Guide to Select the Right Dresses for Parties

What are the Right Dresses for Parties?
Photo by CC user xubangwen on Flickr

Shops are full of stunning dresses and finding the perfect look for your upcoming party can be difficult. What to do when online stores and department stores are full of dresses in different designs? Here are the key things to keep in mind when selecting a dress for parties.

Consider the occasion

You first need to think about the formality of the occasion. This is the most important part of buying the right dress because you don’t want to shop up to a party under- or overdressed.

If the party’s organiser has sent you an invitation or has information available online, make sure to check what it says about the dress code. The more formal the occasion, the more official your dress should be. In most instances, this would mean a full-length evening gown. For a cocktail party, a knee-length dress is a great pick. For casual parties, you can opt for a short-, medium-, or full-length dress, but in a more casual fabric, such as cotton. Formal party gown and cocktail dresses tend to be in silk or satin, with synthetic fabrics also being suitable.

When it comes to colours, formal occasional require a dress in solid colours. While darker colours tend to be preferred, you could also opt for light shades if the occasion is during the daytime. Just avoid crazy patters and shocking colours.

In terms of examples, you can find great formal gowns from places like House of Fraser. On the other hand, sites like offer a great selection of cocktail dresses and casual dresses for most parties in affordable prices.

Consider your body type

After you’ve nailed the type of dress you need for the occasion, you need to start looking at the finer details. First, you need to find a dress that compliments your body shape. You want to opt for a design that compliments your best qualities.

Body shapes are generally divided into five basic shapes. If you don’t know which shape you are, you can do a quick test online. You can also find out which description suits you the most from the examples below.

If your body is pear-shaped, then you have wide hips and narrow shoulders. Your objective is to minimise focus on the hips, adding volume to the upper part of your body. Dresses with boat neck, square neckline or cowl neckline would suit you well. You should also opt for A-line dresses to minimise your hips.

For those of you that have broad shoulders and a narrow waist or hip, the wedge figure calls for hip-flattering dresses.Empire waist dresses are a perfect option, as they accentuate the waist and make your hips seem bigger. You definitely want to avoid spaghetti strapped dresses to keep the attention away from your shoulders.

If you have wide shoulders, chest and waist, with narrow hips, your body shape is called apple. Your objective is to make the torso look wider and create an illusion of wider hips. You want to opt for solid colours instead of print dresses, and accessorise with belts high at the waist. V-neck dresses are also great for you.

When your waist, shoulders and hips are in unison, you have a rectangle figure. Your goal is to add more curves to your look. Opt for dresses with a sweetheart or scoop neck. Don’t be afraid of ruffles and different types of cuts.

Finally, you might have an hourglass figure, which means your waist is smaller than your hips and chest. You will find most dresses rather complimentary, but you should specifically look for wrap dresses or high-waist styles. These will look extra flattering on your body.

Consider the colour

As mentioned earlier, the right colour for your dress can depend on the formality of your occasion. On top of this, you also want to consider how specific colours suit your skin tone. In order to do this, you need to determine the undertones of your skin. You can find great tips for this online.

If you have a warm-complexion, you will find earthy tones complimentary to your skin. Yellow, red and brown are great colours for you. If you have a cool complexion, your dress should be blue, green or purple. You might also find yourself belonging to the third category, with neutral undertones. In this instance, you can pick almost any colour and look good.

Consider your budget

Finally, you should remember to keep your budget in mind when selecting the right dress. You don’t want to spend more than you can afford, especially if you are only going to use the dress once. If you’ve been invited to a formal event, but you’re not sure if buying a dress is worth it, consider renting out a gown or borrowing from a friend.

Furthermore, when you are shopping for a dress, check out online deals. If you know your size and you understand the return policies, shopping with online retailers can help you save a lot of money. Wallis, for example, has plenty of vouchers available for online purchases.

If you are looking for a dress, then keep the above tips in mind. They will help you find the perfect fit to compliment your figure and look, as well as suit the occasion.