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Social dress rebirth at Belk

Posted: Friday, Mar. 30, 2012

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Rachel Sutherland

Rachel Sutherland has been a professional journalist for 14 years, most recently as the Style Editor for the Charlotte Observer. Her writing and styling work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country. She is often a featured guest on syndicated radio programs The Matt & Ramona Show and The Satisfied Life. Find her at or email her:

After taking my search for a gownfor February’s HRC Gala on the road (namely Atlanta), I was all too excited to hear what Belk buyer Hope Politis had to tell and show me recently: Belk Southpark has substantially increased its social dress department.

If you’re like me and rarely make it out of the shoe department (It’s disturbing how easily I’m distracted “Ooh … Frye boots. And sandals ….”), like me, you’ve been missing out on what Hope and her peeps started putting together earlier this year, just in time for prom season.

There’s just more: More price points, more styles, more designers including Tadashi Shoji, Jill Stuart, Ralph Lauren’s Lauren line and Jessica Simpson among others. I have to admit, J Simp’s dresses are surprisingly elegant — nothing about the blouson number with a beaded waist (right) screamed Jessica Simpson.

Of course there are prom dresses galore, but for those of us who A) are not 16 B) looking for social dresses the rest of the year and C) not interested in aging ourselves with a dress and/or spending a zillion dollars, Belk has the hookup. Politis says it’s not going anywhere soon. The department will not be seasonal, but a year-round presence.

You’ll have a chance to check out the expanded offerings during a free fashion show at noon Saturday, March 31 at SouthPark Belk, 4400 Sharon Road. Details: 704.364.4251.

Dress For Success Inventory Reduction Sale

Dress For Success, the popular non-profit that empowers women is ready to empower bargain hunters this weekend: The Inventory Reduction Extravaganze will feature most items priced below $20 (some exceptions, including designer apparel and accessories). The sale is open only to women and has a few caveats: No returns, plus-sizes are limited, no children allowed and ID is required to shop. 10a-4p at DFS Boutique off Clanton Road.

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