So you have been eagerly anticipating your formal, and the time has finally arrived! It's time to start the search for the perfect formal dress for your big night. Before you embark on your shopping journey, here are some tips and tricks to ensure a smooth and stress-free shopping experience.

Tip 1: Start early

There's no such thing as starting too early. Begin your search as soon as possible to have a wider selection of dresses. Even if you haven't finalised your date yet, it's never too early to browse for the perfect formal dress. Starting early allows time special orders or for alterations if needed and eliminates the last-minute panic of not finding a dress in time for the event.

Before your shopping day, ensure you get a good night's sleep. Dress shopping can be tiring, so rest well. Also, have a meal before your appointments to avoid shopping on an empty stomach. And remember to stay hydrated throughout the day! These small steps will contribute to a carefree shopping experience.

Tip 2: Research                                                                                                 

Before heading out to your appointments, do some research. Look at the latest fashion trends worn by celebrities on red carpets and movie premieres. You'll likely find similar styles and designs in stores. Browse through magazines, books, shows, and movies for celebrity dress inspirations. The more you know about the latest trends and how you want to look on your formal night, the easier your shopping will be. Doing research on where to purchase your  dress is also essential. Ensure the store is reputable and authorised to sell the designer gowns. Be cautious when considering online purchases to avoid unreliable sources that may not deliver or communicate properly.

Tip 3: Take a quick test drive             

While trying on formal dresses, take them for a quick test drive. This doesn't involve leaving the store wearing the dress and getting into a car. You want your dress to be beautiful and comfortable since you'll be wearing it for 4+ hours that night. Walk around, sit, and even try a few dance moves to see how the dress fits and moves with your body. Make sure you feel comfortable so you can fully enjoy your night.

Tip 4: Bring your heels

Before leaving for your appointments, remember to bring a pair of heels with you, preferably the ones you plan to wear with your formal dress. Trying on dresses with heels will help you visualise the final look and ensure the dress's measurements are appropriate. Avoid wearing the heels all day to prevent discomfort and keep the focus on dress shopping.

Tip 5: Take your time

Don't rush the appointment or the overall experience. Allocate enough time for your appointment and avoid scheduling too many appointments in one day. Rushing from one store to another can leave you exhausted and overwhelmed. Give yourself the freedom to enjoy the process and take your time. Remember, you've been waiting for this moment for years!

Tip 6: Keep an open mind

While doing your research and shopping, keep an open mind. Don't get fixated on one specific style or dress. Being open-minded and flexible increases your chances of finding the perfect dress. Consider different hairstyles that would complement the dresses and help you envision your final look for that special night.

Tip 7: Carry inspirational ideas

 If you have a specific style or design in mind that you must try on, bring along an inspiration picture. However, keep in mind that the store may not have the exact dress, but it gives them an idea of your preferences. Be open to trying on dresses you never thought you'd like, as you might find a surprising favourite.

Tip 8: Stick to your budget

This is one of the most important tips to follow. Stay within your budget and avoid trying on dresses that are beyond your means. Disappointment can arise if you fall in love with a dress that is too expensive. Research the price range of gowns you love to have a realistic understanding of what to expect. Avoid online bargains that may turn into dress disasters and lead to last-minute scrambling for alternatives.

Tip 9: Have appropriate undergarments

Keep in mind the importance of appropriate undergarments while shopping. Make sure you have suitable undergarments that work well with different dress styles. Consider bringing different options to try on with various neckline styles, which will give you a better idea of how your dress will look on formal night.

Tip 10: Take someone with you

 But not a large group. Having a second opinion can be helpful when you're torn between two dresses. It's more enjoyable to go shopping with a trusted family member or friend. However, avoid bringing a large group as it can overwhelm and complicate the shopping experience. Keep it to one or two people who will provide valuable input and make the process more enjoyable.

BONUS TIP – Find the perfect dress for YOU! Ultimately, it's your big night, and you will be the one wearing the dress. Let your personality shine through and choose the dress you love. Your perfect dress will contribute to a wonderful formal night!

So there you have it! Our top 10 tips to prepare for the best formal dress shopping experience. Visit Paris in The Strand, the best shop for formal dresses in the Northern Rivers NSW, for a memorable formal dress shopping experience! Happy formal dress shopping!

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