Secrets of the Winter Formal Look

December 11, 2015

Hi everyone!

I am BEYOND excited for this post! If you follow me on Instagram (if you are not, go do it right now!), you probably noticed that last Saturday, I was all snazzed up for the winter formal at my college.

I love any school dance, so the minute they announced the winter formal, I knew I was going!

After I heard about the dance a couple of months ago, I was hunting a local thrift store with my mom and came across THE dress of all dresses for a winter ball. I styled it for my fabulous evening and am so excited to share the look AND the deals here for you today!

Without further ado...

The Dress

Yes, this is THE dress that I found at a THRIFT STORE! It is designed by Nanette Lepore, and was hanging on the end of a rack looking so delicate and sparkly, so I snatched it. The walk to the fitting room was full of so much excitement and worry- I knew this was the absolute perfect dress for a winter formal, but if it didn't fit, I would be so disappointed. 

I zipped it up and it fit like a glove. The glittery charcoal and silver color with the intricate design screamed winter wonderland. I loved the neckline and the deep cut in the front. Although it seemed a bit scandalous, the pop of skin really added to the glamour of this dress.

The cut, color and tea-style length make this dress so incredible. It is definitely one of the best gowns I have ever had the pleasure to wear. I felt like I was in a fairytale. 

But, I don't think you are ready for this...

This dress cost $9.99!

YES, ONLY TEN DOLLARS! That is INCREDIBLE for a formal dress that has so much character and detail. It can't be beat. 

The Shoes

I found the shoes to match my dress at Goodwill about a month later. I knew I wanted simple, strappy sandal heels, so they wouldn't take away from my dress.

This Worthington pair (JCP) was the exact color! They blended so perfectly with the detail of my dress, and BONUS, they were very comfortable.

My shoes were only $4.99!

At this point, I decided I wanted my whole formal look to be full of deals. A dress for $10, heels for $5... what other deals could I come up with?!

The Clutch

This Target box clutch was a DIY project! I found the original black and gold clutch at an antique shop for $5. I knew I could sparkle it up and make it match the dress.

I purchased all of these fun embellishments at Hobby Lobby for $3. I love the gem snowflakes and I placed a small pearl in the middle of each. It really added to the winter feel of my whole look.

This clutch only cost $8 when it was all finished- keeping the great deals coming!

The Jewelry

The gems I decided to pair with this ensemble were a Swarovski and Givenchy bracelet combination and these silver earrings from Claire's that I originally wore for prom in high school.

All of these pieces I already owned and received as gifts, so I didn't have to purchase them for the formal. SCORE!

The Makeup

I really wanted my makeup to compliment my dress and make my eyes POP! I started with a smooth face, thanks to my Physician's Formula foundation. I used a soft grey sparky eyeshadow on my eyes from my L'Oreal La Palette Nude 2 palette. I added a light eyeliner with my E.l.f. pencil and lengthened my lashes with Maybelline's Great Lash Lots of Lashes. I finished the look with my L'Oreal True Match blush and my Nivea berry tinted lip balm.

My nails were a deep berry color thanks to Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri nail polish in Cinna-Snap. I also styled my own updo with my Conair Infinity Pro Curl Secret tool and lots and lots of bobby pins.

My hair and makeup turned out better than I imagined- it was the perfect beauty look to go along with this dress.



Can you believe it! Under $25 for this entire look. It was so chic and glamorous, and it definitely didn't break the bank. This was easily one of my favorite formal outfits I've worn.

The entire night was so much fun. Adam and I enjoyed a delicious meal at a restaurant called the Public Landing. We then went to the formal and danced the night away. I loved every second...

What have been some of your favorite formal looks? Leave some comments and tell me all about it.


ICYMI: I am OFFICIALLY a guest blogger for Goodwill now! I will be writing about some of my awesome finds and providing even more style advice on their site. Check out my very first post here!

I cannot believe it is December 11th- Christmas is right round the corner! I will be back soon with some holiday fashion advice, and maybe I'll even throw in some great gift ideas!

LOFT Cardigan, Silence and Noise Tee, Poof Excellence Leggings, BC Booties, Express Necklace

Don't forget to deck the halls,


  1. Hey girl! I just picked up a few of your tops from Gallery 1700 and I must say you have great style and I thought the display was awesome!! I will be back ;)

    1. Thank you so much- I am beyond excited that you shopped with me today! I hope to see you very soon- and make sure you tell your friends to stop by as well! :)


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