7 tips for choosing a special occasion dress

We all look forward to special events in our lives. We anticipate the celebration, seeing friends, enjoying special food and decor, etc. However, for some, these events bring the added stress of, “What will I wear??” We recently collaborated with our favorite dress brand, Maggy London, to share our tips for shopping for that special outfit and to bring you three dresses and a jumpsuit that would be perfect for so many special occasions. As usual, the fit and style of Maggy London makes us feel fabulous and ready to celebrate!!

our tips for finding that killer outfit!

Tip #1: Shop early–Even though there may be snow on the ground, cold temps and/or rain, it’s a must to shop early for spring/summer dresses. Spring dresses hit the stores in March, so shop early to ensure you can choose from the best selection and find your correct size. Knowing you have a beautiful dress to wear to your event really cuts down on stress leading up to a special occasion!

midi length patterned dress

This colorful Maggy London dress is perfect for wearing as a guest at a wedding, wearing to Krista’s son’s upcoming graduation, or even to a brunch or shower.
You’ll be so much more relaxed at your event if you’ve had plenty of time to plan your outfit. Julie’s satin dress would be amazing for a mother of the bride or groom dress and you definitely don’t want to leave that decision to the last minute!

Tip #2: Shop in season–Colors and fabrics change with the time of year. Make sure you’re looking in the same season of your event, but keep in mind that season collections hit the stores 2-3 months before the actual season begins!

midi length floral dress
Finding a soft and pretty floral like this would be more challenging if you started looking too early in fall or winter. If you wait until April or May, however, you risk the best choices selling out.
navy and white striped jumpsuit

Jumpsuits are so versatile! This Maggy London jumpsuit is perfect for wearing either to the office or to a special occasion. Krista is thrilled to have this jumpsuit already scheduled to wear at an event this spring!

Tip #3: Know what fits your body type–We both have very different shapes–Julie is more pear-shaped, Krista is more straight up & down. We’ve figured out through dressing room trial & error that shapeless shift dresses are not the best for Julie, but the shift shape is Krista’s go-to! We both avoid wrap dresses due to our lack of curves, lol. Knowing which dresses flatter your body type saves time and angst in the dressing room. Find a dress shape that flatters your figure and brings balance to our body type.

closeup detail on special occasion dress
Flattering rouching at the waist is slimming and comfortable. The longer length, when worn with heels, has an elongating effect.
satin maggy london dress
Julie struggles finding dresses that fit on both the top and the bottom. She wasn’t sure if this dress would work, but the cut is curvier than she expected and the beautiful sash detail gives her the flattering silhouette she was hoping for!
dressy jumpsuit

This jumpsuit is so figure flattering with rouching at the waist and flowy cropped pant legs!

Tip #4: Be open to possibilities–Consider colors and styles that might be slightly out of your comfort zone. You never know what might look amazing! If you’re lacking confidence in knowing what will look best, take a friend shopping with you or send mirror selfies to someone you know who will be honest.

midi length spring dress

Krista wasn’t sure about the colors of this dress at first, but the bright pattern is so flattering with her dark hair. She’s so glad she gave it a chance!
special occasion dress in blush
We love this blush color and it’s considered to be universally flattering for all skin tones. Choosing a solid color can add a sophisticated feel to your look.
sleeveless navy jumpsuit
Jumpsuits are a fun alternative to a dress and the comfort upgrade from a skirt can’t be beat!

Tip #5: Shop for comfort–You want to look amazing at your special event, but you don’t want to be uncomfortable! Buy a dress you can eat in, dance in and hug people in! It’s such a bummer to be pulling and tugging at your dress throughout the night. Make sure you have the right undergarments for your dress to help make the fit perfect. When you feel comfortable, you have the freedom to enjoy the event and focus on others without feeling self-conscious.

Wouldn’t this dress be so fun to dance in? Or sashay across a grassy lawn? The flirty ruffles and assymetrical details bring so much flair!
seated on couch in patterned dress
Always do the “sit” test when trying on a dress! This dress passes with flying colors because of it’s chic midi length.
back view of floral dress
The back “v” of this dress is so pretty! Wouldn’t it be cool to show it off with Julie’s hair in a fun updo? Also, make sure to check the front and back of your outfit to determine coverage needs.

Tip #6: Know the dress code–We’re never too intimidated to ask someone, “What are you wearing?” Not only does it usually strike up a fun conversation, but it also provides either some much needed confirmation or it can save you from committing a regrettable outfit faux pas! Don’t let overdressing or underdressing steal your joy! As a rule of thumb, however, we’ve learned that you usually won’t regret wearing something you feel fabulous in, even if you’re afraid it might be a little dressier. Missing out on the opportunity to wear something extra special is the real bummer!

striped jumpsuit

Accessories and shoes are key to taking this jumpsuit from day to night. Simple jewelry, flat sandals or espadrille wedges for day, and statement earrings or a necklace and heels for night! The possibilities are endless!
closeup detail of dress sash
Maggy London specializes in simple and classic design, perfect for important occasions like weddings and special celebrations! This timeless look will never go out of style!

Tip #7: Shop for accessories–You’ve shopped early for your dress, so now you have time to buy some fabulous accessories! Bring your dress to the store, find a stylish sales person, and ask their advice on how to accessorize your look. Make sure you have a cute clutch or small purse that goes with your look. You don’t want to throw on a big, clunky everyday purse with your beautiful dress.

patterned special occasion dress

Krista chose white accessories and a neutral metallic heel to make the dress pop!
floral dress with circle straw purse
This adorable circle straw bag brings a nice contrast in texture to a feminine dress. Julie added a simple layered necklace and versatile gold sandals to keep the details simple and the focus on the dress.
special occasion dresses
Shopping for a fun dress can be such a fun process if you give yourself plenty of time and follow some of these shopping tips. Comment below and tell us where you would wear these fabulous Maggy London dresses!

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xoxo Julie & Krista



  1. July 24, 2019 / 5:03 pm

    I never knew that you should shop early while looking for a dress. Recently I’ve been wanting to get a new dress for a special occasion but I’ve been struggling with finding one. I’ll keep this in mind while I search for a dress.

  2. April 3, 2020 / 7:25 pm

    I loved that you mentioned you need to consider finding a dress that flatters your figure. My husband and I are thinking about how to choose my dress for my brother’s wedding, and we are looking for advice about what to do. I will let him know about your recommendations to choose the right dress for the event.

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