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20-40-60 Etiquette---Where can I get one of those dresses?


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By Callie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace



QUESTION: When I watched the Academy Awards program, I thought that all of the women looked beautiful. There was much commentary about the lovely evening dresses. I imagine all of the dresses cost a fortune, so my question to you is where do I find dresses that really look good and well made and don’t cost so much?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: There are many websites that showcase very nice, well-made dresses. Do some digging and ask some friends where they usually shop or look. Happy Spring Shopping!

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: Yes, those beautiful dresses cost a fortune, and I think some of them come directly from the designers who are thrilled with the opportunity to show off their work to such a large audience. But to try to duplicate the looks you liked, the Internet is your friend, as are the fashion magazines who pore over the styles and then package them nicely for readers.

These days, websites that post photos of the styles from the Academy Awards often will include links to websites that carry that exact dress or give you ideas for how you might be able to adapt that look yourself. Online many times, you’ll see dots on the photos of the stars’ clothing and if you let your cursor hover over the dot, it will offer a popup alternative to the dress. Then, a month or so later, many fashion magazines will cover the Oscars in a spread and then include side-by-side features like “get the look” for less money.

HELEN’S ANSWER: It is a real treat for everyone to watch the Academy Awards to see the beautiful well-made dresses. So many of the women look wonderful. To find those types of dresses at a price you can afford can be a challenge. Look at your local stores for things that you like and find out if they have sales and then watch for them to go down in price. Check the outlet stores and local seamstresses. Wedding shops and department stores have wonderful formal dresses.

Look online for web sites that feature formalwear. Sometimes there are dresses that look great at less cost.

If you know that you need a special dress during the year, save up for it, and find that wonderful dress at one of your local upscale dress shops.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Linda Miller, author of NewsOK’s Fashion Matters blog: Most of those women on the Red Carpet do look beautiful and, yes, those dresses do cost a fortune. Not that many A-list actresses actually whip out their credit cards. Most designers happily loan or create exclusive designs for a night of exposure that plays on for days on television and online.

Some actresses are even paid to wear a gown and jewels, according to a story in Vanity Fair.

But back to how you can find quality dresses without hefty price tags. Think ahead to upcoming events. Shop sales, even at high-end stores not on your radar. Consider resale or upscale outlet stores. Find a talented tailor: Fit can be the difference between a dress looking good and looking fabulous.

Check out rental clothing sites such as


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Helen Ford Wallace

Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for... Read more ›

Lillie-Beth Brinkman

Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman Read more ›

Callie Athey

Callie Athey is 20-something and is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked in various positions, ranging from Event Coordinator to Environmental Health and Safety Assistant. Currently, Callie is an Executive Assistant to a... Read more ›