From the moment you get an invitation to an event that requires a party dress, you get excited, like a little girl, ready to pick out a new pretty piece to add to your wardrobe. Nothing makes a woman feel like royalty than a new dress! Whether you are dressing for a charity event, wedding, or cocktail party, you want to find a dress that will be perfect just for you. There are some factors to consider when purchasing a new party dress. Follow these tips to get the right dress for the right occasion.
Know Your Body Measurements
You need to know more than weight and height to shop online. Go to a professional seamstress and get measured. Please don’t try to measure yourself. Get a pro or at least a partner or friend to do it for you so you can stand up straight and still to ensure accurate measurements. Quit guessing sizing when shopping online. Admit that you usually get it wrong. You need to know your:
- hollow to hem
Know What Styles Work with Your Body Shape
Different styles work better on different body types. You are not going to find any body shaming here, and we don’t believe that you need a certain body type or size to wear certain dresses. However, when shopping online, you can’t try a dress on before purchasing, so picking styles that are more likely to work with your body type can increase your chances of picking a winner the first time. Body shapes and dress options include:
- Hourglass – fitted dresses, wrap dresses, high waisted styles
- Apple – v-necks, empire waist styles, shorter skirts
- Rectangle – scoopneck or sweetheart necklines, collars or ruffles to accentuate your chest, dresses with ruching
- Pear – a-line skirts, ruffles on top, sweetheart or scoop necklines
- Wedge – full skirts, bright colors, high waisted styles
Source: How To Dress For Your Body Shape
Set A Budget
Determine how much you want to spend from the start. Besides factoring in your available funds, consider if you will be able to wear the dress again. If the dress is versatile and can be worn for more than one season or event, factor that into your budget. You can justify spending a little more on a dress that will be worn more than once. If you know for certain you will not wear the dress again, spend less.
Follow Wedding Guest Etiquette
Shopping for a dress as a wedding guest is a little more tricky. The main thing to consider is that you will not in any way be mistaken for trying to upstage the bride. DON’T WEAR WHITE! To be safe, stay away from other shades of white as well. If you are close enough to the bride or bridal party, ask what color the bridal party is wearing. You don’t want to be too matchy with the bridesmaids or wear a hue of the color they are already wearing that totally clashes. Keep it classy when picking a wedding guest dress. Don’t dress too sexy. You can include a sexy element in your outfit but don’t have it all hanging out, girlfriend! Follow hints on the invitation. Black tie requires a formal gown. When in doubt, dress a little nicer.
The Zoe Sequin V-Neck Dress is the ideal wedding guest dress. You get a hint of sexy with the v-neck but it doesn’t over do it. You will still feel pretty in the sequins without outshining the bride. The antique gold color is neutral enough to match with any wedding color combination. This dress could easily be worn to a formal wedding with the right shoes and accessories, and it is perfect for a cocktail attire wedding. It hugs your figure without restraining you in anyway so you will be comfortable from ceremony until the last call at the reception.
Options are a Good Thing
Choose an online boutique. We love Dress The Population. Read the return policy. If you are comfortable with that policy, give yourself options and order more than one dress. Ordering two or three options will give you confidence that you will find the perfect dress when the package arrives at your home. Look for return policies with enough time to try on and return without feeling rushed. Dress the Population gives you 30 days to return unworn dresses, and they even include a return label with your original shipment. That return policy makes it easy to try a few dresses. Keep what you love and pop the others back in the mail with minimal effort from you.
Be Honest With Yourself
Don’t kid yourself. If you know you want to dance like a maniac all night long, skip the mermaid style skirts! You can’t bust a move in that style. If you are always hot, don’t choose a dress made of thick fabric that doesn’t breathe. Are you self conscious about your large breasts? Don’t buy a low cut dress that will cause you to tug on your top all night long. If you love your legs, show them off. If you hate your shoulders, don’t go strapless. Know what you like, know what you don’t like, and know what you will be doing in your dress, and choose accordingly.
The Angie Lace Halter Dress is perfect for the dancing queen going to a cocktail event this spring or summer. The lace is sweet and summery. The skirt flairs a little giving you room to groove. You will love the halter style neckline and fitted waist. This dress stays in place where it counts! The back gives just enough of a sexy touch to let you feel fabulous without showing too much skin.
Check Your Calendar
Shop smart. Check your social calendar. If you have a wedding this summer and you know your company always has a cocktail party for the holidays, shop for a dress that you can wear to both events. Pick a dress you truly love that you know will work for more than one event on your calendar in the next year.
The Marcella Sequin Dress is a great example of a versatile dress that will work for more than one event, even if the events are in different seasons. This dress is a rich, wine color that is classy in the summer but dark enough to fit in at a winter holiday cocktail party. The short sleeves work in warmer weather and you can easily pair with a shrug for colder days. It is a midi dress so it isn’t too short; in fact it hits at or below the knees. Wear it with bare legs and strappy shoes in the summer. Slip on a pair of stockings and some pumps in the winter. This dress is sequined all over with a plunging v-back and slit in the back of the skirt.
Are you ready to party now? We are! Pick a dress that will let you feel like a princess. You should feel giddy the moment you try on “the one.” The perfect party dress should put a smile on your face. You won’t be able to control yourself from spinning around. If you feel beautiful and comfortable in your party dress, you’ve found the perfect one!
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
Are you shopping for a wedding dress while pregnant? We’ve got you covered! Here are 4 Sources for Stylish and Affordable Maternity Wedding Guest Attire.
Photo Credits: Dani Nicole Photography