Back To Basics: The Dos And Don’ts Of Wearing A Dress

The Dos And Don’ts Of Wearing A Dress

A dress has been a staple piece in many women’s wardrobes since the beginning of society. It’s a fashion item that offers comfort and beauty to the wearer and a fancier option over T-shirts and jeans. For those who prefer wearing something elegant while doing errands, dresses also serve as fantastic casual outfits. 

However simple wearing a dress may sound, specific rules still apply. These rules aren’t strict, but they help those unaccustomed to dresses. Check out this article if you’d like to wear more dresses or improve your fashion sense with dresses. 

Here’s an essential guide to what you should and shouldn’t do when wearing your dresses.

#1. Do Play Around With Layers

A lovely dress on its own is already a sight to see. For instance, consider a summer dress you love but find too chilly for the fall. By adding a denim jacket and a pair of leggings, you can transform it into a cozy autumn outfit. Or take a simple black dress and pair it with a brightly colored scarf and matching cardigan for a pop of color. But that doesn’t mean you should limit the ways you can amplify its beauty. Layering is a fashion technique that works well with most dresses as they often leave room on your body to add one piece over another. 

Layering is also an ideal method for adapting dresses to colder months. Styling a long dress for all seasons often involves adding layers to improve the overall outfit. Most people put a structured jacket or a comfy cardigan over it, while some use their dress as the top layer for a shirt or turtleneck.

Layers also help you create new looks with your dresses, especially if you have a particular favorite. Pairing a different layer with one dress gives you a fresh and new outfit every time. Hence, layering is an excellent technique if you have a minimalist wardrobe or own only one or two dresses. 

The Dos And Don’ts Of Wearing A Dress

#2. Do Dress For The Occasion

Special events, like weddings, often have a dress code that guests must follow if they’re attending. For example, it’s an unspoken rule in many cultures that only the bride should wear white. So, if someone invites you to a wedding, you can’t wear white or a similar shade. 

Following the event’s dress code shows you respect the host or the theme. It also makes you fit in with the occasion and lets fellow guests know you’re a part of the celebration. If you have questions or are unsure what to wear, don’t hesitate to ask the event’s host so you know what the dress code allows.

When you understand the dress code, you may bypass it to show your personality in your outfit. Dresses should always make you feel more confident about yourself. Feel free to add a few accessories or pieces you like to make your dress comfortable despite dress codes. But remember to do that within reason to avoid looking out of place.

#3. Do Choose Dresses That Flatter Your Body

While you’re free to wear whatever dress you want, it’s important to note that certain styles and cuts look better on specific body types. Some people like to look slimmer or emphasize their height, so wearing a particular dress design helps.

That’s why you should know your body shape before buying a dress. The four most common ones are the hourglass, triangle or pear, inverted triangle or apple and rectangle. But there are nuances to each shape because everyone’s body is different. Knowing your body type will make finding a flattering dress much easier.  

The little black dress is a perfect first dress for fashion newbies. Many come in fit and flare shapes, which are universally flattering for any body type, plus size or otherwise. Wearing dresses that fit your body well and are the length you want keeps you from feeling uncomfortable.

The Dos And Don’ts Of Wearing A Dress

Now that we’ve covered some of the best practices for wearing a dress, let’s move on to a few things you should avoid. Here are some ‘don’ts’ to keep in mind.

#1. Don’t Over-Accessorize

While it’s okay for your accessories to catch attention, your dress should be the focal point of your outfit. Think about the time you saw a woman at a party with a stunning red dress, but she wore so many accessories that the dress was almost overlooked. A simple pair of diamond earrings would have been enough to complement the dress without overshadowing it. Wearing different jewelry pieces can pull the focus away from a beautiful dress and make you look tacky.

Follow the ‘less is more’ rule by limiting your accessories to at least one key piece. If your dress features many details, the more you must reduce the jewelry you have on you. An example is forgoing a chunky necklace if you already wear statement earrings. 

Simple and subtle accessories often bring a fantastic dress to the forefront. So, consider going easy with the bling when you have a dress with vivid colors or patterns.

#2. Don’t Wear Anything That Makes You Uncomfortable

Many dresses have skin-revealing cuts that not everyone enjoys wearing. Unless you like to show off your body, don’t force yourself to wear a garment that makes you hide in a corner.  

You can choose from various gorgeous dresses that work for modest individuals. Options like maxi dresses and long-sleeved gowns are ideal for those who prefer to cover up. In many formal events, people don’t find these dresses overly prude. 

Proper styling turns a body-covering dress into a classy and elegant outfit. Sometimes, a modest gown could outshine an overtly sexy one. The latter isn’t a terrible choice per se. It all depends on who’s wearing it and whether the person likes their dress.

#3. Don’t Limit Yourself With What You’re Used To

The fantastic thing about fashion is that it constantly evolves. A trend will pop up every year if not every season. There’s always something new to wear, especially regarding dresses. Designers always develop styles that borrow from previous trends and current experiments.

Even if you don’t follow trends religiously, it doesn’t hurt to try one of them. It’s essential to stay comfortable in a dress. But it’s also great to step outside your comfort zone occasionally. So, try out some new outfits when you feel like it. Switch to mini dresses if you’ve always worn knee-length ones. Go for a textured and colorful popcorn dress instead of a smooth A-line.

You’ll never know when you’ll find an outfit that brings out your best features. A trendy dress you haven’t tried before might even become a clothing piece you’ll eventually love.


Despite the customs surrounding dresses, styling a dress is ultimately up to you. This article is a brief guide for those who’ve never worn one. After all, it’s always best to know the rules before breaking them. They’re there for you to abide by until you’re ready to explore new styles and prevent you from sticking out at the next party or formal event.

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