Choosing what to wear is probably one of the toughest decisions every woman has to end up making in her life. The way you dress and the thought you put behind your appearance says a lot about you as a person. Being able to differentiate between what’s appropriate and what’s not for any occasion requires a keen sense of fashion and impeccable taste.

It’s all about making the right decisions at the right time. And to help you out, we’ve outlined the top 10 most popular types of dresses by occasion and 18 different dress styles to chose from. From fashion tricks and tips to this year’s hottest trends, we’ll make sure your fashion game is stronger than ever.


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  • Prom Dresses

Types of Dresses - Prom dress

 

For all the high school sweethearts out there, prom is an occasion that carries great significance. It’s a night full of memories, entertainment, pictures and of course a fashion extravaganza.

A prom dress should be age appropriate, comfortable, elegant and of course beautiful. The idea behind a prom is to enjoy the evening and your dress should be the last thing getting in your way.

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What to wear

Keeping your outfit classic and simple, yet beautiful is probable the best way to dress for prom night.

The length of your dress should complement your height. If you happen to be on the taller side, you can experiment with longer gowns whose hem works for you. Asymmetric hems are a fascinating trend worth discovering. When opting for a shorter dress, stay graceful and avoid lengths extending beyond the mid-thigh region.

It’s smart to keep a heads up for cuts, fabrics and colors that suit your body type and skin tone. Don’t be afraid to experiment with styles you’re not accustomed to. Who knows, you might look great in something new.

Pass over anything that looks or feels uncomfortable. Large puffy dresses as well as short hemmed gowns are a big no for prom events.


  • Cocktail Dresses

     

Stylish Cocktail Dresses

Cocktail parties are fun, in-formal gatherings. They’re all about delectable canapés, glamorous dresses and of course great cocktails!

Just because it’s not a formal event doesn’t mean you show up wearing casual. Cocktail parties call for outfits that may be termed as semi-formal and that simply means ‘dress to impress.’

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What to wear

 

Most women prefer wearing dresses to such events. Overlay dresses are a great example. We’re talking chic and modern elegance. Your dress’s length should rest at the knee level and can extend to the mid-thigh region.

A nicely embellished or frilled top can also be paired with a knee length shirt or well-tailored pants. How about opting for a plain black jumpsuit with a fancy waist belt and some stilettos?

The signature look of the past for most cocktail events was the ‘little black dress’ but today, color and pattern is in. You can come up with a number of designs and styles but don’t forget to accessorize for that special touch.

It’s best to steer clear from fabrics that depict a very casual tone. We’re saying no to jersey, denim and everyone’s favorite chino. Large handbags are also best to avoid because evening events call for elegant clutches.

 


  • Wedding Guest Dresses

Types of Wedding Guest Dresses

 

 

Source Image: Joanna Baker

Deciding what to wear at a wedding can be daunting. Be it an old friend or family member, you never know who you’re going to end up meeting at the wedding. Unless specified by the host, most weddings call for the most formal attire.

 

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What to wear

It’s nice to keep the sophisticated vibes going on at a wedding. Women can aim for colors that complement their skin tone as well as the timing of the event. Darker hues suit the later hours of the day while neutral and light tones complement the earlier ones. It’s advisable to avoid wearing white in respect for the bride. You don’t want to end up stealing the show from her!

Gowns that are floor length as well as dresses that reach the knee level are termed as appropriate for a beautiful wedding setting. You can choose from a wide array of formal fabrics and accessorize accordingly. But lace surely tops the list for fabrics to adorn at weddings. Floral patterns, polka dot dresses wide brimmed hats and gloves can also be flaunted to perfection.

Anything clingy, low cut and distasteful should be avoided at all costs. The aim at the end of the day is to honor the hosts with your graceful presence on their special day. And that is why dressing the part couldn’t be more important.


  • Formal Event Dresses (Black Tie and White Tie)

In Style Formal Dresses

When you’re invited to a formal event, dressing the part has never been more essential than here. Black and white tie events call for an impeccable formal dress code. You’ll be wining and dining with some renowned personalities in your family and friends circle. And making a good impression is an absolute necessity with flawless attire.

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What to wear

Long gowns are more preferred here than shorter ones. They’re also termed the safest option amongst them all. Although new trends find knee length dresses acceptable too. Some fabulous fabric options to render include silk, brocade, velvet, net and satin.

Accessories in the form of jewelry are an absolute must. Whether it’s some sparkly earrings, pearl necklace or jeweled watch, find a piece that best complements your attire. Don’t forget that perfect little clutch to tie your evening outfit beautifully together.

Anything too revealing, be it the dress’s sheer fabric, high slit or plunging neckline should be shun from the wardrobe. You can however opt for sleeves that are full, three quarter or none at all. Whatever you choose, make sure you can flaunt it with grace and confidence.


  • Party Dresses

Types of Party Dresses

Images: Zuhair Murad, Joanna Baker

When you come to think of it, the term party dress may signify numerous kinds of clothing. Choosing what to wear at a party depends upon the nature of the event. Parties are gatherings that can range from being semi-formal or formal to casual or semi-casual in nature. It all comes down to the host and the venue so it’s best to ask in advance to avoid fashion blunders.

Parties lying towards the extreme of being casual or semi-casual include birthdays, beach bonanzas and family barbeques. Those lying on the formal or formal end of the spectrum include company dinners, product launches and bridal showers.

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What to wear

Casual party events call for fun and playful attire. Patterned tops with skirts, fitted trousers, miniskirts as well as t-shirts with denim or shorts are some fantastic options to consider. Opt for colors that blend with the season. Light hues for summer and darker solid tones for the winter.

Formal and semi-formal parties render a more subtle approach to your sense of fashion. Detailed tops with tailor fitting slacks, the ever so popular little black dress and the ‘you can’t go wrong’ fitted blouse with skirt affair are decent attires to select from. Don’t forget the perfect pair of heels or your favorites vintage style dress.

A fabulous fashion tip to remember is to keep a stunning scarf and a pair of dangly earrings in your bag. This is for those occasions where if the need be to liven up the outfit; you are able to do so. Remember, you can alter an underdressed look more than you can an overdressed one.


  • Bridesmaid Dresses

Types of Bridesmaid Dresses

Images source: Zuhair Murad

The honor of being selected as a bridesmaid brings with it a number of responsibilities. And looking your best is the most important of them all. Whether the host has chosen a theme or not, it’s best to make smart decisions when choosing what to wear.

It’s all about keeping it modest, chic and utterly elegant. From off the shoulder gowns to stacked frills and floral prints, there are an immense number of styles and designs to choose from.

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What to wear

Just when you thought white was reserved for the bride, you need to start thinking again. Many wedding affairs are breaking traditions with seamless white gowns and dresses for the brides’ nearest and dearest.

Silk, cotton, chiffon, velvet or a blend of two are some great fabrics for bridesmaids attire. Sequins and pearl embellishments add a sense of finesse to any formal looking gown. Since it’s a grand affair, knee length dresses and floor length gowns are definitely the direction you should be heading towards.

Always take the wedding’s season into consideration. Spring is a wonderful time to flaunt those little floral dresses. If you’ve got a summer beach or boho chic vibe going on, why not opt for blue hues to complement those stunning ocean waves.

If the bride has demanded a more a subtle approach for her bridesmaids, opt for gowns in a nude tone for that fresh air of elegance. These can be embellished with contrasting floral appliqués for that stunning appeal.

Daytime weddings are all about simple sophistication. It’s best to steer clear of anything too heavily embellished with sequins or dramatic with bold patterns. You can however be more daring and adventurous with darker tones and heavier beads at night.

Whether you choose to go strapless or sleeveless, don’t forget to consult with the honorable host, the bride of course. Some religious ceremonies aren’t too keen on showing skin so it’s advisable to keep that into consideration.


  • Vacation Mode Dresses

Dresses for Vacation

Image Source: laylagrayce.com

Let’s face it ladies. Who doesn’t love some time off? Be it a tropical paradise getaway or a thrilling skiing experience at the Alps, vacations can be downright thrilling.

We know how exciting ‘vacay’ mode can be but when it’s time to whip out that travel bag and begin packing, most women struggle with the thought of what looks to create.

Raising your fashion game across the border requires careful thought and planning. The goal is to flaunt that body the right way. Don’t we all love reminiscing old holiday snaps.

When you’ve got social media trending and the fashion police watching your every move, there’s no excuse for not portraying the best version of yourself.

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What to wear

We don’t mean to sound cliché but it’s mandatory to pack light and pack right when travelling to a new destination.

Although clothing options may vary depending on the season, location, culture and climate you’re exposed to, there are a few quintessential items every travel girl should be carrying in her bag.

Nothing says comfort as does a striped tee, loose track pants and a sweat shirt. These are great for those long plane rides. In case you’re exposed to some freezing temperatures on your flight, don’t forget that light scarf to keep you warm on your journey.

If you’re heading towards the beach side and in most cases you will, printed tunics and caftans and cover-ups are sure to give you a stylish appeal. A pair of skinny jeans or any form of denim is another must on vacation. You can mix n match it with a number of tops for a semi-casual look.

In case it’s an all girls’ getaway, take on a more playful wardrobe with colorful rompers, printed skirts and bohemian tops. Contrast your attire with some ankle boots, wedges, stylish shades and cross body bags and your preferred clothing accessories. They’re sure to take your look to a whole other level.

For those planning on heading towards a more posh destination, don’t forget your ruffled dress, off the shoulder tops, shirtdresses, printed jackets and sexy footwear. It’s all about wearing your style with a bold attitude.


  • Girls’ Night out Dresses

Girls Night out Dresses

It’s great to have an all girls night once in a while. Whether you’re staying in or having a night out on the town, you must be dressed to impress at all times.

From that killer party dress to that ever popular night out on the town attire, we’re all about fashion that’s fun and enduring.

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What to wear

A night out with the girls’ squad comprises of the best entertainment, dance and celebration. It’s the perfect excuse to getting dolled up.

You can pair vibrant and slinky tops with the best fitting slacks for some sexy appeal. For a night at the club, opt for fabrics with sequins such as a miniskirt and contrast it with attractive tops. Laid back shirtdresses and buttoned blazer dresses are some other fascinating trends to try this season. For a more traditional approach, add those blazers and dress pants.

Stick to bright tones and vibrant hues as that’s what girls’ night out is all about. Neon colors, funky animal prints, metallic, and fringes are other playful elements you can work around with.

Whatever you choose, make sure it flatters your figure. And lastly, tie it all beautifully together with high heels, clutches and earrings as they’re an absolute must on any girls’ night out.


  • Valentine’s Day Dresses

Valentine's Day Dresses

Valentine’s is all about the season of love. And when you’ve got a dinner date with your partner, dress selection is of utmost importance.

There was once a tradition to wear red exclusively on Valentine’s but that’s a trend that no longer exists today. Valentine’s Day calls for a dress that goes beyond your average dinner date outfits. It calls for something spectacular.

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What to wear

You need to maintain that sexy and chic atmosphere throughout the evening and that means incorporating a number of different styles and designs that best suit your preference.

If you like to keep it old school, opt for attires revolving around ruffled skirts, short lace dresses, the classic little black or red dress, skirts with thigh high slits and traditional v-neck dresses. Did we mention sweetheart necklines dresses are must haves in the wardrobe?

For those willing to experiment with a more modern outlook, why not incorporate some fashion forward pencil skirts and wrap dresses. They’re just as sleek and sexy. Stunning jumpsuits paired with elegant accessories can steam things up too.

Popular colors choices for Valentine’s revolve around reds, blacks and whites. But again pick what you think looks good on you.


  • Business Dinner Dresses

Business Dinner Dresses

All business dinners call for a formal affair. And that means sticking to a dress code that screams elegance and refinement of the finest kind.

It’s best to keep matters professional but that doesn’t mean you have to dress boring.

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What to wear

Sticking to the basics is the greatest way to go about the situation. Graceful floral dresses, printed skirts with plain blouses and pleated tops with dress pants are some wonderful attires worth a glance. The classic little black dress always works wonders at corporate events too.

If you’re a fan of hopping onto the bandwagon of trends, why not opt for some turtle neck, wrap style or sheath design dresses. They’re beautiful and equally elegant with their fitting.

Blazers or gorgeous sweaters in a dark color combined with tailored pants and stilettos would get you the right kind of praise from business colleagues. The same would go for a suit styled with a feminine themed blouse. You can pair these with appropriate dress shoes or heels.

Collared shirts, either plain or printed can be worn with dress pants or knee length skirts. Add an elegant pearl necklace or the perfect pair of studs to create a look fit for a business dinner.

Dressing in a provocative manner must be avoided at all costs. A gown or dress that’s too revealing is termed inappropriate at such a setting. After all, you need to be taken seriously at such an important business engagement.


Fashion illustrations source: Rongrong Illustration, Zuhair Murad, Joanna Baker, Layla Grace, Hayden Williams, Anum Tariq

 

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