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"Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals>There are few garments that inspire desire like a formal gown. Sure, you might want some new jeans or a leather jacket or a plaid capelet, but there’s just something special about a cocktail dress or evening gown. Unfortunately, they’re the most difficult things to justify buying, because unless you’re a movie star you probably don’t have that many occasions to wear a gown.

But gowns are great, so to prevent you from having to sigh and put the gown back on the rack, here are some ways to wear one even if you aren’t a celebrity.

1. Get involved in charity.

giphy-5>If you want to get dressed up like a fancy society lady, take a page from the society lady handbook and get involved in charity. A lot of charitable organizations like hospitals, animal shelters, and more have fancypants fundraisers, and they would love to have you attend. Prices for tickets to these things vary wildly, so don’t automatically assume they’re just for rich people. And if you find a cause you would like to support anyway, the fancy party is just a good bonus. Also, with some causes you can donate your time and still get an invitation to the big shindig at the end of the year without having to give your rent money to charity. (This is a very mercenary way of approaching charity, but if you want to get out and be more social and go to more fancy events, charities will let you do that.)

2. Join an arts organization.

giphy-3>If you live in New York and are under 35, you can join the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Young Members. Membership is $80 a year, and you get to go to cocktail parties and a special annual Young Members Gala that’s as big and fancy an event as you could wish for. Check around your favorite museums and theaters to see if they have membership programs for students or young people.

3. Go out for fast food more often.

giphy-7>Hey, it works for Nina Dobrev. Go ahead and hit the In-N-Out Burger in your fanciest dress. You’ll brighten everyone’s evening, including your own.

4. Go to your favorite bar, but show up late.

giphy-8>You would be hitting your favorite bar for the weekend anyway, but if you show up very late, people will assume you’ve stopped by for a nightcap on your way back from a fancy event. This is a good way to make people think you’re fancy: Show up for a few late-night drinks every weekend wearing a different fancy cocktail dress or gown. In no time, people will think you are a fancy jet-setter with a ball to attend every weekend.

5. Find a self-consciously fancy event to attend.

giphy>This will take some time on Google to find an event in your area, but most cities have some sort of self-consciously fancy events going on from time to time. For example, the “Dinner in White” events happen in cities all over the world. If your taste is more gothy and fantastical, try Dances of Vice in New York or Gala Nocturna in Brussels.

6. Start your own fancy social event.

giphy-1>All those self-consciously fancy events were started by people just like you, so there’s no reason you can’t do it for yourself. Hell, if you’re in charge you can let the gown you want dictate the theme of the event. Want a beaded cocktail dress? Throw a Gatsby party. Want a ball gown? Throw a prom for grown-ups. You know there’s an audience for a prom for grown-ups, so you won’t be dancing alone.

7. Take up competitive dancing.

giphy-2>If you want to wear flippy little dresses like

Ginger Rogers, you should go to a place where people dance like her. As a bonus, Tango shoes are fabulous.

8. Sell your services as a social media specialists for weddings.

giphy-6>Social media specialists for weddings are actually a thing now. All you need to know is how hashtags work and how to kiss bride ass, and you are all set to hang out at someone’s wedding in your formal gown live tweeting the festivities.

9. Just crash some weddings. 

sofia vergara spinning on a pedestal>If this is all about having an opportunity to wear a fancy gown, just crash a wedding on your own. If you’re the best-dressed person there, nobody will question your presence. Or just hang out at the bar at a fancy hotel where people have weddings. If anyone asks, you’re just taking a break from all that wedding stuff.

Source : http://www.thegloss.com/fashion/occasions-to-wear-formal-dress/

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