Whether you have one, two or twelve parties on your calendar this holiday season...
Whether you have one, two or twelve perfectly pretty party dresses already hanging in your closet...
Whether your bank account bottom line ends with one, two or twelve zeroes...
If you're like I am and given the choice would follow a semi-formal dress code all day, every day, there's no more intoxicating a journey, no more thrilling a transaction and no more anticipatory a feeling than finding, buying and wearing a figure-enhancing, trend-transcending, timeless cocktail dress.
Below, you'll find a 16-strong selection of elegant, subtly sexy, uniquely-detailed party frocks you'll be able to wear from your mid-20s well into your mid-30s without a hint of Dina Lohan/Leslie Panettiere/Teri Hatcher shame.
Provided, of course, you do what is necessary to maintain that mid-20s figure.
For motivation to step away from the leftover pecan pie and to increase your weekly gym visits by x+1, first click here to see 41 year old Cindy Crawford frolicking on the beach bikini-style this past weekend, then check out 40 year old Kate Walsh doing the same, and finally, scroll down and scour these snaps for your favorite under-$300 belle-of-the-ball party dress.
Della dress by Elie Tahari
($199.20 at bluefly.com)
Ruched shimmery goddess dress by Vanessa Bruno Athe
($280 at lagarçonne.com)
Ruffle-neck dress by Mint*
($254.10 at basicboutique.com)
Sleeveless dress by IRO