AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Racerback Cocktail Dresses

Hi Belle,

I’m searching for a dress for a friend’s wedding next month.  I’d like something with a racerback silhouette, but all I’m finding are casual dresses and maxis.  I’d like to spend under-$100 so I might be asking too much.

Please help! Jen

Asking too much?  Never!  We have the whole Internet available to us, let’s go searching.


Trouve Ponte Midi Dress ($98) // LOFT Tulip Skirt Dress ($89) // ASOS Pencil Dress ($85) // Amy Matto Becca Dress ($78)

Ah, racer back goodness and all under-$100.  Nailed it!  But seriously, given that it’s wedding season, here are my favorite places to search for party dresses at reasonable prices.

ASOS, always, ASOS.  This flirty, strappy chiffon dress from Warehouse is perfection.  I also love this Oasis dress with a gorgeous coral color and collar embellishments.  They also have a wide selection of plus, petite, tall and maternity dresses.

Bloomingdale’s offers an under-$150 section that’s full of good stuff.  This deep blue dress from Coast has an interesting shape and a great look to it.  And this Michael Kors one-shoulder is a truly unique LBD.

Zara.  If you need to spend under-$100, Zara offers styles and prices that will suit you perfectly.  This navy dress with frilly sleeves could do double duty, casual with flat sandals or cocktail with strappy heels.  This dress with a knotted back detail is pretty fantastic.  And if it’s drama in the back that you want, don’t miss this racerback dress in a bold red with cut-outs in the back.



  1. Cara says:

    Hi Belle,

    With graduation season just around the bend, any suggestions for an investment dress that can be transitioned into work wear post-college?

    Thank you!

    April 17, 2014/Reply
  2. Joules says:

    I’m also a fan of Target in situations like this. I love the flare on dress number 3.

    Style by Joules

    April 17, 2014/Reply
  3. DontBlameTheKids says:

    I would wear that ASOS dress in a heartbeat.

    April 17, 2014/Reply
  4. Lily says:

    Belle, love the ASOS light blue dress, but isn’t it too pale to wear to a wedding? As in, too close to white? I’m afraid in pictures it would show up as white…

    April 17, 2014/Reply
  5. Alison says:

    I’ve seen a lot of stuff I’ve liked at Zara but I’m afraid that they wouldn’t suit my slightly curvy petite-ish body based on how everything looks like it is cut/fits on the models. Would I have to order a size up and get it tailored?

    April 17, 2014/Reply
    • Anna says:

      I don’t shop at Zara often, but pretty much everything I tried didn’t fit well. I’m pretty hourglass, maybe slightly heavier on bottom (hips and butt).

      April 17, 2014/Reply
  6. Jamie says:

    So that knotted Zara dress is amazing. But how on Earth would you wear a bra with it? Any tips??

    April 17, 2014/Reply
    • CH says:

      Backless sticky bra! I wore Nordstrom’s version with my open-back wedding dress and it stayed in place the whole night. It’s opened up a whole new world of wardrobe possibilities.

      April 17, 2014/Reply
    • rar says:

      Ditto on the strapless backless bra. I have the fashion forms nu bra (got it at macys) and it’s amazing. It really does stay on. I think I like it better than my regular strapless bra!

      April 17, 2014/Reply
      • Anna says:

        Ditto. Finally a bra that I don’t have to constantly tug at or that makes me stick my stomach out cuz I feel like it’s sliding down my back. I have the Nu Bra with the sticky cups and it served me well, but kind of sucks if it’s above 80 degrees cuz it gets really sweaty. I prefer the one with the sticky side tabs. It stays up well, but doesn’t get as sweaty, and is easier to remove since there isn’t any adhesive over, ummm, sensitive areas.

        April 17, 2014/Reply
  7. irmck says:

    Related question to the original post – I have a wedding this May on a lake in Alabama. However, the invitation says the wedding is at 6, which means a cocktail. I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with a summer-on-a-lake cocktail dress. Thoughts?

    April 17, 2014/Reply
  8. Kay says:

    How about this one? LOVE!

    April 17, 2014/Reply
  9. Teresa says:

    Hope you don’t mind the links…

    I love jewel tone dresses for wedding, especially in the summertime. Here are some I’ve been eyeing:
    (a little on the sexier side)
    Good luck!

    April 17, 2014/Reply