How to wear a special occasion dress multiple times

fundraising gala gown

Have you ever been invited to an event and wondered if you can re-wear a dress from your closet? Do you have a fabulous gala gown just collecting dust in your closet that you would love to wear to another gala but you are not sure if it is OK to rewear a formal dress? We have been programmed over the years to never be caught wearing the same special occasion dress twice. Therefore, it can be difficult to know what to do with a formal dress hanging in our closets!

Special events are just that; special. So we all have this subconscious feeling inside which tells us we need a special, new dress for the occasion. While shopping for a new gala gown, or cocktail dress, is a lot of fun, it can also add up! Think about how much you spend each time you attend an event. Could that money go towards a fabulous designer bag you can wear on a daily basis? Or maybe that money could buy an entire new summer wardrobe, or pay for a trip to Hawaii. Perhaps the money could be used for a new washing machine. (I know boring, but reality)

Saving money, and still making a special event feel special, is easier than you think! You can absolutely re-wear a special occasion dress, gala gown, or cocktail dress; again, and again, and again! The only rule of thumb is to never wear the same dress, to the same event, twice. That silver cocktail dress you wore to your friend’s party last week? You can’t wear it with that group of people again, but you can easily wear it to the upcoming charity event you are attending, and then your second cousin’s Friday night wedding. Get the idea?

While it seems to be a simple thing to be able to wear a dress over, and over, there is one easy way to remember where you have worn each dress. I easily forget where I wore a dress; especially if it hangs in my closet for two or three years. Since formal attire trends don’t change often, you can hold on to a dress for several years and continually re-wear it. Love that!

I have one simple system I use to help me keep track of where, and when, and with who, I wore a dress. In order to keep track of where my dress has been, I make hang-tags which I keep on the hangers of my dresses while they hang in my closet. This tells me when I wore a dress, which group of people I wore it with, and to which event it attended. This enables me to get many wears out of a cocktail dress, gala gown, or party dress without getting caught in the same dress twice, with the same group of people.

Here are the steps for making your own hangtags! You can see what they should look like in the photos below.

  1. Buy a package of index cards.
  2. Use a hole punch on the end of one index card to make a hole about a quarter-inch from the top. Hold the index card vertically when you punch the hole so that the hole is on one of the short ends of the card, not the long end
  3. Using scissors, cut a straight line from the end of the card to the hole.
  4. Make three columns on the card and label them “Date,” “Event,” and “Group.”
  5. Fill in the card with the event information from the place you wore it.
  6. Hang the card on the hanger; and voila! You have a record of where. and when, and with whom, you wore each gala gown, cocktail dress, and party dress!

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In addition to a special occasion dress, you are likely to own special occasion shoes, and clutches. These can be re-worn over, and over, and over again. If you have a clutch, or a pair of shoes which are kitschy, they will have a shelf life and should be labelled, so that they are never re-worn to the same event twice. If you tend to own classic formal accessories, like me, then you can easily re-wear them to the same event, and with the same group of people.

formal high heels shoes

Pictured: Tom Ford formal pumps

When it comes to formal accessories, I recommend owning three formal clutches or mini-bags, one in black, one in silver, and one in gold. I also recommend owning three pairs of formal shoes, one pair in black, one in silver, and one in gold. My black satin mini bag is fifteen years old, yet every-time I wear it, the bag looks fresh and new. Look for formal accessories which are classic and can be used over, and over. You will save a ton of money over time. Besides, when you attend an event, everyone is looking at your dress, not your shoes or bag. #FunFact

There you have it! It is OK to re-wear a formal dress to another event as long as you are keeping track of where you wore it before. Do you have a system to keep track of where you wore your gowns? If so, please share in the comments below!

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy saving money by re-wearing your formal gowns, cocktail dress, and party ensembles!



Western ruffles

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Wearing: bold shell earrings / Chanel sunglasses / MAC Lipstick / Topshop blouse (sold out, also love this one, and this one-not similar but SO CUTE!) / bold lapis ring / Chanel Gris Obscur nail polish / Gap jeans (old, similar pair here) / black Proenza Schouler satchel / guitar strap for handbags / burgundy suede loafer pumps (under $150!!)

Have you ever been drawn to an article of clothing because it reminded you of something? This ruffle shirt reminded me of two things; my childhood obsession with western clothing, and a television show named “Little House on the Prairie.”

The ruffles on the blouse reminded me of the costuming from the show, and they also reminded me of the ruffle shirts I wore when I was around seven and eight years old. I used to put outfits together with brown cowboy boots, a cowgirl hat, corduroy skirts, and ruffle shirts! My western themed phase lasted until I was on a boat with family friends one day sailing around the bay and that cute little western cowgirl hat of mine blew right off my head into the bay! Cue massive amounts of tears . . . I get a little sad just thinking about it.

This ruffle blouse definitely takes me back in time to my childhood, and it has turned out to be a great piece to wear right now! I love pairing it with jeans, a-line midi-skirts, and denim skirts. The fabric is on the thick side, so it is definitely better suited for temperatures below seventy degrees. I know I will get more use out of it as we head towards winter here in the Bay Area.

Unfortunately this ruffle shirt sold out quickly. If you are looking for a great shirt this fall season which can easily be worn casually, check out this striped blouse, and this understated ruffle shirt. You can see an outfit post of the second choice here.

Do you have any pieces which bring back memories?

Mansur Gavriel Sun tote review

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Pictured: Mansur Gavriel Sun tote in pink patent leather / iPhone 7 case / Lipstick / similar wallet / cat eyes beauty case / Chanel sunglasses

Leave it to Mansur Gavriel to design a simple, chic, and perfect handbag for the fall season! The new Mansur Gavriel Sun tote, or Sun bag, has been introduced for the fall 2016 season, and will be part of the iconic handbag designing team’s ongoing, classic collection. Love it!

The Sun handbag by Mansur Gavriel is offered in four sizes; mini mini, mini, Sun, and large. The Mansur Gavriel Sun tote I am reviewing, is the regular or “Sun” size in pink patent leather. I have not seen the Sun bag on the street yet; neither here in the San Francisco Bay Area, or in New York during fashion week, so the most popular size is still to be determined.

Although Mansur Gavriel’s Sun bag has not been a sell-out in under a hot minute, as the bucket bag was in its’ hey-day, this sweet little tote bag is proving to be a coveted handbag for the fall season and beyond. The Mansur Gavriel Sun tote is gaining traction on social media, and it is becoming a highly searched bag on the Internet. This handbag will gain IT status as we enter the new year, and the spring 2017 season; just watch it! That being said . .  if you love this feminine, sweet little tote, I highly recommend snapping one up now, before they become hard to find.

Mansur Gavriel’s Sun tote is a feminine contrast to the current crop of handbags which are popular on the streets right now. The Pierce bag is edgy yet chic, Chloe’s line of bags are boho and carefree, while Gucci is going for a street-meets-upper-east-side vibe. The Sun tote by Mansur Gavriel is not trying to fit into any “trend” mold, it is standing alone as a simple, easy to wear tote bag which is lightweight and comfortable. Isn’t that why we love Mansur Gavriel? They take the gimmicks out of handbags and offer simple, functional bags which are beautiful and easy to wear. Love that!

I originally pre-ordered my Sun bag by Mansur Gavriel back in February when Moda Operandi featured a trunk show of the designing duo’s fall 2016 collection. When the bag arrived a month earlier than I expected in early October, I was thrilled! The “Sun” size is a traditional medium handbag, and the bag’s simple construction, and sweet bow, have made it an instant favorite. I love the open top as well as the wide interior pocket which fits my iPhone 7, lipstick, and keys. There is also a detachable shoulder strap which adds to the versatility of the bag. Perfection!

This has become my go-to bag on the weekends when I need a little bit more in my handbag than I get from a shoulder bag. The extra space is perfect for carrying odds and ends my kids hand me, as well as for storing snacks to keep my kids from getting “hangry.” The patent leather is nice this time of year since it resists the occasional drizzle and rain we receive here in the Bay Area. It is also easy to keep clean if my kids touch it with dirty hands. The patent leather simply wipes clean. Love that!

The Mansur Gavriel Sun bag is a beautiful handbag which is easy to wear daily, and fits into a busy girl’s life. Since I love this bag so much, I am now eyeing one of the smaller sizes in cobalt blue. It would be fun to have a smaller bag for days when I don’t need so much room.

You can find the Mansur Gavriel Sun tote in stock for now, online here, here, and here.

Happy handbag shopping! Stay fabulous 😉

Mansur Gavriel Sun tote in stock

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