Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: semi-formal

Inspired Looks: Carrie (almost)

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a little obsessed with Carrie Underwood.  In a completely non-creepy way, of course.

She’s just so lovely and her fashion taste is impeccable.  I can’t remember something she’s worn post-American Idol that I haven’t liked.  But, my favorite of all of her looks was the whimsical cotton candy dress she wore to the 2012 Billboard Awards.  It’s perfection.

For some reason, though, while I remembered loving this dress, I remembered it looking very different.  So, when I saw the dress I’m wearing below on clearance at JCP, I believed it to be a red, cocktail-length version of Carrie’s dress and just HAD to try it on.  Obviously, I was mistaken.  It’s nothing like Carrie’s dress.

I knew going in that this wasn’t one of those “made for me” dresses.  But, since I thought I would match Carrie, I had to at least try (I’m still not sure why I thought that – maybe it matches another celeb dress I’ve seen, and I just got them mixed up).   Regardless, I kinda liked it.  Yes, it’s a little loofa-ish.  But, it’s a pretty color and the twirling action of the skirt was awesome.  Alas, although the front view was tolerable, the side view was decidedly unflattering.  Without a guarantee that no one would ever approach me from any direction except straight on, I knew I wouldn’t feel very pretty or confident wearing it, so I put it back.  With great mourning.

Someday, I will achieve my goal of having a fun, poofy party dress like Carrie’s.  Today is not that day.

What Semi-Formal Means To Me

A few weeks ago, a friend told me she’d visited my blog to get an idea of what “semi-formal” might constitute.  Since I never go anywhere even semi-formal fancy, the blog was noticeably lacking – sorry, Beth!

To fill in the gap, I spent last night pretending I was going somewhere dressy and trying on a few different looks.  This kinda made me sad because I do love getting dressed up and wish I could do it more (anyone want to take me to a swanky party?), but it was also really fun to play big girl dress-up for a little while.

Let me say this about semi-formal: it’s a pretty ambiguous term.  Depending on the time of day, the event, and the location, semi-formal could mean any number of things from Easter church clothes to cocktail dresses.  For the purpose of this blog, I went the more cocktail route.  Beth told me semi-formal for her event meant Lilly Pulitzer.  So, really, your best bet is to ask the host to clarify whenever possible.

For the first look, I’m wearing a bridesmaid dress from my best friend’s wedding.  I apologize for the millionth time for my photog skills.  But, trust me, it’s a pretty, royal blue dress.   Mary picked a dress that we really might wear again – she’s great like that.  I love my sequin t-strap shoes and I kept the rest of the accessories fairly simply to not distract from the dress.

In look #2, I went the little black dress route.  This is probably the most formal of the three, simply because it’s the most mature/conservative.  Were I really going somewhere, I would probably style it a bit differently.  My earrings and shoes aren’t quite dressy enough, but you work with what you’ve got.  The dress is tiered, and it’s really pretty.  But, you know me.  Black bores me, so I probably wouldn’t choose this one, unless I had really awesome colored accessories to go with it.

Finally, we have my favorite but most casual look.  I wore this to New Year’s a few years ago.  It’s great for a young, fun event – not for a wedding or corporate function.  I don’t normally advocate mixing navy and black, but it can be done – especially if you pretend the navy is more of a royal midnight blue, which I did (I also just made up that color).  I kept the accessories simple and within the same color palette, but I did add a couple blue and green plastic rings to keep the whole look youthful and funky.

So, there you have it – Tastefully Trendy’s take on semi-formal.  I hope this is helpful somehow, and if you do go to fabulous parties, PLEASE tell me about it so I can live vicariously through you.

Have a great weekend!

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