Evening dresses are the indulgent, fussy, fancy aunt of fashion. They’re not the “investment piece that you’ll wear over and over again” or the “statement clothing that ends up surprising you with its versatility.” Many times an evening dress is purchased with the intention and knowledge that you won’t be wearing it often, but the fleeting moments you do wear it are worth it. If an expensive evening dress is the price you pay to live out a fantastical moment where you feel 100% in your own skin and can shed all feelings of self-consciousness and doubt, isn’t it worth it? Versatility isn’t the point here; the staying power of an evening dress that makes you feel, simply put, good, is just as worth it as a pair of easy-to-wear black trousers.
Those moments in your evening dress when you’re happy to be you are the moments to escape to when you’re a little bit lost, feeling like poo, or unsure of yourself. Take it out of closet retirement and wear it to eat Frosted Flakes while watching TV so that it gets extra wear. Shamelessly check yourself out every time you walk by the entryway mirror and set up a self-timer to take pics in it. Evening gowns are for feeding our childhood fantasy of being a princess.
So, of course, we picked our five favorite evening dresses of the season and piled into a speedboat headed down the Hudson River. Scroll down for our fleeting 10-minute sunset ride around the Statue of Liberty and dream a little bit with us.
The Tent Dress
Sheer, fabric-abundant dresses that make you feel like you’re wearing a giant tent are the move right now. Meaning you can literally move, sway, swirl, twirl, hide snacks, and have fun without any of the worries that a more form-fitting dress would have. This dress moves with you. What more can you really ask for?
The Moiré Dress
The dress-and-pants combination may have once been used to add a casual factor, but Christopher John Rogers is flipping that theory on its head (as he tends to do). The moiré fabric has that “Marie Antoinette eating macarons on a Sunday morning” feeling, while the checkered and zebra pants say, “Get a girl that can do both. I’m here to dance and be fancy by eating macarons.”
The Sweater Dress
Lest we forget that knitwear can be worthy of evening-dress status too. As with all things that the brand Area touches, something classic like a cable-knit sweater is transformed into a statement-making calf-length dress appropriate for the red carpet. Zoom in only a little bit and you’ll notice delicate rhinestones woven into the chunky knit. Looks good paired with the sparkling lights of One World Trade Center (Teen Vogue HQ, hello!) and the rippling waves of the Hudson River.
The Always Red Dress
The classic red dress stays classic. What is it about the color red that automatically insinuates that you’re ready for something ~fancy~? This one comes with three elegant tiers and is pleated. Other qualities include making you feel like you’re driving around in a convertible in a movie. If you’re not eating caviar and steak frites while wearing this dress, you might be doing something wrong.
The Game Show Dress
Moschino’s collection was based on The Price Is Right, a game show based on guessing the price of everyday items, but anyone who remembers watching the show knows that the best parts were the ladies who presented the prizes. We could very well see this beaded, sequined, pearl-peppered dress alongside a new laundry machine or shiny brand-neeeew car.
Speed boat pictured above: not for sale.
Photographer: Rob Kulisek
Stylist: Michelle Li
Hair: Lucas Wilson
Makeup: Michaela Bosch
Model: Chelsea McCollum
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue