Got a wedding, graduation or a family event coming up?
If you’re tearing your hair out in frustration trying to find something that is stylish, formal and appropriate, then this post is for you.
I’ve spent quite some time on the hunt for occasion wear as I’ve both my Master’s graduation and a summer wedding coming up.
These are my tips for buying occasion wear and what I’ve tried and tested.
Don’t buy too far ahead, by the time a summer wedding rolls around, your outfit might not seem as appealing as it initially did.
Make a Pinterest board of ideas – when I made one, I realised a lot of the dresses on it were quite similar in style, shape and colour.
Buy accessories last. You need to know they’ll suit your outfit.
Consider the dress code of the occasion, i.e. for a graduation, a plunging neckline isn’t very appropriate.
Think about weather, walking distances and whether you’ll be standing for long. Comfort is key!
Versatility – can your outfit be worn again? It’s never a good idea to buy something just for one day.
Think outside the box, you aren’t confined to just dresses.
How about a jumpsuit, a skirt and top combo or even a cool trouser suit?
WHERE TO SHOP/BRANDS
Asos, Debenhams, &Other Stories, Oasis, Folkster, Miss Selfridge, Ted Baker, TK Maxx, and New Look are all good places to shop for occasion wear.
Missguided and Pretty Little Thing have some occasion wear, but some of it is quite revealing and not that suitable for certain occasions.
I would recommend trying Asos’s own line, Little Mistress, True Violet, Paper Dolls, AX Paris, Lipsy, Lavish Alice and Elise Ryan.
Elise Ryan has the most gorgeous delicate feminine dresses and they’re quite affordable too. You can find these on Asos and eliseryan.co.uk.
I bought this blue dress for about €45 and it’s ideal for summer weddings.
Little Mistress and Paper Dolls dresses are available in Debenhams and on Asos.
I always buy brands direct from Asos as you can purchase in sterling.
If you are on a budget, try New Look, you could get an entire outfit in there.
You can also try Adverts.ie or Facebook selling groups as people often sell new and nearly new outfits and accessories on there.
TK Maxx is worth hitting up also.
WHAT I TRIED
I bought these two dresses from Asos but I actually returned both as neither of them were very flattering on me.
Word of warning, if you’re petite, handle midi dresses with caution!
I bought this True Violet dress, thinking it wouldn’t be too long as it was just below the knee on the model.
More fool me, it was mid-calf and NOT flattering. It’s a beautiful dress but being 5’3′, I would need to chop a good few inches off it to make it work.
The other dress I originally ordered was this nude two-in-one lace dress.
It’s not as long as the True Violet dress but it’s very sheer and even with a lining inside, it still clung to every lump and bump!
I felt like a sack of potatoes so that was a NO also!
My third option is this Paper Dolls dress also, from Asos. Fingers crossed, because I’m really running out of time here!
UPDATE: Not only did this dress get lost by the courier and almost not make it for my graduation but it also was quite small.
It’s a beautiful dress but it’s meant to fit a size 10 and it was more like an 8.
The waistband was very tight and dug in all day and the shoulder straps fell down constantly making it annoying to have to keep re-adjusting it!
I wore it twice but I don’t think I’ll be hanging onto it.
I originally wanted something in a pretty pastel colour but I had to go for the “safe” option in the end.
However, I can always opt for something brighter for the wedding.
I broke my own rule and bought shoes beforehand, as they were super cheap. They’re velvet heeled sandals from New Look for the bargain price of €9.60.
I’ll be posting a photo of the outfit up here soon. This was my outfit for my graduation from NUIG and I love this dress..tempted to wear it again!
If you guys have any suggestions for places to buy occasion wear, please leave me a comment.
FYI- this post was not sponsored or endorsed by any brands mentioned.