Formalwear for the Minimalist

36 items of clothing, 8 pairs of shoes, 3 bags

I have always been a person who struggles with formal and occasional wear. I have rarely felt like I have had an adequate or appropriate wardrobe for fancy situations. The main reason for this is probably the fact that I default to a fairly casual style and I despise wearing uncomfortable clothing. Most of the formal shoes and dresses I have bought in the past have not been comfortable, and have not reflected my authentic style.

During my seven month shopping fast and decluttering frenzy, I got rid of all clothing that could be considered remotely formal. One of my strategies for building a small but satisfying wardrobe since then has been to create shopping rules. I also wrote a wish list of items I felt would complete my wardrobe. Formal wear was on this list, and I have been looking for a nice dress for some time now.

In recent months I had been on edge, dreading a special occasion, knowing that should something arise, I would be in trouble. My shopping rules forbade me from purchasing 99% of what I saw. The main challenge was finding a dress that would suit a number of occasions and could be used for years to come.

Here is what I wanted from my dress to ensure it was as flexible as possible:

  1. It couldn’t be white as I might need to wear it to a wedding.
  2. It couldn’t be black because I’m petite and black makes me disappear.
  3. It needed to have a low neckline and emphasise the waist to flatter my shape.
  4. It couldn’t have flared or voluminous sleeves because I wanted to be able to wear it under my leather jacket. Rocknroll.
  5. It couldn’t be too bright a colour. I dislike colour and I’d end up getting rid of it.
  6. It couldn’t be too revealing for both reasons of weather practicality.

Well after months of searching, I am absolutely thrilled to tell you that I have finally filled the formal spot in my wardrobe! This dress is the perfect formal dress for me. It has an adjustable tie in case I lose or gain weight, comes in my favourite non-colour, and suits my aesthetic. The dress is by Lacausa. Different colours are available on their website. 


Finally a pretty formal dress!


To accessorise, I have purchased a lace bralette by Love Stories Intimates, and a pair of black leather heels by Nine West.


Most importantly for my small wardrobe, I feel like the items I have purchased are quite flexible. Their functionality will ensure that they get used in different ways and don’t become deadweight.

Have you struggled with formal occasions on your minimalist journey?




  1. When I saw your photo on Instagram I fell in love with this dress, and of course the fact that you have Nine West shoes (I also own these).
    Do you have a post on professional clothing? I think my next post will be about this, as I have upcoming interviews.
    Great read! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely love this look, especially the leather jacket and the bralette peeking through. Sleek but still sexy. Leather jackets are life. I don’t own many dresses either, due to lack of need. Looks like this one is a keeper xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the follow on 24 Pinfold Street – Followed 🙂

    My favourite pair of formal shoes are a chocolate brown pair by Northampton-based shoemakers Loake. They have a rubber commando sole on them, instead of the traditional smooth leather sole – so unlike most men’s formal shoes, I don’t have to risk my neck if it happens to rain or be snowy/icy when I wear them (which is pretty likely here in the UK!). Lesson learned from a very scary long walk home once from work up and down lots of steep hills, when my gf was too scared to drive the car in the snow!

    What I love about them is because of the sole I can get away with wearing them with dark jeans on a smart-casual occasion, so they’re very versatile 🙂 formal occasions are the enemies of a small wardrobe, at least for us men!

    Keep blogging!

    Liked by 2 people

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