Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Black Evening Dresses

Hi Belle!

My best friend is getting married in October (thankfully I have some time). He asked me to be his best man, the outfit is a dress and not suit/pants (yay!). The only requirements are that it’s a floor length black dress. Do you have any dress suggestions in the $200 or 300 range?

Also I live in Canada so if you know companies who ship north of the 49th parallel that would be helpful!

Thank you! C

That’s fun! Let’s see what we can find.

Picking your own dress should be a fun experience, but it can be really nerve-racking.  How do I look my best while being respectful of the fact that this is the bride’s day?  Do I have to dress conservatively or can I choose something edgy/sexy/fun?

When choosing a dress, I think it’s important to choose something that you will wear again.  The dress shouldn’t be too fancy or too embellished, but it should be something that you love and feel comfortable wearing.  And while I wouldn’t recommend going for a low v-neck, a deep halter or a dramatic backless dress, there’s no reason why you have to cover up like a nun.

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Ralph Lauren One Shoulder Dress ($180)

I like this sleek one shoulder because it brings a little bit of drama and a little bit of sparkle without being too much.  You could also wear it again as is, or shorten it for a fun cocktail dress.  If you dig the one shoulder option, but not this exact dress, Ann Taylor has one with a slightly fuller skirt and some Grecian-style draping.

Strapless is always a popular choice for bridal parties, and I found a few pretty gowns that might work for you.  This textured Amsale gown has a sweetheart neckline, while this dress has a ruffled mermaid skirt for a bit of runway in your wedding.  And for something truly different, Nordstrom has a gown from Jenny Yoo that is convertible from strapless to one shoulder to straps.

If you choose a simple strapless gown, you can add a little shine with a jeweled or beaded belt.  Concerned that’s too much for the wedding?  Save it for the reception or buy it to wear with the dress at a later date.

Looking for another style?  I love this cap sleeve dress with tonal embellishments on the shoulder.  Demure halters are possible.  I like this drape neck halter and, while it’s a bit above your price range, I adore this high neck halter.

And just because I can, I feel the need to share this to.die.for modern Vionnet gown, which I fell hard for yesterday.  Le sigh.



  1. Ashley says:

    Great selection! I’d go for the Ann Taylor or the Jenny Yoo gown.

    March 14, 2013/Reply
  2. LeslieJeannene says:

    I’ve tried on that Ralph Lauren in a bright blue. its a stunner and so comfy!

    March 14, 2013/Reply
  3. raquel says:

    a little unrelated but is there a reason you can search archives but not “go back” a page? Say I miss a day of your blog (my favorite) and I simply want to go back a page or two rather than going through all archived categories

    March 14, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Bottom of the page, under the last post, it says “Next page” that takes you to recent posts.

      March 14, 2013/Reply
  4. Randi says:

    A “Best Man” wearing a dress?.. I’m a little confused… Any help?

    March 14, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      He asked a female friend to be his “best man.”

      March 14, 2013/Reply
  5. Sarah says:

    As an opera singer, I try on/own MANY gowns. In January, I almost purchased the one-shoulder Ralph Lauren gown pictured, but the bead embellishment at the shoulder is sort of tacky looking. It also hugs very tight around the knees, and I didn’t want to look awkward while walking. Instead, I purchased the cap sleeve Ralph Lauren and I LOVE it. It’s a very nice fabric, the black is pretty without any flash, and the back of the dress is cut at the perfect place- not too high or low. Incidentally, I’m wearing it for a performance of the Messiah with the Capitol Hill Chorale at the Lutheran Reformation church this Saturday and Sunday!

    March 14, 2013/Reply