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A guide to formal wear for women

If you are not used to attending formal occasions the term formal dress can be daunting and a little confusing. Even if you have worn formal clothing before you still might need to clarify the term if you are invited to attend an event. The problem is that people refer to formal dress for many different occasions; from white tie and black tie to cocktail parties.

Hopefully, any invitation you receive should tell you what type of event you are attending, but if it is not completely clear, then you should take time to seek clarification from the host. For instance, calling an event formal may just mean that you are not expected to turn up wearing jeans. On the other hand, it could mean that you need to wear an evening dress. Once you understand the type of event you are attending then you can choose an outfit to wear. Let’s take a look at the different types of outfit that could be appropriate.

White tie events

It’s highly unlikely that you will ever be invited to a white tie event; the most formal of all formal occasions. This type of occasion generally takes place in royal circles, if you were ever invited then you would be expected to wear a floor length ball gown. Normally, dresses for this type of occasion have a low neckline and are accompanied by long gloves and a small, sophisticated evening bag.

Black tie events

This is the most formal type of occasion that people generally get to attend. It can be confusing for women as to what sort of attire they are expected to wear. Traditionally, this is the type of occasion to which women wear long gowns but you can get away with a shorter dress, depending on the event. This is especially the case if the occasion is listed as black tie optional. You may even be able to wear a cocktail dress. The best way to decide what to wear is to get a feel for the event. It might be a good idea to have a word with the host, if possible.

Cocktail party

Cocktail parties are not as formal as the other events we have mentioned. You can usually wear a shorter dress, or even seperates; clothes that you will be able to wear for other social events. You may even want to opt for classy trousers if you feel more comfortable in them. The most important thing to remember is that you should opt for an outfit that is classy. You should not show off too much of your body.

How to buy an outfit at an affordable price

We have given you some tips about what you should wear when attending a formal event, but what if dressing for an event means you have to invest in a whole new outfit? Many women have dresses and separates that they can wear to attend a normal party or night out, but they may not have anything in the wardrobe that is suitable for wearing to attend a formal event. If this applies to you then do not panic. There are ways that you can afford to dress for the occasion without making a huge hole in your clothing budget. There is one such online vendor- Banana Republic UK who offers modern, refined formal clothing and accessories for women. They offer what you want to wear to the above events.

Hire instead of buying

If you need a ball gown to wear then you have the option of hiring something suitable instead of buying it. This is an especially good idea if you are not the type of person who is likely to wear a ball gown on more than one occasion. It’s not worth the hassle and expense of buying a dress is this is the case.

Take a look at the second hand option

There is no reason why you have to buy a brand new dress to attend a formal event; you may be able to find a high quality outfit by shopping for second hand items. There are several ways you can do this. You may be surprised at just what you can find in local charity and second hand shops. You may even be lucky enough to come across a cool vintage dress that will turn heads. You can also try shopping at sites such as eBay and Gumtree where you may find something suitable.

Hopefully, we have given you a better idea about the different types of formal event, and what you should wear if you are attending. If you have any doubts then you can always double check with the host of the event. Finally, do not forget to make the most of our tips on buying your outfit; to help you get what you want at a price you can afford.

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