Style Tips for Special Events

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by Allison Hamilton-Rohe, Daily Outfit

I’ m so excited to be celebrating my niece’s wedding with my family in March in Brooklyn.

Do you have an event to attend this Spring? 

Today’s post is all about how to get ready for your upcoming special event. I’m using my niece’s wedding as a case study and also sharing some great special event looks I created using Pixavo with you. So fun to try out this new tool!

Check Your Requirements: 

march, spring, wedding, brooklyn, new york, friday
Photo by Bich Tran,

Every event has requirements you want to take into consideration.  Weather, the type of the event, appropriate colors and additional details specific to the event itself will all factor into what you choose to wear.

  • Weather:  March is a funny month — it’ll still be cold, but Spring will be in the air.  Our looks will need to ward off the chill or incorporate a layer, but not be too warm for the dance floor.  Check the weather for your event location online so you prep for the right temperature.
  • Type of Event:  My niece’s wedding is on a Friday and is not formal, so that means cocktail attire.  Because it’s New York, it’s bound to be dressy, so we want the looks to feel polished yet fun.  Ask the person inviting you if the invite or save-the-date doesn’t indicate the level of formality.  When in doubt, dress nicely.
  • Colors:  As family, we don’t want to look like we’re IN the wedding, so we need to be respectful of the colors already being used.  The bridesmaids are wearing navy, the groom burgundy and the bride is wearing white (naturally), so all of those colors are OUT.  I also don’t love black for a wedding, but as you’ll see below, there are exceptions.  Many events have a color theme — even if, like my niece, the host hates a theme — which you can tell from the invite.  Take the clue and wear colors that complement if you are able.
  • Specific Needs:  Most important for the bride and groom?  They want us to be comfortable so we get out on the floor and dance!  If the host has asked you to wear a specific color or item, don’t think you’re too cool to do so.  It’s more fun when everyone participates!

Mother-of-the-Bride Look: 

Mother of the bride look

My sister prefers to keep things simple and classic.  We wanted to find something she can dance in (she loves to dance) but also wear again for client meetings or speaking engagements.  This lovely dress checks all those boxes!  She loves wearing her double-strand pearls, which she got for her 50th birthday, so I added these Kate Spade earrings to dress the whole look up.  Like most women, she has issues with her feet so Dansko is her preferred brand.  I’ve given her two options here.  I found a super-inexpensive yet classy envelope clutch for her to wear for this occasion.  Plus, she’s a Clinique fan, so:  lipstick!

Teen Look: 

teen, wedding, spring, march, brooklyn, ted baker, first heels, black patent heels, clutch, pearl earrings, floral dress, skater dress

My daughter is at that wonderful age where she wants to look grown-up, but I don’t want her to look too grown-up!  She’s thirteen, so this fun and flirty Ted Baker skater dress hits all the right notes.  It’s pretty and girly, yet the pattern is on a black background, so she can wear it later with combat boots.  Plus, we got it super on-sale (as it is in the look above), which is perfect for my growing girl.  The fit & flare styling looks lovely on her new curves, but it’s still covered-up enough to be appropriate.  She’s very excited to be wearing her first heels!  And:  pockets!!


This dress is fun and festive, but composed enough to for a family wedding.  I love the colored sequin detailing, which is dressy without being over-the-top. The cap sleeve and past-the-knee length compensate for the lower neckline. Of all my options, this was the bride’s choice — and it is her day! The dress itself will be great for New Year’s Eve or other festive Winter events. I’ll use drop aquamarine earrings my sister gave me and a beaded clutch from my Mother. I’m excited for the great excuse to get a dressy black jacket. This is a piece that’s been missing from my wardrobe and will get year-round play paired with jeans and dresses alike. Additionally, I’ve been needing a new pair of patent leather black heels to wear with my insoles and this block-heel pair will be comfortable and dressy at the same time!

How We Make It Happen:

How We Make It Happen
Photo by Kristina Crane

Putting Together Your Look:

For your specific event, use this process to put together your look:

  1. Determine the Requirements.  Start by asking the following questions to figure out what your requirements are for your upcoming event look:
    1. What will the weather be?
    2. What kind of event is it?
    3. What are appropriate colors or fabrics?
    4. Are there any other specific details spelled out in the invite?
  2. Shop Your Closet.  Take a look in your existing wardrobe first to see if there is anything that fits the above requirements.  Sometimes you’ll want to purchase something new, but you may only need to buy one of the elements of your look.  For example, I am only buying the dress and jacket for this occasion.  Everything else comes from my existing wardrobe.
  3. Set Your Budget.  Before you go shopping, you want to have an idea of how much you’re interested in investing in this look.  For example, for my daughter, I knew she’d likely wear this for the wedding, a Bar Mitzvah, Easter and Graduation, so it made sense to buy something well-made.  I also know she’ll grow, so I was happy to find a piece that was majorly on sale.  That definitely factored into our choice!
  4. Set Aside a Time to Shop.  I like to take clients shopping right at store open if we’re going in-person.  Shopping online is more flexible, but you have to know you have the time to receive your items, try everything on and return if need be.  Waiting until the last minute before an event will create unnecessary stress and you’ll end up with something you had to buy rather than something you love.  Give yourself the time to get it right!
  5. Plan to Re-Purpose.  Ideally, you want to fashion your look out of pieces that can be re-purposed for other occasions.  In this case, all of the looks above have elements that can be re-worn and re-mixed for other occasions.  This lowers the cost-per-wear for your investment of time, money and our planet.

Introducing Pixavo.  Did you notice how I’ve laid out my looks?  I’ve started using Pixavo, which is a great resource for stylists and shoppers alike.  I’ll be using this resource from now on for my Shopping List posts and to create looks for my VIP and 1:1 Clients.  Click on any of the looks above to shop or you can click here to check out my storefront.

Want More on Personal Style?  Join me for my FREE Webinar on 2/22, “The Power of Personal Style” by clicking here to sign up.

Allison Hamilton-Rohe is a Personal Style Coach. Through her unique formula, she helps you create a personal style you can inhabit with ease.  She is a global nomad who currently lives in Silver Spring, MD with her husband, two kids and a sweet Dutch bunny.  Would you like to learn more about how to create your personal style and inhabit it with ease? Sign up today to receive your Personal Style Starter Series

Various style experts offers tips for tomatoes. Plus you’ll find our Red Carpet reviews here too with the hits and misses.

Style Tips & Red Carpet Reviews

Various style experts offers tips for tomatoes. Plus you’ll find our Red Carpet reviews here too with the hits and misses.

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