Meg Biram at National Portrait Gallery in St. John //

When you think of life-defining moments I’m sure weddings come to mind. They definitely do for me as well. But while I was pondering this topic to write about for my life-defining mini series with St. John, there are a few evenings that stick out in my mind as some of the most fun evenings in my life.

Some of these events were weddings, some were holidays like New Year’s Eve (2011 to be exact), and the rest were fun events like fundraising events (DIFFA 2006) or just a night out with my best girlfriends (many a late nights at a club in Kansas City called Blonde).

St. John Black Gown

The one thing all of these events that are so memorable to me have in common is dancing.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not the best dancer ever. I’m not terrible or anything, but I didn’t grow up taking dance lessons, so I’m just normal to good. Although I like to think I have some rhythm. I’ve learned how to dance the salsa, merengue, and have taken swing dancing lessons in my day.

I don’t go dancing very often. I rarely hit up any clubs anymore, and if so it’s usually a night out with girlfriends, a large group thing, or an event or wedding.

St. John Black Gown

But when I think of some of the most memorable, most fun nights of my life — they all involve dancing. Okay and drinking, but the dancing is what stands out.

Dancing is not my husband’s most favorite thing to do. However, on very rare occasions (and with a little liquid courage) he will make an appearance on the dance floor, and that always makes my night that much more special.

Meg Biram at National Portrait Gallery in St. John //

For me there’s just something really freeing about dancing. It’s one of those moments where you really have to be in the moment. You can’t scroll through Instagram while dancing in the middle of a dance floor to Beyonce. Nor would you want to, because you are having fun living your real life.

Dancing is one of those things where everyone is in it together. No one really cares if you are good or not. Dancing is goofy in general. You can do the air guitar, and sing with your horrible voice, and no one cares. If they aren’t doing that they probably want to deep down.

Valenz Leather Embossed Croc Clutch

If I’m going somewhere where I know there will be dancing, finding the right outfit is key. I have to be able to comfortably move in it and not worry about anything falling down, coming loose, or bursting open.

St. John Black Gown

After years of weddings and events, I’ve learned my lesson — do not procrastinate when shopping for a special occasion outfit! There’s nothing worse then having to leave work early before an event and rush around trying on dresses at ten stores while you’re sweating because you also have 20 other things to do. I have done that so many times, and since you are short on time, you might end up buying several dresses last minute because you won’t have time to go back to get that first one if it ends up being the best of the day. I’m getting anxiety just thinking about it.

Meg Biram at National Portrait Gallery in St. John //

Sometimes when I find a dress that I love that fits me really well, I’ll buy it even if I don’t have an event to wear it to yet. Usually something will spring up on my calendar, and I’m always so glad I have a few dresses in my closet to choose from rather than last minute frantic shopping.

Meg Biram at National Portrait Gallery in St. John //

A long black dress and a short black dress are wardrobe staples! If you don’t have either in your wardrobe I recommend you make it your mission to find them ASAP. Having a black dress to fall back for any formal or cocktail occasion will save you when you haven’t had time to shop for something else. No more panicked last-minute shopping trips!

Meg Biram at National Portrait Gallery in St. John //

What about you, how do you go about shopping for special occasions?

Meg Biram at National Portrait Gallery in St. John //


St. John Shine Milano Knit Gown

St. John Swarovski Crystal Cocktail Ring

Mohawk Earrings

Valenz Clutch

St. John Black Gown


Photography: Laura Metzler

Location: National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

This post was done in partnership with St. John. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this website possible.