Concert Attire for Pianistas – More thoughts

Since yesterday’s post, I’ve had a bit of a gown shopping obsession manifest into manic online cruise shopping. Here’s a rundown of the sites I’ve checked and my impressions of each, in order aid my fellow pianistas in their hunts for concert looks.,,,,

Well, if you have an oil well in your back yard,  these are great sites for you! Seriously, what I learned from looking at these sites is that yet again I have champagne taste and a beer budget.  The more expensive ($500+) dresses are classier, have better drape, nicer detailing, and more subtle colors.  And actually it seems that there are more of them without wearability issues.  Another plus is that the sites are easier to navigate- they have menu options to select formal dresses, dress length, and sleeve style.

Discount sites

In the past I have had good luck going to Nordstroms’ Rack in person; their site also has some good deals.  Unlike the full price site, you have to page through all the dresses to find the floor length gowns. was pretty easy to navigate, with a few contenders.  But the prices weren’t much cheaper than regular retail. I left a gown in my cart in the hopes that they’ll email me a discount offer soon.  No luck so far  : (

Dress-only sites

I checked out Davids’ Bridal – they have a store near my house.  I’ve gotten a few useful things there in the past. They have some nice designs with sort of middle of the road quality.  Also spent some time on,, At this point my eyes were beginning to glaze over.

Another category of site is represented by and These sites make a dress to order for you based on your measurements.  One is located in China, the other in Australia. Great prices, but it seemed a little risky to me to order a dress without getting to see a fabric sample first.

Why not rent a dress?

It was fun looking at It seemed like good value for the money for the really expensive designer dresses. For the less expensive gowns, the cost was almost as much as finding a discounted or sale dress.  But the fashion tape issue rears its ugly head again.  Rentals are available for 4 or 8 days – if the dress doesn’t fit well so that I can move freely without fear of fashion accidents, I’m stuck.

So where does this leave me?

My next strategy is to go shopping in person after Christmas.  I need to see the fabric in person to be able to make a decision.  I’ll hit some of my favorite consignment stores and possibly Nordstrom’s Rack.