Formal Dresses???

bubzie 26 August 2008 32

Hiya everyone.

So, i’ve got a slight problem.

My year 12 formal is coming up at the end of the year, and i still dont have any ideas of what to wear.

And to make matters worse, i cant just go into any old dress shop and pick one out, to put it lightly, i’m not a size 12 or anything.

Does anyone know anywhere that has “bigger size” formal dresses??

thanks in advance 🙂

[ED – Bubzie’s been an active commenter here for years so I’m rather excited about her year 12 formal. Therefore any potential unkind commenters should take note that they will be straight into a week in moderation if they earn my ire here]

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32 Responses to Formal Dresses???
Hero Hero 12:24 pm 03 Sep 08

hey bubzie, i don’t know if you are still checking this thread, but i thought i might add that though my formal was quite a while ago, Nocturne made my good friend (who was a larger size) a stunning bodice and skirt, she looked gorgeous. I really recommend them. they tailor to fit you perfectly and help you pick fabric and colours that ensure you shine…hope this helps.

rune rune 10:18 pm 27 Aug 08

Brides of Manuka inside the Manuka Village Arcade has a good range of formal wear and bridesmaid’s – I recall they had some in sizes up to 22. Prices are reasonable also.

They are the local stockist for Hills in Hollywood – which has a vast array of formal wear options (

They have a gallery on their website which I have found very useful:

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 4:28 pm 27 Aug 08

WMC – Do you mean Nocturne on Bougainville St in Manuka?

Yes, that’s the place! I could’ve sworn in was in Kingston, but I remember now – it’s opposite what used to be Woolies in Manuka. Thanks!

OzChick OzChick 3:20 pm 27 Aug 08

Hi, try this website. They have lots of pretty dresses for girls your size.

Good luck with this…

realityskin realityskin 9:14 am 27 Aug 08

just make sure you wear a little g-string, VPL is no go !

fabforty fabforty 8:06 pm 26 Aug 08

Ahhh…the school formal. Mine was in the 80’s, KC and the Sunshine Band playing “Please Dont go”… and……well, enough of that.

I second those who have suggested the dressmaker at the Bus Depot Markets (Neet designs I think). You can have something really gorgeous made to suit you and I’m sure they could advise about colour and style. What’s more, you can be sure no-one else turns up in the same outfit. That’s the trap with Harts and similar “of the rack” shops.

Good luck Bubzie and have a magical night ! Please report back

Davo111 Davo111 8:04 pm 26 Aug 08

Ebay has been mentioned a few times – if you get yourself measured up properly then the chances of getting a good fitting dress it quite good. If it isn’t the right size, some shops will allow you to return/swap etc. Otherwise it’s ‘only’ a $60 loss. One of my friends said that she just ebays them again if they don’t fit (with better measurements)

deezagood deezagood 7:40 pm 26 Aug 08

Shopping in Canberra for any formal occasion is really sad. Limited choice, very expensive and chances are that there will be two of you in the same frock (gasp!). Tiger airways sometimes have $30.00 and $40.00 fares to Melbourne midweek. I reckon it would actally save you money to jump on a flight to Melbourne, catch the airport bus to the city … and go crazy trying to choose from so many options. Or spend the day in Sydney -same deal. Good luck with your quest!

pebbles32 pebbles32 5:30 pm 26 Aug 08

I wouldn’t dismiss the ‘usual’ formal wear places. I got a great formal outfit (size 16) at Events in the Canberra Centre. The staff were really helpful (and honest) about what looked good and what didn’t.

The Huntter The Huntter 2:35 pm 26 Aug 08

Hey bubzie, Saw some possibilities in Cassidys Kingston today. Finally a store where size 18 is really 18. But my vote would be for Neet Designs at Kingston markets, top level. Off the rack or made to measure but get in asap. Long straight-but-dancable skirt in shot silk $150 matching top or jacket maybe another $100. Young and classic styles. Or by appntmt in Qbn 62971558. & Have a great time!

Mia80 Mia80 1:56 pm 26 Aug 08

Not knowing you size does make this difficult.

Noni B Woden stocks some beautiful dress, and usually up to a size 22.
I have a number of gowns and dresses from there. They are around the $200 – $300 mark, which I think is pretty standard when you go formal.

Good Luck, and let us know how you go.

needlenose needlenose 1:54 pm 26 Aug 08

I officially LOVE THIS THREAD.

You won’t find anything at My Size, Taking Shape or Maggie T (where the saleswoman told me they had pleaded with the buyers for formal wear but the buyers insisted there wasn’t a market for it).

However, Harts in the Canberra Centre do have some gorgeous frocks in larger sizes, and can order in for you from their catalogue as well.

I would be reluctant to buy off eBay – while I’ve scored some lovely things that way, I’ve had a few that didn’t work at all, and if you’re going to spend very much money then you ought to be able to try it on first.

Very excited to learn about Rosie’s & Nocturne – will be paying them a visit at the first opportunity!

Now we just need to be sure that you have a partner worthy of your frock…

Genie Genie 1:44 pm 26 Aug 08

Not knowing your size makes it hard to be helpful, but I remember being on the other end of the scale – barely a size 6 and nothing would fit without falling off.

Try checking our Ferrari Formal wear in the Churches centre in Belconnen. They have a website you can check out aswell.

Otherwise I’ll also second eBay ! Plenty of tailors that will make you a lovely dress just gotta give them your size/measurements.

Granny Granny 1:25 pm 26 Aug 08

Yeah, there is a place like that in Manuka. If you are not one of the size 12 people you will need to allow them the necessary time to make you a custom outfit, though.

jennybel75 jennybel75 1:21 pm 26 Aug 08

little place in Kingston, across the road from the bottle-shop (ish) nestled amongg all those lawyers offices.

WMC – Do you mean Nocturne on Bougainville St in Manuka? I got a bridesmaids outfit from there a ocuple of years ago and they were very good. I’d forgotten about them.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 1:13 pm 26 Aug 08

Argh – trying to remember name of little place in Kingston, across the road from the bottle-shop (ish) nestled amongg all those lawyers offices. Does great dresses, skirts, bodices, vests etc all easy to mix and match and with a great tailoring service. They also keep track of which school you’re from to make sure nonody else rocks up to your formal with the same outfit! Will talk to the missus tonight and post again if nobody else knows what I’m talking about (cue ‘not really unusual for you WMC’ comments…)

seekay seekay 11:42 am 26 Aug 08

Does the CIT or anyone like that have a school of fashion? Find out, contact them and get one of the final year students to create something for you and – guaranteed – you will be the best and most originally dressed girl there on the night.

Alleycat Alleycat 11:39 am 26 Aug 08

I have to agree with Rosies in Fyshwick. They have a huge range of dresses in heaps of different sizes. I was in there recently looking at weddng dresses and most of their formal/bridesmaids range was 50% off.

Good luck

peterh peterh 10:16 am 26 Aug 08

mdme workalot said :

Heya Bubzie,
How exciting!
I’ll second eBay – the prices are good so if it’s not exactly what you want, there’s no harm done. Get something bigger than you need and get it altered. There’s quite a few good Asian sellers on there who will make something to fit if you supply your measurements. I’ve bought a formal gown from there and it was perfect – better than anything I found in shops.

Another alternative is Rosie’s bridal store in Fyshwick – I’m not sure if it’s still there, but they had quite a few larger sizes. Angelic Inspirations at Gold Creek is pricey, but might be worth a look.

Good luck!

Rosie’s Bridal is still there, they moved next to Harry’s Discountronix. My wife was in there for a bridesmaids dress for an upcoming wedding. worth a look, they do have larger sizes. (my wife, however, is no longer large – giving birth to twins sorted that out)

pelican pelican 9:28 am 26 Aug 08

I’d also go for something tailor-made. That way you can pick the style and colour that suits you best.

I remember going through this with my daughter – the dress selection was of paramount importance.

Most importantly of course bubzie is to have fun. Enjoy.

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