Lacy Black Dress

This past fall, we went to a meet-the-parents cocktail party for Toby’s preschool, and, assuming that it probably wasn’t that dressy, I wore black jeans and a black shirt and heels.

When we arrived, we got glasses of wine, nabbed some cheese cubes and said hello to friends. Then I surreptitiously scanned the room. The attire was mixed—some pants, some dresses—but my friend Jenny stood out in the most beautiful black lace dress with her hair tied up and barely any makeup except rosy dewy cheeks. I suddenly regretted being so casual! She looked lovely, and I promised myself that on the next occasion, I’d do it up.

So! Here we are: Alex and I are going out to dinner for my birthday this weekend. Inspired by Jenny’s black lace, I scouted a few dresses, and liked this short one and midi dress, but at the end of the day, this beauty stole my heart. I’m excited to wear it on Saturday!

Have you dressed up lately? I do it so rarely, it’s always such a treat.

P.S. How to keep the sparks alive.

  1. M says...

    Thanks for posting this. I hadn’t yet heard of these snacks. It’ll be great to give my son a less messy (cookie) form of eating oatmeal!

  2. Gorgeous dress – always love Anthropologie pieces. So wish the uk pre-schools had cocktail party meet and greets!

  3. Beautiful dress. Waiting next photos, you wearing that dress :)

  4. i have been thinking *lots* about this golden jumpsuit number for a theatre-show we have coming up, but what about a bra?! does this mean going into an actual store and try some new stuff on… cringing(!) >;-)

  5. This dress is absolutely beautiful! I was thinking the dress in white would be perfect for someone’s rehearsal/rehearsal dinner!

  6. I have been eyeing this dress for some time. It’s so beautiful.

  7. for the questions about undergarments, it has a nude lining and extra black lace over the bra area, so you are pretty covered. i’ll probably wear spanx underneath, too! ;)

  8. I have the Carissima dress from Anthropologie, I aboslutely love it. I bought it for my engagement party, it’s super sexy and makes me feel like a bombshell when I wear it. I noticed that Byron Lar’s dresses for Anthropologie run a little large–I have 2 of his designs for them and they’re my favorite! Wish I had plans to pull it out for coming up!

  9. i wish you two a wonderful time together…the dress is so beautiful and on a birthdayqueen it will look even more beautiful!
    lots of love for you birthdaygirl<3<3<3

  10. Beautiful dress! Have a great time!

  11. This is a beautiful dress. We have a school auction that this would be perfect for. Cool and beautiful but not showing too much skin.

  12. LOVE that dress!! I have not dressed up lately and it’s such a bummer. We have had zero weddings in two years. Maybe this year we should go to a black tie event for NYE.

    In the meantime, i’ll keep putting some makeup on when I can on the weekends. Sidenote, my little girl turns 1 in a month, that’s a day to sort of get all fancied up. ;)

  13. oh joanna! you’ll have to post a photo of you in the dress! it’s stunning. have a fun time!

  14. I wore that dress to a wedding last summer! Careful though it may pop open…

  15. Very nice dress!
    It’s sometimes difficult to be feminine with young children but when we have special occasions it’s good to make an effort!


  16. So, so stunning. I live in Portland and work at a very casual company, and I find so few opportunities to dress up. This dress is so beautiful though, I’m thinking I should just buy it and wear it out to dinner with my husband – hipsters be damned!

  17. I can’t justify spending that much money… I would buy the midi dress, though. love it!

  18. I haven’t dressed up lately, because the weather has gotten me dressing for survival rather than fashion! Swim parka all day every day :P -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  19. are you really going to spend that much money for a dress? i cant justify it myself. i really love the midi dress. i just might buy that one…..

  20. Gah! I have had that dress in a cart and stared at it seven too many times. It’s so good. Make sure to share a pic so I can dress vicariously!

  21. Yay! So pretty. I love that you get special dresses for special occasions. Happy Birthday too!

  22. I just bought that dress for a wedding next month! It is so beautiful, sometimes I just stare at it in my closet :) Happy early birthday!

  23. I’ve been in love with this dress for so long! I tried it on and fell head over heels, but had no where to wear it to. I so very rarely dress up that I only buy dresses when I have a specific occasion to dress for. Most recently I dressed up for a small holiday dinner party with the hubs. I was by far the most dressy, but I felt amazing so I didn’t even care. :)

    Katie @ Freckled Latte

  24. Oh, that’s a gorgeous dress! A bit pricey for my budget, but super cute! I’m sure you’ll look amazing.

  25. I am 28 (half french half from north Africa) and I always wear dresses, almost every day. Even during the winter in Montreal (where I live since 2 years).

    Why is it so much related to events (birthday, wedding etc.)?

    From my point of view, if think it is even more convenient than a pant! It is less complicated to choose, each day, a dress than to find a good fit between a pant and a top.

    Besides, since there are so many sorts of dresses (wide, squeezed, short, longue etc.), I think it is more comfy than pants.
    I feel always tight in pants…

    ps: excuse my english, I am french
    ps2: I discovered your blog recently and I really love it! You have such a good point of view on some subjects

  26. Nobody dresses up here in Northern California. Jeans and boots is about as dressy as it gets. Must be a NYC thing!

  27. This is stunning! My birthday is next weekend and I’d love to wear this then :)

  28. I have been to a lot of school events so far with 2 kids 9 and 6 and never have I ever seen anyone wear anything bordering on a black lace dress. Straight from work attire is as fancy as it gets.

  29. I have this dress and I LOVE it. I have it in the navy because I liked the pattern a little better. It looks black rather than navy anyway. I also wear it without the belt and I used a wrench to tighten all the clips in the front because they kept opening. Enjoy it!

  30. lovely dress! I always psych myself out when I dress up. I feel so self conscious when I’m dressy like I’m going to be overdressed or something. It really bugs me! I wish I was more confident to just WEAR the dressier outfit when I go out! I’m going to try it more. Especially with some nice red lipstick.

  31. Sorry, I couldn’t get past the idea of a cocktail party for pre-school! Must be a NY thing?

  32. wow, how adorable! where is the dress from (the big picture in the middle)? unfortunately, the last link is not working :-/

  33. Gorgeous dress! What are the proper undergarments for it? Looks tricky…

  34. SL says...

    Amazing dress! can’t wait to see pictures from your date! I think it would also make a lovely wedding dress if this came in white. :)

  35. omg. I LOVE THAT DRESS! Great pick!

  36. I LOVE sleeves that go down to just above the elbow like that. Too bad there aren’t many dresses in that style. I also notice that in most of the user photos, the sleeves were a lot shorter, which I think really takes away from its beauty and elegance.

  37. Gorgeous! My group of friends (6 couples) went out for a fancy dinner to celebrate the holidays last month and we all dressed up. I turned 30 a few months agi and decided to try to dress better on a daily basis (instead of my old vneck t-shirt and jeans combo.) it’s been fun and I really look forward to dressing up fancy again! I have a few spring weddings to go to so I’m excited.

  38. I bought that dress last year for a wedding rehearsal – it is even more gorgeous in person! Have a great night out in. Now I need to find an occasion so I can wear it again…

  39. That dress is STUNNING! Have fun on your date!

  40. I have a sleeveless black lace dress and I wore it only once! (for a performance with my choir!). I always feel too “elegant”.

  41. That is so pretty and feminine! I think it will look lovely on you. I think lacy things make me feel ultra womanly! :)

  42. It’s adorable!! I love it.

    It would go perfectly with this new bag I bought last week. :

    Flats or heels as well. Have fun!


  43. It’s so sexy! You will look great in it. Happy birthday!!

  44. I try and dress up for any occasion I can! I have two jobs and school and people just see me in jeans/sneakers/button down.

    Last occasion was for one of my job’s holiday party. I had a bright blue dress and everyone said i beamed with great energy.

    All you need is that perfect dress.

  45. I love that midi dress you linked! Lacy and fun, but still work or church appropriate. Gotta love a multitasker!

  46. So pretty! what shoes are you wearing with it? Husband and I are going out next week for double birthday celebration and I can’t decide how dressy to make it…tough to get excited to bare arms when it’s the middle of winter!

  47. does it have a nude lining or do you have to skip a bra??

  48. That dress is absolutely beautiful. I have a few nice dresses but haven’t worn any since having 2 kids.

  49. I think the last time I dressed up was on my wedding day (1 month and 9 days ago :) Oh, what a happy day that was!