Monday, 2 April 2018


If you are apprehensive about the budget dress you snatched up for a formal event, fear not. Just because you don't have the extra cash to splash out on an expensive designer dress doesn't mean you will stick out like a sore thumb. You can wear the budget dress, save your money and still look and feel divinely glamorous. In fact, for those of you shopping for prom dresses or graduation etc., there are many ways you can style inexpensive dresses to look just as stunning as the more expensive dresses in the room. Never forget, that it is not what you wear but how you wear it. 

First, you need to find the right place, but once you can find huge selections of cheap prom dresses. I have never paid more than £30 for a formal dress, this includes my prom, a ball and my graduation. I definitely recommend saving money where you can and as unfortunately not many life events call for extravagant gowns it makes sense to reduce your budget for something you might only end up wearing once. There are plenty of high street shops and online retailers that cater to more affordable tastes. This means you get a wider selection of dresses for half the price and ultimately end up saving yourself huge amounts of money.

Here are some tips on how to make sure your cheaper dress slays:


Pick a good material: you want to avoid flimsy fabrics that easily break or get caught in jewellery, bobble etc. You definitely don't want it to be see-through and just as you don't want it to be too thin so it snags on everything you won't want the material to be too thick and unflattering. It should also feel nice on your skin, no itchiness or scratchiness. It should feel good. 

Go for a simpler gown: most elegant dresses are gowns that fit really well and most importantly look good on you. For that reason, simpler designs typically flatter more people. Try on different dresses and figure out what colour compliments you, what style etc. and go from there. Dresses with too much going on can be distracting and sometimes, dare I say, tacky. 

Compensate with hair and makeup: Anything can be dressed up or dressed down. I find playing around with my hair and experimenting with makeup makes all the difference between a casual and a formal event. Most importantly. as long as you feel good and are happy with how you look you will carry yourself with confidence.

Accessorise: Similar to hair and makeup, if your gown is especially simple accessories are a fantastic way to elevate a look. Much like finding the perfect dress, finding great accessories does not have to break the bank either. Plus, the less you spend on the dress the more you can spend on everything else. If your shoes are visible do select a pair perfectly and please please make sure you can walk in them. Unless you are wearing a simple black dress, statement jewellery may not be the best option.

Choose a subdued colour: Stay away from neon shades that look like they belong at a Full Moon Party. Unless you can carry it off better than Rihanna. This tip is mostly because most formal event dresses don't come in neon so they might not be suitable for the occasion but hey rules are meant to be broken.  

Be careful with embellishments: This is a tip most of us learn the hard way, I love intricate embellishment but with cheaper dresses and even sometimes with more expensive ones, adornments fall off, or just look off, and although it looks mesmeric on the website in real life it can be a disappointment and actually look cheap which is not what you want.

Choose cutouts carefully: Cut outs can look elegant and with really simple one colour dresses they can be gorgeous, but you want to make sure it's not too overpowering. You can assess this with how comfortable you feel in the dress while you're in it, make sure you are imaging the event as well. Definitely try your dress on before the day of the event, to make sure it fits, is comfortable and doesn't grab at any skin. 

These simple tips will make it easy to dress for a formal occasion without breaking the bank and still looking like you belong no matter the price-tag your dress comes with. Of course, everyone is different and the biggest tip that anyone could ever give is confidence you can pull anything off if you wear it with pride. Wear whatever you are most comfortable with, these are tips you can customise for yourself, for instance I like simple gowns that are usually just one colour that have a really good design, material and fit. I find them easier to style i.e. finding shoes. I am not a fan of jewellery so they need a good design so I can forgo earrings and a necklace etc. Makeup is my favourite part of any event so I want a dress that allows me to be quite creative with my face. My hair is usually loose so I never go for strapless dresses. I hope this helps, would love to hear your own tips for buying dresses for formal occasions. Thank you for reading! Take care. 

What do you look for in a formal dress?


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  1. Oh I hate when the embellishments look cheap or fall off. I try to stay away from them!

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

  2. Lovely post! Definitely agree with having some good material - it's essential! There's nothing worse than clothing that's see-through!

    Anika |

  3. Good material all the way, it makes such a big difference xx

  4. Thanks for sharing your information.

    I really enjoyed this post! The insights are really helpful and informative.
    The dress itself is very comfortable and easy to wear.

    Find a great collection of Casual Dresses


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