What's Business Casual When You Don't Have Business?

I'm going to an "after work" dinner tonight but obviously I can't show up in my ratty coffee-stained robe.
Publish date:
April 20, 2012
dresses, business casual, famous people's birthday dinner

I've written before about the quagmire of no longer owning "work attire." I've been out of the game since 2009, and as such, my day time wardrobe has devolved into your worst Publishers Clearinghouse nightmare.

But every now and again I get invited to top secret cool shit like a screening (yes, we have those in DC), the WHITE HOUSE, or dinner with famous people who also venture out to Washington when their schedules allow. All these events are usually held right after quitting time and the invite usually says something about "business casual" or "after work," which means absolutely nothing to me. So I spend hours obsessing and eventually just show up in my "sexy jeans".

Tonight me and the main squeeze got invited to a very swanky get-together that I can only tell you involves foreign relations, people on TV and people who can do things with various balls. Anyway, I'm obviously the comedic relief between courses, but that doesn't let me off the hook to look like Jack Black. Which is exactly how I look right now (Julie's loungewear post couldn't have come any sooner).

So I went shopping in my closet and found these stylishly professional options. You be the judge.

I wore this dress to a cousin's wedding and maybe an Easter thing. Anyway it's spring so I figured look the season.

This is my mack daddy vibe I'm giving you. Also it may be way too short?

The first time I wore this J. Crew dress (which I couldn't get the BEST picture of but the detail's all in the neck anyway) I got a book deal. So I consider it lucky.

I'm leaning toward one or three but I could definitely be pushed either way -- I'm flexible-slash-susceptible like that. Thoughts?