How to Avoid Common Formal Fashion Mistakes

Do you love dressing up for a special occasion? Whether it’s a dance, a party, or even the holidays, it’s always fun to wear a fancy dress, heels, and experiment with a new makeup look. It’s a chance to show off your style and personality, and feel confident and beautiful.

But, dressing up can also be tricky. You don’t want to look back at photos and see yourself totally overdressed, with way too much sparkle, looking like an overly made-up clown. You also want to make sure you can actually walk in those new heels that looked so pretty in the window.

To help you avoid these formal fashion mistakes, we’ve compiled a list of six tips that will make you look fab and feel comfortable at any event. Follow these tips and you’ll be ready to rock any occasion with style and grace.

1. Don’t Overdo the Sparkle

Sparkle is a great way to add some glamour and shine to your outfit, but too much of it can be overwhelming and tacky. If your dress is full-on sequins, don’t accessorize with a sparkly bag and leave the glitter eyeshadow at home. Choose one statement piece that will catch the light and draw attention to your best feature, and keep the rest of your look simple and elegant.

Also, make sure your sequins are well-placed and flattering. If you’re trying to hide a large bust or hips, don’t wear something with huge jewels all over your chest or hip area. A little bit of sparkle is good, but you don’t want to end up looking like a Cirque du Soleil performer for your big event.

2. Dress for Your Body Type

The trendiest dress silhouette of the season may be perfect for your body… or it may not. Remember that no matter what celebs are wearing on the red carpet, it’s important for you to dress for you. Maybe a low-back dress doesn’t look good on you… that’s totally okay. Maybe long gowns are in but you look better in short dresses. That’s okay, too. Find something that accentuates your best body parts and shop with that in mind.

The key is to know your body type and what works for you. If you’re not sure, you can use online tools like this one to find out your shape and get some suggestions on what styles suit you best. You can also ask a friend, a stylist, or a salesperson for their honest opinion and advice.

3. Don’t Show Too Much Skin

A slit up to your thigh and a sheer panel between your breasts might look good at a club… but it’s entirely too much for your friend’s sweet sixteen party (where her family and your neighbors will probably be present!). Dress appropriately for each occasion. If there’s a dress code at your school, you’ll have to follow it. It’s okay to want to dress sexy, but you don’t have to show a ton of skin to do it.

A good rule of thumb is to balance your outfit. If you’re showing some cleavage, cover up your legs. If you’re wearing a mini skirt, opt for a more modest neckline. If you want to show off your chest, do it with a hint of lace, or a suggestive sheer panel that doesn’t actually show anything. Showing off your legs can mean wearing high heels instead of a bare-all slit. There are appropriate options for every dress code.

4. Wear the Right Bra

Nothing ruins a gorgeous dress like a visible bra strap, a saggy bust, or a nip slip. If you need support (and most gals do), research all the different bra options you have. There’s more than just the traditional bra, or even strapless bra. You can find bras that are backless, plunge, adhesive, convertible, and more. You can also use bra accessories like nipple covers, fashion tape, or bra extenders to make your bra fit better and stay in place.

The right bra can make a huge difference in how your dress looks and how you feel. It can lift, shape, smooth, and enhance your curves, and give you the confidence to rock any outfit. Make sure you try on your bra with your dress before the event, and check how it looks from all angles. You don’t want any surprises or wardrobe malfunctions on your big day.

5. Know the Dress Code

It’s embarrassing to be caught in a formal gown when everyone else is wearing a casual sun dress. It’s also awkward to be underdressed and feel out of place. To avoid these situations, make sure you know the dress code of the event you’re attending. If the invite doesn’t specify a dress code, call the host and ask what they’re wearing, and what they expect you to wear.

You can also do some research online to get an idea of what different dress codes mean, and what kind of outfits are appropriate for them. For example, this article explains the difference between black tie, cocktail, business casual, and more. You can also look for inspiration from other people who have attended similar events, and see what they wore.

6. Shop Ahead of Time

Last minute shopping for a special occasion can lead to disaster: a dress that doesn’t quite fit, a selection that was chosen just because it was the last one on the rack and not because it looks good on you, or something that’s way over your budget. Start shopping ahead of time to make sure you have something fab to wear.

Shopping early gives you more time to browse, compare, and try on different options. It also gives you more flexibility to order online, get alterations, or return items if needed. You can also take advantage of sales, discounts, and coupons, and save some money on your outfit. Plus, you’ll have more peace of mind knowing that you have your outfit ready, and you can focus on other aspects of your event, like your hair, makeup, and accessories.


Dressing up for a special occasion can be a lot of fun, but it can also be stressful. You want to look your best, but you also want to avoid making any formal fashion mistakes that could ruin your look and your mood.

By following these six tips, you can ensure that you’ll look fab and feel comfortable at any event. You’ll also avoid any regrets or embarrassments when you look back at your photos. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself. You deserve it!

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