On Trend: Dressing for Formal Occasions

formal

-Rache’ll Brown

Spring may be known for the beautiful weather and colorful flowers, but in my book it is also defined by another event: formal season. From sorority and fraternity formals, to  weddings, graduations, and more, May to September seems to be jam-packed with events that require dressing to the nines. In some cases, formal events can be tricky. How much is too much? What is too casual? But fear not, I’m here to help!  Take these tips to be appropriate at any upcoming event that may hold a dressier tone.

To start, scope out the event to figure out what would be deemed appropriate. I like to ask other guests I know what they will be wearing, or just use prior experience to gauge the situation. Next, depending on the event, follow a little style guide that fits the occasion. For weddings, don’t wear everyday clothes. This is a special occasion, and attendees’ outfits should reflect that. For ladies, a nice sundress with sandals or wedges is suitable, and slacks and a dress shirt are perfect for men. Don’t go too flashy unless the invitation says black-tie, and don’t be that person who wears jeans to a wedding. That’s just rude.

As for formals, think back to high school homecoming: short and playful dresses are the way to go; leave the floor length princess dresses behind. I try to stay away from black, especially in spring, but I also don’t seek out over-the-top prints. Classic, simple pieces will always be in style, and accessorizing will take a look a long way.

Most importantly, an outfit should make the wearer feel confident and comfortable. I won’t fuss over heels if they are too high and I can’t walk in them—I look a thousand times better owning a pair of flats than teetering around in stilts. I look for clothes that suit my body type and make me feel amazing because it’s not worth being trendy if I feel self-conscious. In any situation, dressing appropriately is extremely important, but wearing an outfit that just screams you is key.

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