Finding your dream dress is no easy task, in fact, it’s pretty hard actually! You want something that you love, that looks good on you and that’s comfortable to be in for as long as you have to be – on top of that, it’d be great to find something that you want to wear again so you’re getting your money’s worth. So, considering all of those factors and without further ado, here’s how to find your perfect, ride-or-die dress, without the stress…
Understand yourself first
Before anything else, you need to make sure you know how best to dress yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the inspo stage, but if you’re not being realistic and catering to your unique features, you’re just not going to love the end result. So, take a look at your own wardrobe first. Are you spying a lot of A-line cuts? You probably feel most comfortable in pieces that flaunt an hourglass shape. Maybe you’re seeing an awful lot of 90s style dresses? You’re going to be obsessed with mermaid, slip and sheath cuts. Next, take your measurements – including your height. Keep your numbers with you when you’re shopping online, and you’ll avoid any disappointing surprises when your shiny new dress shows up at your door.
Do your research
Next, it’s time to do your research. Hop onto Pinterest and Instagram and start collecting inspirational photos of what you’re looking for in a dress. Once you’ve got it all, organize your photos into a board or old school collage. Take a step back and you’ll most likely be able to see an overarching aesthetic in your references. Use this, as well as your measurements and pre-existing preferences, as the basis for your style search.
Start with the fit
You could find the most breathtaking dress in the world, but if it doesn’t fit, then it just doesn’t fit. So, it’s important to start with the basic cut of your dress to avoid falling in love with something that’s not going to work. You would have got a great idea of the fit that you favour from step one of this guide. However, if you need it broken down a little more, here are the most popular cuts out there right now…
A-line: A-line is the most universally flattering dress shape out there! It flatters your neckline, cinches in your waist and elegantly falls down to the floor.
Slip/Sheath: The straight up, straight down style of slip and sheath dresses is very glamorous and perfect for elongating your frame.
Mermaid: Hi, there, glamorous! Mermaid designer dresses fit and flatter you to the calf, and then fan out to a dramatic fishtail style. This is a classic 30s shape.
Off-the-shoulder: This one is a flirty, contemporary style that flaunts your neckline and creates a very feminine shape on all figures.
Empire: Empire cuts are perfect for women who veer on the more petite side. This fit cuts close down the top of your rib cage, then falls outwards in an A shape from a seam of belting detail.
Be sensible with your choice of material
Materials really do matter, and in order for your dress to be comfortable, you really need to put some thought into your dress’ fabric. Looking for breathability? You’ll want to stick to natural fibers such as linen, cotton and silk. Maybe you want some shine? Sequin, shimmer and satin will work for you. For a classic look, search for lace, crochet and tulle. To go uber-contemporary, you’ll want to pick stretch jersey, Ponti or crepe.
Follow these pointers, and you and your dream dress will be acquainted in absolutely no time!