Ask the Fashion Police, Dresses

Ask the Fashion Police: Which dress should I buy for a formal dinner dance?


It’s been a while since we had an Ask the Fashion Police question to resolve, so when Anita wrote to ask for our help with a fashion dilemma, we thought it was high time to revive this section – and, of course, to enlist the help of our other readers.

Anita writes:

Dear Fashion Police,
I have to attend a formal Annual (Dinner/Dance) Ball in December; and I know it’s ages, but you know it takes ages to find the perfect dress!

I am a size 0. I have medium coloured skin, black/very dark brown hair and black/very dark brown eyes. I can’t decide which one of the following gowns to wear:

Dress One or Dress Two

Dear Anita,

Oh, how I wish I had this particular problem! Both are lovely dresses, but I share your reservations about both the back of dress A, and the colour of dress B. My reservation about the olive dress, however, is purely a personal thing – it’s not my favourite colour, but I think it can look great on darker skin tones, and going from your description, I think it could look great on you.

But I don’t think it has the "wow factor" you’re looking for. Dress A has more of that, both in terms of the colour and the sweetheart neckline, which I think is that little bit dressier than the plain neck of the other dress.

But I’m not so keen on the back:


Again, this is purely a personal thing, because there’s nothing actually wrong with this style – it’s just not to my taste, and I’d like this dress a whole lot more with a plainer back.

So here’s what I’d do…

I’d buy dress B, assuming the size 2 would work for you, or you could have it altered. Then I’d dress it up a little, buying a wide ribbon/sash in either the same colour if you can find it, or a contrasting one if you can’t (gold might be nice) and play around with it: tie a bow at the front or the back, tie it around the waist and fasten with a corsage or sparkly brooch, that kind of thing. You could also add a brooch/corsage to one side of the bodice if you wanted – just don’t go overboard with too many accessories, or you could end up looking like a Christmas tree!

Then I’d add a pair of killer stilettos (again, I think gold would work) and a short necklace or choker, et voila! You’re good to go.

But that’s just me, and, of course, it’s all a matter of personal taste, which is why I’m turning the question over to our readers, in an attempt to get you a more balanced view.

So, what do you think, readers? Which dress should Anita buy?

P.S – Please remember to keep your suggestions constructive!

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