The Dos and Don’ts of Formal Dresses

By Glossy Magazine

The Dos and Don’ts of Formal Dresses

The Dos and Don’ts of Formal Dresses

The Dos and Don’ts of Formal Dresses

At galas, weddings, or formal dinners of any sort, selecting an appropriate formal dress is of vital importance. Selecting one that makes you feel as if walking on air will bring peace of mind while choosing poorly could cause unnecessary anxiety and stress. Here are a few important do’s and don’ts of formal dresses which can ensure you look stunning while remaining confident at formal events.

Do: Know the Dress Code

Understanding the dress code is central to selecting appropriate formal attire. Pay close attention to any instructions in an event invitation regarding dress codes. Black tie events require floor-length gowns while cocktail events might call for something less grand but still elegant. Always err on the side of overdressed rather than underdressed, formality will usually prevail over informality.

Don’t: Sacrifice Comfort for Style

It can be easy to be seduced by aesthetic appeal alone when choosing formal dresses, but comfort should never be overlooked when making such an important purchase. A dress that flatters your figure while providing enough movement and flexibility will always be better than one which forces constant adjustments or causes discomfort. Fabrics that breathe and stretch slightly will help ensure maximum comfort without compromising style.

Do: Pay Attention to Fit and Tailoring

Off-the-rack dresses rarely provide the ideal fit, but tailoring can make a huge difference here. Making adjustments so your dress fits like it should can enhance your silhouette, making you appear polished and put-together. Don’t be shy about looking for a professional tailoring to achieve that bespoke finish.

Don’t: Over Accessorise

Accessories can add flair to a formal ensemble, but there is a fine line between elegance and excess when accessorising formal wear. Select pieces that complement rather than compete with your dress. Earrings and delicate necklaces can add subtle sophistication. Overdoing it could make the ensemble seem too busy. Less is often more when it comes to formal fashion.

Do: Take the Venue and Weather into Account

Your dress selection depends heavily on both the location of the event as well as weather conditions, such as whether or not it will take place outdoors in summer, for instance, and whether or not it takes place indoors during winter. An outdoor summer wedding might call for lighter fabrics with pastel tones while an indoor winter ball might require heavier fabrics with darker hues. Being aware of both elements will ensure you arrive appropriately dressed but also remain comfortable throughout your event experience.

Don’t: Neglect to Try Everything On

Although this may seem obvious, taking the time to try on all your clothes before an event can save time and energy in the form of last-minute surprises. You will also be able to make any necessary adjustments that need to be made well in advance.

Do: Choose Timeless over Trendy

While it can be tempting to opt for trendy fashion pieces, timeless pieces tend to serve better for formal events. Classic styles and neutral colours tend to stand the test of time and can be worn multiple times without looking dated. One timeless dress in your wardrobe will become your go-to for formal events in the future.

Don’t: Opt for Inappropriate Lengths and Cuts

Formal dresses come in all lengths and cuts, so it is important that the one chosen meets the formality level of an event. A floor-length gown might make sense for a black tie event while a knee-length dress would fit better at cocktail parties. Avoid overly revealing cuts, modesty is often more in line with formal event expectations.

Do: Plan Your Look in Advance

Last-minute fashion mishaps can lead to disaster. Be proactive by preplanning your entire ensemble, including dress, accessories, shoes, and hair and makeup styles, well before the event itself. By having a plan in place beforehand, stress on event day is reduced and allows you to enjoy the event to its fullest, knowing you’ve prepared meticulously.

Do Not: Neglect Personal Grooming

Your formal look requires more than just clothing, personal grooming can make or break its impactful statement. Hair, makeup, and nail care all play an important part. Strive for an integrated appearance where every element complements each other for the most polished result possible. Pay close attention even to small details as these can have an enormous effect.

Do: Confidence Is Key

No matter the beauty of your dress, confidence is the best accessory you can wear. Stand tall, smile wide and own it. Confidence radiates and can transform even an ordinary outfit into something extraordinary. Remember, those with the most powerful attire in any room tend to feel most at ease in it.


Selecting the ideal formal dress requires a combination of personal style, comfort, and adherence to some simple rules. By following these do’s and don’ts, you can ensure you arrive for any formal event appropriately dressed. Remember, elegance is not determined solely by what we wear. So put on that beautiful gown, step out into public with pride, and show everyone your inner elegance.

Photo by Ryanwar Hanif on Unsplash