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A desperation dress idea

I was so excited about attending Charlotte Concerts celebration of its 85th season of bringing national and international musical performances to Charlotte. The gala was called the Stompin’ at the Savoy Jazz Ball and was held at Myers Park Country Club.

Then I looked in my closet. As a social editor on a very tight budget I have three long gowns that I’ve been rotating at events for years. It’s time to add another one to the mix. But a journalist’s salary and worse, a schedule that leaves me almost zero time to shop, has held me back.

I just could not force myself to put one of my usual gowns on. I truly felt that if I didn’t do something different I would crumple up in my closet and not be able to go to the gala. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but I was desperate to wear something new.

Then I had a flash of an idea. What if I took a Yoana Baraschi short leopard print dress I bought at Our Place boutique and threw it over one of my standbys, a 1930s-style black gown that was designed in Paris that I found through the budget French fashion site La Redoute. I threw the pieces on and I thought the look worked. I accessorized it with two signature gold cuffs I have, what I call my Palm Beach Party Shoes (Cole Haan open-toe shoes with tassels) and a Nancy Gonzalez black clutch from Coplon’s.

Feeling much more enthusiastic about my “new” outfit I headed out the door. As I entered the gala, I knew I wouldn’t be the best dressed but I felt good about what I had on. I was so happy when so many people told me they loved my dress! And they were surprised when I told them what I had done. I’m usually the one asking people about what they have on. A photographer took my photo and Charlotte Concerts sent it to me in the mail. The photo is at the top of this blog. It’s fun sometimes to be on the other side of the camera for a change.

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson