My Favorite Black Dress: Love Story or Cautionary Tale?

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In honor of Fashion Week, I want to revisit one of life's eternal questions: if you have a dress you love, how often can you wear it before reaching an unacceptable number of "repeats"? And, further, what if all these repeat showings were for "important" occasions -- Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve, your sister's wedding, your college reunion, your wedding anniversary -- the kind of events that often warrant a new outfit? Is it a problem if you serially turn up in the same outfit? And is it more problematic still if you post your pictures on Twitter and Facebook, as I do?

For me, this became more than a theoretical question when I fell in love with a very simple Nanette Lepore dress (it's black Italian lace, with a hot pink slip under it, and I have added a wide black patent leather belt).

And, as you can see, I've worn it again and again and again, from the dinner I gave for Bill Maher when he was in New York to Thanksgiving in Los Angeles to the Christmas party at the White House to New Year's Eve, etc., etc., etc.

So, here is a slideshow. Tell me honestly -- is it time to finally retire this dress? And do you have any similar dress obsessions to share? And when you retire something special, do you pass it on to a friend, or hold on to it for sentimental reasons?

P.S.: One more thing in defense of returning again and again to this particular dress: it doesn't crease. You can pack it in your carry-on, take it out, and it's fresh as a daisy.

P.P.S.: Thanks to a perceptive commenter, Scottsdalebubbe, I've changed "pinafore" to "slip" in the text above.

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