Five tips for formal dress shopping


Formal events can be a source of stress and panic, especially for those who are not into ‘dressing up’ for formal occasions. After all, you have to find the right set of clothes that will make you look presentable without having to feel all too restricted in your movement and style.

For many women, shopping for formal dresses can be twice the pressure and inconvenience. While there are a lot of clothing lines that feature dresses for formal occasions, it can still be a challenge finding the right one.

To save yourself from coming back empty-handed after your shopping trip, here are some tips to help you impress with the right dress:

Browse and budget

As with any purchase, browsing lookbooks and reading up on styling tips will always prove to be worth the time. You may not feel like dressing up is your thing but it does not mean you cannot browse the latest fashion trends for inspiration. And while you are at it, set your budget limit for your formal wear splurge. Keep in mind that clothes for formal occasions can be costlier than regular dresses. So, setting your shopping budget early will help you in your decision-making process.

Try it on for size

Do not be hindered from making your best fashion and style decision because you may need it in a bigger size. When it comes to formal dresses and any other piece of clothing, what you may not like at a glance may actually look fabulous on you. Different styles may follow different sizing so don’t be afraid to try on a dress in a bigger or smaller size if it somehow doesn’t feel right on you. Do note as well that sizes vary massively from store to store. One shop might tag a certain empire cut dress as a size 12 but that should not deter you from exploring your options. Go ahead and try it on to see if a size 12 can fit your usual size 14 wardrobe and don’t be afraid to try out different sizes and styles. The more you see different forms and fit of clothing on your body, the better your chances of identifying which one would best suit you.

Get familiar with fabric 

Finding the right formal dress that would flatter your figure includes making the right fabric choice. While you are all for body positivity and embracing your natural curves, there may be times when you would opt to downplay some areas of your body. Knowing the kind of fabric used on the dress that you want to buy will be quite useful in your planned shopping trip. Pick out ones that can provide support in proper places and take a risk with flimsy fabric in areas you want to highlight.






Keep an eye out for effect 

Every form of clothing creates a certain effect when worn. What type of body do you have? What part of your body do you feel most confident with? If you are a full-figured woman, you have probably taken advantage of this aesthetic impression, at one point or another. For example, you can always count on monochrome dresses to give out a solid and lean impact, thereby achieving an elongating effect. This especially works well for plus-sized women who are on the smaller height spectrum. If you want to create shape without the added volume, you can try on formal dresses with ruching details that add a 3-dimensional look. Projecting proportion can also be achieved with the right print. As a general rule, the prints on your clothes should be relative to the body size (i.e. larger-sized prints for larger women). The key is to find the effect you want to achieve and be strategic about it.

Fit and flatter

Finally, dressing up for formal occasions need not be daunting if you know your body. Remember to find the dress that gives off the best fit and flatters your body structure. You also do not always have to be caged to a particular type of dress to feel comfortable in your own skin. Classic A-line dresses are available if you are a plus-sized woman who is not that confident about your hips and lower half, but still want to flatter your bust with an A-flare. If, on the other hand, you feel uncomfortable with your waistline, you can always opt for an empire waistline cut dress. Similarly, a ball-gown style dress is not just for your typical slender princesses. It can actually flatter your plus-sized hour-glass figure. In the same manner, you can choose cuts and styles that flatter your assets. For example, you can opt for dresses that fall right above the knees to draw attention to your legs or off-shoulder ones that expose that part of your upper body.     




Ready to shop for your formal dress? Arm yourself with the tips above and confidently shop for the right dress for you.

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Beauty, Lifestyle and Food Blogger. Avid lover of Brie and Cats. Obsessed with Italian Food. You will normally find me on my laptop or lounging around with a good book.
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