July 1, 2013

The 2013 Black Dress Dilemma

It's the challenge that inspired this blog and my mission:

The quintessential "little black dress," which fashion houses all over America claim every woman owns.

But not this girl.  Not if you're a modest dressing, style-savvy woman who makes a conscious decision that her body is not for show.

While I always hope, and love to hear, that this blog helps women everywhere - particularly those who look for clothes that help them stay covered up with long pants, maxis, and longer sleeves - find stylish and affordable clothing, the challenge of finding the perfect black dress still remains.  To date, especially in the summertime, I don't see black dresses at the usual suspects - the Macys, the Gaps, the Marshalls, the Anthropologies, the Banana Republics, the H&Ms, the New York & Cos, the Nordstroms, and anywhere else in between.

I firmly believe that the market and these retailers can stock items in their stores that stray away from the usual need to equate summertime with "bare it all." If you know me, you'll know my mission in life is to bring modest clothing into the mainstream.

As a tribute to the effort that planted the seed in my head, and to the constant battle that women who choose to maintain a modest and stylish dress code, here are my yearly picks for summer black dresses.  Criteria are as follows:
  • Must be a dress that falls at my mid-calves or lower
  • Must be contemporary
  • Must be wedding appropriate
  • Must be easily styled with a bolero, shrug, or cardigan without looking odd/frumpy to cover up bare arms
  • Must be under $100
  • Should not look like something a witch or your grandmother would wear (unless your grandma is Anna Wintour or Audrey Hepburn)
  • Must be predominantly black
Here are my three favorite finds:

If these don't satisfy, here are a few others I found: