Longtime readers of this blog know that I collect special-occasion dresses with fervor. But, as I normally advise those who email me looking for recommendations, there’s a reason dress rental services like Rent the Runway exist (and thrive!): few people want to be photographed in the same dress twice.

However, there is value in having a few timeless pieces in your closet that are suitable for all special occasions, because RTR could fail you and it can be a struggle finding a dress locally at the last minute.

Today I am sharing two of my favorite finds from the last year; both are from the Rachel Zoe permanent collection: the Suzette Lace Sheath Dress and the Estelle Open-Back Lace Gown.

STYLE NAME Suzette Lace Sheath Dress
MATERIAL Shell: 35% cotton/34% nylon/31% viscose; Lining: 100% polyester
DETAILS Sheer lace yoke and cap sleeves; scalloped edges/hem; princess seams in front; concealed tonal back zipper closure
CARE Dry clean
FIT True to size (or a size small compared to mass retailers like J. Crew; if you are particularly bosomy or callipygian, go up another size), but the length may be awkward on shorter people. The dress is designed to end above the knee, but on 5’2 me it’s almost midi length.
PRICE $395, and I don’t believe it goes on permanent sale in “classic” colors. But Rachel Zoe does participate in most gift card or buy more, save more events so you may want to wait for one of those sales.
ONLINE RETAILERS Amazon, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord + Taylor, Neiman Marcus, Revolve, Saks Fifth Avenue, Shopbop, Zappos

Rachel Zoe Suzette Lace Sheath Dress // Size 0 // Black

STYLE NAME Estelle Open-Back Lace Gown
MATERIAL Shell: 35% cotton/34% nylon/31% viscose; Lining: 98% polyester/2% spandex.
DETAILS Sheer lace yoke and cap sleeves; open/cutout back; scalloped edges/hem; jewel neckline; front center split; partially lined
CARE Dry clean
LENGTH Full length on average height people or floor-sweeping on petites (I am wearing pumps with 2-3/4″ heels in the photos below); 63″ in size 0.
APPROPRIATE UNDERGARMENT Adhesive bras (like this) or “breast petals
FIT True
to size (or a size small compared to mass retailers like J. Crew).
PRICE $495,
and it doesn’t really go on sale in black, white, or rouge. But Rachel Zoe does participate in
most gift card or buy more, save more events so you may want to wait
for one of those sales.
ONLINE RETAILERS Amazon, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Free People, Net-a-Porter, Neiman Marcus, Revolve, Saks Fifth Avenue, Shopbop, Zappos

Estelle Open-Back Lace Gown // size 0 // Rouge

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