Alice + Olivia
After a sunny weekend in Las Vegas, my tan was looking pretty solid. Time to set it off with a little white dress. At Alice + Olivia, I tried on a satin ultramini. The scoop-neck shift had unfinished, slightly frayed edges and a banded collar was embellished with tiny white sequins. Though I loved the loose fit and the sequined edging, the dress was so short that the slightest gust of wind would leave me exposed. 80 W. 40th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-840-0887.
At the Gap, I immediately found a short, eyelet dress with tie straps and an Empire-waist. It fit me well, and I shockingly got to go down to a small thanks to the store’s forgiving sizing. But the combination of the eyelet cotton with a baby-doll style made me look like a 7-year-old girl. 734 Lexington Ave., nr. 59th St.; 212-751-1543.
Over at preppy J.Crew, I found a surprisingly hippie-chic frock. The Talitha dress, named for sixties icon Talitha Getty, was floor-length white linen. The cross-back tank style was tight at the bust but hit the floor in lined, heavy ruffles. I loved the full, prairie style, but the skirt was so long that it kept making me trip as I walked around the dressing room. I could only imagine how dirty and ratty the edges would get. 347 Madison Ave., nr. 44th St.; 212-949-0570.
After fondling a Miu Miu bag on Saks’ first floor, I headed upstairs, where I found this long white gown. Once I realized it was the one Lauren Conrad wore to the MTV Movie Awards just weeks ago, I couldn’t resist trying it on. The floor-length, strapless dress fell in draping layers to one side—very old-Hollywood. The tight bodice enhanced my cleavage—I certainly looked glamorous. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of opportunities to wear a black-tie gown. 611 Fifth Ave., nr. 50th St.; 212-940-4176.
At Bergdorf Goodman, Iisli’s white minidress caught my eye. It was lined in a silky knit and had sequins covering the crocheted slip. Once on, the sexy dress revealed everything: It was almost see-through, incredibly short, extremely tight, and with a low scoopy neck, and very thin straps. This dress would only be appropriate for my next trip to Vegas. 754 Fifth Ave., nr. 58th St.; 212-753-5400.
Sick of the formal dresses uptown, I headed south. My first stop was the BCBG store on Fifth Avenue, where I found the perfect white dress. The low-cut V-neck was edged with a scalloped trim and enhanced by subtle embroidery and beading, toning down the sexy plunge. The capped sleeves and three-tiered knee-length skirt were feminine, and the tie in back gave great waist definition. Plus, the cream color enhanced my complexion instead of washing me out. 168 Fifth Ave., nr. 22nd St.; 212-989-7307.
3.1 Phillip Lim
Over at Otte I found a white 3.1 Phillip Lim style with a big floppy bow on the front. The stretchy rayon tank dress had a scoop neck and pleated fabric from the top, which gave it a trapeze shape. It hit just above my knee and had hidden side pockets, which I love. Though the tent silhouette was fun, the chiffon bow was just too large and goofy. Otte, 121 Greenwich Ave., nr. Jane St.; 212-229-9424.
The next day at Barneys, I came across Richard Chai’s very mini cocktail dress. Though it looked off-white or gray from afar, it was actually made from a white fabric layered over a structured black slip. The transparent white gauze was banded at the top and fell to a narrow bubble hem that hit several inches above my knee. In addition to the artful layering, I liked the one-shoulder style, which was chic and sexy—ideal for a summer night. Barneys New York, 660 Madison Ave., nr. 60th St.; 212-826-8900.