When a special occasion is few months away –or weeks or days if you live on the edge- finding formal attire to wear often means finding something you will probably use that one time. For this reason many agonize over shopping for a dress or outfit they may spend a lot of money on and won’t even like very much –but it does not have to be that way. You do not have to compromise your personal fashion tastes in order to look “appropriate” –these are not mutually exclusive. When shopping, think of these several options and you might just find yourself savoring the special event that much more.

ABS $390 Via saksfifthavenue.com
ABS $390 Via saksfifthavenue.com

Before beginning a relentless search through every department store, boutique or friend’s closet, consider what the event is for and where it will be held. Actually look at the invitation and do some investigation. Often times the invitation itself will give you a major clue at to what to wear by stating a dress code. Knowing whether the celebration is business formal, black tie optional or black tie will set you on course. Understand what these mean and what they will or will not require you to wear. Business formal will allow you to dawn black slacks -if you choose- and not a sequence party dress. While black tie optional means you are not expected to wear that party number but open to choosing a cocktail or long dress. Then there is black tie, which is more dressy but should go according to what the event or function is for –for example job related or wedding-think about what other guests would wear and if its not a wedding then keep in mind what the host may dawn. To a black tie event you could never go wrong with a long dress.

BaubleBar $48 Via baublebar.com
BaubleBar $48 Via baublebar.com

Understand that a plain neutral dress or black dress is always life saving and opportune options-whether it is a cocktail or a long dress is up to the dress codes mentioned and personal preference. A plain dress is like a blank canvas that you can style any way you please. Take this opportunity to show your personality. The statement necklace or earrings could make your entire look come together. You also have the option here of choosing bold colors or sequence for your shoes or clutch. Your makeup and nails are open to a wide world of possibilities. Choosing a plain dress or black dress will allow you to be you in more ways than one and give you additional moments in which you may wear the dress in the future.

Steve Madden $139 Via macys.com
Steve Madden $139 Via macys.com

Give yourself an ample window of time. There is nothing like having an event to attend and not knowing what to wear or not having anything to wear. A reasonable gap of time will allow you to search around more, whether in a store or online. If online shopping is your usual method of choice, having at least a month window of time gives you ample space to make a return if the clothes, dress or shoes do not fit or are not what you expected. You do not want to be stuck wearing things that do not fit, that you do not like, or that are not proper for the occasion.

Formal ::::Dress Clothes-StyleFT
LULU’S

 

If you know that you will likely wear this dress maybe one other time –if at all- then perhaps bargain shopping or borrowing are your most convenient choices. Look to places you know you like that you may usually shop at or that vary in their styles. Shopping at a discount dress store that does not appear to mirror your fashion taste will prevent you from leaving satisfied with your purchase and probably will waste your time. You can reflect who you are even while saving money. Online stores like LuLu’s, Sammydress or Boohoo have various styles of dresses or pieces from you to choose from that will go easy on your wallet. If you want to go more high-end but not end up with a high debt on your credit card consider renting your look at a clothing rental website like Rent the Runway. All in all the cheapest method will be borrowing from a sister or friend with similar measurement –all the more reasons to be nice to the people in your life. Another’s closet could hold all the answers, but in addition to size make sure your styles are comparable. Your personalities may compliment each other or you may have come from the same womb as someone, but your tastes in fashion could be the worst matches.

Most of all remember that every formal occasion is a time to enjoy and there are ways to find something to wear that speaks to your fashion style no matter what time constriction, financial restriction or dress code regulations you find yourself in.

 

 

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