How to Choose the Perfect Dress

A cocktail dress is one of the most versatile item in a woman’s wardrobe. It can be made more glamorous with stiletto heels and a sparkling clutch for parties; worn to the office with a tailored suit jacket and black tights; or made casual with the addition of ballet flats, a cardigan and a dishabille hairdo. You can always maximize the use you can get from just one cocktail dress if you’re clever with your accessories – but how can you make sure that it’s perfect?

Versatility:  If you’re keen for your dress to adapt to a wide array of occasions, then it’s important to choose a versatile style. A mini skirt might be great for a girls’ night out, but in a black tie environment it will be frowned upon. Similarly, a dress that exaggeratedly displays the fashions of this season will work well for a few months but may be consigned to the back of the wardrobe in winter. You should aim for a timeless style that will look great whether you’re dancing in a club or sipping cocktails at a black tie event – Coast has a great range of evening dresses to choose from.

Buy for your body shape:  Just as with any other outfit, the most important thing to bear in mind when buying a cocktail dress is whether or not it suits you. Look for an outfit that takes attention away from certain parts of your body and emphasises the areas that you want to. For example, pear shapes should look at waist-cinching styles that skirt over the bottom and thighs, while apple shapes should look to create visual balance with wide shoulders and simple colors.

Know what colors suit you:  Thanks to the likes of Trinny and Susannah and Gok Wan, most of us know about buying for our body shape – but choosing the right shade can be equally as important. As a general rule, most women suit either cold or warm shades. If you look best in gold, then go for warm colours such as peach and cream. If silver suits you better, than opt for cold shades – pale pink, green and light blue should all look good on you. Black, of course, generally looks great on everybody.

And finally… Once you’ve found the perfect dress, don’t forget to enhance it with accessories. A clutch bag, heels, hair ornaments and a subtle pair of earrings will make sure you look fit for the A-list no matter what the occasion.