Edit item

${ currentProduct.title }

See full details

Colour:${ currentProduct.colour_title }

Update Item Sold Out






How To Choose The Perfect Formal Dress

09.20.22Alyssa Foster

How To Choose The Perfect Formal Dress

How To Choose The Perfect Formal Dress

Posted by Jintao Du on

Formal season is on the horizon, and we know you’re starting to feel the pressure. Whether you’re off to your high school dance or you’ve been invited to a cocktail party, we know you’re in a hurry to secure that perfect dress and feel amazing.

The thing is, there’s an abundance of evening attire and it can get so overwhelming. It’s not easy surfing the thousands of dresses online to try and find one that is exactly what you’ve dreamed of. You want your dress to be flattering but also stylish; adhering to dress code but also something that stands out.

Rest assured though, we’ve got you covered here at Ally with all the tips and tricks when it comes to taking out best-dressed.

Different Types of Formal Dresses

There are no rules when it comes to picking your formal dress. You can pick whatever you like and whichever you feel most comfortable in. Of course, there are specific designs and fabrications that take your look to the next level. Here are the general categories you may recognise when it comes to formal wear.

Cocktail Dresses

Usually shorter in length, cocktail dresses are designed specifically for you to comfortably party the night away! From sequin bodycon pieces to the classic LBD, a cocktail dress is a fun choice.


If you’re looking to get a little fancy, then you’ll want to be checking out some gowns. This is probably what you picture when you think about formals. A floor-length, tailored dress that exudes class and luxe. Whether you opt for a mermaid dress that flatteringly flares out or a ball gown to live out your princess dreams, this is what you go for if you want to have all eyes on you.

Midi Dress

Hitting mid-calf, a midi dress is a perfect option for a sleek and stylish look. We love a sequin bodycon dress or a classic lace slip.

What Dress Shape Suits Me?

  1. Hourglass: Opt for dresses with V necklines, a cinched-in waist and fitted bodices - these will really flatter your shape!
  2. Pear: We suggest going for A-line dresses and strapless numbers - anything that flares out from the waist suits you.
  3. Athletic: Voluminous structures are perfect - we’re talking embellished dresses or ruffle detailing. Halter tops and ruched designs will also flatter your shape.
  4. Apple: Our favourite design for your girls is a sleek wrap dress. We also love A-line dresses belted styles.
  5. Petite: An asymmetrical hemline on your dress or a mini silhouette will go a long way in flattering your body. Bodycon fits and V necklines also suit you.

What Evening Attire is Trending?


Smooth, sleek and shining, we’re in love with slinky dresses this season. Made to hug and complement the body, opt for a more vibrant shade like orange, green or blue in this fabrication.


A classic. You can never really go wrong with a satin number for formal occasions. So elegantly sultry, satin dresses are perfect for that more elevated and luxe vibe. Opt for a wine red or emerald green for a regal look.


Shine bright girl! Sequins will have you glowing on that dance floor. A major statement, we love neutral shades like champagne, creams and a classic black number. Style your sequin dress with minimalistic jewellery and accessories.


Bare a little at your formal with a strapless number. We love slim-fitting maxi dresses that expose the shoulders. It’s the perfect opportunity to pop on a statement necklace.


We had to include them in the list. Cut-out dresses have made their appearance this season and they’re not going to be leaving anytime soon. Look for waist cut-outs or ring details at the bust for that extra touch of spice.

What Are Different Dress Code Types?

What’s the difference between black tie and cocktail?! It’s okay, we’ve got it all covered for you. Here are the main dress code types and what you’ll need to be wearing!

  • Black Tie
    Girls, you’ll need to be wearing a floor-length formal gown. Men will be donning their suits with a black bow tie.
  • White Tie
    The most formal dress code there is. Think gowns and gloves and coats with tails for men.
  • Lounge Suit
    Similar to black tie, however a little more relaxed. Girls, that means you can wear jumpsuits or florals.
  • Cocktail
    This is where your midi and mini dresses live. It’s more fun and party vibes than the rest. For men, this means a suit with the tie being optional.
  • Smart Casual
    Wear what you want! Just make sure you look polished whether it’s with elegant jewellery or a pair of high heels.