Shopping for a formal dress can be a fun experience, but it can also be stressful. Whether you’re looking for a cocktail dress to wear to a work party or an evening gown for a black tie wedding, you’re in the right place. Here are some things to remember when looking for your perfect formal dress in 2011.
The most important thing to remember when shopping for a formal dress this season is to shop for your body type. Everyone is different, and finding the right style for your body type can accentuate your assets and cover up the things you’re uncomfortable with.
First, determine what your type is, such as straight, pear, hourglass, apple or full bust. Many people are a mixture of two or more types, so don’t worry if your body doesn’t fit exactly into one of those categories.
Women who are straight have the same size hip, waist and bust measurements and few curves. To create some curves look for dresses with Empire waists or A-line silhouettes.
Pear-shaped women are curvier on the bottom than on the top, with fuller hips and butts and a smaller chest. Look for dresses which draw attention toward the top of your body, such as strapless dresses, or dresses with embellishment on top. Empire waists and A-lines also distract from larger hips.
Women with an hourglass figure are curvy with full hips and bust. Wraps and sheath dresses, with adjustable or fitted waists show off your defined waistline.
Apple-shaped women have a high, narrow waist at their ribs and shine in empire waists and A-line dresses, which draws the attention away from the middle.
Women with full busts, show off their figure best with V-neck and halter styles, as well as with A-line dresses.
Budget is an important thing to keep in mind when shopping for a formal dress. Consider how much use you will get out of the dress. If it’s something you’ll wear over and over again, don’t be afraid to splurge. But if it’s a one-time dress, don’t over-spend.
Shopping online can be a great way to save money. Often, there are “online only” deals, or stores which sell exclusively online. Otherwise, try to avoid shopping in high season, during prom and wedding season.
Whatever your body type, and whatever you spend, make sure your formal dress makes a statement. This year, bright colored dresses, such as yellows, turquoises and purples, are in. They’re more unique and memorable than your typical “little black dress.”
Embellishments are also all the rave this year: anything with sequins, rhinestones, jewels or studs is sure to get you noticed. Just make sure the embellishments aren’t overpowering; a little goes a long way.
Lastly, less is always more. When you’re getting ready for a formal event, go for something classy and elegant over something promiscuous and revealing.