I found the best gown from Nordstrom that was perfect for a last-minute dress I needed for a black tie event. And it was great for my petite frame!
Last Saturday, Tommy and I went to the Furr Ball, a gala to raise money for the Forsyth Humane Society. With our trip to Ireland (pictures coming soon) and all the house drama (AC being out + fire in our backyard 2 minutes after we got home from Ireland), I completely SPACED getting a dress. For black tie events, I’ve usually rented a gown from Rent The Runway and have always had a great experience. But, by the time I looked (i.e. four days before my event), they were out of a nearly all of the dresses I liked or I just didn’t want to spend $100+ to rent a dress.
My gowns I purchased
I scanned Nordstrom.com (I want nothing more than to have an actual store in Winston-Salem!!!) for affordable gowns and ordered two. One of them was a dress that I actually wanted to rent but was already taken (and it was not so affordable), and the other was the green gown I ended up wearing.
I’ve always struggled to justifying buying gowns since I just don’t go to formal events that often. But, I’ve needed four gowns/formal dresses in the past year for various events (including for my Beautycounter trip to DC, seriously so fun!!!!) so I felt like buying a timeless gown was a good investment. This gown by Dress the Population comes in seven colors and while I originally wanted black, I’m so happy I ended up with the green!
The gown I wore
It does not come in petite sizes (at least not that I found), but it wasn’t too long in the torso and the straps weren’t loose (a common problem I have with dresses). I did have 5″ taken off at the hem (I’m 5’1″ and wore these 4″ heels, one of the the BEST investment I made for my wedding, no question) but it was a simple, fast, affordable hem. (If you’re local, I go to Hawthorne Alterations for everything. They’re amazing and the sweetest older ladies.) For reference, I got an XS in this dress. And even if you’re not petite, I feel like this dress would work on all frames. (My friend Rachel, who is 5’8″, also has this dress and loves it.)
felt young but still elegant in this gown, even with the low neckline – I think the darker color helped with that too. This dress won out with its simplicity.
The gown I sent back
This red Cinq a Sept Sade dress, however, had straps that were way too long for my frame and it needed to be hemmed (and a more complicated hem at that). You can see where the hem hits on the model vs. me – ha! And, I just didn’t feel it was very flattering on my frame; it was a bit over the top since it was tight AND red AND very chesty. (FYI, I ordered a 2.) Plus, it was more than double the cost than the other one. I won’t lie – I was a bit relieved to send it back, ha!
Anyway! Onto the gala!!! I got ready in our downstairs half bath since our AC still wasn’t working and I was sweating like crazy in our master bath. Hence, the mess I created in a very small space! I used all Beautycounter products (see all my skincare and makeup here) except for my two secret weapons that I use when I’m going all out: the Kerastase Volume in Powder spray and the Bed Head hairspray. Nope, not the safest but I’m not worried about it since I use them sporadically vs. everyday.
I did my own hair, which I was VERY proud of, thanks to this tutuorial my friend Rachel sent me. And she also coached me through a mild winged eye liner. 🙂 That night, I got a lot of questions in my Instagram stories about what color lipstick I was wearing – it’s Beautycounter’s Color Intense Lipstick, and I layered Little Black Dress over Garden Party.
And then we were off!!
Forysth Humane Society Furr Ball
I was beyond thrilled that Henry the bulldog was there when we arrived at the Furr Ball. Henry’s mom is Anne, who owns Trouvaille Home. (You’ve probably seen Henry in my instagram stories and you can see more of him on their Instagram.) Anne has been an AMAZING at helping us decorate and buy furniture for our house, and she’s so fun and interesting. I was beyond flattered when she invited us to be her guests. (We also got some pictures with Anne at the event, but I haven’t seen the professional pictures yet.)
When we got there, we found Nick and Jenny quickly. Nick is Tommy’s coworker and Jenny quickly became my friend when we met. (If you’re local, she owns Wild Things Resides, one of my go-to spots for gifts, cards and house plants, which I’m weirdly obsessed with lately.) She also gets credit for all the photos in this post that look good/aren’t selfies. (Thanks Jenny! Love ya!)
We had so much fun bidding during the silent auction before dinner. I tried to get a private group dinner with Mozelle’s so I could take my local Beautycounter team there, but I got outbid. We DID however win the bid for a trip to Nantucket!!!!!!
After the silent auction, we headed into dinner and the live auction. And I love this picture Jenny snapped of us!!!
We also did a little reminiscing since we had our third date at the Millennium Center. 🙂
And just like that, the night was over. And then I was super disappointed we didn’t get to take a puppy home. That should be included with every ticket, right? Right.