By A Piece of Toast

Seeing the words "Black Tie" on a wedding invitation is exciting because, how handsome do boys look in tuxedos? But black tie calls for fanciness for ladies too, and to me it almost always means wearing a long dress. Long dresses are tough. For the longest time I used to dread living up to the dress code of the formal wedding invitations.

Finding a long dress requires some what of a search, and not always an easy one that ends in success. For starters, a good amount of them look like actual prom dresses and are way too "frou frou" for my liking, sometimes even looking a little bit on the cheap side. Secondly, usually they're outrageously expensive – I guess for that extra fabric required to make it longer? And third, finding the right shoes to go with that said long dress is another search all its own. Obviously, pretty nude pumps like Molly would wear for an afternoon wedding don't quite go with a long dress. And neither do open toe shoes that are too heavy-looking...the most obvious choice in my opinion is to go to a thin-strapped sandal.

I've never really loved strappy sandals – pretty much for the same reason that I don't love a long dress (they can look cheap really quickly and remind me of prom gone wrong) – but I do think when done correctly they are a gorgeous and perfect shoe, especially juxtaposed with a long dress. This pair by Pour la Victoire is strappy without being tacky and can be worn again with other pieces. Why? Because it's not overtly dressy and aside from a little metallic gold on the heel they aren't the traditional "shiny strappy sandal" that screams "Formal!" The creamy off-white color is flattering and will go with just about all the dresses I have mentally picked out for upcoming weddings (long and short, what a deal!). When we went to Nordstrom to scout out their options, both of us were pleasantly surprised by the offerings and found multiple pairs to try on. It was hard to pick a favorite as Mol and I also loved these, these, and these, but ultimately the vibe and comfort of the ones worn above made them the pair to take home and I love how they go with my long python-print dress.

So, my advice when you know a formal wedding is in your future or right when you get a "Black Tie" invite is to: 1) start looking for long dresses early and scoop-up the affordable and pretty ones you find, and 2) get your strappy sandal today because you'll wear them with many other things this spring and be so glad you have a great neutral pair that hopefully goes with any long dress you decide on!

Click through the gallery to see Sally's black tie wedding look.