shopping tactics revealed: eveningwear for ANY shape!

if you’ve been following along on my insta stories, you’re well aware by now that i’ve been hanging out in nashville, tennessee since monday morning! last night i attended the cma awards, which was an incredible experience! peep stories for an inside look at the event, and read on to hear about my head to toe outfit – where you can buy dupes – and why planning this ensemble wasn’t as effortless as it looked! in this post, i’m talking about evening wear for any shape featuring XSCAPE brand (totally not sponsored, just lots of love).¬†

second to bathingsuits, evening gowns are probably the most dreaded garments to shop for… and i think i can confidently speak for a majority of women when i say that. i’m currently over 5 months pregnant (but easily look 7 because of my petite stature) and finding something to wear to the cma awards that was cool, comfortable and supportive was going to take some strategy. maternity wear is slim pickins in general, and every gown that i tried on my short little body looked like a parachute… so i took to the ‘regular’ racks and sized up as a plan b. before this baby bump arrived, i was easily in a 4 petite – if not a 6 petite, depending on the gown… but i was trying on 10 petites and they were working like a charm. the key here was to shop dresses that had stretch/spandex throughout (not just at the waist!). this makes shopping for gowns easier and less frustrating no matter your body type – pregnant or not – because you can generally stick to one size, eliminate the guesswork, and focus on STYLE.

another thing that i needed to keep in mind was that (although the belly has been the biggest change) everything¬†is changing… and the boobs were the next area of concern. i’m at the point where i’d give anything to wear a regular bra – or better yet no bra at all…. so at 34DD (my new and “improved” pregnancy bra size) there was no way in heck i was going for anything that was too strappy or (gasp) STRAPLESS. no way, no how. as a general rule of thumb, there are SO many gorgeous evening pieces with straps, sleeves, cups, and full bust support… many of which i found by shopping XSCAPE brand. why torture ourselves with backless and strappy details when we can zip our lady lumps into something that actually holds us in? it makes no sense to me. therefore, every dress you see shoppable below (including the one i wore to the cma awards) has a sleeve or a full strap for optimal bust support. a maternity must-have. i was able to go completely braless in this gown, more than halfway through a pregnancy! that says something about the quality and the structure of these garments.

another thing i love about XSCAPE brand (and one of the many reasons i’m featuring it on the blog today) is the fact that they cater to everyone. these gowns come in regular, plus, petite and sometimes even tall. it’s amazing that at 5 and a half months preggo, i was able to take a gown off the rack and wear it to an awards show – without a single alteration!!! if you’re looking for a seriously easy brand to wear to a fancy function, check out XSCAPE which is sold in almost every mainstream department store. i’ve linked you all to my exact gown, as well as other supportive and stretchy pieces from this brand – all sold at nordstrom! happy shopping!

it’s no secret that sometimes stretch & support means you’re sacrificing detail. anything you’re bored by can (and should!) be dressed up with accessories…which brings me to how i styled this look! i was going for serious country glam… so i stuck to gunmetal metallic details throughout. instead of a strappy heel, i opted for a statement jacquard bootie to add some pattern to an otherwise solid look. (dupes linked below). i also added major texture in the jewelry department by mixing beads, studs, leather & rhinestones! my cocktail ring is old school swarovski, while the earrings are brand new from francesca’s (linked below). i tied it all together with a wide metallic cuff bracelet (dupes linked!). these accessories really gave the elegant gown the “awards show” edge i was looking for.

i want to take a minute out of this blog post to thank BE GLAMMED – (kati on makeup & olivia on hair!) for beautifying me for the cma awards… and the lovely jayda, photographer extraordinaire, for capturing my look indoors as we fought against some seriously miserable weather!

now i know i’ve done quite a bit of rambling, so i’ll conclude with a quick recap:

when shopping for eveningwear, don’t just look for a dress – look for a BRAND. when a brand consistently carries pieces that have stretch, support, and extended sizes… sticking to their selections allows you to focus on style over function because function is already taken care of! and always remember to mix texture when you accessorize to elevate your final look. bump or no bump, if you follow these tips you’re bound to find a gown that feels like it was made for you (because it practically was!).

follow along on instagram for more nashville updates, and keep fingers crossed that the weather holds up and we can get back to new york without any snags! the weather has certainly not been ideal here, but we’ll be making the best of our last full 24 hours!

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