When I get married, it will be to a man who knows me well enough to propose with a custom-fit black cocktail dress, not a ring.
This asymmetrical rosette-trimmed frock from 3.1 Phillip Lim (right: $485 at net-a-porter.com) not only costs a fraction of a what a diamond would but also captures "Will you spend the rest of your life with me?" in a much more meaningful, much more Johanna-inspired way.
Some women are at their most powerful in lingerie, some in gym clothes, and others in fitted business suits. For me, that one article of clothing that makes me feel as insightful as Eleanor Clift, as classy as Grace Kelly, and as alluring as Monica Bellucci is the black evening dress.
Well, maybe the last one a little less, but that's just because I like to show as much leg as possible.
This leads me nicely into setting the ground rules for a sophisticated evening look. Almost identical to the guidelines I laid out yesterday for casual outfits (dress for your audience, be age-appropriate, don't wear anything too tight, too short, too sheer, or too forcibly trendy), evening wear has but one critical addition:
Identify your body's strengths, works-in-progress, and weaknesses, and dress accordingly.
I've been waiting for an opportunity to rant about an offense I encounter every time I attend a wedding or walk through Georgetown during graduation party season. No, I'm not talking about drunk 60 years olds hitting on me, I'm talking about women who haven't earned the right to wear a strapless dress flagrantly doing it anyway.
I believe the everyday woman's failure to choose the right evening dress is not due to fashion ignorance but rather a refusal to accept the fact that the dress she loves highlights her weaknesses instead of her strengths.