Where to Shop for Black-Tie, Cocktail and Other Formal Dress Occasions

Hey friends! This post has been on my mind for the last few months, but I'm finally getting time to put a pen to paper! Today we are talking about where to shop for black tie dresses, cocktail dresses, gala dresses- all the fancy dresses. 

As you may know, Soren and I attended a gala at the Inc. 5000 Conference in San Antonio, Texas last Fall. Nickel & Suede made the list of fastest growing companies in the country and part of the celebration was a fancy dinner and awards ceremony. I'm not going to lie, I was hesitant to attend the gala. The sneaker loving mom in me had no clue what to wear or how to shop for such a formal event. The dress code was black tie and while that made shopping easy for Soren, it really put me in a tight spot! Well, as you can see below, we did end up attending and I'm so glad we did. Dress shopping actually ended well for me and today I'm here to share all of the places that I looked to find the perfect dress. 

Formal Dress - One Little Momma

Black-tie dress - Kilee Nickels

Gold leaf disc statement leather earrings with gold post - Nickel & Suede

Inc. 5000 black tie event - Kilee Nickels

Cocktail Dress - One Little Momma

Side note story: Attending this conference in general ended up being very outside of my comfort zone. I've done conferences before, but not this kind. I'm used to bloggers and creatives- not business folks! The first day of classes were really hard for me. I was feeling very out of my element and overwhelmed by all the things I didn't know. The icing on the cake happened in one of the ballroom events. The host introduced the speaker onto the stage, and she came out wearing my EXACT dress that I had brought for the gala. MY DRESS! It seems a little silly now, but I had put so much thought and time into that dress and then to have the gal on stage wear it to speak made me feel so repeatable. My "gala level" dress was a "speaking engagement" dress for her. Not going to lie- I cried. BUT I picked myself back up again and not a soul recognized the dress when I wore it a few days later. And of course, she and I wore it totally different. But that just goes to show how emotionally invested we ladies are in our fancy dresses. It's a lot of work to find the one!

Anyway- hopefully this post can be a resource to you the next time you're are looking for a dress for a black tie or even cocktail attire event. This list runs a very wide price range, but if you are like me, sometimes any price is worth feeling like you are dressed properly for the occasion. :)

Places to shop for weddings, a formal gala, black tie event or cocktail attire party:

The Outnet- Designer dresses marked down. Inventory changes often.
ASOS- New dresses added daily. Super easy filtering. Variety of styles, more casual and lower prices. 
Shopbop- Wide range of prices. Mix of designer and not. This is where I got my dress above. 
Gilt- Discounted designer dresses. Inventory changes often and things sell out quickly. Sign up for emails to stay on top of what is new. 
Revolve- Less options in the modest category- but lots of options for dressy occasions. 
Alice and Olivia- Higher priced, but really unique. 
Reformation- Slightly more casual. Great options for weddings. 
Free People- Wide variety of dresses from casual to more formal.
Nordstrom- Less trendy options, more classics. 
Rent the Runway- Easy way to rent a dress instead.
Bloomingdales- Less trendy options, more classics.
Macy's- Less trendy options, more classics.
Moda Operandi- Black tie category, more formal on-trend options.
Farfetch- Very trendy and unique. 
Lulu's - Mid-priced, lots of dress options.

If you have other suggestions for where you love to shop for black tie dresses, cocktail dresses, gala dresses- let me know! Feel free to leave it in the comments. 

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