What to Wear to the CFDA Awards if You're On a Budget

Earlier this week we received a great e-mail from a reader who didn't know what to wear to the CFDA awards next Monday: Hi Lauren, I'm basically in the most amazing predicament of all time--so I can hardly complain, but I do have a question to submit to your (and possibly other Fashionstas) expertise. I just found out that I'm going to be going to the CFDA Awards on June 7th as a guest of an attendee. Like any person with a pulse, and a proclivity for fashion, I am positively exploding with glee. The models! The designers! I don't know how I'll maintain regular breathing. But on to the conundrum. I have absolutely nothing to wear. I've never been to an event of this fashion caliber, and I feel like I need to "dress the part." But, I'm eighteen, and not about to drop several thousand dollars on a fully designer ensemble. Do you have any suggestions for wardrobe? I'd be willing to wade through New York's vintage shops if you think that would yield a good outfit, but which ones to try?
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Earlier this week we received a great e-mail from a reader who didn't know what to wear to the CFDA awards next Monday: Hi Lauren, I'm basically in the most amazing predicament of all time--so I can hardly complain, but I do have a question to submit to your (and possibly other Fashionstas) expertise. I just found out that I'm going to be going to the CFDA Awards on June 7th as a guest of an attendee. Like any person with a pulse, and a proclivity for fashion, I am positively exploding with glee. The models! The designers! I don't know how I'll maintain regular breathing. But on to the conundrum. I have absolutely nothing to wear. I've never been to an event of this fashion caliber, and I feel like I need to "dress the part." But, I'm eighteen, and not about to drop several thousand dollars on a fully designer ensemble. Do you have any suggestions for wardrobe? I'd be willing to wade through New York's vintage shops if you think that would yield a good outfit, but which ones to try?
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Earlier this week we received a great e-mail from a reader who didn't know what to wear to the CFDA awards next Monday:

Hi Lauren,

I'm basically in the most amazing predicament of all time--so I can hardly complain, but I do have a question to submit to your (and possibly other Fashionstas) expertise. I just found out that I'm going to be going to the CFDA Awards on June 7th as a guest of an attendee.

Like any person with a pulse, and a proclivity for fashion, I am positively exploding with glee. The models! The designers! I don't know how I'll maintain regular breathing. But on to the conundrum.

I have absolutely nothing to wear.

I've never been to an event of this fashion caliber, and I feel like I need to "dress the part." But, I'm eighteen, and not about to drop several thousand dollars on a fully designer ensemble. Do you have any suggestions for wardrobe?

I'd be willing to wade through New York's vintage shops if you think that would yield a good outfit, but which ones to try?

If you have any advice, I'd greatly appreciate it.

I trust the team at Fashionista more than any other, and I'm not sure who else to ask!

To help, we've put together a list of moderately priced, incredible dresses fit for the awards. For those who are wondering, Lauren is wearing DvF come Monday night. What better to wear to the CFDAs than its president's designs, right?

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T by Alexander Wang

American wunderkind Alexander Wang is on a roll this year, nominated for women's wear designer of the year and Swarovski accessories designer of the year. Why not wear his asymmetric jersey dress, sure to be chic, comfy, and supportive of an American designer on his big day. Plus, with a $125 price tag, it's a must. Accessorize with over-the-top jewels and a perfect blow-out.

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Zero Maria Cornejo

This beautiful blue dress comes with a small price tag ($449) and a large impact. Maria Cornejo's fashion cred is on the rise, so when she's nominated in the future you can say you're ahead of the trends. A surf print is perfect for summer, too, ensuring you'll wear this dress more than just once.

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Lanvin

Sure, Lanvin isn't an American brand, but Lanvin at this price ($590) is necessary. It's chic, black, gorgeous, and perfect for every occasion.

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3.1 Phillip Lim

This Phillip Lim dress is an instant fix for the CFDAs. Lim won the Swarovski women's wear designer of the year award last year, so hop into one of his designs as a tribute to his timeless style. At only $575, this dress is effortlessly cool and sure to garner some attention at the ceremony.

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Marc Jacobs

Honor perma-nominee Marc Jacobs by wearing his dress. A little pricier ($719), it's worth the splurge. The bright colors will add pop to your ensemble, while the traditional fit will ensure you look lovely. Better yet, any black accessories will go, so you don't have to buy any new shoes or bags for this one.

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DvF

Get in the CFDA spirit with this black and white and red all over dress by DvF. It's totally affordable ($365) and event-appropriate. Plus, if you bump into DvF herself, we're sure she'll give you a compliment. This dress also guarantees multiple wearings as it's super cute and practical for summer.