The Best Fancy Dresses For Every Budget

We're pretty generous in our definition of "dressed up." In the spirit of living that F*ck The Fashion Rules life, sometimes we'll throw on pair of oversized trousers and a cool sneaker and call it “dressed up.” But other times, there's a mindspace we get in where the mood calls for a really fancy dress. You could be feeling like utter crap, step into a magic frock, and feel better instantly. There’s no shame in embracing the opportunity to get dressed way up: heels, lipstick, expensive bag — the whole glittery nine yards.

Still, the last thing you ever want to look like is a try-hard. Yes, dressing up technically requires a bit more effort than, say, throwing on a pair of skinny jeans, but you want to look like you, instead of a cartoon version of yourself. To do this, it’s all about finding a dress that suits your style and personality seamlessly, and you feel good in it without requiring much thought.

The good thing about a fancy dress is that it’s kind of a one-and-done deal — there's no need to fuss with multiple parts because it's an all-in-one outfit. Let the dress be the focal point, and start by scoping out the statement-making picks here. From sheer to patterned to silky, click ahead to find a dress that makes you feel like a million bucks and that also works within your means.
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A classic number that shows off your décolletage (and a blingy choker necklace).
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A silk dress can be edgy, too.
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Imagine how pretty that hem will look when you glide into the room.
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Your go-to for those fancy events you find out about day-of.
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An unexpected D-ring shoulder detail.
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Channel your inner ballerina.
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Balance a long length with a plunging neckline.
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A print that requires a closer look.
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Spice up your LBD.
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Sheer done right. Wear this with white briefs and a bandeau for a red-carpet-worthy look, or a body-con mini for something more conservative.
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Keep things interesting with an abstract camo.
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Playful ruffles soften up this otherwise edgy and contemporary frock.
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A fit-and-flare shape that flatters on just about everyone.
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Modest dress, not-so-modest hue.
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