Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why Every Busy Girl Needs an Emergency Dress (and How to Choose Yours)

I’m a big believer in this one fact –

Every girl needs an Emergency Dress. 

You know, that dress you keep in your bag / office desk drawer / glove compartment of your car.  The one that you pull out and do a quick-change into when an unexpected occasion arises while you're out and about.  After all, you never know when you need to dress up.

A readily accessible Emergency Dress has saved the day for me on numerous occasions.

Here are the primary  4 scenarios when the use of an Emergency Dress is in order:

  • From Office -> Happy Hour or Dinner Date

    Imagine you're at your desk at work.  It's around 6 pm and you suddenly receive a last minute invitation to after-work drinks or dinner.  Unfortunately, there's no time to run home and change into a dress, and you don't feel like showing up to a social event in office attire.

    Enter the Emergency Dress that you fortunately keep in your desk drawer at work...and you're no longer stuck being the girl wearing a suit or dress shirt to a social event (or worse - having to turn down an invitation because you aren't properly dressed for a certain venue). In my opinion, this is by far the most common use case for an Emergency Dress.  I can't even begin to count the times I've gone straight from work to drinks or a nice dinner on short notice...during which an Emergency Dress (kept inside my office desk) has saved the day for me on numerous occasions.     

  • From Airport -> Party

    You're currently on a plane, and you're about to go straight from the airport to a party you can't miss (let's say a friend's birthday), immediately upon landing at your destination. The problem is that you don't want to wear a cocktail dress on the plane (who wants to brave a 5-10 hour flight in stiff tulle or lace?), yet you don't want to show up at a fancy event looking and feeling frumpy in your travel clothes.  My typical strategy for scenarios like this is to keep a wrinkle-free Emergency Dress in my carry-on bag and then do a quick-change in the plane's lavatory shortly before landing.

  • From Daytime Event -> Nighttime Event

    Let's say your Saturday plans consist of a going to a BBQ / tailgate party, followed by an evening event that requires dressing up (for instance, a fancy dinner or a night at the ballet) and with no time and place to change in between.   In situations like these, I sometimes resort to changing into my Emergency Dress in the backseat of my car while parked in a secluded area, no joke.  Hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

  • For Emergency Wardrobe Malfunctions

    There's nothing worse than having a wardrobe malfunction occur in a very public setting (whether it's having red wine spilled on your white dress at a party or discovering a rip in your seam).  It never hurts to have an Emergency Dress somewhere easily accessible (ex: in your car, parked outside) in cases where you desperately need something to change into.

Ok, so we've just gone over when and why you need an Emergency Dress.  Let's quickly recap where you should keep yours: 
  • In your desk drawer at work
  • In the glove compartment or trunk of your car
  • In your travel bag
  • In your purse
You can see in the photo above that my Emergency Dress (when folded) is compact enough to fit inside my purse.  This brings me to my next topic, which is...

What to look for in an Emergency Dress: 

An Emergency Dress should be:

  • Wrinkle-Resistant

    This is absolutely key.  It's going to get stuffed into a bag or tossed into a drawer and needs to be made from fabric that doesn't wrinkle easily.  When looking for an Emergency Dress, avoid 100% cotton or linen and stick with man-made or blended fabrics.  Also be sure to avoid sequins, as they'll fall off after being shoved in various place.  When in doubt, you can always do what I call the "Scrunch Test" - simply take a fistful of fabric and scrunch by clenching your fist.  If the fabric smooths out afterwards with minimal wrinkles, then it may qualify for your Emergency Dress.

  • Compact

    It needs to fit in your purse, desk drawer, or glove compartment when folded.  If you can't carry it around easily, then you won't be able to access it during emergencies.

  • Basic

    Pick a dress in preferably a solid color or one that doesn't jump out at being particularly unique.  This allows for more flexibility, and you can change up the look with different shoes, bags, and accessories.  It should also fit in equally at a nice dinner with your boyfriend's parents and be passable at a lounge with friends, so don't pick anything too extravagant or revealing for maximum versatility.  You don’t want to be remembered as the girl that's always wearing the same dress, so be sure that your Emergency Dress is a versatile basic.   

[Above: Here I am after a quick-change into my Emergency Dress. No more having to show up at after-work events in my office clothes!]


Do you have an Emergency Dress?  What do you do when you're out and about and need to dress up unexpectedly?


  1. wonderful idea! thanks!

  2. This is such a good idea...and I love your picks!

    Avec Amber

  3. awesome ideaaaa nvr thought of it

  4. have I not thought of this?! THANK YOU! haha you just made my life a lotttttt easier! :] Now I have an excuse to go buy a new dress!

  5. This is genius, you are a genius! I'm totally going to have to do this! So, so glad I read this post today.

  6. I love this post, you wrote some genius and very practical tips!! Love the blue dress.

  7. this is such good advice! thanks for the post! hahaha and I love that white criss-cross dress in your suggestions. :)

  8. What an awesome post! I always get called to last minute private concerts or some after work social event. I totally need to stash my go-to-last-minute dress somewhere convenient.


  9. Okay, this is a great style feature. It should be in a magazine. You should submit it! I don't like surprises but I guess I still need to have an emergency dress. Hunt begins. :p

  10. Great tips! Never thought of this but I'm sure this will save time for majority of busy working ladies. Thanks for the tip. I definitely will consider getting the "emergency" dress. :)

    The Ayumi Aspect

  11. Great article. I love the blue dress on you.

  12. Great post ! I have enjoyed so much reading ! Thank you !

    XX Luba


:: Well Living Blog :: gourmet experiences with Roses from Bulgaria

  13. That looks so great!

  14. What a great idea!
    Love the dress!


  15. Great idea. Love it. And you look gorgeous in that dress. You wear the bright lip color with great confident too.




  16. great post you look gorgeous in your emergency dress!!

    xoxo Tamara Chloé

  17. Love the post and the dress recommendations.


  18. Incredible article.

    Love the dress!

  19. I've never even thought of this, but it truely is a sensible idea! Thanks for sharing!

    <3Jo of

  20. lovely post!!! seriously well thought off....enjoyed reading it

    let's follow each other

  21. perfect.

    Aloha "hopping" by a little late to say "hi". I wanted to personally invite you to to join An Aloha Affair. It's a sweet gathering of creative souls. We'll mingle and grow and share our work so that we can get to know each other in meaningful ways. I'd love it if you'd join us, 'save ya a spot?...


  22. Great post! Love the idea of an emergency dress! I would say though - remember to keep some seam-free knickers and hole-free tights in your desk drawer too :) Found you through IFB, and you have a new follower right here x

  23. I love the blue one! Thanks for the tip!

    xx Daphne of

  24. What an amazing post! I don't have an emergency dress but now I really want one x.x! great blog dear :)

  25. i really like your emergency dress, something everyone should have!

  26. This is genius, girl! Such a good idea!