Ask Alexis: wedding guest on a budget

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Q: It seems like everyone I know is getting married this summer! I don’t want to wear the same cocktail dresses over and over; how can I look like a million dollars on a budget? – Stressed Guest

A: Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a hardworking socialite who appreciated a bargain. When social season rolled around each year, she found herself in a dilemma: she was unwilling to pay exorbitant prices for black tie ensembles that might only get worn once or twice, and equally unwilling to buy something ho-hum but budget-friendly. What was a diva to do?

Enter Rent the Runway, which makes couture fairy tales come true for fashionistas seeking a “Cinderella moment.”

The online retailer – the brainchild of Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss – rents formal and cocktail attire from major designers (think Prabal Gurung, Badgley Mischka and Herve Leger) as well as high-end accessories for a fraction of the price. These gowns are current, and RTR has options for plus, petite and tall sizes. Shoppers register online, peruse the digital runway of gowns and choose one or more to rent (as well as a free back-up size). The dresses are shipped via UPS, arriving according to a date you select; after your event, you simply return the items to Rent the Runway via the enclosed shipping envelope.

Have a fit question? Chat with a virtual Go-To Girl, who can help you make the best selection.

Worried you’re going to get something obviously used? I tried the service twice; all four dresses were professionally dry-cleaned and had no stains, odors, rips or issues. RTR also included fashion tape with the first order, which came in handy.

But what if is doesn’t fit? If nothing in your order fits, return the items to RTR within 24 hours for a full credit.

How big of a deal is this? In my opinion, it’s major. The dress I borrowed for the UNCF Masked Gala earlier this year (Badgley Mischka’s Rouge Rosalind Peplum Gown) retails for $530, and I rented it for $86.65 (the price included tax, $5 insurance and $9.95 shipping). RTR offers first-time renters promo codes that can be used for additional savings. If you attend multiple social events (dances, weddings, balls and awards ceremonies, etc.) and find yourself buying dresses you wear once or twice and then are leery of wearing again soon (because let’s face it: most of us don’t want to be seen in the same outfit multiple times in one season), you can find a tremendous variety of options at Rent the Runway, without emptying your piggy bank. And who wouldn’t want to wear something that echoed Jennifer Lawrence’s peplum Dior, worn at this year’s Oscars? (Okay, so that was a total coincidence.)

Of course, you do have to send the dress back (unless you want to be charged, per RTR’s rental agreement), but if you were really looking for a dress to keep, you wouldn’t be renting one to begin with. The site also offers private sales on dresses from time to time that registered users may take advantage of.

Will I rent again? Only my fairy godmother knows for sure…

Happy shopping!

*Pictured: Badgley Mischka Rouge Rosalind Peplum Gown via Rent the Runway, J. Crew Grande Crystal Drops Necklace (sold out); Jennifer Lawrence via Jason Merritt/Getty

 

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Ask Alexis!

Q: Where can I find a top similar to the cute printed blouse Reese Witherspoon wore in New Orleans, as seen in People? – M.

A: Isn’t her blouse easy breezy? While I don’t know exactly where Ms. Witherspoon found her blouse, I will say you can find one that is just as cute and (bonus!) easy on the pocketbook at TARGET! This button-down by Merona is in a lightweight lawn and is $22.99 online. Even better, Target is offering a “buy one, get one half off” deal on select clothing, shoes and accessories through June 28! So go ahead and get the pineapple or whale print versions too!

***
Looking for something haute or hard-to find? Need style advice? Just ask!

Images via Reese Witherspoon’s Instagram and Target, respectively

Best-dressed: Oscars 2014

We’re just here for Best Supporting Actress winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), in a custom ice blue Prada pleated gown and gold and diamond headband by Fred Leighton.

As she so eloquently stated in her acceptance speech, “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” Go forth and dream as big as you can, darlings!

If you have not seen Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave, I encourage you to do so. It’s a mature film for a mature audience, and one that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

Images via Twitter (Follow SCDD there @SameChicSouth!)

Who wore what, where: 2014 Golden Globes

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We’re baaa-aack! And we’ve missed you, darlings! We started our year on a decidedly unfabulous note (with the flu), but have recovered just in time for awards season and red carpet shenanigans!

Last night’s Golden Globes were rather dull (we really just tune in for the fashion, anyway), but our red carpet winner SHUT. IT. DOWN. Best Supporting Actress nominee Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) is the hands down winner in this crimson caped gown by Ralph Lauren and Fred Leighton jewels. It’s no secret that Lupita is a fab fashionista: she’s recently been featured on the cover of W and will star in Miu Miu’s 2014 spring ad campaign.

But what on earth was Fashion Police’s George Kotsiopoulous thinking? This look (short pants + tight jacket + bare ankles + weird shoes) is so unflattering, and unappropriate for the occasion. Boo.

Lessons to be learned as we lean into Birmingham’s social season? Don’t be afraid of making a dramatic statement in a bold color, but keep makeup, coif and accessories simple so they don’t overpower your look. But by all means, be appropriate to your event. Dressing down or trying to hard to be “different” will only draw attention to you for all the wrong reasons.

Images via Steve Granitz/WireImage (Nyong’o), Jeff Vespa/WireImage (Kotsiopolous)

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I love it when an outfit comes together! I decided to shop my closet for this year’s Magic City Classic festivities, and the Soiree presented the perfect opportunity to build a look around my vintage sequined pants, found at Etsy. Harem pants are having a moment this year, and when kept unfussy, are pretty fab! I paired mine with a simple cream peplum top from Forever 21, a gold snakeskin clutch from Target, rhinestone hoops from Private Gallery, bracelets from J. Crew and my favorite lucite and gold Manolo Blahniks.

Sleek, chic – and best of all – my legs stayed warm!

Image via Erica W. Prewitt

What we wore: Soirée at SoHo

20130717-065117.jpgI wanted to share two of the super chic looks worn at the recent Soiree at SoHo.  I had a lovely time, and the Role Model Runway was so fun (I managed not to trip or fall!).  It was a pleasure celebrating the work accomplished by the Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama.

On Leslie Cooper: Calvin Klein crew neck roll sleeve blouse  in “Tempest Teal “and Michael Kors  printed skinny pant in turquoise and navy with Jessica Simpson  “Cosset” wedges in red.  What a chic and totally wearable way to mix patterns, prints and color!

On Alexis: Vince Camuto  twisted neckline maxi dress (similar, here).  I love the graphic chevron print as well as the slight pop of citrus yellow at the neckline. Perfect for cocktails or luncheons, it flatters a multitudes of silhouettes; it flatters the shoulders and neckline. We also added a matching yellow belt for an additional pop of color.  This airy chiffon dress was so comfortable that I just wanted to twirl all the way home in it!

Here’s a look at the fabulous fashions worn by all the Role Models this year ( the outfits were graciously provided by Belk).

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Happy Friday, darlings! Here’s a sneak peek at what I wore to Soirée at SoHo!

Notice how my ensemble (provided by Belk) coordinates with the blog? *wink*

Celebs get white haute for BET Awards 2013

Did you watch the BET Awards Sunday evening? Here are some of  the most memorable looks from the red carpet, all featuring the very on-trend neutral.

Pictured, top row: Angela Simmons, Janelle Monae, Estelle, Jamie Foxx; middle row: Brandy, Michelle Williams, Kendrick Lamar; bottom row: Paula Patton, Letoya Luckett, Gabrielle Union, Ashanti

Images via Getty

Follow SCDD on Twitter @SameChicSouth!

Gentlemen, do not try this at home.

D. Wade made this interesting fashion statement en route to last night’s big Heat/Bulls match-up. I dare you to click on and enlarge the pictures.

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I don’t get it.  If you do, please explain it in the comment section.

Images via TNT (by way of a spot-on Business Insider post) and NBA.com

Chick Stole My Look: Ashlee Simpson

20130326-083313.jpgWhile I was off maxing and relaxing, Ashlee Simpson showed up at SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, NC in the same dress I rocked at the Macy’s Prom Event! Does she read this blog??? And did she also hijack my pose? The only difference in dresses is she removed one layer of the skirt.

Okay, okay…maybe the fact that her sister designed the Spring-ready “Extollook had something to do with it. This flouncy, flirty look with abstract print, cap sleeves and button placket back is fit for a variety of occasions and physiques. But just for fun, (and because I love E!’s Fashion Police feature): who rocked it best? Vote below!

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