Year 12 Formal Dresses: What to Wear (2022)

It’s the night of all nights, and it demands the perfect dress. A show-stopping, best-dressed-winning, unforgettable dress. When it comes to year 12 formal dresses, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the myriad of styles on offer. Do you opt for something sleek and sophisticated, or should you go all out with a floaty and colourful design? There’s a lot to consider. If you’re wondering where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Our guide explores the top trending formal dress designs as well as our favourite classic styles, so there really is something for everyone no matter your style. And the best bit? These pieces are all available for hire, so you can slip into something spectacular for a fraction of the price.

Table of Contents

Trending Styles
    A Pop Of Colour
    Print
    The Two-Piece
Timeless Styles
    Something That Sparkles
    Pleats
    Suiting
Find Your Formal Dress Fit

Trending Styles

If you’re all about leaning into the latest trends, we’ve narrowed down the top three formal dress trends to try this season. 

A Pop Of Colour

You’ve seen it all over TikTok and Instagram. Colour is having a moment, and we’re here for it. Must-have hues include bright orange, hot pink, emerald green, and cobalt blue. This trend is all about making a statement, so the bolder the better. Sleek and structured silhouettes complement bold colours well, so look to designs with a streamlined shape rather than ruffles or frills.

If you’re opting for a pop of colour, it’s best to let the dress do the talking. Style back your colourful formal dress with simple accessories. Think simple strappy heels, a delicate gold necklace, and classic hoop earrings.

Alternatively, you could go all out and experiment with colour-blocking your accessories. For example, pair a cobalt blue dress with green shoes and a clutch, or pair your hot pink dress with orange accessories. If you’re going to try colour-blocking, make sure you’re picking compatible colours. This article explores some different approaches to colour-blocking.

Our Top Picks: 

Nookie - Jewel Gown
By Nicola - Gabriella One Shoulder Dress
Runaway - Rapture Midi Dress

Print 

As mentioned, this season is all about extravagant dressing. This means prints are back in a big way. Florals are making their mark this season, arriving in both bold colour palettes and more understated earthy hues.

Prints, especially ones that appear on midi dresses and maxi dresses, can sometimes swamp the silhouette. This season, we’re seeing dresses that feature cut-out details to break up the intensity of the print. The cut-outs are often subtle and just enough to prevent the print from overwhelming the body, so these dresses will still be appropriate for your school formal. Read: no need to worry that you’re bearing too much skin.

Your printed dress should be the star of the show, so pair it back with nude heels and a simple, single-toned clutch.

Our Top Picks:

Sir The Label - Rei Knot Dress
By Nicola - Carnivale Maxi Dress
Alemais -  Farrah Cut Out Dress

The Two-Piece

The two-piece has made an impact this season, so why not mix things up at your year 12 formal with a set?

For a dancefloor-ready look, we love a wide-leg pant and crop top set. For guaranteed comfort and a chic silhouette, look to wide-leg pants paired with a blouse-style crop.

Alternatively, a midi skirt and crop are perfect for a formal or ball. Soft, floaty styles are particularly relevant this season, as are designs that incorporate print or colour.

Our Top Picks: 

Significant Other - Simone Top and Skirt
Seven Wonders - Madeira Blouse and Skirt
Runaway Label -
Calista Pants and Blouse

Timeless Styles 

For those who like to keep things classic, these are the three formal dress styles we recommend for a timeless look. 

Something That Sparkles 

Sparkling gowns will always be on the menu when it comes to formal dressing. This is your night to turn heads, and a dress with a bit of shimmer promises to do just that.

Keep your look sleek and sophisticated with a sequinned black formal dress or a gold-toned maxi dress. For a bit of contemporary flair, why not try a jumpsuit? It’s a win-win situation; you’ll be comfortable all night long while delivering a red-carpet-ready look.

For something with added wow factor, look to a design with multicolored sequins. This style is sure to dazzle, so accessories should be minimal and understated.

Our Top Picks:

Nookie - Palazzo Gown
Nookie - Treasure Jumpsuit
Retrofette - Camille Gown

Pleats 

Classically feminine and romantic, pleating conjures up visions of old-world glamour and sophistication. During your day-to-day you’re probably not presented with the opportunity to step out in something pleated, so your year 12 formal is the perfect time to do so.

Pleating and soft colours go hand-in-hand. We’re particularly loving neutral tones, which style perfectly with gold and rose gold jewellery. As for shoes, strappy stilettos work well with a pleated dress. Opt for a hairstyle that plays into that vintage romance aesthetic, such as soft waves or a low messy bun. 

Our Top Picks:

L’idee - Renaissance Gown
L’idee - Soiree One Shoulder Dress

Suiting

Nothing says timeless formal dressing quite like a suit. Elevated and sophisticated, a structured suit is the perfect formal outfit for the modern woman. When choosing your year 12 formal suit, consider something in a bold colour. The right suit will deliver a neat and clean-cut silhouette, meaning you can have a bit more fun with colour, print, and embellishments. Perhaps experiment with something in red or green, or opt for a style with statement button detailing.

Alternatively, you could opt for a classic white or black suit and accessorize with a bold red lip or colourful clutch and shoes. Complement the streamlined shape of the suit by styling it with slicked-back straight hair or soft waves tucked behind the ears.

Our Top Picks: 

Runaway Label - Amity Suit 

Rebecca Vallance - Clara Suit 

Eliyah Label - Suzie Blazer and Pants Suit

Find Your Formal Dress Fit 

Now that you’re set with some inspiration, it’s time to find your perfect formal dress. You can explore all of our beautiful dresses available for hire here.

Our formal dresses can be hired Australia-wide. Next day delivery availability is as follows:

  • Hiring Year 12 Formal Dresses Melbourne - Next day delivery available (orders placed before 1:00 pm (AEST)
  • Hiring Year 12 Formal Dresses Sydney - Next day delivery available (orders placed before 1:00 pm (AEST)

  • Hiring Year 12 Formal Dresses Adelaide - Next day delivery available (orders placed before 1:00 pm (AEST)
  • Hiring Year 12 Formal Dresses Tasmania - Next day delivery available (orders placed before 1:00 pm (AEST)
  • Hiring Year 12 Formal Dresses Brisbane - Next day delivery available (orders placed before 1:00 pm (AEST)
  • Hiring Year 12 Formal Dresses Perth - Next day delivery available (orders placed before 1:00 pm (AEST)
  • Hiring Year 12 Formal Dresses Darwin - Next day delivery not available. Please ensure to contact our customer service team on 0437 549 587 or info@dressforanight.com.au and choose an 8-day booking.

For year 12 formal dresses For more information on how the hiring process works, head here.


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