Although there’s still lingering debate, you know my one fashion rule: Lingerie is not clothing.
Which makes it hard to figure out what to wear to your military ball if you’ve wandered the aisles of the PX recently. Dresses that have more cut-outs than fabric, sparkle-encrusted busts, and hemlines that are dangerously short regardless of the occasion seem to be the mainstay of offerings. But you don’t believe the hype! You don’t have to settle! You CAN look gorgeous, glamorous, and appropriate… without breaking the bank.
A lot of people commented on our What Not to Wear (again, lingerie as clothing) that investing in one good dark-colored gown that you can wear every year is the most cost-effective way to go. So we’ve done the hard work for you and found 3 gowns for under $200 you could break out annually.
This darling Ralph Lauren number is $190 and very flirtatious. I love the body-skimming lines and the gorgeous cowl neck.
If you like statement beading, this one‘s for you.
Also $190, it’s a keeper. You could break this out again and again and it would always look fabulous.
It’s on sale for fifty dollars, y’all!
If you’re worried about buying one dress and then looking the same in every picture every year, don’t worry! Hit up BaubleBar for some incredibly awesome and inexpensive accessories that will jazz up your style for a new look every time.
These pretty citrine tear drops are $26.
And this sparkly ice medley necklace would be such a fun touch:
I’m pretty sure that would look super fun with jeans and a t-shirt, too. So not only is it fun, it’s a completely logical investment if you’re in the business of talking yourself into things you don’t need, like I am. (It’s a problem. I know.)
But maybe you want to buy a dress, wear it this year, and then sell it next year second-hand. You want something fun and original! And under a hundred dollars! Hey, we’ve got you covered.
This one is super cute! Look, it’s patriotic in its coloring! It even has some sparkles on it! With a sweet sweetheart neckline and a price that comes in under those at the PX, this is a great option!
And more sparkles! And even a low-back! It’s just not dangerously see-my-thong low. And we appreciate that. Sincerely.
You could even find a classy gown like this one for under a hundred. They are out there!
And I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m a big fan of renting my gowns from Rent the Runway. Because we all know that honestly, we could spend that money elsewhere, and returning the dress the day after the ball and picking out a completely different one next year is a lot more fun than buying.
I’m in love with this one:
It’s Badgley Mischka and retails for $900. (Guhhh!) But you can rent it for $100. I’ll note, too, that I’ve only had great experiences with them. The dresses are in mint condition, and the customer service is beyond supportive. I once had to change the shipping address at the very last minute due to some serious travel snafus, and they got the dress out to me not only without any hoopla, they also sent us a nice note thanking my husband for his service. Hot and heartwarming.
So wives, girlfriends, meddling mamas, ball attendees: do not be disheartened! There are many glamorous, sexy (but not sex-worker sexy), fabulous, work-appropriate options out there! Because YES! This IS a work event! It really IS! Your husband is there in his uniform! His boss is there in his uniform!
And we’re there looking absolutely awesome, too.