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7 Tips to Dress for a 'Formal' Event

Posted on May 23 2017

When you get a party invitation for a “formal” event, it can be pretty confusing to decipher what that means. Is it cocktail-wear? Or black tie? And what does black tie even mean when it comes to ladies-wear? Instead of calling up all the other guests to demand what they’re planning to wear—or worse, bringing a costume change—follow these simple tips to dress your best at all your formal affairs.

1. Remember your LBD

No matter the occasion, there’s nothing quite as comforting to a girl than her little black dress that makes her look dynamite without even trying. When in doubt, always take comfort in slipping on your favourite LBD. You can dress it up or down, and no one will look at you sideways. Unless, of course, a zipper is undone.…

2. Wear Comfortable Heels

If there’s one thing you can take for granted at every formal event, it’s that your feet will always be sore. All the mingling and socialising are hard on your feet, especially when they’re wedged into tight little stilettos. Make sure your shoes are broken in well before the event, and that you pick a shoe with the thickest heel your dress will allow—thicker heels offer more support and balance.

3. Overdress to Impress

If you’re not entirely sure what to wear to a formal event, err on the side of caution with a dressy outfit. As our mothers always taught us, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed—especially at formal events when your outfit matters! You’ll get tonnes of compliments and worst case scenario; you’re the best- dressed guest. Not the worst thing to be remembered for!

 

Sapphire Off-Shoulder Gown - Navy

 

4. Make a Statement with Jewellery

Any outfit can be taken up a notch or two with fabulous statement jewellery. It helps make your outfit look put-together and stylish, and if you came overdressed you can simply slip off your jewellery and stick it in your purse to tone down your outfit. Try a simple dress paired with an eye-catching chunky necklace, or a slimming pantsuit with oversized earrings.

5. Understand the Invitation

Take a minute and think about who sent you the invitation and what it’s for: is it a friend that tends to go over the top with everything? Chances are she expects you to make a solid effort with your formal attire, so go big with a long, sultry gown that shows off your curves. Is the event a dinner with colleagues you’re hoping to impress? Keep your look refined and classic with a sophisticated high-neck gown. Are you invited to a black-tie New Year’s Eve party? Say goodbye to last year in a breathtaking and glamorous siren-red frock.

6. Keep Balance

An event described as “formal” most often means that it will be an elegant, refined affair. It’s safe to say that anything too overwhelming won’t be welcomed, so keep your outfit appropriate. Sequins and lace can be stunning, as long as you compensate with a longer hem so that you avoid looking like you’re at a nightclub. If you want to try a daring neckline, make sure your dress is a neutral colour like black, beige, or white. It’s all about balance!

 

Elisheva - Ivory

 

7.  Be Confident

The number one tip for dressing for a formal event is confidence. Whatever you decide to wear, own it loud and proud. Whether you’re rocking a sexy sheer dress, or turning heads in an off-the-shoulder tight pantsuit, know that confidence is your best feature.

 

Catalina Luxe - Burgundy