How to Choose the Perfect Dress for Any Occasion


By: Naomi Shaw

Finding the perfect dress for an upcoming occasion can be an entire event in and of itself. Picking a dress that reflects your personal style and is just right for the affair shouldn’t be too much of a time-consuming or stressful chore. The good news is that there is an endless selection of styles, cuts, colors all for a wide range of prices, so you are guaranteed to find something that will catch your eye and wow the crowd. Here are some tips to help you narrow down the selection and select the perfect dress for any occasion with ease, hopefully making it a fun and eye-opening experience!

Choosing your Perfect Color

Although coloration can span a wide range of specific tones, you can generally narrow it down to either warm or cool. This means that, irrelevant of skin color, the undertones of your skin will have slightly pink or yellow tones that can cause two slightly different shades of makeup to make your eyes and cheeks pop, while others will have you looking tired or washed-out. This applies to dress colors as well. Different pigments and dyes in fabrics may let your natural glow stand out in some but fall flat in others. While the event, the season, or even your date might heavily influence the color selection process, try to keep in mind how to dress for your skin tone. If it's a really special occasion or you are already looking into customization options, you can even consider having a professional dye your dress.

Follow the Code

This is the first place to start when narrowing down your options. Think about the event you plan on attending, and immediately eliminate any inappropriate options. Here are just a few simple suggestions for dress types that might be a good choice for the following events.

  • Weddings - If you’ve scored an invite to a wedding, the best looks are often longer gowns or mid-length cocktail styles. If it’s a summer wedding then lace finishes, subtle frills, layers and pastel colors all give off gorgeous seasonal vibes. Wearing white as a guest is still an agreed-upon faux pas so steer clear of anything too close to it as well as black and most glitter and shine.
  • Party - A party dress, be it a birthday, bachelorette or cocktail your attire can be something short and sweet. For a spicy evening look, choose something more form-fitting with gun embellishments. Don’t forget the comfort factor. As long as you can dance you should be good to go!

  • School Dances – School dances are a fun opportunity to match with a date or simply stun solo. There are so many prom dress styles to choose from ranging from relatively modest to striking. Depending on personal tastes, you might want to opt for a long ball gown, a chic mermaid silhouette or a unique cut and bold color in a midi style. For Homecoming, dresses are usually shorter on the bright and flouncy side of designs. Both are great events to add sparkle and shine in the form of sequins, beading, or even a touch of shimmery or sheer fabric.
  • Firsts - Whether it’s your first day at a new job, new school, or your first date, any first impression is the perfect opportunity to put your best foot forward and showcase a bit of your personality. Choose something that has you immediately feeling cute and comfortable. If you’re headed for a casual coffee date, try a neutral-colored crepe or t-shirt dress and spice it up with brighter heels. Not everyone wants to make a splash their first day at the office, but if so natural-toned colors and certain prints work best in-office.  While there are no steadfast rules to wearing a dress, if you choose to, the most important thing is to pick something you feel truly confident in, because that is what will really make you shine.

Dress For Your Body Type

Once you have the dress code nailed down you can further weed out choices by body type.  When looking to highlight your figure’s best assets in the right way, dressing to your body type is a must. If your goal is to create that smooth hourglass silhouette, a mermaid dress might be your best bet. Classic A-line dresses will add definition to your upper body while minimizing your midsection and hips. If you have been working hard on your calves, many long dresses allow for a peek of leg through a well-placed slit.

Let Your Personality Shine

Have you ever seen a dress and thought that it is just perfect, but for someone else? Others have certainly thought the same about you. Some dresses especially unique cuts, fabrics or colors may immediately grab your eye for a reason. Don’t be afraid to embrace your own creative style and allow some of your character to show.

If you are having trouble finding the right dress in the stores or boutiques nearby, you may have more success with the wider selection of sizes and colors available online. Although the final decision should be yours, involving friends and family be a fun experience as they can offer new perspectives and reassurance. Find what works best for you and your dress is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


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