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It?s hard to find a simple--and simply fantastic--cocktail dress in this town. We?re often forced to choose between overpriced designer labels and too-skimpy nightclub wear. But with the recent opening of a West Coast outpost of Brit brand L.K. Bennett, we?ve got a new go-to boutique for ladylike dresses--and some surprisingly comfy killer heels.

The pastel-hued shop?s offerings are tailored to accent our best features and play down the others. The Cissina Pleat Detail Dress ($345) has a high straight neckline to hide our freckled décolletage, while the Sabrina Tailored Pleat Dress ($395) deploys cap sleeves to flatter our upper arms. The Vally wool shift dress ($345) has subtle hip ruching and a slight A-line skirt that accommodates even a generous rear end. Dark tones feel too funereal? Most dresses come in a Crayola box of options like bright blue, berry and printed silks.

Definitely ask for a pair of heels to try with your dress. The brand started as a shoe company back in 1990, and today Kate Middleton wears its styles all the time. Its trademark ?three c?s? (padded comfort, toe cradling and heel cupping) of construction result in something we thought an urban myth: the comfortable platform stiletto--here a bargain at $345. 

L.K. Bennett, Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd.; 323-825-9891 or

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