Half the fun of going out for me is deciding what to wear. Often for a big event my friends join me for a day of shopping specifically for it, stopping for plenty of coffees and lunch of course! Or we spend hours poring over websites avoiding parking, crowds and exhaustion. Some people however find choosing an outfit in stores or even online incredibly stressful so here's a guide to selecting an ensemble to suit your size and shape which should make life easier.
If you have a formal, cocktail party, awards ceremony or similar, pay close attention to the dress code on the invitation. In many ways it was a lot easier in the past when dress codes were incredibly specific. Black tie meant tuxes for the men and long dresses for the women while cocktail meant a shorter but still quite "dressy" dresses for instance.
But I was rather anxious receiving a "smart casual" invitation recently for a wedding. I assumed no jeans although I consider them casual but wondered if full on wedding guest gear might be too much. I picked a pretty summer dress and smart accessories and seemed to have hit the right tone thankfully.
I've seen online people asking complete strangers to "fit check" their planned outfits and it's amazing how often people get it totally wrong. Basically, never go to a wedding in a white dress which could be mistaken for a bridal outfit and don't wear anything you'd wear to a funeral or the beach. Simple!
I quite like to stand out from the crowd and on more than on occasion have clipped one of those jewelled decorative birds into my hair to complete an outfit.
Mostly people expect to wear a long dress to a formal but if like me, you want to express your personality more through your clothes you could opt to wear something equally smart but different.
If you live in jeans and pants most of the time, why invest in an expensive gown you are highly unlikely to wear ever again? You can team a pair of wide legged casual pants with dressy shoes, a smart clutch and a nice top to your taste. Add statement jewellery for an outfit fit for formal.
I am petite with decent legs so I prefer to wear shorter dresses rather than long which can swamp me. If you want to avoid looking overly princessy and would rather go for sexy than schoolgirl check out these cut out mini dresses which will turn every head. Just add a confident stride and a can-do attitude to own this look.
Absolutely no clue what to wear for formal or other occasions? Ask a close friend to be honest about what they think would suit you. Maybe ask them to describe an outfit they've admired on you. You might be paranoid about your stomach/knees/booty as you stare into the mirror whereas others see you in 3D moving around and have not even noticed what you see as your "worst" body zones. Maybe ask a pal you KNOW will be honest to come round for a "fit check" sesh before the event.
Some people might want a more modest look for a variety of reasons in which case a long dress or a skirt and shirt combo which covers up sensitive areas would be perfect. Maybe you want to flash some flesh? The current craze from cropped tops works well with everything from patterned maxi skirts to teeny weeny mini skirts.
This duo of skirt and top was incredibly popular for both formal and day wear back in the 70's when the maxi, midi and mini skirts ruled the fashion runways. Like all things, fashion from the past can provide inspiration for current vibes and you can choose from floaty, floral and formal styles and fabrics to suit yourself.
If you want a truly modern look you could search for womens going out tops and find a style you love which you could probably pair with a formal "bottom" of tailored pants, wide legged pants or a skirt or throw on with sweatpants, jeans or shorts for more casual events.
Absolutely no clue what to wear for formal or other occasions? Ask a close friend to be honest about what they think would suit you. Maybe ask them to describe an outfit they've admired on you. You might be paranoid about your stomach/knees/booty as you stare into the mirror whereas others see you in 3D moving around and have not even noticed what you see as your worst body zones.
After all it's ecologically friendly to re-use everything from bags to clothes and carefully selecting items you know you will use again.
If you really want to treat yourself to a one-off special occasion outfit earn back some cash and give yourself good vibes by selling the outfit on asap after the even t so it doesn't sit unloved and unworn in your closet until it goes out of style. There are loads of selling sites making this very easy. Then you can use the money you make to treat yourself to your latest must have item from your favourite stores.