Help Me Pick A Cocktail Dress with Ageless Style.

Help me pick a cocktail dress, with ageless style. It’s been a long while since I had to “get dressed” for any event, unless we count take-out burritos in the park. Our dear niece A. is getting married in a few months, hooray for love! and we’re invited to the small, safe celebration.

The big deal is, of course, the decision of two delightful people to join their fates and fortunes. The next big deal is: what does a Not Dead Yet auntie wear to the occasion? The invitation says “cocktail dress, LBDs, dressy jumpsuits” are welcome. OMG, what is “cocktail attire” after five months of staying home? My best boxer shorts and Def Leppard tank? Bejeweled flip-slops?

These are actually charming, but too bare for this October wedding.

Maybe you can help me decide. I plan to choose a cocktail dress from my clothing rental service, Nuuly. They offer six rental pieces of clothing per month for under $100; this seems like a good time to make a couple of those choices wedding-wear.

My personal guidelines for the cocktail party look are: a hem at least to the knee, not too much cleavage, dark color for evening, and an unexpected flair. Here are some of the looks I’m considering, and I’d love to get your feedback in the comments.

1. Ladylike and with a modern vibe. This lace dress by Zadig and Voltaire (more of their dresses here) is a top contender. Love the asymmetrical hemline.
2. This simple shift by Ro and De makes a WOW statement with the sequined bell sleeves Not sure about the pointy-toe booties for a wedding but they look cool. Similar dress here.
3. This Anthropologie dress sparks the joy with floral embroidery. It’s got an explicit feminine feel, with the chiffon overlay. There’s a small size for sale on eBay, and several choices at Poshmark.
4. A wild card – this navy/purple lace jumpsuit by Greylin. I love the modernity, but wonder if the lace bodice will be too mutton-as-lamb. Similar here in a deep Merlot, also inviting.
5. An all-out glam sheath by Monique Lhuillier in eye-popping red. Feast on more glamorous dresses by the designer here.

I’m looking forward to seeing our niece and her guy get married, at her parents’ house on the river. Family and fun, and a remembrance of joyful times.

Have you had an occasion to dress up lately? What’s your favorite dressy vibe? Stay fabulous and safe, wash and wash and wash, xo

Listen to the professionals for all the latest news on the virus. Meanwhile, browse these treats:

Header image via source.

(Visited 1,775 times, 1 visits today)



  1. I’m new here but I couldn’t hold back my comment. The scenario was this: I was the bride, she was my brother’s finance and wore red to my wedding. She was definitely a stand out as the only person wearing red. I couldn’t believe then as do I now that someone older than me would try to bring attention to herself on my wedding day. She’s no longer in the family and my wedding was 25 plus years ago. You’ll want to wear something comfortable for you but also something to blend in nice with doing the family photos.

  2. A little late to the party, but the first navy dress would be a great choice or the red lace if your feeling more daring.

  3. I am in agreement with Greetje on this one in that my favourite is #2, because I can picture you wearing it, with different shoes. The colour of #1 would look great on you but there is something about the shape that I’m not crazy about. The red one would be great if it was a fancy evening affair and I’m sure you could rock that lace jumpsuit if you dared!

  4. Hi I love the first dress. I also love the red dress! I don’t know how comfortable you are with red. Alot of women won’t wear it. The jumpsuit is nice too. You can wear all of them because you are thin and everything looks great on you! So no matter what you choose, you will look fab! But I truly love the navy dress (number 1). With your light hair, I think it would be a great choice. Cheers! Arlene from NJ

  5. I have tried this several times, asking readers’ opinions, but it never helped. Too many different opinions. I like number 2 very much because I can see you in it. Especially with the boots. But hey… that is just my opinion.
    I have to come up with something as well for October as my stepdaughter will throw a party after being married in Curacao (just the two of them). But with my shopping habbits, I don’t think it is going to be a problem haha.

    • Hi Jacqui, how great to see you! Thanks for your feedback, I love that piece too. Stay fab, xx.

    • Hi Lucy! Sorry about all your canceled parties; it is a weird summer, eh? And thanks for your input, stay well, xx.

  6. The first is definitely the best – stylish, understated, young but not too young. It is your style.

  7. #1 definitely has the edge. The red is fabulous, but maybe for NYE party and not a wedding – a for sure Look at me dress (which is good usually).

    • Hi Lise and thanks for your feedback. The navy dress is def more all-occasion. Decisions! Stay safe, xx.

    • Good morning, Pamela and thanks for coming by. I appreciate your feedback about the “little navy number”! Stay well, xx.

    • thanks Ramona! Those two dresses are the favorites by far. Stay safe and enjoy the weekend, xx.

  8. #1 or #5.
    #1 is understated elegance, feminine, and perfect for a wedding.
    #5 has the Wow factor so needed after being cooped up for so long, but only if you are comfortable taking attention away from the bride. It’s stunning.

    • Hi Judy and thanks for coming by! The beautiful bride will have the center of attention, as always. I’ll bask in her glow. Have a great weekend, xx.

  9. I vote for 1 or 5.They would look stunning on you. I like 2, but, something about the dress makes me think it’s not that “cocktail”, despite the sequin sleeves. (Maybe it’s because the body of the dress looks like ribbed cotton?)

    • Thank you, SMJ. Numbers one and five look like the favorites! Stay well and have a lovely day, xx.

    • It’s all good, isn’t it? : > Thanks for coming over and have a great weekend, xx.

  10. I also think you would look fabulous in either dress 1 or 2. 2 would be my choice for the weather expected at that time of year. I also think you would rock dress 3 in a more casual situation.

    • Thank you Allison for your thoughtful reply! The weather in Florida in October should be moderate – that’s the month we got married, a long time ago. Stay well and safe, xx.

    • Yes, I ‘d like to see #2 with some silvery pumps. thanks for coming by! xx

  11. I love number 1 and 2. You would look fabulous in both. We have been invited to a garden party in late August. Unfortunately our good old British weather means it will be a last minute decision on what to wear.
    Alison xx

    • The weather – that is an issue here too, in hurricane season! Thanks for your feedback, I welcome and respect it. Stay well, xx.

  12. Number 1 or number 5! 1 is elegant and looks very “current” without being trendy. Number 5 is just a fabulous dress that would look amazing on you. You can’t go wrong with either one. If you are feeling more understated go with number 1. If you are feeling more snazzy go with the red. It’s a great way to celebrate your niece’s wedding.

    • Thanks Sylvia for your most welcome ideas! It is good to have two choices that both excite you. Stay fabulous and well, xx.

  13. The first two would be my preference. Not the pointy boots though. They are both simple and elegant with as you said, an unexpected flair!

    • Hello Louise and thanks for coming by – and for your feedback. Yes, the boots look more suited for an office get-together than a wedding. Stay safe, xx.

  14. You would look fabulous in number 1! (Well, all of them really, but #1 is spectacular)

    • Thank you Valla and thanks for coming over! Yes, number one is a top contender. Stay safe, xx.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.