Fashion Corner

Kelly Skahan

Sure, it’s the middle of October, but it’s never too early to start thinking about formal season. Upperclassmen definitely don’t want to be caught wearing the same dress as last year, and freshmen would do best to avoid being the girl who wore her prom dress twice. That said, Halloween costume advice can wait; let’s talk cocktail dresses.

Places like Bebe and BCBG will have a ton of mini dresses and the like to tide you over, but they also run the risk of being duplicates at any given formal; after all, there are only so many cocktail dresses available. This year, broaden your shopping horizons while you seek your frock-of-choice.

You know you’re secretly craving an unapologetically-sparkly number, and Bloomingdale’s in the Court doesn’t disappoint. Free People’s sequin mesh slip dress isn’t modest by any stretch of the imagination, so you’ll likely want to don tights to go with it. At just under $70 on sale, it won’t break the bank (and you’ll get some decent New Year’s Eve wear out of it, too). Ready to drop a little more cash? Cynthia Steffe’s shyla dress is a knockout, and it touches on the one-shoulder trend, glitter trend and super-short mini trend all in one. Sure, it runs at $375, but isn’t it worth watching your sorority sisters’ jaws drop when you make your grand entrance?

Got sticker shock? Enter Forever21. There’s no better place to find a super-trendy dress and get it for dirt cheap; after all, it’ll be out of style in two weeks anyway. Jump on the sequin bandwagon with the store’s metallic swirl dress. It’s a basic tank, but at $24.80 the price is right. Also, try on the sequin-trim fitted dress. It’s a knock-off of the super-hot Herve Leger bandage dresses every starlet on the planet has been rocking lately, and they’ll flatter your curves like you won’t believe. Better yet, it’s only $22.80, so you can afford to splurge on some hot shoes.

Like it or not, going to Villanova automatically gives you a tiny soft spot for J. Crew (come on, admit it). Though the selection in-store leans toward the preppy side, their online selection is often a lot more hip than you’d expect. If you want to make this an investment piece – the kind you’ll wear to your sister’s wedding and your godson’s christening – check out the silk dupioni rosette dress. The pink version is pretty girly, but the navy is a cool and unexpected. It’s versatile enough that you’ll get a lot of wear out of it, and the sweetheart-neckline and strapless cut are timeless enough that you won’t look dated. Maybe that helps you justify the $495 price.