Be it a wedding, a prom night or a formal party that you have to attend, buying the right dress to suit an occasion is a tough task. That’s because women not just want to look their best but also stand out from the crowd!

If there’s an upcoming formal event that you have been invited to, you can choose to buy either a new dress or a pre-loved one if you are short of cash at the moment. No matter what you choose, remember to purchase a dress well in advance so that you can try it on and get it altered or exchanged if need be. You will also need time to get the matching shoes and accessories together. But most importantly, you will have time to make sure that the dress you wear to the event is free of stains, snags or tears.

Here are some tips to help fix your formal dress so you can dazzle at the event and some other tips for caring for your formal dresses the right way.


If you have purchased a dress from a well-known store, you may not need to go over the seams and stitches minutely. If you have bought a pre-loved dress, it is imperative to go through it in detail.

  • Look for tags or labels on the dress. This will give you an idea about the type of fabric that the dress is made from and the washing instructions. Make sure you stick to the instructions.
  • If there is no label, take the dress to a reputed seamstress or professional laundry service and ask for their opinion. You can also take advice from the person you bought the dress from.
  • Check the zipper too. You don’t want to slip into the dress on the big day only to find that the zip is stuck.
  • If the dress has a corset-style back, make sure the laces are good and strong enough.
  • Look for stains or discolorations and make a note of all of them so you don’t miss out on any when treating them.

Get Rid of Spots

Remember to get rid of spots and stains as soon as you see them. Leaving the stains on for longer will allow them to seep further into the fabric, making them more difficult to remove. Spot treating, followed by washing, is effective in removing stains completely.

If you’ve bought a new and spotless dress, chances are you may accidentally stain it while applying make-up right before the event or while sipping wine during the event! So take note of these points.

  • Rubbing on the stain vigorously will only push it deeper into the fibers. Refrain from doing so and just dab at the stain lightly.
  • Use a colorless cloth to dab at the stain. Tissues and towels may leave a residue.
  • For oil-based stains such as grease, gasoline, butter, lipstick or body lotions, sprinkle some cornstarch or baby powder. Allow it to absorb the oils from the stain for about ten minutes. Brush the powder off and dab with a clean cloth.
  • Stains from fruits, juices, wine, coffee, tea, baby food, body fluids, ink or mud are not oil-based. Place a clean cloth beneath the stain and then dab directly with a damp cloth.


You will have to get on with washing your dress based on its material and design. Again, this won’t be required for new formal dresses.

  • If your dress is made of satin, wool, velvet, silk, taffeta, rayon or chiffon, it is best to entrust it to a professional dry cleaner. Dresses made of polyester can be hand washed as well as machine washed.
  • It is advisable to not throw a dress into the washing machine if the dress has lace, tulle, organza, sequins or beading.
  • Never use hot water to wash dresses. For fruit or mud stains, lukewarm water is preferable while you need to use cold water for dairy, blood, grass and grease stains.
  • Use the mildest of soaps or detergents to wash your dress. Let the dress soak for about five minutes and then only scrub gently at the previously treated spots. You can make use of a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse with cold water.
  • Once washed, never attempt to wring the dress. Let it dry naturally and iron later on if needed.
  • Perfumes, deodorants, sweat and cosmetics such as concealers and foundation creams can leave marks and stains on the dress. Always make sure to dry clean or wash your dress after each wear.
  • If you are unsure of handling the dress, leave the job to the professionals.


If you wish to keep the dress as beautiful as it is for years to come, you will also need to store it properly.

  • You can hang your dress in a garment bag. If the dress is very heavy, use another hanger and drape the skirt over it. This will take the weight of the dress off the shoulders so that the neckline isn’t altered over the course of time.
  • You can also store the dress in a box. Simply roll it up instead of folding so as to avoid creases. Line the box with acid-free tissue paper and then place the dress inside.
  • Always store dresses in a cool and dry place.

Note that years of storage will eventually show up on dresses no matter how well you take care of them. This is especially true with white dresses that are bound to turn a little yellow over time. So if you intended to wear an heirloom dress to an event but found yellow patches on it, don’t worry. See if a professional dry cleaner can do anything about it. If not, get a new dress that has the latest cuts!

Author Bio:

Millie Rainer writes about a variety of things such as DIY, hospitality, fashion, and tech. She is looking to build up her authority as a blogger – so she is excited to explore new topics. Follow her on Twitter @MillieRainer.

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Categories: Style