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formal event

A Dress for a Formal Work Do – Ask Anna

“Please help!  I am in need of a dress for a formal event I have coming up at the Dorchester Hotel.  My colleagues are all quite fashion savvy so I need to be suitably stylish!  I have long hair and am open to wearing it either up or down.  I have an olive skin tone so please also recommend the best colours for my complexion.  Many thanks.”

Your event sounds really exciting, so hopefully we will be able to take some of the pressure off by finding the perfect dress.  With your olive skin tone most colours will pop beautifully on you.  Maxi dresses are all the rage this season so we love the fact you’ve decided to go with a long dress.  Jewel tones are also particularly popular at the moment and a dress which immediately springs to mind is our Butter by Nadia floor length dress in Amethyst.  The Greek goddess detailing on the back of the dress exudes style and would work best with your hair up. Team with silver accessories and strappy heels and you’re set!

Our Marchesa NottePaillette evening gown would also be perfect for your event.  Classically glamorous this floor length dress would work with your hair either up or down.  Embroidered with shimmering paillettes, minimal accessories are needed.  Compliment with a chic black clutch, a delicate silver necklace and strappy heels.








Finally, our Zimmerman maxi nude dress would also be very suitable for the occasion and is right on trend.   Slightly more subtle than the others, this dress is fabulously feminine yet allows you to add a touch of your own style.  Long dangly earrings, a delicate necklace and a shimmering purse would boost its glamour while giving you the freedom to wear your hair up or down.

Long dresses for those special formal work dos

Deciding what to wear to any event can increase the blood pressure of even the most laid back of us, so it’s not surprising that when it comes to a work do our minds are flooded with endless questions and concerns.  Should my hair be up or down?  What colour should I go for? Is it too low cut?  Too conservative?  What shoes should I wear? …and the list goes on.


When it comes to socialising with our bosses and fellow colleagues it often seems that pressure to look the part outside of the office with a fear of standing out for all of the wrong reasons prohibits us from making these decisions confidently.  However, we have created some basic rules to help make all of this slightly less stressful and a fool-proof way to do it…


If your event is black tie (such as a silver anniversary) it is safest to go with a long dress.  Choose a silhouette you would feel most comfortable in and a favourite colour that is also suited to your skin tone.  If you’ve never worn a bright yellow dress-this is perhaps not the best time to try it out!  However, go with a long dress that has a specific feature you love!  Whether it be a floral optic frill as featured on our Marchesa Notte gown

Marchesa Notte Silk Frill Detail Gown

or an asymmetrical shape as featured on our Dina Bar-El Anastasia gown,

Dina Bar El Anastasia Gown

make sure you are excited with what you’re wearing as your confidence will shine!  In addition, if the focal point of your long dress is above the bust, wear your hair up to show it off.  Or alternatively, if it is below the bust, as featured on our Ruth Tarvydas Hidden Gem dress with its on trend side slit, wear your hair down to compliment its glamour.

Ruth Tarvydas Hidden Gem

When it comes to deciding what shoes and accessories to complete your dress try to choose complimentary colours that work well with your dress and skin colour without being an exact match to the dress.  For example, jewel tones would be best complimented with neutral coloured shoes such as nude or a light metallic shade to allow the colour of the dress to stand out.  Finally, if your long dress is very ornate try to keep jewellery to a minimum so as not to detract from its detail.  Why not take a look at our collection of ball gowns for hire and see how it works and venture to our jewellery shop page for some more ideas!





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