Shopping for formal wear can be time consuming. It can drag on and on, and even after days of searching you still feel no closer to having found the perfect outfit.
That’s because shopping for formal wear is so much more difficult than shopping for casual clothing. So, if you’re fed up of trawling the shops and hunting the online stores and getting nowhere fast, check out our handy tips on how to find your perfect outfit.
1. Understand the Occasion
Whether you’re shopping for a special day out, a family party, or an interview – it’s important you really understand what you’ll be doing on the day. Perhaps you’ll be sitting in a church in the morning, eating later on, and dancing in the evening – if that’s the case you need a formal outfit that’s going to let you breathe, not one that you feel uncomfortable in.
2. Don’t Ignore Comfort
Formal wear can often be restricting – whether you’ll be wearing a structured suit or a slim-fitting dress. This isn’t great news to anyone used to feeling comfy in their clothing. So just because you’re buying an outfit for a formal occasion, don’t make the mistake of ignoring comfort. Weddings and parties can be all-day affairs so look for outfits that will be forgiving – especially if you overindulge at the wedding breakfast!
3. Think Budget
You can cut your shopping time in half if you focus only on stores that you can afford. After all, there’s no point ogling the latest designer dresses and suits if your budget just won’t stretch. By all means, get inspiration from them but don’t waste too much time dreaming about designer outfits if you just can’t afford them. Make a list of shops in your budget range and target them accordingly.
4. Get Inspiration
Lacking motivation and ideas? Don’t go in blind. Have a look online at fashion blogs, sites like Instagram, and in good old-fashioned magazines for inspiration for your formal wear.
If you’ve got a favourite style icon why not Google them and see what outfits they’ve been spotted in? Use it as a starting point, or a springboard though, because undoubtedly your body shape will probably be a little different from theirs. Which leads us on to…
5. Shop for your Body Shape
Squeezing into clothes that are too small, or that do nothing for your shape, will never make you feel good about yourself. So when you want to look your best it’s important you shop for styles that suit your body. Women: streamline your profile with vertical stripes, balance shoulders and hips with a halter neck, and try using a belt at your waist to cinch yourself in and create curves whatever outfit you’re wearing. Men: if you’re short, keep your jackets short and steer clear of long-line jackets, opt for slim-fitting shirts and tailored Dobell Suits to keep you looking trim, and add pops of colour to bring a sense of fun and style into your look.
Lastly, if you’re still struggling, why not get some help? Shop with a friend who knows your style, or invest in the help of a personal stylist (many high street shops have these now). Shopping for formal wear should be fun, and all part of the build up to the special day, so embrace the challenge and be open to trying new styles – you may find a look that totally works for you that you’d never thought of before.
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