Five style tips to help you prepare for your first formal event

It’s always fun receiving an invitation to an event. But if you’ve been invited to attend a formal event, it will require more planning and thought than you may realise – especially if it’s your first.

So, to help prevent any panic on the morning of your first formal event – when you realise you’re woefully unprepared, here are five style tips to help you get ready in the run up to the big day.

1) Read the invitation carefully

This may seem obvious but, trust us, it’s easy to overlook this important step. You see, when it comes to formal events, the invitation holds all the answers you need to prepare properly – and not feel out of place when you turn up in the wrong outfit.

Your invitation will specify if there is anything special about the dress code, such as a certain colour or style that needs to be worn. So be sure to read it carefully and ask questions if you have any.

2) Start with your dress

Before you start thinking about what shoes or handbag you’ll need, or even how you’ll wear your hair, you need to choose your dress.

Your dress will set the tone of your outfit, and it will also determine the colour palette you are working with. Unless the invitation has specifically stated that you need to wear a certain colour, this is one area you will have lots of freedom. So rather than go with traditional black, why not choose a color that pops and really stands out?

Designer pink prom dresses are a fabulous example of a colour that will make a statement. And, because it’s a prom dress, you know it will fit into the heading of ‘formal wear’.

As you shop the various styles of formal dresses, keep in mind that it’s usually best to stick with a full-length gown. This is what people tend to mean when they say formal or ‘black-tie’ wear.

3) Shop for accessories

Once you’ve bought your dress you can move on to accessories. Accessories can completely transform an outfit; they’ll personalise your look and give it an injection of your own flair and style. (Accessories include your shoes, purse, and jewellery.)

While there are no set rules when it comes to accessories, you don’t want to go overboard. Picking one statement piece is usually the safest route to take. In order words, if you’re going to wear a large beaded necklace, keep everything else simple.

You also need to bear in mind what kind of style and embellishments your dress has. You don’t want to take away from the dress, so sometimes accessories aren’t even needed. Just a pair of great shoes and a simple small clutch may be all you need to complete the look.

4) Come up with a hair plan

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is waiting until the day of the event to figure out your hair plan. Instead, it’s best to get an idea of what you want to do, and even try it out a couple of times before the big day. At least if there are any issues with the style you have in mind, you’ll have time to remedy them.

5) Go for a glam and glowing makeup look

Makeup trends come and go, but when it comes to formal events, glam and glowing is typically the safest route to take. You’ll want to pick one feature (either your eyes or lips) to focus on, and then keep everything else soft and glowing.

One staple to use with a glam look is glitter or shimmer. Glitter worn on the eyes will reflect the lights beautifully and look really quite stunning.

Other essential products used to create a glamorous glowing look are ultra-glossy lip gloss, face highlighter, and matte black eyeliner for creating a wing.

Pull off your first formal event like a pro

Just because you may be attending your first formal event, doesn’t mean you have to let it show. These tips will help get you formal-event ready without any stress or worry. So you can focus on having fun and enjoying the event – whatever the occasion.

Photo by Laura Gomez