Formal Event Style Ideas For The Formally Confused

Not a day goes by where someone does not post a picture of an outfit on Facebook (mostly in private groups consisting of 99.999% female membership) asking if it is appropriate to wear to a wedding or another large event. After all, if you've only been to two weddings ever, one of which was your second cousin twice removed's third wedding, how are you really supposed to know what to wear? There's no shame in that. But, if you are uncomfortable asking a group of 2,000-20,000 women what they think, just keep it to yourself and keep these guidelines in mind instead.  

A Little Black Dress Is Appropriate For Everything

I feel like this is a good rule for life. The classic little black dress is classic for a reason. You will never regret buying one. There is a little black dress for every size, shape, body type and budget. Even if you don't need one at the moment, you should always have one on hand because you never know when you will be invited to a last minute event.

If Black Isn't Your Bag, Try Navy

I love navy because it's a more cheerful version of black. It's equally flattering but a little less serious looking. It's also a little lighter for a daytime or outdoor soirée.

Invest In Your Wardrobe

If you find you are going to formal events every so often with different crowds of people, it's a good investment to buy one or two high-quality dresses you can wear from season to season. Then change it up with different shoes and accessories.

Or Snag A Bargain

If you don't have the budget for an investment dress, you can still look fab.  Here are a few ideas under $100.

But Always Follow This Cardinal Rule: Never Ever Wear White, Cream or Any Shade That Could Be Described As "Bridal" To A Wedding

I get it. You look stunning in ecru, but it’s not your day. It’s the bride's. Don’t risk being the guest that ruined her life. Instead, choose a light or pastel color.

So Last Week... Things I Read That Are Totally Worth Your Time

The past seven days have been exhausting for so many of us. As I said in a post earlier this week, if you are feeling stressed or anxious, it’s totally okay to take time out for yourself. Take a yoga class, meditate, get a fancy massage or even just a give yourself a few moments to take a break and read something that has nothing to do with politics. Here are a few suggestions.

Petite Style Script: Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide To Home Manicures With CND Shellac

You don’t have to be petite to appreciate Petite Style Script’s post on home manicures. That being said, I’m terrible at doing my own nails and desperately need to try this method. #goals

Pop Sugar: 12 Ways You're Using Your Beautyblender Totally Wrong

Fun Fact: I’m the only blogger who doesn’t use a Beautyblender, so I will probably never have a post about the best way to use one. Instead, listen to the experts at Pop Sugar.

Lauren Conrad: I Was the First One In My Friend Group to Get Married…Here’s What I Learned

I’m married, but some of my friends are still single. This post written by Jess Burrone rang so true to me.

Mind Body Green: 5 Reasons You Can't Find Lasting Love (And How To Overcome Them)

This essay by Shannon Kaiser is a must-read guide for singles about how manifesting the love of others can only happen once you truly love yourself. While it sounds like a grand concept for a blog post, this essay is incredibly well written and digestible.

Man Repeller: Why Do We Call Our Moms When Bad Stuff Happens?

In this post, a psychologist explains why we still need our parents even when we are adults.

Is there a link I should include in next week’s post? Please email suggestions to AmandaLauren212 [at] gmail.com.

Hot Mess Halloween: Five Costumes You Already Have In Your Closet

Sometimes the scariest (or at the very least, anxiety provoking) part of Halloween is figuring out what you are going to wear. It’s kind of a chore. There are lots of people who take Halloween very seriously, planning out their costumes months in advance. I am not one of those people. If you’re reading this, you probably aren’t either. The only thing I’ve ever planned for in advance was my wedding and even then, I’m pretty sure I made some decisions just minutes before the event started.

This isn’t to say I hate on Halloween. It’s a fun night. I’m just generally pre-occupied with more important things around October 31st than what I’m going to wear for approximately 3.5 hours of my life.

However, just because your costume is an afterthought doesn’t mean it has to look like one. All you need to do is shop your closet. Here are a few stylish options you can put together in just minutes using things you probably already have. And when you get loads of compliments, no one will have any idea that you haven’t been planning your ensemble for the better part of October. Shh! It will be our secret. 

#GirlBoss

Think less Victoria’s Secret Angel and more Angel Investor for this costume. Put on your favorite power suit or biz causal outfit and slay. Don’t forget your cardholder, which is coincidentally a great way for single people to share their phone number the old-school way. 

Dead Bridesmaid or Prom Queen

I can’t think of anything scarier than some of the bridesmaid dresses I’ve seen. Whether it was pretty-but–not-your-style to unflattering or even downright hideous, you probably aren’t going to wear the same bridesmaid dress more than once. So, why not cover the whole thing in fake blood and go all out? Or add a tiara and be a dead prom queen. Either way, the choice is yours.

Naughty SchoolGirl

 

Naughty Schoolgirl is my hot mess Halloween go-to. Revive your old uniform or that kilt you thought you might wear and never did. Then put on a tight polo, sexy knee-high socks and Mary-Janes. Voila! You’ve got yourself a costume. Accessorize with a backpack or messenger bag. Then, put your hair in pigtails or braids. Give your eyes a rest by leaving your contact lenses out for the night and swap them for your sexy specs.

Hipster

If you’re over Halloween for reasons we wouldn’t know about, this is your costume. Pair your favorite flannel button down with skinny jeans or liquid leggings. Just don’t forget your Ray-Bans and a sense of irony. Blast some Bon Iver on your way to the event for some extra inspiration. 

Fitness Instructor

While your workout might require a lot of effort, this costume does not. Much like Halloween costumes over the years, your fitness gear has become a whole lot more revealing, so don’t think you won’t turn heads, even if you are wearing sneakers. Should someone be confused by your costume, take a bite off your favorite candy bar, look that person in the eyes and say you’re a “naughty fitness instructor.” No matter what your sweat is, you probably already have the outfit. Accessorize with a yoga mat.

Fashion Inspired by Slate's Dear Prudence aka Investment(ish) Clothing For Fall

I’m a huge fan of Slate’s Dear Prudence column. While I don’t always agree with Mallory Ortberg's option, I always look forward to reading it. Last week, this question really got me thinking… 

I want to give the letter writer a hug and offer her a cocktail. Not only was her new bag destroyed (seriously the worst), but she also has to be reminded of this awful incident every time she encounters the most inconsiderate coworker in the world.

One argument I noticed came up in the comments was whether $200 was a lot for a handbag. After really thinking about it, I’ve concluded it’s only fair to say that it totally depends on the person and the handbag. $200 might be a steal for some, but a splurge for others.

Sometimes, it’s challenging to write roundups both for this blog and all of the other websites I’ve written for in the past. It’s always been my personal policy to feature products that work for a variety of budgets. There are two reasons for this. The first is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have style. The second reason is that it sucks when nothing is in your reach. I don’t want anyone to read my blog and feel badly about themselves. I’m all about being aspirational, but overly aspirational just isn’t my niche.

However, while fast fashion has it’s place, I am a big proponent of spending a little more to buy quality clothing you’ll want to wear for more than one season aka investment(ish) pieces. Here are some of my favorites for the fall. 

Honkey Tonk Skirt by Draper James

Draper James’ Honky Tonk Striped Skirt is timeless and versatile. Wear it to work with a white button down, a sexy top on date night or with a t-shirt to brunch. At $215, this is one of those bold pieces you can wear just about any place.

I love Draper James. Created by one of my favorite actresses, Reese Witherspoon, the brand is all about curated southern charm that stands out whether you are in Dallas or Detroit.

Chantal Faux Fur Cropped Vest by N:PHILANTHROPY

N:PHILANTHROPY’S Chantal Faux Fur Cropped Vest puts the “vest” in “investment(ish).” . If you’re not a vest person (no judgments here), but like the look, check out the Georgie Faux Fur Cropped Jacket instead. Both are 100% cruelty and guilt free because N:PHILANTHROPY donates 10% of their net proceeds to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the SPCA of Los Angeles.

Alana Cropped Distressed High-Rise Skinny Jeans by J. Brand

For $240, J Brand’s Alana cropped distressed high-rise skinny jeans are the happy medium of being distressed. Finding distressed jeans has been a challenge for me. Jeans that are not distressed enough look I'm wearing something that needs to be thrown out and overly distressed jeans look like I'm trying too hard. 

Luke Lace-Up Blazer by Intermix

For $425 with unique raw edges, Intermix's Luke Lace-Up Blazer is more badass than business. It’s the perfect blazer to wear with your J Brands or with leggings and boots.

Split-Side Wool and Cashmere-Blend Midi Dress by T by Alexander Wang

If you’re missing your summer maxi-dresses, T By Alexander Wang has your fix for fall. Their wool and cashmere blend midi dress is equally comfortable and stylish. For $345, you’ll be able to wear it through the winter with warm leggings.

Meridian Cashmere Wrap by Lilly Pulitzer

This $198 Lilly Pulitzer cashmere poncho does two things. It keeps you warm without being heavy and it adds a fun pop of color to your ensemble. Seriously, if you are one of those people who wears all-black a lot, you need this poncho like water. 

Trista Dress by Trina Turk

If you like Missoni, but also paying your rent, check out Trina Turk’s Trista dress. It’s a really useful fall piece for those of us who live in warmer climates. It’s currently on sale for $283.50 but normally costs $378. 

Adalyn Long Sleeved Blouse by Equipment

If there is one item I think is absolutely essential to spend more money on, it’s a white button down shirt. French label Equipment has built their popularity this type of shirt. While Equipment’s signature style is somewhat menswear inspired, their the Adalyn Long Sleeved blouse has softer lines and is worth every penny of $218.

Laverne Asymmetrical Dress by Alice + Olivia

You need a black dress for forever and the Laverne Asymmetrical Dress from Alice + Olivia is such a keeper. (I seriously want it for myself.) While the asymmetrical look is super trendy right now, this dress is so something you could wear to every wedding and event you ever attend for the rest of your life. I mean you wouldn’t, but you could…