Ahhhh, birthdays. The day where you ignore the panic of being another year older whilst still thinking that Disney films are the best films around by eating sickening amounts of cake, opening presents and spending time with all of your favourite people. Who doesn’t love their birthday?
Truthfully, I never used to be one for celebrating them much. I was always down for the low key celebrations, the meal with your family, the Costa catch up. My last few birthdays though I have decided to celebrate a little more by getting a group of friends together to go out and do something fun. As you get older, people’s lives tend to fill up with work and relationships and other commitments. Birthdays are a great excuse to gather together all of the people you love and then make memories with them.
This year I chose to do a cocktail making class, see a band and then go out into Leeds. I had a brilliant time, everyone I loved came and I can honestly say it was my best birthday yet.
Rewind to just before the night out though and I faced the biggest dilemma for any birthday girl – the outfit. Arguably this dilemma happens not just for birthdays but for any big event.
You want to look glamorous but not over the top. You want to be comfortable but stylish. You want to be prepared for however the night goes. You want to stand out but for all the right reasons. Birthday (event) outfits are the worst because they have to many boxes to tick but all of which contradict each other.
So I’ve devised a simple checklist to help me plan an outfit that I thought I’d share with all of you lovely readers!
1. Does it hint at your personality? It’s easy to fall into the same pattern with outfits – buy something simple and plain and hope that your smile jazzes it up. Events are not times to blend into the wallpaper and play it safe. If you see something and love it, even if it wouldn’t be something you’d usually wear, then go for it! You might as well. My birthday dress was covered in studs, hinting at the punk side of my personality. I tend to always wear black so my dress was black. Thinking about who you are and what clothes you like makes sure that you buy a dress that is ‘you’ and fits you like a second skin rather than picking something simply because it is on trend.
2. Are you comfortable in it? There is absolutely nothing worse than picking an outfit that you know you will spend half of the night worrying about or pulling up. Events are for fun and socialising, not being paranoid that you look a mess. I never bother about what size I have to buy my dress in as long as it makes me feel comfortable and I know 3 cocktails in I won’t be panicking is too tight.
3. Is it cost effective? We all want to look good for an event, but all also want money to spend at the event. Spending hundreds of pounds on a dress that you will wear once is not value for money. Think about if you will wear it again, if it fits in your budget, if you were to resell it you would make a good return.
4. Is it something everyone else will be wearing? You know the dress – beautiful, expensive looking, so nice that everyone will want it and yes, everyone will buy it. There is nothing worse than being in the same outfit as someone else. You both awkwardly catch each others eye and share a tight smile whilst panicking that you have inadvertently entered a ‘Who Wore It Best?’ competition.
5. Will it go out of style? There’s no point buying something that you will wear once, simple as. It’s a waste of your time and money. If something is an obscure trend for all of 2 weeks, the chances are you will have wasted your money. Think carefully about what cuts and styles and colours you will always like and will always suit your body shape, then go from there.
They are the 5 questions I ask myself every time I buy a ‘special’ dress. This is the dress I ended up wearing for my birthday:
Ignore my slightly award post in the photo but I hope you like the dress! Here are a few other items I have bought for events over the years based on my questions… and yes they are all little black dresses ha!
What questions do you ask yourself when buying a dress for an occasion?