Someone else’s Valentino

When it’s wedding season,and you’re the guest, figuring out what to wear and not blow a huge bundle well — it’s a huge challenge. This past summer my husband Bill and I hit a one-time peak in wardrobe challenges and expenditures putting together our ready to wear outfits to celebrate the children and friends we love on their big day.

Bill took one look at his Tux, classified it as Vintage and thought it best to re-up for this round of weddings. He proudly told me he’d bought it 35 years ago and paid $300 which was a small fortune at the time. This season he retired it to the back of the cedar closet.

Nice Tuxes aren’t cheap but Bill made the plunge and showed up day of wedding with his brand new smart looking threads and proudly wore it to the next 4 weddings.

I’m glad Bill saved his old Tux. As a veteran of Vintage I grew up shopping in my Nana’s closet, I relished decades old fashion pieces and wore her swing coats from the 50’s with pride and her 40’s fur wraps for dress up. I thought perhaps one day, one of his boys would discover that ole Tux tucked into the back of his closet and think — this is totally retro and cool.

Well buying one great outfit just doesn’t cut it for me. I needed 4. I get that Bill paid big bucks for his Tux but like most men, he’s lucky — one shopping spree and he’s “set”.  We women need multiples, options, something fresh and pretty and sadly, new fancy dresses don’t get to have repeat performances week after week when celebrating with the same crowd like our male counterparts..

So, after accumulating a few nice dresses in anticipation of the “wedding” season, I was ready but my credit card had been maxed and I thought there should be a better way.

And so when my dear friend started reviewing her what to wear wardrobe for a wedding invite where she knew very few people – I was thrilled to hear about her clever dress scheme.

This is her story…

“After of slew of summer weddings, my wedding guest wardrobe is depleted.

Exhausted and annoyed, I left Saks empty handed. I had a little less than a week to find a dress for a black-tie wedding in Georgia for the next weekend. “Who does back-tie anymore?” I grumbled. In this day of casual Friday and laid back fundraisers; a gown was last on my shopping list.

Saks had a gorgeous assortment of dresses boasting labels like Prada, Chloe, Missoni, and Chanel. The price tags they boasted were equally impressive. I had no desire to spend the GDP of a small country on a dress I would likely wear once. Where to turn?

Thinking of raiding my cousin’s closet (always full of lovely things), I turned the corner and ran smack into a newly opened consignment store.


What the hell? I had nothing to lose and curiosity led me through the front door.

Did I mention closet? Suddenly I was transported into a king-sized closet full of one-of-a-kind treasures. Again the labels were straight from Madison Avenue but here the price tags appealed to mere mortals like me!

The sales lady filled my dressing room with a wide variety of dresses – some even with the tags attached! Fifteen minutes later I had a beautiful up-to-date dress for the wedding, black crepe with a risqué deep-V in the front and black mesh covering my back. I felt not only sexy but smart too!

Of course anyone who asked where I got my dress would never know my secret, I just smiled and said, “It’s a Valentino!”

Guess how much this one cost?







Best Strategy For Finding A Dress to Wear To A Fancy Wedding was last modified: by

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