Your School Formal is the most anticipated event of the year and in the age of social media, it’s arguably more stressful for Millennials than any generation that has come before. This ceremonial rite of passage is for many, the highlight of the school year, but pulling of the picture-perfect formal can come with a pinch of social anxiety. We’ve compiled the Ultimate School Formal Style Guide, so you can create a lavish look for your special night, without the stress!
Ultimate School Formal Style Guide 2018
The Planning Process
A lot of effort goes into finding the perfect look for your school formal (dress, shoes, hair, makeup) and it’s practically the only thing everyone in school is talking about. You’ve been trawling Instagram for inspiration, creating mood boards and pinning your ideas for months, you’ve even got a dedicated ‘School Formal’ chat with your girlfriends and this planning stage is all a part of the fun. But with so many ideas and inspiration out there, it can be difficult to translate that into something real.
Making an entrance in front of everyone in your year group can incite equal amounts of excitement and fear, but that’s where we come in. At GlamCorner, we’re School Formal veterans. Whilst we can’t guarantee you won’t look back in 20 years and question your choice of shoes, your haircut or even your date; by following our step-by-step guide, we will help you navigate the minefield of potential fashion faux pas, so you can create the ultimate show-stopping look for your school formal. So grab a coffee and take a few deep breaths, you’re about to learn everything you need to know from our team of professionals! Trust us, we’ve been there.
The Perfect Dress
Image source: Refinery29.com
It’s formal season and that can only mean one thing, dress shopping! All over the country, girls from Year 10, 11 and 12 will be searching for a school formal dress, a shopping experience like no other! So much emphasis is placed on finding the perfect dress and the pressure is on to look your very best. I have attended my fair share of school formals and I have a closet full of ugly gowns to prove it! I remember dragging my mum up and down the high street every weekend, searching for ‘the one’ which was proving very difficult to find. Growing up in the country, we didn’t have access to designer labels or the latest trends and dress rental, was an industry that just did not exist! In the age of Facebook, no one wants to be seen in the same dress twice and trust me, no matter how good your intentions might be, you’ll never wear your school formal dress ever again. We’re on a mission to create the best night of your life, so let us make the shopping process pain free! Use our try-on service, order a backup dress and give us a call if you need more advice, by following our Ultimate School Formal Guide, you will get all the guidance you need to prepare for the biggest event in your social calendar – to date! It’s going to be a night you will never forget! Rent, slay, return, it’s literally that easy.
Image source: Pinterest
We use clothes everyday as an expression of our character, so at the most formative time in a teenage girl’s life, how do you pick the perfect formal dress that will accurately match your vibe? Whether you’re going for a long princess style gown, a sequin bodycon midi or just something totally different, what do you want your dress to say about you? GlamCorner has got something for every budget, body and style, after all being yourself is the most fashionable thing you can do! But with an endless wardrobe to choose from, how do you pick just one? Hollywood is renowned for it’s ridiculously unrealistic depictions of high school stereotypes and friendship cliques however there’s something empowering about strength in numbers. We’ve broken our collection down into 7 key fashion personalities, so you and your squad can find the perfect dress to express your style! #squadgoals
What is your Fashion Personality?
1. The Classicists
You prefer to wear basics and invest in classic, staple pieces that you can wear from season to season! Your go-to daytime look is jeans and a t-shirt and whilst you love looking glam, comfort come first! You’ve dreamed of wearing a princess-style ball gown since you were a little girl and you can totally rock a modern, elegant updo! Browse our collection of princess gowns by designers such as Jadore, Pasduchas and Elle Zeitoune featuring floor length gown, A-line shapes and romantic pastel colours for a red carpet worthy look
2. The Bombshells
Your daytime style is flirty and feminine and you know how to accentuate your curves. You’re a social butterfly and you turn heads wherever you go! You’re most comfortable in slinky silhouettes with plunging necklines and thigh high splits. It’s important to keep in mind that you’re attending a school formal so you need to get the right balance, focusing on only one body part helps! You need a dress with movement so you can dart through the crowds and twirl on the dancefloor. Be inspired by old Hollywood glamour with our collection of gowns by Halston Heritage, Tinaholy and Jadore that feature vibrant colours, daring cut-outs and figure hugging silhouettes.
3. The Bohemians
You’re a dreamer, a romantic and a creative. You’ve mastered the modern day bohemian style and your daytime look is effortless and ethereal. As a free spirit, you feel most comfortable in long floaty gowns. A flower child that embraces pretty pastels, romantic prints and dresses adorned in lace and tulle. We’ve got the ultimate collection of luxurious yet effortlessly cool gowns that will embrace your beautifully romantic style! Featuring designers such as We Are Kindred, The Jetset Diaries and Keepsake The Label, we have no doubt that you’ll be a fresh addition to the fashion crowd!
4. The Ladies
You know how to make a statement in the most ladylike manner and your daytime style is prim, polished and well put together. Your refined sense of style calls for a dress with clean lines and a rich colour palette. Showcase your expensive taste with a feminine silhouette that accentuates the waist in the most elegant manner! Think pretty, posh and timeless! Choose from our curated collection of sophisticated silhouettes, featuring designers such as Tadashi Shoji, Rebecca Vallance and Self Portrait for a range of dresses that will add a hint of regal to your special occasion!
5. The Mavericks
You’re a natural born leader and hate to follow the trends. Your worst nightmare is showing up to an event with someone else wearing a dress that even remotely looks like yours! You love trying new designers and experimenting with bold, fashion-forward looks. You’ll be wearing a one-of-a-kind gown (or you may even stray away from the conventional gown to a suit!) to your high school formal, and next year all the kids will follow! Be inspired by designers such as Trelise Cooper, SKIVA and C/MEO Collective and for bold colours and on-trend designs; for a dress that is bold and brave as you are!
6. The Minimalists
Your daytime style is simple, chic and surprisingly consistent. With a toned down colour palette, black is your best friend! Your organised, practical and no-fuss approach to dressing calls for an elegant gown with clean lines but you’re not afraid to adorn your simple gown with dazzling jewels, which will be the talking point of the night! Classic doesn’t have to mean boring, browse our collection of our all time favourite dresses featuring designers such as Nicole Miller and Unspoken for a dress that oozes timeless chic. When you look back on your high school formal pictures in 20 years time, your gown will be just as beautiful!
7. The Eclectics
You’re the life and soul of every party and look fabulous at all times! When it comes to your personal style, more is more! You know exactly how to have fun with fashion and love to play with colour, texture and shape. For you, there’s no such thing as blending into the crowd. You’ll dazzle and shine in head to toe sequin or make a statement with bold colours and loud patterns. Be inspired by our collection of dresses that boast decadent embellishments by designers such as, Tadashi Shoji, Theia and Alice McCall.
Image source: Elle.com
Your school formal is a special occasion, it’s the pinnacle of your high school career! It’s important to create a look that is unique but in the world of fast fashion, it’s important that your look will also last the test of time! After all, just like your wedding day, you’re going to be looking back on these photos for years to come, complete with an Instagram legacy! So when it comes to your school formal, you should avoid trying to incorporate seasonal trends into your look, as you know, trends come and go.
Yves Saint Laurent famously once said, “Fashion fades, style is eternal” and in a world of fast fashion, nothing can be more true. It’s ok to be inspired by trends but you must try to resist blindly following them. As a teenager, I thought that I knew everything about fashion, believing it could be bought on my local high street; with each season I would jump from one trend to another. With hindsight I realise that with age, comes wisdom (sort of) and as you get older, you learn more about yourself than you could ever imagine; nowhere is this more relevant than when it comes to dressing and developing your own personal sense of style. I hate to tell you but it takes time!
Image source: Elle.com
If you’ve already honed your personal style before you hit your 20’s, congratulations! I wish I had figured it out that early but for most of us, it takes a few years of practice, trial and error and lots of bad panic-purchases to really understand and define your own personal style.
My early love affair with skinny jeans is the perfect example. When I first discovered the humble skinny jean, I honestly believed that they were the best thing ever made. I even made a promise to myself that I would only ever wear blue skinny jeans with metallic ballet pumps for the rest of my life (seriously). But before you know it, 6 months later, jeans had turned to leggings, pumps to platforms and my ‘know it all’ approach to dressing was suddenly démodé. It’s almost 10 years later and whilst skinny jeans are still ‘out’ I know what styles work for on my body regardless of whether they are trending or not.
Approach your school formal event with confidence, know what colours work well with your skin tone, consider your body shape and play to your strengths! Dressing in a way that makes you feel comfortable and embracing your favourite features is the key to confidence dressing.
You have finally found the perfect dress, but in order to pull off your show-stopping look with confidence and grace, you also need to consider what you’re going to wear underneath, because that’s what really counts. Visible bra straps are a no-no and if you’re wearing a form fitting dress, you can kiss your comfortable underwear goodbye.
Image source: The Sun
Shapewear can be traced back to 16th century Europe and whilst they were far less comfortable than the Spanx we know and love today (think tightly laced corsets with metal inserts) the same idea applies. Shapewear is designed to enhance your silhouette, it won’t give you an instant hourglass figure, but instead will smooth out your lumps and bumps, giving you that extra little bit of confidence you deserve! The important thing to remember is to buy the correct size, don’t make the mistake of going up a size (it just won’t work) or down a size as anything too tight will create some extra bumps and even worse, you can experience that annoying rolling effect which is both uncomfortable and unflattering. It’s best not to wear underwear when wearing shapewear as the whole point is to create a slim, seamless shape, you don’t need any unnecessary bulk!
If you decide not to wear shapewear, it’s important to choose the right underwear for your dress! Forget your regular daytime undies, when it comes to occasion dressing you need something special that will work with your gown, seamless nude or flesh coloured styles work best with most outfits. Regrettably, it was only in my later 20’s that I discovered the magic of commando underwear (where have you been all my life?) and the ultimate invisible G-string is my go-to for any event that requires formal attire. Visible panty lines are not acceptable and under no circumstances should should they make an appearance on your special night, so take my advice, you’ll thank me later!
Image source: Pinterest
Whether you’re rocking a strapless gown or an asymmetric evening dress, it’s not always easy to find the perfect formal dress that is also bra-friendly, so it’s important to consider your options in advance, after all, comfort is key. If you have a small chest and don’t need too much support, this can be fairly straight forward. Most of the time, you can go bra-less but remember to use headlight dimmers, (it’s a school formal afterall) they are seamless and most importantly comfortable and are the perfect complement to any bra-less dress. Or you can choose to use stick-on silicone cups, the adhesive covers are easy to use and they can even give you a little boost to your cup size!
Vogue’s declaration that, ‘the décolletage has gone out of fashion’ is all very well said but what’s a girl to do when cleavage is no longer trending? For most big-chested women, boobs are a way of life and won’t simply disappear because the catwalk dictates so, moreover, your bust should not compromise your confidence or your personal style. If you have a bigger bust and require more support, you might want to consider a v-neckline or scoop cut dress; don’t feel restricted to wearing a long sleeve dress but this style can provide balance and might be a good idea if you wish to wear a supportive bra. Depending on the style of your dress, a good strapless bra might be all you need, just remember that comfort must come first, whether you’re with or without cleavage.
Image source: Seventeen.com
If you’re anything like me, you struggle to walk in heels but love to spend the night on the dancefloor! For years, skyscraper stiletto heels have not only been all the rage, but often, were the only option when it comes to occasion footwear. Luckily this season, fashion has reimagined the evening shoe and midi heels are trending! Court shoes, mules and sandals, all boasting 2-4inch heels are the perfect delicate, ladylike complement to an evening dress and signal the start of a new era. Whilst this style is not for everyone, there are lots of fashion solutions to keep you dancing in your stilettos all night long! No matter how sore your twinkle toes might get, try not to kick your shoes off halfway through the night, as it’s not the best good look. Heel guards or comfortable gel cushions are a good investment and if in doubt, keep some bandaids in your purse! Top tip, try your shoes on before your event, wear them around the house and break them in wearing comfy socks; doing so, will help avoid you stumbling up or down the staircase!
Image source: Vogue.com
So the big night is finally upon us and there’s a lot of pressure on you to create a flawless look. You don’t need me to tell you that now is not a good time to try a new foundation or eyeshadow shade. Instead it’s better to stick to what you know, the tried and tested products that work well with your skin. By following our simple beauty guide, we’ll help you try and avoid any last minute disasters so you can create the perfect selfie!
You Are What You Eat
Image source: Vogue.com
The bad news is, if you’re only starting your beauty routine on the night of your event, it’s a little too late. Preparation is key to creating a flawless look and it’s important to have a healthy beauty routine that doesn’t just rely on makeup. So in the weeks leading up to your event focus on maintaining a balanced diet, increase your water intake and eat foods that are high in Omega 3 (good news for avocado on toast lovers).
When it comes to skin prep, it doesn’t have to be stressful, my top tip is to start each day with a glass of water and a dash of lemon. It’s a really easy and refreshing way to increase the antioxidants in your body and boost collagen production, smoothing out lines in your face. It even helps relieve stress from the body, it’s basically a superfood for your skin! Do this before your morning coffee for maximum results! Maintaining this routine in the lead up to your event will help avoid a last minute breakout the day before your special occasion! When it comes to snacking, foods such as chia seeds, pineapple and almonds are all easy but powerful ways to protect your skin, boost cell regeneration and give you that inner glow you desire! You know what they say, you are what you eat!
For my school formal, one of my best friends got her makeup done ‘professionally’ for the first time, without meeting the self-proclaimed makeup artist beforehand. Unfortunately for her, she experienced the biggest beauty disaster possible. Let’s say the end result was more Krusty the Clown than Kendall Jenner, so after lots tears, a mini tantrum and a few deep breaths, we had to calmly remove her makeup and start from scratch. Whilst I’m not against hiring a professional but if you’re going to put your trust in a makeup artist, it’s best to have a consultation beforehand, and brief them on your beauty routine and personal style; you might even want to schedule a trial a few weeks before so there are no surprises on the night.
No matter how organised you might be, last minute hair and beauty emergencies can be unavoidable, after all, you’ve got butterflies in your stomach and you’re shaking with excitement! No matter what might go wrong along the way, we’ve got the backstage beauty tips and quick fixes to help you avoid any potential disasters. We’ve compiled a guide, in six easy steps to guarantee you’ll leave the house with the supermodel seal of approval you deserve.
1. Too much foundation
- Image source: Allure.com
The benefits of wearing foundation for an evening event (as opposed to a tinted moisturiser or BB cream) are amazing as it will give you an even skin tone, better coverage and it’s generally longer lasting, so not too many touch-ups are needed. However applying too much foundation can cause a ‘caked’ or creasing effect, highlighting all the wrong areas. To avoid this, prep your skin with a facial oil or moisturiser, then place a small amount of foundation on the back of your hand and apply to your face using a damp blending sponge to avoid applying too much. When it comes to selecting a shade, remember that you want to enhance your natural skin tone, not change it completely, select a colour that will complement your original complexion.
2. Too much bronzer/blush
Image source: Vogue.co.uk
Bronzer and blush can make or break your look, whilst you long for a glowing complexion, with one wrong brush stroke, it can all end up in tears, entering Krusty the Clown territory. If you do apply too much, here are some tips so you don’t have to start from scratch! When using powder, take a brush and gently sweep outwards. If you’re using a liquid/cream, add a tiny amount of foundation to the area and using your fingers, you can blend until you’re happy. I would recommend using a liquid bronzer as they create the most natural glowing effect, blending beautifully into the skin.
3. Streaky tan
From streaky legs to patchy knees and endless shades of orange, there’s really nothing worse than a poorly applied tan. Whether you’re off to the salon, or applying it at home yourself, it’s important to get this right so you might want to do a small patch test to ensure you’re happy with the colour, and avoid any nasty surprises on the day of your event. The first step to achieving a sun-kissed tan, is to exfoliate your skin 8 hours beforehand and remove any unwanted hair. Avoid wearing tight fitted clothing after you have applied the tan, baggy pants and flip flops are the best options, no socks or sneakers allowed. To get the most out of your tan, apply a gradual tanner when you moisturiser after the shower. If you can’t be bothered with fuss, an instant tan is much easier to apply evenly and you can wash it off the next day!
4. Dry lips
Image source: Allure.com
There’s nothing worse than applying lipstick to dry, cracked lips, so give them some TLC in the lead up to your big event! Use a lip balm daily to keep them soft and supple. If you suffer from sore, chapped lips, pop a thin cucumber slice on them for a few minutes per day for an instant refresh and some much needed hydration. If you do find yourself with some last minute dry skin, on the day of your special event, gently use a clean, soft toothbrush and brush back and forth away dead skin and polish the lips! My go-to lip scrub is super effective and gentle on the skin; and the best news is, you can make it yourself at home in under five minutes! Mix some brown sugar, coconut oil, honey and water together in a little pot and you’ve got yourself a natural, homemade lip scrub. Say bye to dry lips forever!
5. False lashes that won’t stay put
Image source: Whowhatwear.co.uk
We all long for gorgeous, fluttering eyelashes! False lashes can be ultra glamorous and make you feel like a real beauty queen but perfecting this look takes patience and practice! It’s not a good idea to try this look on the night of your event, we’ve all witnessed that awkward moment when someone has glued a little bit of their eye shut or when they reappear from the dancefloor with a set missing. To avoid the drama, ditch the falsies and invest in a good mascara, using the old-fashioned (but trusted) eyelash curler instead. Apply multiple coats for a dramatic look, just remember to wipe your wand of excess mascara before applying!
6. Too tight curls
You wanted long, bouncy waves but instead, you’ve returned home from your hair appointment with the dreaded ‘too tight curl’ which is enough to make any grown woman cry. If Shirley Temple wasn’t the look you were going for, don’t stress, too tight curls is an easy fix! For a stylish, wavy un-done look, use a medium sized hair brush to gently pull down on each curl, using your blow dryer to soften the look. Use a light hold spray to keep them in place! If you plan to do your hair at home yourself, start practising 2-4 weeks before and you’ll be a master when it comes to creating perfectly tousled hair! Remember, curls work best in day old hair, so be sure to wash your hair the day before your event for the best results!
The Finishing Touches
Long gone are the days when you must match your earrings to your necklace or even your shoes but it is important to pay attention to your accessories so that they complete your look in a cohesive way. My sister wore a classic strapless gown to her school formal, an elegant, black full length dress. She almost had the perfect look but her decision to accessorise it with a choker (the first time they were in fashion) dated her look back to exactly when it came from, September 1999.
Instead, it’s better to opt for a piece of jewellery that is timeless and chic and it doesn’t have to be brand new! Have a rummage in your mum’s jewellery box, you never know what delights you might find! Mix and match grandma’s heirlooms with your new favourite earrings for a unique, personal touch! It might seem obvious but you don’t need to wear a watch, swap it out for a dazzling bracelet instead and whilst a tiara is a little OTT, it’s ok to wear a headpiece but if you do, keep it simple. Be inspired by this season’s bejewelled headbands or the chic and simple disc hair slides as seen on the SS18 runways.
Image source: Melbournegirl.com
Your friends have arrived and your mum is busy organising the obligatory awkward photoshoot in the hall. The car is waiting and you’re about to dash out the front door but before you go, make sure you’ve prepped your clutch in advance so you don’t forget any of your evening essentials! The word ‘essential’ is key here, less is more, you don’t want to carry a bulky purse all night!
- Bank card/cash
- Lipstick (long lasting)
- Travel sized perfume
- Bobby pins
- Powder puff (to reduce shine)
Make an Entrance
No matter how you plan to make your entrance, it’s important to strike a balance between embarrassingly early and fashionably late. Nobody wants to be the first on the dancefloor, but for my school formal, we got it totally wrong. We hired a hummer (it was cool back then) and our driver was over an hour late. We were the last guests to arrive, so in the end, no one saw our fabulous entrance as everyone was already inside the venue. Needless to say we also missed the champagne and canapes upon arrival.
Nothing beats a grand entrance, and whilst many of the trappings associated with school formals are either outdated or a little cliché, you only go to your school formal once! So roll out the red carpet and cue the music, your chariot awaits!
Image source: Telegraph.co.uk
Looking back on my high school formal, even though I cringe a little bit, it’s difficult not to get nostalgic thinking about love, life and friendships all those years ago! It’s an exciting, coming-of-age time, complete with lovestruck teens, awkward dancing and a hint of teenage rebellion. Perhaps above all, this over-the-top celebration is all about the dress. Over time, certain memories and details may fade but you’ll never forget the dress you wore and how fabulous it made you feel! By following our Ultimate School Formal Style Guide, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know to be the best dressed guest. It’s time to make some memories! Rent, slay, return, it’s literally that easy.