Another year of canceled plans in the winter of 2021-2022 hasn’t discouraged us from hoping for the return of social gatherings in the spring. Know these top considerations for picking the perfect party dress to be ready for the return of good times!

What’s the Occasion?

First on the list of the top considerations for picking the perfect party dress is the type of party you’ll attend. Is it a birthday, graduation, or anniversary? Or is it a garden party, picnic, or pre-game gathering? Who’s the host? Is it a work-related event? The nature of the celebration will help you find the right type of dress.

Events marking milestones, and those held at night, tend to be a bit more formal. Choose a dress that acknowledges the importance of the occasion.

If it’s a wedding, don’t wear white—the focus is on the bride, not you. The time of day and the venue will help dictate the length of your party dress and how much skin is appropriate (or not) to show.

Floaty florals are perfect for spring and summer garden parties. If you’re attending a pre-game celebration, a more casual look is acceptable, such as boutique pants. But don’t choose leggings for a business gathering; for work-related parties, you’ll want to dress more conservatively.

Think About Your Message

Your clothes communicate something about you, which is true of party dresses. No one maintains the same mood all the time—one day, you may feel a little flighty and flirty, while another time, you want to look serious, elegant, and discreet. Keep a few party outfits in your closet so that you can choose one that fits the message you’d like to send.

Your body shape will tell you which styles are flattering and which aren’t. If you’re petite, a mid-calf length will make you look stubby. If you’re curvy, choose a dress that nips in at the waist. And if you have a bit of a tummy, try an empire style or a V-neck in a solid color.

Budget and Versatility

We all have at least one, if not more, bridesmaid’s dresses stuffed in the back of our closets, never to see the light of day again. Here’s another top consideration for choosing the perfect party dress: Will you ever wear it again?

When you’re shopping for a party dress, think about how you can accessorize the dress to change it up for multiple wearings. There’s no point in spending your hard-earned money to buy a dress you’ll only wear once, so think of a party dress as an investment—you want it to continue to pay off.

Keep your hopes up for some fun social events this year, and enjoy shopping for your perfect party dress!

January 28, 2022 — Laine Spruiell