For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

3 Ways to add Individuality to a Formal Look

Red Alie Street Morgan Dress | 3 ways to add Individuality to a Formal Look.

Expressing ourselves using makeup and fashion is fun, and an important part of who we are.

Your own personal style sends a message to the world (whether you like it or not) and we are lucky to be able to dress according to our personality, or mood.

{Mostly mood in my case! 😛}

However, sometimes we all need to dress for a specific occasion.
Whether it's a strict daily work environment, a special day out, or a one-off meeting.
Sticking to the "rules" can't always be avoided!

Luckily, even the most formal of occasions can still allow us to inject a little of 'ourselves' into our outfit.
No matter how subtle that nod to our personality is, it can make a HUGE difference to the way we feel.

While we are touching on the subject of the (style) constraints of certain situations I must stress that 'occasion appropriate' dressing is NOT the same as 'age appropriate' dressing.

In fact, I firmly believe in NEVER dressing age-appropriately.
I find the whole idea patronising, and insulting.
Suiting our body shapes (and colouring) is a much better idea!

We are very lucky to live in a time when society no longer expects us to look a certain way at a certain age.
(Remember when 30 was considered old?)
Anything goes in the modern world!

Red Alie Street Morgan Dress | 3 ways to add Individuality to a Formal Look.

However, being occasion appropriate is sometimes essential... regardless of age.
BUT, you don't have to leave your personality at home when a more serious occasion arises.
A few touches can personalise even the most stuffy of looks!

Red Alie Street Morgan Dress | 3 ways to add Individuality to a Formal Look.

I needed this outfit to strike a good balance between formality and individuality.
I wanted to portray confidence, and "fake" being totally in control of the situation.

Nothing says "Of course I know what I am doing." better than red!

For me, this red dress is the perfect balance between a formal style and a fiery personality.
Superbly comfortable, flatteringly cut, modestly styled and beautifully made.
What more could you ask for?

Red Alie Street Morgan Dress | 3 ways to add Individuality to a Formal Look.

I kept things formal with simple t-bar shoes (in a darker tone than my dress)
and popped on a pair of sheer tights, for that polished look.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find my structured burgundy bag (I worry that I might have given it away!) so I had to use this checked tote as a last minute substitute.

It's a lovely bag but NOT as professional as I was looking for.
{Luckily, it spend most of it's time on the back of a chair away.}

A bold, but 'classic' brooch finished things off nicely.

Red Alie Street Morgan Dress | 3 ways to add Individuality to a Formal Look.

3 Subtle Ways to Add Personality to a Formal look

1. Pick Colours you Love

Classic shapes are much more interesting to wear when you choose a colour you enjoy.
It doesn't have to be as bold as this red dress, even a hint of colour can work beautifully.
(Forest green, plum, royal blue and rich teal are all delicious shades.)

2. Add a Statement Accessory

I chose this bold vintage brooch, but choose what you love just keep it 'classic'.
Leave novelty pieces (like this or this!) for another day.

3. Consider the Details

Subtle signature perfume.
A manicure, using shades you love!
Simple statement makeup... I chose natural (looking) skin, neutral eyes and a red lip.
All of these touches are personal to YOU.

An extra thought...

What about hosiery?
Love them or loath them, tights can help make you look polished and your outfit finished.
They can really improve the look of your legs and the comfort of your shoes.
Just avoid cheap tights, or any that are showing signs of wear.
Cheaply made, or 'bobbly' tights really ruin the look of your legs... and your whole outfit!

What do you wear when you have to dress formally?
Do you still add your own touches?
What are they?

Please share in the comments.
I would love to hear from you!

MORGAN DRESS: c/o Alie Street
SHOES: Clarks
BROOCH: Vintage



  1. I adore those shoes! And you wear red so well, the lippy is a perfect match. Brooches or statement necklaces are what I use for this sort of look, along with tights in the same colour (if wearing suitable colour- green would look too much like Robin Hood!)

    1. Hahahaha...I've done that too Gail and someone asked me if I was auditioning for a panto!

  2. Clearly it's "all about the red" with this simple but classically styled dress. You are making a big statement and I think it's due to the crimson color as you've suggested. The pin looks like an artisan piece and adds the perfect bit of zip and those shoes are one of my favorite styles because I think the t-strap e!ongates the leg. A confident look without being unapproachable!

    1. Thank you Judy.
      T-bars really do lengthen the leg a little, don't they?
      These shoes have a little platform too, which helps a little more!

  3. Yes, love this outfit and particularly the shoes - this season?

    1. Sorry Sam, no.
      They are last year's.
      I know that clarks has similar styles though and they are very comfy.

  4. beautiful brooch and shoes! the dress fits you perfectly

    Inside and Outside Blog

  5. I'm awful at dressing formally, so I admire your skills and fabulous attitude to do it with personality!, your style rocks and you look perfect!
    Your red dress fits you like a dream, your brooch is an amazing touch and your shoes look so cute!. I'm not a huge fan of sheer tights, however I think that you wear them very elegantly!

  6. This is such an elegant look! Love the dress!

  7. Lovely way you styled it. I especially like the burgundy shoes with the bold red dress. A combination I would never have come up with. Clever you.
    And for me: I seldom have to dress formal and if I do I have enough stuff to make it nice and me.


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