Reader B sent in this fun prompt:

Your blog is wonderful! I need a new dress for my husband's law school graduation (on May 10) and found THE perfect dress: Kate Spade New York Brent Linen Sheath Dress Except it's not perfect: (a) it's too expensive (i'd like to spend under $200) and (b) it's not available yet. I'd be willing to spend more for the perfect item.  Here's what I'm looking for: 
- something in cobalt blue (this dress has more of a purple undertone in it, which also works well)
- probably a sheath as I don't like A-lines and need something that's not strapless; sleeves would be a plus
- a nice fabric (linen, silk or something textured; I tend not to like jersey or ponte)
- a size 6 (maybe 8 if it runs small)

I realize this all makes me sound super picky :-) Thanks in advance, TCFKAG!

First of all - you're not even close to picky.  Your requests are entirely reasonable.  Second of all, that dress is beautiful.  Seriously.  Nice choice.  But I understand wanting something a bit more affordable - so let's work on that why don't we?  

So, here's the Kate Spade dress in question, for those who are shopping along at home.
I am a big fan.  BIG.  Moving on.  I don't think you are picky, but probably the hardest part is matching your price range to your fabric preferences.  But we can do it!  I've found a few options.  See below.
My first suggestion is this very pretty "Summer Shift" from Boden - which is always a go-to for me when looking for natural fabric dresses.  This particular dress is 98% cotton (100% cotton lining) and I think that would breath very nicely for summer.  This print I'm suggesting has purple and grey elements as well as red and white and I think it would be lovely in person.  There are also other navy blue options available.  See the all here.   One warning though - there is an exposed zipper on this one - if that's not your cup of tea. 
Summer Shift dress in Multi Painterly at Boden-USA ($148)

The second dress (which I've included two pictures of, the front and the back since the back was so pretty) is a Muse Dot Jacquard Fitted Sheath Dress from Neiman Marcus Last Call.  I love the shape on this, I think it would be wonderfully flattering, and you know me - I love a good polka dot.  Plus I love the little cut out in the back, I think its super cute.  This one is also cotton, though with an acetate lining.  But I think its still a good option.  And the price isn't half bad either.
Muse Dot Jacquard Fitted Sheath Dress at Neiman Marcus Last Call ($104.30)

The third dress is this lovely Paisley printed v-neck sheath from Anne Klein.  I really like this one - I think it would be really flattering and comfortable.  It is also cotton (so got for summer I guess, lol) - but it looks quite nice.  Also I love those shoes, but that's neither here nor there.
Paisley Print Sheath Dress from Anne Klein ($138)

The next one is a little tough, but is the Magaschoni Pleated Sheath Dress from Neiman Marcus.  Its really pretty and quite elegant (and the color's beautiful) - its also a screaming deal.  Unfortunately only the size 8 is left - but sometimes the foreign design items run small.  Might be worth a try.
Magaschoni Pleated Sheath Dress from Neiman Marcus ($161)

The last one is the Elie Tahari "Ginny Dress" - I like the colors in the pattern and the price is quite nice.  It is also a silk/elastene blend.  Also if you want a good laugh, I suggest watching the model walk in it at the Saks' website, its hilarious.  
Elie Tahari Ginny Dress at Saks Fifth Avenue ($159.20)

The last three are three I have included for you, or more likely for my other readers, that are generally in the same style or family of your preferred dresses but don't meet your needs for one reason or another.  But I like them so I wanted to throw them up here.  So its my blog and I do what I want.  ;-)

Kay Unger New York Ruffle Neck Sheath Dress in canary yellow at Neiman Marcus ($230).
Magaschoni "Strapless Gown with Embroidered BDC" in red at Neiman Marcus ($205 - the back of this dress is SO pretty - also available in black.)
Patterned Linen Shirred Sheath Dress at Land's End (now $64.97 and POCKETS!)

Okay Reader B - let me know if any of those hit the mark!  And readers - leave a comment if you have any other ideas!!  Happy shopping and may the odds be ever in your favor.  (Oh - and Reader B - congratulate your husband on his law school graduation from us here at TCFKAG Shops...and I'm sorry in advance for the misery you are going to experience this summer as the loved one of a bar studier.  Oh so sorry.)
5/2/2013 10:32:30

Oh my god I must have that Kate Spade dress. Purple. Chevrons. A real waist. Knee Length. Regular bra. and. and. and. POCKETS. Sometimes they just knock it out of the park. I got a skirt last year that I sometimes refer to as My Precious. My Precious is about to get a sister.

5/2/2013 10:39:14

(so I will order it and it will sit in my closet unworn with tags attached until it goes on sale, at which point I will get a price adjustment and permit myself to wear it)

5/2/2013 11:15:31

If you do buy it, remember to buy it through this link. :-P Also, how cute would it look with these Coach shoes in coral?

5/7/2013 15:11:07

Apologies for the delay, but thank you so much for helping with my search! Your suggestions are great! I'm only now getting to my dress shopping, but I'm going to order several now (with rush shipping as I need to wear this later this week!) and will let you know which I decide to keep :-)


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