The Ultimate Guide to Shopping for Party Dresses

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With party season coming up, there’s no better time to start looking for the perfect dress, but there are some things you should consider whilst you’re shopping around.

If you’re uncertain about the things you need to think about before investing in a party dress, read our ultimate guide for some pointers.

Be aware of the dress code

A huge party faux pas is being overdressed or underdressed. Because of this, making sure that you’re aware of the dress code before you pick your dress is an absolute must.

We spoke to Missy Empire, who have a whole host of party dresses on their website, and they said: “It’s great that women have so many options when it comes to dressing up, but that does bring its own problems in terms of dress codes.”

“To ensure that you’re on the right lines with your party dress, find out what the dress code is before you start shopping and even ask your friends what they’ll be wearing, too.”

Consider your skin tone

In terms of colour, you should always choose a dress which matches your skin tone so that you don’t look washed out.

If you have dark skin, you’re likely to be able to pull off some really bright colours but also paler colours, too. This means you can take advantage of, amongst other colours, yellows, pinks, and oranges. However, try to steer clear of browns or blacks as these may blend into your skin colour too much.

With a medium skin tone, beiges, nudes, browns, and blacks will generally look great on you. You can also choose a blue or red dress to take you to the heights of elegance.

People with fair skin should aim to avoid the paler colours such as white and cream. If you have dark hair, red and green will look fantastic on you. If you have light hair, try to opt for bright colours or neutrals which will really set off your look.

For more in-depth details on which colours will match your skin tone, peruse this post.

Set your budget

When you’re shopping for a party dress, you need to consider two main things: (1) your budget and (2) how versatile the dress is.

For a more plain dress with fewer frills and details, it’s worth investing a few more pennies as it will probably be more versatile and you will be able to wear it to a variety of events.

However, a dress with more detailing and flamboyance will not be as versatile and will be easier to recognise if you wear it elsewhere, so try not to break the bank if you’re going for this option.


The final step for choosing the perfect party dress is to think about how you will be able to accessorize it.

You can jazz up any party dress with shoes, a bags, and some jewellery, tailoring it to each individual party to which you wear it.

If your dress is quite plain, try giving it a focal point with some statement jewellery, such as bold earrings and bracelets.

On the flip side, if your dress is particularly ornate, let it take centre stage and tone the accessories down – perhaps with a low-key clutch bag and matching shoes.

For some more pointers on accessorizing, take a look at this post.