Unless you are a celebrity or working in an industry where fancy events are frequent, formal occasions tend to be few and far between. This means that when the invitations do appear, we cannot just root through our wardrobe to find something suitable to wear.
Because we are generally unfamiliar with these events, choosing an appropriate outfit can be a high-pressure task. Navigating traditional formal dress codes and seasonal conditions is challenging enough before you even begin to consider your budget and the best fit for your body type.
Avoid stress and make sure you look the part every time by following these five steps to choosing the right occasion dress.
Consider the event
Before you start searching for the perfect dress, consider the event you are shopping for. Think about the venue where it is being held, your transport to and from, and the typical weather of the time of year. If the event is overseas, make sure your outfit respects that country’s culture.
Check the dress code
Dress codes range from casual to white tie, and it is important to understand which kind of clothes are suitable for each one.
Cocktail, black tie, and business formal are the most common dress codes for special occasions, and each requires women to wear a reasonably formal dress that sits below the knee. If in doubt, browsing elegant full-length evening dresses is likely to yield the right kind of results.
Have a clear budget
Depending on the retailers or designers you are looking at, the price of formal dresses can vary enormously. Before you begin your search, have a clear budget in mind and ignore shops that don’t stock dresses in your price range.
If you’re browsing online, adjust your filters to remove any results that are outside of your budget. This will make your journey to finding the right dress that much quicker.
Know your body type
To find a dress that makes you look and feel fantastic, you must know your body type. Different styles of dress work for each body type, so knowing your best styles is key to choosing a flattering fit.
Hourglass and pear-shaped women will benefit from a high-neck halter design, while those with apple figures or fuller curves should focus on defining the waistline and drawing attention upwards.
Keep comfort in mind
Remember that you will need to wear your dress for a reasonable amount of time and keep comfort in mind. This includes choosing a comfortable dress but also considering your footwear and undergarments.
For example, if you need to wear high heels to stop your dress dragging on the floor, this might inhibit your plans to dance the night away. Similarly, strapless bras or tape can rub or feel restrictive. You could investigate the option of tailoring your dress to ensure it is a better fit for your body.