Frustrating search for recession-friendly evening dress

So I’ve been so smart with money lately that I decided a few nights ago I’d allow myself to *splurge* and buy a formal evening dress for an upcoming wedding. I am allowing myself to spend no more than $200, though, ideally, I’d love to get something for less than $150.

My requirements are simple: knee-length or floor-length, nothing prom-ish, nothing red (the wedding is on V-day, so I figured It would look too deliberately cheesy), no bows unless they’re placed in an interesting way, no one-shoulder looks.

Yeah, good luck.

Days later, I can say I have yet to find a menu of dress options in my price range. BUT…I was able to find these…and I’m not giving up. If anyone has a suggestion for recession-friendly formal attire, please shout!

For now…

JS Boutique — $178. Like the color, not nuts about the halter style, but the empire bodice gives it a nice ethereal look:

Taylor Emerald — $142

Paris Black with Pink Flower — $137. Too businesslike? But the pink rose is just adorable.

30s Bombshell Dress — $126

Aqua — on sale for $147.50. I’m breaking my red rule, but this dress seems worth it — sexy, sweet and festive

Unique Vintage
— $216. A bloody $16 over my budget, but so cute:

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