Now that weddings are back in action, I’ve been enjoying the peace of mind of having a fancy dress capsule. What is a fancy dress capsule? It’s a few dresses and accessories that are all ready to go so that parties don’t cause you stress: frantic mall trip the week of the event stress, frantic morning of the event stress when you realize you don’t have a bra that works…all of that is a thing of the past! Here are my dress and accessory must-haves and a reflection on how my fancy items have changed in recent years.
Now that I’ve had one for a while, here’s how I’ve broken down my list of must-haves:
- 1 formal wedding guest dress (in dark/neutral colors)
- 1 cocktail wedding guest dress (in fun colors)
- 1 summer wedding guest dress (I tried to pick one that also goes to wedding/baby showers)
- 1 going out look (mine is a black jumpsuit!)
- 1 pair of neutral heels that are unstoppable
- 1 neutral purse
- 1 strapless bra that is also unstoppable
What’s new? Well, this capsule took me several years to build. The prospect was overwhelming at first because I wanted to only buy items I absolutely loved. My motto was “if it’s not a yes, it’s a no,” and if I hadn’t found the right dress yet, I opted to rent instead until I was ready. Renting was also enlightening, it has (and still does) help me discover new brands and figure out what I really want.
The tales of this capsule are fun because of how long it took to build: my formal dress and jumpsuit are from Norway, my cocktail dress is one I rented on rent the runway, loved, and then found for a deeep discount on Poshmark.
My summer dress was also found on rent the runway–bought from their sale section. It is, randomly, the best cut dress I’ve ever worn. Because picking fancy items can actually be kind of luck, and hit and miss.
What else do I suggest? Tailoring! If the items aren’t quite right there’s nothing effortless about it! I lengthened the pants on the jumpsuit and added a snap at the bust.
Don’t overlook the accessories, either! I have been wearing this block heel for years. I had a few more options and then I thought, heck, I don’t even want to wear the others. I similarly downsized almost every purse in this picture to a simple gold purse. In fact, I now have reversed my outfit planning: every dress I rent or pick out has to match my shoes and purse combo, not the other way around. And I’ve been surprisingly freed up by the choice!
Last thing: this strapless bra, which I added last year (not affiliated with this brand but if you’re in the market for one you can get $20 off here!). It comes with the highest endorsement I can give a strapless bra, which is that it doesn’t entirely ruin my vibe all day. It’s still a bra. It’s still strapless. It does its job though.
It took a few years, but I can now approach almost every event without a single second of “what will I wear to this thing?!”
Also shout out to Trevor for his guest appearances throughout this blog post 🙂 Do you have any strategies for shopping for formal events?
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