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The most difficult part about choosing an occasion dress is that there are so many restrictions! Don’t wear black (or white) to a wedding. Don’t wear red on the first date. You can’t wear a short dress to a work event. Sequins for holiday parties are too cliche. Who do you listen to? The first rule of occasion dressing is: do you. But if that’s too broad for you, here are day & night dresses for the top 5 occasions of the summer.

Weddings

Weddings are tricky. You want to look good and polished, but you don’t want to outshine the bride. You worry that something might look too revealing in front of all those family members, or that you’ll look too conservative in front of the other guests you’re sharing your table with. You want something that isn’t too stuffy, is easy to move in, and looks clean yet feminine. A skater dress not only flatters your body, but looks polished without being overly saturated. Try a simple wrap dress for a day wedding or a strapless midi dress for an evening wedding.

Company happy hour

This mostly depends on the type of work environment you’re in, but for work events that offer a little more      leeway for your dress code, opt for a structured shirt dress in varying lengths. For a daytime happy hour, try a short mini skater dress with a contrast collar. For letting loose on a Friday night with your coworkers, pick a blazer silhouetted dress with an alluring, but not too risque, front slit.

Holiday party

When it comes to holiday parties, remember that a holiday party thrown by your boyfriend’s parents is not in the same bracket as one thrown by your best friends. Assuming that you know how to dress for family members, here’s an easy tip for your adult-but-not-that-adult holiday parties: whatever you heard about what not to wear at holiday parties, throw it out the window. Are you all about the glitz & glam? Go for the sequins dress. Do you like to keep it classy but ornate? Try a short beaded dress in neutral colors. Like being the belle of the ball but don’t want to glitter right when you walk through the door? A velvet bodycon dress is for you. It’s a party. Have fun with it!

First dates

This is more of a style hack than it is a real do-or-don’t but: dresses that have ties/bows often have a very flirtatious quality about them, even if the dress isn’t particularly sexy. For the first date, keep it simple. You can leave a little to the imagination by not over exposing, but keep the dress at a short length to keep those legs looking long. For a day date, try a lightweight A-line or shift silhouette with knotted straps. For the evening, switch it up to the classic LBDwith long bowtie straps.

Girl’s only

As opposed to the first date dresses, girl’s only dresses are by far our favorite. You’re in good company, so go all out with chic two-piece dresses that show off a little or show off a lot. Whether you’re grabbing brunch with your girlfriends on Sunday or going out to a new hot spot on Saturday night, a solid white dress set ensures that you stand out in a sea of all black dresses. For the day, pick a relaxed fit set that’s playful, light, and airy. For your nighttime adventures, try a bodycon dress set with edgy details like mesh stripes and panels.


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