The Best Places To Find The Perfect Formal Dress

Look your best at a formal, wedding or black tie event

Finding the perfect formal dress that makes you look and feel like a princess, can be a tricky task. 

Whether you’re searching for a frock with intricate beading for your school prom, a gorgeous tulle ball gown, a one-of-a-kind long white wedding dress, a sparkly number covered in sequins, or even an elegant one-piece jumpsuit, we’ve found the best places to look. 

Here’s a comprehensive list of the best special occasion outfits and evening dresses in South Australia’s capital, Adelaide.

10. Maggie Red, Elle Zeitoune

This new arrival is hot off the press from Elle Zeitoune – an Australian label, which is stocked in several Adelaide boutiques including Born in August and Wildchild Stylelab. A classic silhouette, this gown can be worn off and on the shoulder, and features a sweeping tail and sweetheart neckline. This party dress will set you back $359.95 at the checkout.

9. Bettina, Jadore Evening

Sleek and elegant, this figure-hugging frock dips slightly into a subtle v-neck in front and back. Textured fabric and a mermaid silhouette give added ‘wow’ factor. Available in a variety of different colours including emerald green, navy and elegant black. There’s also an ivory option, which would be perfect to walk down the aisle in. You can add the ‘Bettina’ to your shopping cart at Sydney-based showroom and online stockist Fashionably Yours for just $490. If you are planning your big day, be sure to check out Jadore‘s selection of bridesmaid dresses and pretty mother-of-the-bride outfits, too.

Perfect to walk down the aisle in
The Bettina gown by Jadore (Credit: Jadore)

8. Apricot cream Jasmine dress, Lexi

Australian brand Lexi is the brainchild of renowned Adelaide designer Alexis George. Perfect for anyone who wants to make a statement, this dreamy backless tulle confection, by lead designer Pat Georgiou, exudes elegance. The neckline, in particular, is bold but beautiful. To make this Lexi gown yours, visit Alexis George’s showroom in Malvern, South Australia. At $449, this designer dress certainly isn’t cheap, but it won’t break the budget.

Apricot cream Jasmine dress by Lexi
Jasmine by Lexi (Credit: Lexi)

7. Wednesday Gown, Thurley

Stand out in this ethereal black V-neck maxi-dress from coveted Australian label, Thurley. Made from 100 per cent silk, the ‘Wednesday Gown’ is an investment piece, which will set you back $999. The under-bust cut-out shows just a hint of skin, while the slightly peaked shoulder and semi-sheer skirt provide maximum impact. Order online at from the Thurley website. Otherwise, Adelaide‘s One Night Stand Boutique has a gorgeous range of Thurley frocks for dress hire.

Wednesday Gown by Thurley
Wednesday Gown by Thurley (Credit: Thurley)

6. Until Forever Maxi Dress, Review

Pop into Myer in Adelaide‘s Rundle Mall and head straight to Review to try on the Until Forever Maxi Dress. This beautiful party dress features striking metallic embroidery over a teal base, a high halter neckline, and a cinched waist. Also available in a sweet gold/nude option. Yours for $379.99.

Until Forever Maxi Dress by Review
Until Forever Maxi Dress by Review (Credit: Review)

5. Joy, Envi

5. You’ll also find Luv Bridal & Formal in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall. The boutique stocks a wide range of designer bridal, bridesmaid, and formal gowns at designer direct prices. Our pick is this sleek off-shoulder French satin gown by Envi with a manageable train and knee-length split aptly named ‘Joy’. Available in sizes 6-24 for $549. 

Joy dress by Envi: available in plus size up to 24
Joy dress by Envi: available in plus size up to 24 (Credit: Luv Bridal & Formal)

4. Lola, Lexi

Adelaide’s newest online boutique, Miko & Mollie stocks Sass & Bide, Thurley, Camilla, Alice McCall, Shona Joy, Talulah, Stevie May and much more. But you have to meet this little beauty first. ‘Lola’ is a strapless A-line cocktail dress featuring boned seam details from bodice to hem, which creates its unique stiff shape. Short in front, the hem sweeps long in back. Originally $690, but on sale now for $490. 

Lola by Lexi
Lola by Lexi (Credit: Miko & Mollie)

3. Afifee Gown by D’Lelle

Don’t want to fork out a bomb for a designer dress, but still want to turn heads? Then hire the stunning ‘Afifee Gown’ by D’Lelle from One Night Stand Boutique for $199 including cleaning. Crafted in a light-weight fabric, it has a plunging back and neckline and cinches at the waist. One Night Stand’s flagship Adelaide store is based at Shop 40/422 Pulteney Street. 

Afifee Gown by D’Lelle
Afifee Gown by D’Lelle (Credit: One Night Stand Boutique)

2. Envy, Bariano

2. A perfect cocktail dress for a jaunt at the races, or even to wear as a wedding guest, the ‘Envy’ is sure to impress. The lace midi dress pops in a bright canary-yellow hue, and the feature ruffle on one shoulder adds a little extra frill. Yours for $409.95 at Adelaide boutique After Dark (Highgate village 432 Fullarton road, Highgate, South Australia.)

Envy by Bariano
Envy by Bariano (Credit: After Dark Boutique)

1. Elijah, Elle Zeitoune

1. This sultry Elle Zeitoune long-sleeved sequinned midi dress plunges deep in the front. The velvet tie waistband is a beautiful detail. ‘Elijah‘ is available from size 8-14 for $310 from Adelaide boutique After Dark.

Elijah by Elle Zeitoune
Elijah by Elle Zeitoune (Credit: After Dark Boutique)


Copycat Fashion

Evening and formal wear for special occasions like school formals and parties. 

Basement Level, 43 Rundle Mall, Adelaide, South Australia

David Jones

Stocks Australian labels including Zimmermann, Camilla and Marc, Dion Lee, Manning Cartell, Valentino, Balmain, Altuzarra, Keepsake, CMEO Collective and Bec & Bridge. 

Adelaide Central Plaza, 100 Rundle Mall, Adelaide, South Australia


Stocks brands including Alex Perry, Acler, We Are Kindred and Maticevski, Diane von Furstenberg, Ganni and Victoria Beckham, Cooper Street and Finders Keepers.

The Myer Centre, 22 Rundle Mall, Adelaide, South Australia

Ferrari Formalwear & Bridal

Stocks bridal, formal and debutante dresses. 

First floor, 1194 South Road, Clovelly Park, South Australia

Bridal Fusion by Mascia

Bridal, bridesmaid and formal dresses, as well as alterations. 

10b Unley Road, Unley, Adelaide, South Australia

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