The Look: 

Red Ralph Lauren gown (sold out)

M2Malletier bag (shop M2Malletier here)

Christian Louboutin heels (older; similar here)

Pierre Hardy bracelet (here)

Kenneth Jay Lane earrings (here)

Runway to Reality:

This past spring, an occasion arose for which I needed a gown for a black tie charity gala on short notice. Between work and other commitments, I did not have time to leisurely browse for something to wear. What’s a girl to do? I called in the help of a professional stylist. She researched options and had several stores gather dresses for me to try.

But it was one of those days. Dressing rooms full of pretty dresses, but I was striking out over and over again. Nothing was working. Nothing was quite what I wanted. Does that ever happen to you? Sigh.

All that changed, though, when I went to the Ralph Lauren boutique. I first tried this gown (look 37 from the SS 2014 runway). It was so fun, flirty, and fluorescent! A definite contender. And then this happened: the red gown (look 50 from the SS 2014 runway). It was immediate love. Gorgeous, red, unique, flattering, no alterations needed, and completely comfortable. Almost too good to be true!

And what an awesome purchase it has turned out to be. Not only did I wear the gown once in the spring, but I’ve worn it three other times since for various black tie events. Yes, that’s right – I’ve repeated the look. When something works this well, why not? (Particularly because the other events were in other cities with different groups of people)

Lessons learned:

1. It’s always good to have a timeless evening wear option in your closet. You never know when an opportunity might present itself! (And I highly suggest this style if you’re looking for an elegant yet easy-to-wear look.)

2. In a pinch? Call in the professionals. Having the help of a skilled stylist can make all the difference, especially for a big event.

3. Black tie doesn’t have to mean blending in with black. Stand out in a statement making red dress!

4. Don’t be afraid to re-wear looks that work successfully for you.


Runway photo via Fashion Wire Press; photos by Ashley Beatrice; styling by Erica Hanks



  1. Monica says:

    I remember seeing the gown on the runway (one of my favorites) and then seeing you wearing it, thinking how perfect the gown looked on you!. You never know when you are going to meet the clothes you are meant to wear =)

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks, Monica! And I love that last quote from you. 🙂

  2. Kristina says:

    Carrie, you look stunning in this dress. the color is so vivacious. simply stunning.

    1. Carrie says:

      So, so nice. Thank you, Kristina!

  3. Teia says:

    I adore this red! It reminds me of the fabulous caftans in the Sandra Dee Classic – If A Man Answers.

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks so much, Teia! Yes, I know what you mean.

  4. caroline says:

    Great article and very useful, greetings

    1. Carrie says:

      Thank you, Caroline!

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks so much, Promise! 🙂

  5. whitney says:

    this color looks great on you, and what an amazing dress! lucky you having somewhere fun to wear that to!

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks, Whitney! So nice to connect with you.

  6. Kelli says:

    Stunning! This red – WOW!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *