The Best Outfits for College Formal Season

The best reason to procrastinate studying for finals…

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This post will give you four sample college formal outfit ideas.

Formals. Date Party. Invite. They go by many names but they all mean the same thing: it’s time to dress up.

This year, we’ve spent most of our time wearing sweats with unwashed hair. Formal nights are an excuse to get your nails done, wear something fancy, and do your makeup! Oh, and they’re a great way to forget all about your upcoming finals.

It can be hard to figure out what outfits to wear to college formal events each year. Should you go for something bold and attention-grabbing? What color is best? Heels or booties?

The answer to these questions is way more simple than you think: wear whatever you want! At the end of the day, it’s all about styling the pieces that make you feel the most comfortable.

If you’re struggling to figure out what to wear to an upcoming event, here are four college formal outfit ideas.

Related reading: 21 Perfect Hairstyles for Formals

Formal Look #1: Elegant & Sultry

College formal outfit 1: bronze silky slip dress, white stilettos with ankle strap, gold jewelry, white shoulder bag, college life


Slip dresses are a go-to outfit choice for any college formal event. They’re sexy, yet very classy, and look great on everyone. Not to mention, they are easy to style in many different ways!

This champagne-bronze may just be the prettiest neutral of all time. It will make you look like a goddess, especially if you pair it with some delicate, gold jewelry. Let this dress hang loose without a belt so it doesn’t lose its movement.

Pair it with white accessories, like this bag and these shoes to really highlight the bronzed look we’re going for here.

This is the perfect look for anyone wanting an easy style that still stands out.

Formal Outfit #2: Fancy & Powerful

Sample look: leopard print dress with tie straps and ruching, white pointed toe pumps, red purse with gold details, silver jewelry, college formals


Feeling a little more adventurous? Excited to wear heels again? Can’t get enough animal print? Nothing says powerful like leopard print and the color red!

Style an animal print dress with a red bag for a classy and cool look. People will be mistaking you for Sofía Vergara all night.

Finish off this look with some white pumps and silver jewelry.

Formal Look #3: Chic & Eclectic

College formal outfit: one shoulder blue ruched dress, faux leather moto jacket, edgy black and white geometric purse, white chunky heeled booties, college formals


Stand out during college formal season in an outfit that shows you’re not afraid to take a risk and push the dress code rules a bit.

I’m obsessed with this one-shoulder dress in the prettiest blue shade I’ve ever seen. The cut is super on-trend and will have everyone asking you where you got it.

Throw on a cute black jacket for an edgier look and some white boots to channel your inner Dua Lipa.

Don’t forget a cool, geometric bag to complete your supermodel style.

Formal Outfit #4: Simple & Edgy

Sample look: black spaghetti strap dress with torso cutouts, red chunky heeled pumps, black motorcycle jacket, red drop earrings, black clutch - college formals


You can never go wrong with a little black dress. Nothing will ever make you feel more like a bombshell than an LBD.

This year, a little black dress with torso cutouts is very trendy for a college formal outfit. Pair it with a black jacket and clutch.

Red details like some red heels and earrings are key. This look is an updated take on a very classic style.

A formal season can be stressful, but it shouldn’t be. Just remember that you don’t have to look like everyone else; you just have to wear what makes you want to dance all night.

Whether you’re looking to make a statement or keep it simple, have fun styling the dress that makes you want to babysit on a Friday night to buy.

What Look Are You Most Excited to Wear?

What style are you going for? Which outfit are you most excited about for the college formal season? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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