy cousin with serious cojones. Remember our Aunt Maria? Yes, the one who wore leopard pants in the sixties and worked at Bloomingdales? Well, she would wear the Prada with a true red (possibly patent) shoe, nails and lips to match. Turquoise and gold bling, gold bag. And if she could steal one from a neighbor’s garden? A big red rose in her hair.

  21. What a relief. At the last black-tie wedding we attended I was the only one wearing navy silk in a sea of black satin. (And this was in Boston, of all places!) Call me old-fashioned, but I save my little black dress for other occasions. The Prada with red shoes, definitely. And I love the necklace!

  22. I think the Prada could go with gold shoes and the turquoise/gold jewels, although I also like the idea of turquoise/aqua or orange shoes. (I used to have some orange shoes with a metallic gold sheen that I loved.)

    You have time to look around for the perfect thing. But I think the message is clear: shoes in happy bright or metallic tones feel like the direction to go in.

    And lovely Saint Benedict piece BTW. I left Christianity behind a LONG time ago, but I’ve always liked the aesthetic of that medal.

  23. I vote Prada with a metallic shoe. I do also like the idea mixing in some orange and the turquoise jewelry is beautiful!


  24. If it were me I would wear the black dress and make an obi sash that would incorporate the colors that you like, or an amazing scarf that would highlight that gorgeous necklace-cum-bracelet. as an example
    Here is a DIY tutorial link:
    I know that whatever you choose it will be outstanding ! Nothing better to use a classic and give it a lovely unexpected twist.
    You’ve the “It” factor,the skies the limit.

  25. Is the wedding day or evening? How far into spring? Another thought would be a ‘nude’ shoe, allowing for jewelry and wrap to add the interest/color.

  26. I like the idea of a nude shoe as well. It won’t detract from the Prada and the jewelry (LOVE the necklace/bracelet), and will make your legs look a mile long. What lady doesn’t appreciate that? You’ve never mentioned nude shoes that I recall. Do you have an opinion on them? If they interest you, surely you could justify their purchase if you haven’t a pair already. I’ve been casually cruising for some for a few months and I’d love to see your suggestions.

  27. New to your site and love, love, love. If the Spring wedding is at evening time, I say you wore the Prada at Thanksgiving, right? So a sexy bright colored shoe and jewelry should be a choker near your face should work with the black dress.

  28. Hate to be a tag along – but the Prada is it! But wouldn’t do those shoes – sorry. I agree with all those who suggested gold sandals – there should be plenty of reasonable versions out there and it will give it a dash of festive glamour!

  29. ‘Hell no’ to the rosy-red suede shoes! The only suede appropriate here would be on a guy wearing khakis and white bucks…sans hosiery. The dress is knock-out, so too should the shoes be.
    “You had them tack it up”…is that how it is in dress shops that only have 25 or so items for sale in them? They “tack things up” for there customers? Did you have to go back to pick it up or did they “tack” onsite…did Abe do this tailoring?
    I’m serious…can’t quite relate, but I adore this blog.

  30. I cast my vote for the Prada dress. While the all black number would likely be stunning, I agree with you and the other commentators who feel that it may not be as appropriate for a summer wedding. I love, also, the turquoise jewelery. Perhaps a gold sandal or open-toed pump would pair nicely?

  31. Artsy cousin wins the bet for me. The color combination is great, unexpected yet understated. The shoes are a marvel. Go for it, Lisa. It’s fun and happy. The black is a bit dour.

  32. Lets start an Erdem fund right now! Together with the rose-red shoes. Sorry, I am not a big help.
    When I saw the thumbnail with the black dress I was almost worried you had bought it for your brother’s wedding. Phew. Please don’t make peace with it, not for your brother’s wedding.

  33. Definitely the Prada, and bronze or gold shoes. The turquoise jewelry might work because it picks up the yellow and adds an unexpected note. Next time you’re in NY you can pick up a pseudo-pashmina on the street for $5 – or several, in different colors, to see which works best with the dress.

  34. Being that if I shared your roots I would most likely be Artsy Cousin, you know where my vote lies.

    However, you have to be comfortable – and you have to be so before the wine and champagne start flowing (tee-hee).

    Whatever you end up wearing will look fabulous on you, Lisa… What a joyous occasion, you know? I’m happy for you and your family!


  35. Of the two dresses you have already, I too prefer the Prada. I could not wear black to a wedding. The rose-red shoes are pretty, yes, but quite a distinctive colour, and they do seem to be suede; my (very old-fashioned) rule would not allow suede in spring, *or* in the evening. A bronze metallic or nude, tan or brown sandal would tone with the dress and allow you more freedom with jewellery.

  36. Wanted to add that I do LOVE the Lanvin sandals though, and they would look great with both dresses, so maybe a good investment?

  37. Kathy – As it turns out, my daughter has an old pair of cork platform wedges, white and gold straps, hanging around. On your suggestion, I tried them on. That form factor (as we say in high tech) does look very apt with the dress. I suppose it’s the vintage reference, even though the dress is 50sish and the platforms 40sish. On the other hand, I’m not sure I look that great in pale yellow, so I’d probably look for something metallic.

    Laura – I don’t have any metallic sandals. Which strikes me as quite a gap in my wardrobe. Which means investing in such a thing wouldn’t bother me too much:).

    Patsy – Ah. Assuming of course that I don’t give in to my current urge to see just what my hair actually looks like these days:). But thank you. Gold bangles I have. Bought them when I got back from India, of course.

    Janet – Yes, I’d have no problem with wearing black in summer, were I to wear it at all. In California I think we have a very different approach to summer. But I think too, the Prada. I went by Nordstrom yesterday – not many sandals there yet. But I have until May:).

    Le Belette – Then I can’t wait to read about your day frock! I wasn’t much of a dress person in my younger days, but now I quite like the effect.

  38. Flo – Thank you very, very much. This is one of those odd Imposter moments. No matter how often I hear kind words about my writing, I forget them immediately and am surprised and thrilled all over again. I like the idea of making up my mind at the last minute. Taking the next few months to acquire a few little pieces to make that possible.

    Mater – I agree with you. I have no problem with suede from an etiquette perspective, but the dress is textured in the fabric and the shoes are too much, the more I look at them. I own no metallic sandals at the moment, except some cheapl flat silver thongs. Not a bad thing to acquire. As for black, it’s more my own feeling in place, than the risk of hex:).

    Karena – Thank you. I hadn’t thought, before this, to wear a light shoe. Now it’s high up on my list.

    Candy – I do believe I agree with you!

    Hostess – Oh great idea on the handkerchief. Absolutely. Which of course means I have to borrow my mother’s gold mesh evening bag:).

  39. Oops, Elke’s right. Suede won’t work in spring and would be too casual for evening. But red would look so good with that dress and provide so interesting a contrast! If it were me, I’d have patent-leather red with that dress. Or would that be too pedestrian? I worry that my fashion sense is rudimentary at times.

  40. I think you would look beautiful in either dress, and I also don’t agree that black is totally verboten for a wedding. I have worn black to weddings, and seen many other guests wearing black also. I think it’s formal and always appropriate with the right accessories.
    HOWEVER, I am rather in love with your Prada dress. I don’t think I would wear those shoes with it, though. On my computer they come out looking very pink/red and I think that they would eclipse the dress. The eye would go immediately to the shoe, I would think. I agree with many people who suggest a metallic sandal, and one person mentioned “citrus” which I think is really interesting and would look fantastic if the shade was right.

  41. Marge Hess – Why thank you!;) My mother’s approval would be quite the seal.

    Blighty – I promise. Whatever shoes I find, the pair will match.

    QBS – Ooh. I can see that. I’d need a big turquoise necklace, in that scenario. Or a necklace with turquoise coloring of some sort, big beads to fall in the neckline.

    Jan – You are not a Philistine. On the other hand, in California our, ahem, subtle seasons mean that suede can really be worn at any time. But the Prada with a metallic wedge sandal, that is really appealing to me.

    Tabitha – Aha! So my reservations stem from my Scottish roots, is that what we can infer? Yes to Prada. Let’s call Miuccia and tell her we have a tee shirt slogan for her.

  42. Madeline – One might suggest that the bride could relax a tad, but, that said, the thing about black at weddings is a) how you feel b) how the bride and families feel. As long as both those parties are fine with it, go ahead. In my case, my family would be fine, I believe, with either. Which reminds me, I should ask the bride to be what her parents might prefer. It’s just my own sense of how to best participate in the celebration that’s been dogging me. But I will happily join you in a chorus of Prada, Prada, Prada!

    Jean S. – Trauma;). And at St. Patrick’s? Yikes. It never ceases to amaze me how deep our clothing customs run in our emotional lives.

    Ms. Bunny – You are welcome. I take your advice quite seriously. What I understand most of all now is that if I go to color for shoes, the rest of the accessories stay in the same family, not across the color wheel.

    DocP – Got it. Nice summary of exactly what I am hearing here.

    Patricia – I will absolutely report back. I believe I will be preparing to go either in Prada with metallics and complementary colors, or in black with lotta lotta turquoise. Maybe some feathers:).

  43. Rosie – Oh best comment. I want to come back as Aunt Maria in my next life. I really do. Thank you for bringing her to the party. I need her counsel. Wonderful.

    Staircase Witch – Navy silk sounds just ravishing to me:).

    Someone – The message is clear, I agree. I left the church at 8 when I decided that if there was no Santa there was probably no God. True story. But I love that medal too, and many other similar artifacts.

    Mette – Your vote is valuable, even in the majority.

    Lori – Thank you!

  44. Elise – Thank you. I think more “It” people ought to be middle-aged ladies with greying hair and a mark or two, here and there:).

    DocP – Wedding is in early May. Which, in San Francisco, could be either spring, summer, or even cold. Who knows? Likely to be nice, not too warm. I will try on some nude shoes, definitely.

    Austyn – Oh I love the Louboutin peep toes. Full on nude pumps seem a bit too much for me, but with the toe peeping out, gorgeous. You know, this is a great excuse to put on the Prada and go shoe-shopping! How fun would that be? If I wore nude shoes I’d probably want nude jewelry – you know, angelskin coral or something would be nude on me. Wait, I have some angelskin and diamond drops, Hmmm.

    Gablesgirl – Welcome! And thank you so much. I agree. If I go for the black dress, I will do a choker, or at least a short strand of big turquoise or other bright colors. Like pink, for example.

    Quintessence – No sorry needed, this is why I asked! I learned my style in the corporate world, and I’m Sturdy at heart. So you all are my Artsy coaches. Thank you.

  45. Deb u naunt – Love your screen name:). I’m very glad you like my blog. Please excuse my confusion, but where is the tack it up reference? In another post here? Thanks in advance.

    Jessica – I so appreciate all the votes! Really adds to my understanding of this new venture into more Artsy territory. Thank you very much. And looking forward to trying on shoes:).

    Charlotte – And I will be feeling anything but dour. Thank you very much. I am going to be playing with more color for this event than, most likely, ever in my life.

    Paula – Ha! An Erdem fund! With dividends in satin flowers:).

    MJ – Another good thing about turquoise is that it’s everywhere right now, and available at all kinds of price points. Don’t you love it that pashminas (albeit pseudo) are available now like hotdogs?

  46. Vintage Simple – And you have of course hit on the most important parts. I need to make sure actually that I don’t drink too much wine and champagne. Toasts will be called for. Comfort is key. And joyous, joyous, joyous.

    elke – I concur on the not wearing of suede with this dress, now that I’ve thought about it. Although in California we can wear suede in the evening and in the summer. But metallic or nude shoes would be the most versatile, I agree.

    kathy – I know. I love them too. Not to mention that fact that although I try to avoid brand snobbery, were I to buy any item at all, right now, just for the brand, it’d be Lanvin. I even like saying the name.

    Staircase Witch – I think the right person could carry off red patent – go all retro, essentially.

    Jacqueline – I agree, black is fine at weddings, in the right context. But I also agree, I might go for Prada in this case. I’m also intrigued with the citrus. In the light, that might work perfectly.

  47. Oh my…not sure what a sturdy girl path is…but for the love of Prada, please don’t take it! Go with the second dress option, the rose shoes and some fab turquoise earrings.

  48. L,
    Aunt Maria was a very real person. She smoked like a chimney, wore skin tight pants and stiletto mules (in the house!) A fantastically tacky “oil painting” hung over her sofa. It stretched armrest to armrest and had twinkly lights built right in. And yes, the sofa was covered in thick plastic. Ah… New York Italian apartments in the ’50’s….
    She loved espadrilles, cork or rope wedges. Red ones with the Prada might be awfully pretty for an afternoon affair. You could do the red nails and nude lips ;)

  49. i vote for the NR LBD with some amazing jewelry and subversive (but still dance-able!) shoes. the prada dress is lovely too – and i think those rose suede pumps would be smashing (such a gorgeous color!). the LBD is much more versatile in terms how you could accesorize it. let us know which one you decide togo with!

  50. Ummmm… I hope you’re seated.

    I vote for the Narciso. (Gasp.) With the Manolos.

    Whatever you ultimately opt for, I know it will be stunning, and perfect for the occasion. You shall command it to be such and your presence will pull it off perfectly.

    Smiley faces at you Miss Privilege,

  51. Definitely the Prada for San Francisco. And while I love the idea of metallic anything, I think in a strappy sandal right now it’s a little expected. I would go for a sexy pair of black sandals or shoes…it seems to better match the sophistication of the dress.

  52. I just learned about ‘burning man.’ We were at the gathering marking the end of shloshim for a friend who died this winter and there were stories about his experiences there.

    I think the fashion statements in that group may revolve around REI, when they wear clothes at all.

    If your brother shares a life-view with our departed friend I think happy familiar clothes are the thing.

  53. The Prada with the red and orange: you can’t look too deliriously happy at a wedding. But allow the possibility that during one of your forays you will find a dress that says summer wedding.

    I know it is fine to wear black at a wedding but as the groom’s sister why not aim for (de)light?

  54. I’m new to the blog but at someone who grew up AP in Washington, DC and writes about fashion for a living I thought I’d chime in: Wear the Prada.

    As a dress I prefer the NR, but I have two concerns about it for the event.

    Obviously, black for a spring wedding before 6 p.m. is less than ideal but my main concern about the NR is it’s too chic.

    Simon Doonan once asked Hardy Amies(who is responsible for The Queen’s signature look) why he didn’t dress HRH with chic. Sir Amies replied: “Young man, the Queen of England must always appear to be friendly and appealing, and if she were to look chic she would become unfriendly and unappealing because there is an unkindness to chic.”

    You are obviously more Horace Mann than Burning Man, but it would be ungracious to emphasize that potentially sensitive distinction especially as you are all there to celebrate a mutual love for your beloved brother.

    Finally, on a more pedestrian –as it were– note: Suede is a fall/winter fabric and it’s hard to fudge on that one. I wouldn’t suggest a metallic with that dress either, because I know that dress well and metallics are challenging with it. Nude is always an option, especially if you’re not going for a statement shoe, but if you wanted to do color I would suggest a suitably greyed-out lavender, potiron orange or a washed coral, all of which can generally be worn as neutrals (trust me), would be appropriate with both the dress as a standalone piece and the turquoise and would add a bit of whimsy (though of a restrained manner) that would probably be much appreciated by one and all.

    If you look at the clearance section of, you can find quite high-end designers (often including your beloved Lanvin) for a song.

    Best of luck!

    Miss Plumcake

  55. The Zhush – Ha! For the love of Prada, anything you say:).

    Rose – And I think she might be right on target here with some cork wedges. I feel like I should pay deference to Aunt Maria. Thank you for sharing her.

    miss sophie – I will definitely check back. Thanks!

    SSG – You and me both.

    TPP – I held my breath. I waited. The heavens did not descend. All is well in High WASP-land:). Aren’t those Manolos amazing? I bet the embellishments waver when one walks…

  56. JaneyAnn – I have the same reservation about metallic sandals of the strappy persuasion. So I’m thinking platform, at the moment. Let’s just settle on this exact spelling of strappy, OK?:)

    GingerR – Happy and familiar yes. My brother is also part of the artistic side of Burning Man culture. So this will be more expressively costumed than REI, and more clothed than unclothed:). But I want to say this, I am sorry for your loss.

    Duchesse – I will aim for joy and delight. In the forays as well. Thank you.

    Miss Plumcake – Welcome, and thank you for bringing expertise to our discussion. I agree, there is an unkindness to chic. Because chic has a concept of cool, and cool of course depends on someone being uncool, and therein lies unkindness. Funny that I thought of the Prada as more chic, however, but I do feel the Prada is a very friendly dress. It’s a little goofy, what with the crumbcatcher and everything. So I see your point.

    I do wonder about this suede is fall/winter business. Do you know until this post I had never heard that said? Probably because, here in California, we don’t really make any distinctions. My guess is that originally one wouldn’t do suede in winter because it would get stained from snow, mud, and rain. Our winters, while wet, rarely include any snow. So I wouldn’t blink an eye at suede of all sorts for evening. Particularly red, or cut out suede with reptile details. Or suede ruffles, for example.

    I particularly appreciate your color advice – your familiarity with the dress heartens me. Washed coral or orange would be a pleasure to put on my feet. I’ll trot off to Yoox. I have looked in stores, briefly, and even in Northern California spring has not yet come to shoes.

  57. I understand about black signifying mourning and have the same reservations but I think it could be carried off with shoes and accessories. I like the red with the black more than with the Prada dress, but it is hard to tell from pictures sometimes. It is not the color I object too, but the shoe itself doesn’t seem right for that dress. I think the Prada can be very chic but can also be very fun. I think Prada is a master of that, of clothes that can cross the line from chic to fun with a touch of irony. I think you have a handle on that same thing and can make either dress work.

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