Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Choosing a Dress for a Formal Event

This beautiful dress would look lovely on a curvy shape.  I love the way the waist is accentuated and the skirt of the dress flows over the hips.  The double straps at the shoulder help to balance out the top.

 I attend several dance related dinners and showcases, and need to have a few pretty formal dresses on hand.  Even if you don't attend many events where this kind of dress is necessary, it's good to have at least one perfectly fitting and flattering evening dress at the ready.  You never know when you might receive a last minute formal event.  If you don't have a dress ready (purchased, fitted, altered to perfection) you may turn down a wonderful opportunity to attend a special event and an evening feeling like a lovely Queen.

It's very frustrating to try and coordinate a look like this at the last minute.  Advance preparation is the best way avoid that frustration so that you can focus on hair and makeup.  If you own the dress and the accessories, and have tried them all on together it's one less worry.

Dance Showcase

When you shop, it's a good idea to take a trusted friend who will be honest with you about how the dress looks.  I would not take the word of sales staff who usually work on tightly scheduled appointments and have limited time to help you choose the best dress.  Try on everything that appeals to you on the rack....don't rule anything out until you have it on.  If it doesn't WOW won't make you happy.  Look for fit, comfort, color and "flexibility".  Stand, sit and walk in the dress.  Keep in mind that most formal dress do need some tweaking and will need to be hemmed.  I'm short waisted so all of my dresses need to have the shoulder straps shortened and I'm just under 5'2" so they always need to be hemmed as well.  
If possible, bring the shoes you will be wearing with the dress with you so the length will be just right.  That is not always possible because we often purchase the shoes to compliment the dress.  I always have my dresses hemmed to the appropriate length for my dance shoes (2.5 or 3 inch heel) because most dance related events have general dancing and I always want to be ready for that!

It is possible to find lovely dresses for reasonable prices.  You can try Goodwill first, but I haven't any luck there yet.  I have found some lovely dresses at consignment shops.  You can also check with friends who may be getting rid of some dresses.  Often, bridal shops have clearance dresses.  Department stores offer HUGE discounts on formal dress during the summertime.

I choose a dress that does not have too many extra embellishments; no stones or sequins.  I think they generally limit the options for accessorizing a dress and they often look cheap, fall off or limit the longevity of the dress. 

Make your dress shopping in advance a fun girl's day out.  Have lunch, have fun and enjoy the process.  


  1. i LOVE this dress, the perfect silhouette! and the color is great, not your usual black,red or pastel.

  2. Thanks, Reva...those are the reasons I love it too. Usually, dress colors are predictable...this color is so unpredictable, but still beautiful and timeless.


"When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"--Mark Twain