Do you have a special occasion coming up? If so, there’s one big decision you need to make: what you will wear. The clothes you wear say a lot about you. Wear the right outfit, and you’ll make a fantastic impression and show people you’ve made an effort. Wear something that doesn’t suit you or the event, and you’ll do the opposite. 

Unfortunately, many people find the prospect of shopping for a special occasion too overwhelming. After all, there are so many options, and it’s hard to know where to begin. By breaking it down into smaller steps, it doesn’t have to be so difficult. So, if you’re shopping for an upcoming special occasion, here’s how to do it without pulling your hair out. 

Step One: Consider the Special Occasion 

First thing’s first: what’s the occasion? You need to consider this to dress appropriately – especially if there is a dress code like black tie. Some special events are more particular than others. For example, weddings usually require you to wear formal clothing, whereas 

birthday parties can be a bit more casual. If you’re not sure what the dress code is, ask other guests or the host to confirm it. It’s better to be sure! 

Step Two: Plan an Outfit Idea 

Next, it’s time to plan a general idea of what you want your outfit to be. That might involve a black dress with matching black accessories for a date night. Or, it could mean a patterned white dress for a garden party in the summertime. 

Having an idea of the outfit you want to wear will help you when shopping online or in person, as you’ll know the first places to look. So, if you’re planning on wearing a blue cocktail dress to a cocktail party, you know to start looking in the cocktail dress section of a store. Of course, your shopping may go slightly off course, and that’s okay! You don’t have to stick to the exact outfit you’ve planned in your head; it’s just good to have a direction in the beginning. 

Step Three: Check Your Wardrobe 

Not every special occasion calls for a brand-new outfit – you might have something more than good enough tucked away in your wardrobe! So, before shopping, check your closet for outfits and accessories you might want to wear. You might find a beautiful necklace you’d love to wear again, so you could tailor your dress around that. Or, you might find the perfect pair of comfortable yet classy shoes, so you could find an outfit that matches those. 

Step Four: Start Browsing 

Now that you know the dress code and what you want to wear, it’s time to start shopping. You can go about this two ways: online shopping and shopping in person. Both have their advantages. 

Shopping for clothes online gives you access to thousands of online stores and, as a result, thousands of different outfit ideas. You can refine your search when shopping online, as you can choose the colors, sizes, and even trends you want to view – at Erica Wilson, we have formal and casual dresses for all occasions in a range of colors! Of course, the one

downside is that you can’t try these clothes on before buying, so you’d need to shop well in advance just in case you need to return. 

Another option is to shop in person. While this might take longer, it gives you the chance to try the outfits in person, saving you a lot of time. The last thing you want is to realize a dress is the wrong size two days before the party! 

There is another option: renting an outfit. This is useful if you’re looking for a very formal dress or suit but are unwilling to splash thousands of dollars on it. Renting an outfit allows you to wear designer clothes that you wouldn’t usually wear, making you look incredibly classy and well put together. It’s a trick many people use when dressing for special occasions, so it’s one to consider. 

Step Five: Make Sure Everything Fits Properly 

When dressing for special occasions, you want the outfit to be perfect, which involves ensuring everything fits properly. Is your shirt a little tight at the elbows? Does the dress pinch a little too tight at the back? These are things you want to address before the event. If returning the outfit isn’t an option, you can always go to a tailor to adjust the clothes. 

Step Six: Accessorize 

A special occasion is the perfect time to accessorize. In fact, the right accessories can make or break an outfit! Silver jewelry can take a simple black dress and turn it into a picture of elegance. At the same time, a garish hair accessory might be enough to turn the attention away from your elegant gown. 

Shopping for accessories can be just as hard (if not harder) as shopping for the initial outfit, so allow plenty of time. You might opt for a beautiful necklace or a sunhat if the event is an outdoor summer party. Of course, you can’t forget about the shoes – you need a pair of shoes that match your dress/suit while also being comfortable, especially if you’re going to be on your feet for a long time. 

Step Seven: Ask Friends for Opinions 

Are you unsure if your special event dress looks good enough? You can look in the mirror all you want, but you won’t feel fully satisfied until you get approval from a trusted loved one. So, before arriving in formal dress, ask a friend, relative, or partner for their opinion. They’ll be able to tell you whether you’re rocking the outfit or if it needs some adjustments to make you look picture-perfect. 

Shopping for a special occasion can be stressful, but breaking it down like this makes the process much smoother. Plus, it will lead to an outfit that you genuinely love! Take it step by step, and always keep the particular occasion and dress code in mind while shopping.