Sometimes it only takes one dress — but just the right one — to make the occasion. And spring is full of those special occasions, from graduations to weddings to fundraisers. Having one go-to dress is always a good idea. Here are some of the best ways to dress the part this year so that when those invitations arrive, you'll be ready — because you never want to wait till the last minute to find the perfect thing to wear to that big event.
—Address color. It's the fastest way to update your dress wardrobe this year. Though those little black dresses are always in style and always great to have hanging out in your closet, you never want to underestimate the power of color. This spring and summer, that color may be the brightest yellow or the palest lilac. Pick your palette, but do consider wearing a new hue to the party. You'll feel like a whole new you.
—Address hemlines. There's a dress length for everyone this season, from short minis to long maxis. Of course, the occasion may determine what hemline you choose; a micro miniskirt might not be the most appropriate way to impress your boyfriend's parents at his college graduation. But you'll also want to consider what style of dress is most flattering to your own body shape. If a floor-sweeping maxi overwhelms your petite frame, then consider sticking to more of a ruffled tea dress with a midi hemline or a body-conscious fringed shift dress that hits right below the knees.
—Address prints. The flower power is fierce this year — and these are not just any itsy-bitsy-ditsy floral prints. The new floral prints are statement-making prints reminiscent of artistic designs mixed and matched in a fresh way, giving them a modern twist. Daisies are one of the most popular fashion bloomers this spring, but polka dots are also vying for attention. Look for prints in vintage-inspired silhouettes, such as fit-and-flare '50s dresses or '90s slip dresses.
—Address shine. If you really want to step up your dress game, then you'll love the new way to sparkle in a dress. Sequins are shimmering for day and night. There's a little disco diva that's dancing into fashion this year, and it's time to have some fun. In gold, silver or even pastels, sequins shine. The newest way to do a cool party look: a denim jacket over a sequin slip dress. So don't be afraid to glimmer and glow as that stylish wedding guest. Just be careful not to outshine the bride.
—Address the non-dress. Yes, if you're not a dress person — and some of us just aren't — there are plenty of other options for special occasions. The jumpsuit is a great alternative and a major trend this year. The trouser suit is another way to up the glam factor; in white, it's a warm-weather winner. And a flowing pleated skirt or silky palazzo pants paired with an elegant blouse are always appropriate. The best way to address the dress — during any time of the year — is to wear what you feel the most comfortable in. That's always the way to dress for success.
To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
Bold florals flourish in spring's best dresses. Pictured is a ruffled maxi dress in one of the season's hottest hues, sunflower yellow, by PatBO at Anthropologie.