I have this thing for hotels. I think it comes from my mom – there is something about being somewhere comfortable while experiencing something brand new. We got the chance to shoot this dress in the beautiful Adelaide Hotel and I could have stayed forever. At one point I even got in bed with wine and chocolate for some “me” time. Eventually I changed into this gorgeous Grecian-inspired dress, which checks every item on my list of what constitutes the perfect special occasion dress. Have a party to attend? Here is what you need to look for.


Ever walk into a store and feel like you keep repeating to yourself, “It’s cute… but…”? That is not the ‘wow’ factor. The perfect special occasion dress is not one to settle on. Let it jump out at you from the rack. Often, I find embellishment details (like the silver embroidery on this piece) are a great way to make a dress memorable without being over the top. It’s also super flattering when done right – it should attract the eye to parts of your body you want to accentuate (here, it accentuates the shoulders and waist).


Finally. You found a dress that screams you, but are you screaming in it? No better way to ruin a look than have a rocking dress and a have your face look like a slow-mo figure skater’s. That said, it’s not like if it isn’t perfectly comfortable, it’s a pass. I will tolerate about 10-20% discomfort. The old saying “beauty is pain” only goes so far… not everything you wear has to feel like those sweatpants you’ve had since grade 10, but as I get older (wiser?) I tolerate less discomfort in my wardrobe.


The perfect dress can be clad in embellishment and intricate detail, and no, it does not have to break the bank. It all comes down to where you are shopping. Ultimately, it really is easy to find a dress that looks like it cost you $500+ dollars, but it absolutely did not. This dress was less than $200, but could you tell? Always keep ‘dollars-per-wear’ at the forefront of your mind when shopping, and, for those looking to add more abstract math into their shopping (who isn’t…?), also consider the ratio between actual cost and perceived cost. The lower the ratio the better!

4. FIT

Arguably the most important factor. Know what fits work best for you and stick to what you know! Trends come and go, so do not feel like you always need to conform. If an A-line dress or a Fit and Flare is what you know you will look and feel your best in, then keep rocking it.


I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how good you look; if you don’t feel confident, you won’t look it. I am a firm believer that the right dress is out there for you, you just have to believe in it (and yourself!).

Price is no indication of how stellar a dress will look on you, and only YOU know what will make you feel like the best possible version of yourself.

So, the next time you are shopping for a special occasion dress, just ask yourself, “How does this make me feel?” If the answer is freaking fabulous, then you found the one.

Ever New embroidered dress, beaded clutch, hoop earrings | Stuart Weitzman Nudist heels

Photos by Andrew Cameron
Shot on location at the Adelaide Hotel Torontoin collaboration with Ever New


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *