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13 Dresses That Nail ‘Formal Attire’

*Look like a* MILLION DOLLAR BABY.

‘Tis the season where the invitations begin to roll in for the more fancy affairs. Weddings, formals, fundraisers – you name it, it’s happening. These invitations usually come hand-in-hand with dress codes like ‘formal attire’, ‘cocktail’ and ‘black tie’. It’s an exciting time but with that excitement comes the pangs of anxiety over to wear!

There’s a certain expectation (usually self inflicted) that at these types of events you have to look out of this world amazing. However, this doesn’t mean wearing more ice than Liberace.

When it comes to nailing the ‘formal attire’ dress code, the best rule of thumb to follow is ‘less is more.’

Elegance is the keyword, and it never goes out of style. When doing formal attire, the dress is the main event and the accessories are just the side acts. Plus, what you wear will influence all of your decisions regarding beauty and jewellery (take a sigh of relief).

We’re not going to lie, formal dress shopping can feel like one giant pressure cooker. But don’t worry – we’ve got your back here at CHRONICLES. The selection below includes our favourite dresses of the season and are guaranteed to make you look like heaven on earth.

Words: @blyjonesing

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Simply strappy

A classic piece that you'll wear 100 times over. The hanging strap details accentuate the décolletage and make this slip dress a cut above the rest.

Hansen And Gretel
Honeysuckle dress
Simply strappy

feelin' sparkly

Go hard or go home. Wear this and you're guaranteed to have all eyes on you (in the best possible way).

Alex Perry
Leighton lady dress
feelin' sparkly

Birds Of Prey

Get your pins out in this luxurious kimono-style dress. Pair it with sleek stilettos for maximum impact (oh, and hold onto this one for your children - it will never go out of style).

Attico
Elena Silk Kimono Dress
Birds Of Prey

Wear the pants

Be classy the Katharine Hepburn way with a killer jumpsuit. The structured ruffle detail on this one makes it extra special.

self portrait
frill jumpsuit
Wear the pants

short n' sharp

Pack a punch in this structured off-the-shoulder mini. Slick your hair back, grab a sparkly statement clutch and watch the 'less is more' mantra work its magic on you.

Fame and Partners x Revolve
Issa Wrap Dress
short n' sharp

Champagne, darling?

Elegance and simplicity go hand in hand. You can't go wrong with a simple cut with a lush fabric. Think Kate Hudson in ‘How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days’.

Nili Lotan
Tank slip dress
Champagne, darling?

fuego

Cue the flame emojis... that's all!

self portrait
hall mini dress
fuego

#whatwouldalexado

Embody Kween Alexa with this pretty floral number from her new namesake collection. Vamp it up with a sleek cat eye and you're good to go.

alexachung
floral print cotton-voile dress
#whatwouldalexado

90s bombshell

Two words: KATE MOSS. Think luminous skin (all over, of course), faux fur stole (if it's a bit chilly) and a glass of bubbles in hand... you get the picture.

Attico
Letizia Dress
90s bombshell

Ruffle Tear Dress

This dress is pure perfection. Pair it with boots for a harder look or some strappy heels to embrace the femininity.

Zimmermann
STRANDED EMBROIDERY DRESS
Ruffle Tear Dress

LBD

Valentino's classic style LBD has some definite 1920's Chanel vibes (hells yeah).

Red Valentino
Point D'esprit-Paneled Dress
LBD

Baby blues

Really stand out with this fun dress by Alice McCall. The asymmetric cut shows a bit of leg while still being classified as a midi length.

Alice McCall
I feel it coming midi dress
Baby blues

Robe Lyf

So chic it hurts. Accessorise this amazing silk satin gown with statement earrings and you're guaranteed to be the belle of the ball.

Michael Lo Sordo
silk-satin maxi dress
Robe Lyf
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