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Formal Season: A Dress Guide

As the quarter winds down, some things pick up: homework, stress, and on a more festive note, social events.  The time is upon us where we put aside our casual attire, grab a date, and most importantly, find a dress. That’s right, it is fall formal season. Whether you are going to a Greek event or an extracurricular affair, fall formals are the time to put on your dancing shoes and a fun cocktail dress. Here are my favorite picks that can be found both in Evanston and online.

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters, located at 921 Church St., offers classic dresses with an edgy, trendy twist.

1. Black brocade with cut-outs
Price: $89.00
This dress is amazing on so many levels. The brocade is in keeping with fall trends, the side cut-outs add a sexiness to the basic fit and flare style and the leather detail keeps it from being too sweet. Bottom line: you will not be boring in this trendy LBD.

2. Cream short-sleeve
Price: $69.00
While this dress may appear simple, the fabric has a gold sheen to it that is perfect for the holiday season. It also has a funky cut-out back. If you are looking for a ladylike dress, this is for you.


Ah, Tobi. Just saying the name of the online store makes me feel as giddy as a kid in a candy store. Seriously, if you do not shop on Tobi, you are missing out. This website offers amazing basics and on-trend items, from pants to jewelry, at a really reasonable price. Disclaimer: Tobi has a setting that links with your Facebook account. Basically, your shopping habits may pop up on your friend’s Newsfeeds. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when your BFF teases you about your shopping addiction. Here are some classy and colorful picks.

3. Red with petal skirt
Price: $38.00
Red is such a classic color and the petal skirt is so great. Also, did you see the price tag? Buy it here. This dress makes an impact while still remaining classy.

4. Navy mesh v-neck
Price: $40.00
This pretty cocktail dress gets a fun twist with the deep v-neck. The mesh insert keeps it sexy, not trashy.  It also comes in other colors like black, peach and red, so take your pick!


Francesca’s in Evanston has a great new location now on Sherman Avenue; 1631 Sherman to be exact. Check out this store for feminine and colorful dresses.

5. Royal blue with embroidery
Price: $44.00  
While this dress is a bit more casual than the others, the color is so bright and fresh I couldn’t resist. Dress it up with some fun black wedges and sparkly jewelry.

Nasty Gal

Nasty Gal is another great online site that is a bit trendier and more pricey than Tobi.  They have a huge selection of many types of dresses, from maxi to daytime. Here is my favorite bodycon from them:

6. White bodycon with gold studs
Price: $78.00
Bodycon dresses are a great way to show off those SPAC yoga or Pure Barre Evanston classes you’ve been hitting up. I believe white can be worn all seasons and the gold studs make it a bit more fall-y. Purchase, and add some drama to your closet, here.

Happy shopping and happy formal season!

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Anna Schapiro


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