Black tie optional OOTD...and the case of the missing evening gown

Black Tie Optional for Care Ring Gala

Hey beautiful people! Last night, I attended the Care Ring "Under the Big Top Gala." Care Ring is a community health organization that brings much needed medical and dental services to the underprivileged and under-served. It is a tremendous organization, and will soon celebrate 60 years of service.  If you have the heart to give, please donate.

The Under The Big Top Gala is Care Ring's biggest fund raising event each year that includes a silent auction, live music, and guest appearances. This year, Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen was a special guest. It is a black tie optional event that has a fun circus theme. This year it was held at the Hilton Center City in Uptown Charlotte.
Nordstrom Rack Tweets

Let's get into the style and my black tie optional outfit of the day. I've told you before that I love clothes, dresses and shoes, but I am still a tomboy at heart and not a fashionista. I haven't really thought of the different categories of dress in a long time. Honestly, last night brought me back to a pageant I did when I was 14 at the Hilton in Raleigh, NC, with the formal place settings and being all coifed and what not.


  • White Tie
  • Black Tie
  • Creative Black Tie
  • Black Tie Optional
  • Semi Formal
  • Festive Attire
  • Business Formal
  • Business Casual
  • Dressy Casual
  • Casual

Black Tie Optional gives men the option of putting on a tux or formal style suit. For us ladies, we can don floor length evening gowns, formal cocktail dresses, or an LBD ("little black dress").

My first option was a red evening gown that I found for a good price on I'm all about making one piece work for multiple occasions, and the dress I chose has a feature that allows you to convert the top into multiple dress styles. (See below)

I was excited about this and tried to decide whether to go with silver or gold accessories. Since I didn't order the dress earlier it was set to arrive via UPS on Friday. I thought that was cool since UPS usually leaves packages at the clubhouse when folks aren't home. Much to my chagrin, they didn't leave the dress.

When I arrived home Friday evening, I called UPS to arrange to pick it up. The customer service rep said I could pick it up at a station thirty minutes from me on Saturday morning. Fine. I go to pick it up, and I'm told that because I called after 7pm they didn't take it off the truck and it wouldn't be available until Monday. (After tweeting UPS, they did try to help on Saturday, but it was too late. Apparently they have a program that allows you to choose how your packages are delivered called "My Choice".)

So, I have no dress and I'm hormonally unbalanced LOL (aka a lil emotional). Calling on my tomboy nature, I didn't shed a tear, I sucked it up! (Who cries over missing dresses mean I really wanted to cry, but I didn't!)

Off to the races to find a dress, take down my twists for an updo, figure out whether to paint my face or not (I suck at makeup...really, really suck!!!), and get home and dressed while driving through a rainy day in time to get back to Uptown for the event.

I landed the cute black and silver number above at Nordstrom Rack, after landing some dope Tahari pumps on clearance at DSW, and the black clutch for twelve bucks at Ross (I have the same clutch in silver.). I guess the OOTD was meant to be? Now I'm deciding whether to pick up the red dress or send it back.

What would you do?

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  1. I love both of the options, so I don't think you can go wrong either way. I'm excited to see which one won out for the event! :)

    1. Thanks! I went with the cocktail dress! 😊

  2. I'm so sad about your dress catastrophe, but your Nordstrom Rack find was a beautiful substitute!

    1. Thank you. Yeah, I was in a tizzy lol. But it worked out!

  3. Don't you hate when a package doesn't arrive on time?! Glad you were able to find a great replacement though.

    1. Yes!!! It's partially my fault for procrastinating. I probably should have gone to Nordstrom Rack first...the dress was less expensive! Lol

  4. Thanks to the staff at this place for making our event so enjoyable and if I ever get married. I know where to go! Great job all of you. Price was not too bad, considering the quality of food and beverages. Everything at these venues was excellent.


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