Dressing to impress has always been a stress inducer for women. Men have it easy compared to the amount of subtle variations in dress codes we experience. From black tie to business casual, and maybe the occasional white-tie affair (what is that, anyway?), one gown definitely does not fit all. If you’re getting ready for an upcoming event, finding the right gown dress is tricky, but doable thanks to this guide to dresses by occasion that helps you figure out exactly what to wear so you can RSVP “yes” without a care in the world.
1. Black Tie
A black-tie affair for men is pretty simple; dress up in a tuxedo, and they’re good to go. But for women it’s a lot trickier. Black tie generally means quite a sophisticated dress code, so a LBD simply won’t cut it. A floor-length formal gown is usually a safe bet, but if you’re fairly close with the organizer you can always double check. If you think a gown is overkill or a new dress simply isn’t in thebudget, a cocktail dress can still pass if you keep the colours dark and rich, like black or jewel tones, so you don’t look too casual.
2. Cocktail Party
Cocktail parties can range from casual to pretty formal, but it’s always better to be the best-dressed person there than the worst. A cocktail gown generally hits mid-calf, for a dressy but feminine look that let you move and dance easily. You have a lot more flexibility in the style than at a black-tie event, so get creative and let your personal style peek through. If you want to play it safe, an off-the-shoulder midi dress is perfectly on trend and flattering for everyshape.
3. Business Dinner
Business dinners are tricky enough to navigate without having to worry about what you’re wearing. You definitely want to impress your colleagues or your partner’s colleagues, so ask the host for a more specific dress code – they’re usually happy to provide but take it with a grain of salt (“Oh anything will do!” will certainly not do). Suss out the location for any hints, such as whether it’s at a fancy restaurant or at someone’s home (catered can mean it’s quite formal), but always dress up rather than down – climbing that corporate ladder is definitely part chatting up colleagues at business dinners. Make sure your dress or gown isn’t too revealing; after all, it’s still a business function.
Choosing a gown for a wedding is always stressful. Half of you wants to call in sick while the other half is frantically trying to remember if wearing black is still a faux-pas. Location is critical when choosing a dress; if it’s at a hall, choose a gown, but if it’s at a family member’s farm, opt for the cocktail dress. It’s always better to look overdressed for a wedding, or you could risk insulting the happy couple. Plus, just remind yourself that it could be worse; at least you’re not picking out awedding gown!