Back in December, I attended the "black tie optional" wedding of a dear friend from high school. As well-versed in the fashion world as I am, this dress code still left me at a bit of a loss. Do I air on the side of cocktail, or go full-fancy in a floor-length dress?
I turned to Meghan not only for advice, but also for a peek in her closet, natch. I tried on a few options, but she encouraged me to go with this Forever 21 shift dress with a sassy front slit and inverted pleats on the sides. (Pictured, however blurrily, above.) I questioned whether it was dressy enough, but Meghan assured me that a black dress is a black dress is a black dress—with the right accessories it can be anything you want.
And indeed, by layering a sparkling Lulu Frost stunner (that you can borrow via Rent The Runway) with a vintage costume necklace and completing the look with simple, strappy heels (like these babies that are under $100, by Steve Madden)—I felt plenty fancy and ready to dance the night away.
The point of this story is that I loved the frock so much I clicked right on over to F21's site and bought the dress for myself... And a few other things! The budget brand's Contemporary collection (sized more realistically and slightly more expensive than the rest of their clothing) is currently brimming with really cool dresses. For example, this sleeveless turtleneck dress ($28!) is perfect for layering now, and will be awesome with Adidas slides come spring. And this crochet midi dress ($30) is worth snagging now and and debuting over brunch come April with Converse. (Also, this belted denim midi dress looks so much more expensive than it is, no?)
A genuine suede shift is the priciest of the bunch at $60, but so cool and versatile in a mod-meets-bohemian kind of way, I'd say it's worth the minor investment. Whether you're feeling like you need a feminine update this winter or a little treat to help you look forward to spring (or perhaps you're heading somewhere tropical as we speak...), there are quite a few gems worth snatching up now.
// SHOP 10 OUTSTANDING F21 CONTEMPORARY DRESSES BELOW //