Semi Formal Outfit Ideas for Teen Girls

Hello everyone!

It’s winter, so you know what that means – the season of Semi-Formals! Not only was this my first high school dance, but it was also my first dance at a venue that wasn’t a school (no more cleared-out cafeteria for me)!

Anyway, I think that semi-formal season can be stressful for many reasons:

  1. How formal is semi-formal? It’s formal, but how much?
  2. It’s not quite Spring and we’re not completely past winter, how cold will it be?
  3. Should I make a statement by wearing a pantsuit?
  4. Will I awkwardly match with an upperclassmen who will make eye contact with me once then never look at me again?

All top things that are of primary importance this time of year!

But it can be genuinely stressful to pick a look for semi-formal. There’s thousands of dresses in stores and online. I personally know the feeling – how to show the perfect amount of ostentation, flamboyance, and eye-catching individuality, without sacrificing comfort or simply – not being yourself!

Ahead are a few ladies that really nailed the Semi-Formal looks! I’m amazed at the ways that their unique personalities shine through their dress and shoes!

(btw, I covered the faces of these girls to protect their privacy)

s ᴀ s ʜ ᴀ

What inspired your look?

I chose this outfit because it embodies me perfectly. From the shiny dress to the elegant shoes, I was sure to stand out!

Sasha is a beautiful and outgoing gal. She has a bold, bright, and fun-loving personality! Sasha chose a long-sleeve mini dress covered with sequins. I love this dress because it’s eye-catching and unique without being overly tacky. I think it matches Sasha’s fun personality perfectly!

Dress: Lulu’s

To go along with the sparkly silver in her dress, Sasha chose a silver pair of strappy heels. The shoes are really distinctive and elegant – they complement her dress perfectly without making the outfit too monotone!

Shoes: Nordstroms

For accessories, Sasha went with a simple and tasteful silver necklace. It goes along with the recent flux of minimalist and simple jewelry, a trend I personally love.

ʜ ᴀ ɴ ɴ ᴀ ʜ

What inspired your look?

I was inspired by the plants and greenery in the gardens, so I decided to go for this cute festive dress that had ferns that matched the the plants around us!

Hannah is a stunning and studious girl. She has incredible talent for math and music. She is dedicated to her studies; however, she also loves art and fashion!

Our Semi this year was at a greenhouse/botanical garden. Hannah’s dress is gorgeous, it reminds me of a rainforest, which matches the venue really well. I think this dress expresses Hannah’s personality perfectly. It’s not overly flashy; rather, it’s more low-key and incredibly tasteful.

Dress: Mom’s Closet

The shoes contribute some interesting details to the look by adding a touch of gold. They’re very pretty and elegant without stealing from the dress.

Shoes: Lulu’s

For accessorizing, Hannah chose simple gold accessories that matched her dress. I love the way that she matched gold with plant patterns. This is such a good look, and I think it highlights Hannah’s charming personality.

Necklace: Europe Vacation

Bracelet: Gift

I think Hannah’s look is a great example of how to incorporate the context of your dance into your outfit. If you’re lacking inspiration, try drawing ideas from the venue or theme!

ᴋ ᴀ ᴛ ᴇ

What inspired your look?

I chose my dress because I loved the fit. I was drawn to the skirt of the dress and the way that it flared from the bodice. Because our formal is in winter, my skin was very pale! The navy color looks lovely with paler skin.

Kate is a quiet and bookish girl with the sweetest personality. She leans to more traditional, classic, and sophisticated looks with a mix of youthful jocundity. Kate looked gorgeous in her dress and shoes at the dance!

Kate stuck to her classic preferences by choosing a cream dress with a navy lace appliqué. The dress exudes a traditional feel, and the A-Line silhouette complements her figure well. Navy eludes to opulence – the color matches her personality and the rest of her outfit effectively.

Dress: Nordstorm’s

Kate paired her dress with a simple pair of nude heels. Her heels are very elegant and classic, and they don’t take away from the detailing of the dress. I love the way that Kate color-coordinated her dress and shoes. The color of the shoes brings out the background of the dress.

Shoes: Macy’s

Kate chose simple jewelry to match her theme of elegance and refinement. The bracelets and the necklace are both minimalist gold pieces. They match the nude undertones of this outfit.

Bracelet: Alex & Ani

Necklace:  Vacation

So, that’s a wrap! I hope you guys were able to draw some inspiration from these outfits for your own semi-formal. I have a really exciting trip coming up and lots of good content, so come back if you’d like to see that! Until next time,

– Quest to Dress (:

Comfortable and Elegant Outfit for Spring

Hello everybody!

It’s surprising to me that we’re already at the threshold of March. I think the new month has brought me inspiration for all things warmth: flowers, dresses, and bright colors! I wore this outfit on a day that was windy and cold, and I was FREEZING by the time we finished.

Perhaps you have high tea after school (s/o to my nonexistent British readers) or a Dress-Like-A-Grandma contest, either way, you’ll be well-prepared.

This outfit has many layers which is a great benefit! If it’s warmer out, strip the sweater and you have a lovely dress! If it’s colder, add a coat or tights.

My favorite part of this outfit is the color coordination. The stunning red color of the sweater brings out the pink flowers on the dress. The beige/gray-ish socks complement the lighter cream color behind the pink floral pattern.

Because I wore this school, I couldn’t go crazy with the accessories. I wore my simple and go-to gold coin necklace from Etsy!


Sweater: Urban Outfitters (SOLD OUT) similar

Dress: J. Crew (thrifted) similar

Necklace: Etsy here

Shoes: ASOS similar

I hope you guys enjoyed this quick outfit post! If you want to see more, follow me. ‘Til next time!

– Quest to Dress (;

Some Jazzy Clothes for Early Spring!

Hello everybody!

I’m back again, this time to talk about my recent acquisitions in preparation for spring! I’ve been spending a little bit too much money lately on overpriced websites, you can thank peer pressure and unhealthy retail therapy habits for that. However, through my impulsiveness I have come to gain some pieces I really love! I think spring is quite a difficult time because it can be snowing one day, but sunny and warm the next? Or, if you live in a crazy area like myself, this upsetting transformation can take place between the time you enter and leave school! My key trick (that I stole from every mom out there) is layering! It’s great to have pieces you can shed or add during the day, and you can change even MORE frequently than the weather.

  1. Burgundy Sweater
You spilled wine? Pas de problème!

Being the basic and conformist girl that I am, I love Urban Outfitters, which proves sad for myself as it is so, so expensive. I got this sweater in white for Christmas and I’ve loved it ever since I plucked it out of tacky reindeer tissue paper and a recycled Amazon box. The material is a really good quality knit, something I missed after a multitude of stretchy fast fashion sweaters (love them, but good quality sweaters make all the difference! ). Urban Outfitters excels at giving classic pieces a contemporary feel, while also ensuring a sense of timelessness. This sweater is in style; however, I have a feeling it will stay that way for decades!

I love the maroon/reddish color (perfect for fall) and the mock neck of this sweater. The knit details are so adorable and give me slight grandma vibes, which is always a good sign! This sweater was originally $60, but I purchased it on sale for $25!

Urban Sweater: here (on sale!) $60

Size: XS

2. Satin Leopard Midi Skirt

There’s been a huge trend of animal prints lately, so I though I’d jump in and try it out. This skirt combines my two favorite things in the whole world midi-length skirt + satin! I feel so luxurious and fancy wearing this, but it’s so comfortable too. I’m still trying to build up my confidence to wear this to school, but I’m sure it will be a popular piece on the trips I have coming up!

Princess Polly: here $40

Size: 4

3. Chain Purse


I’m not that into purses and bags in general, so I try to stick to really versatile items. This purse is black and gold, so it already matches the colors of all of my accessories. I love the gold chain – the closest I will ever get to having hip street style! Overall I think this bag has a (sort of) vintage look and will be great for many outfits. I got it on sale for $10 from Urban Outfitters, a pretty good deal.

Urban Outfitters: SOLD OUT 😦

Size: One Size

4. White Lace Shirt

Say hello to my hair tie

I really love all the feminine white blouses on Instagram and Pinterest! A really pretty and vintage white shirt can meld any clothing into a sophisticated and interesting outfit. I was really happy when I found this shirt in the Goodwill! The lace detailing, sleeves, and buttons really make it look vintage. Not only is this a versatile top that can go with a variety of bottoms, but it also fits me really well. I believe it was $4.99, I got lucky (;

Goodwill, not sure of size! If you want a top like this there are many similar ones at Princess Polly, Urban Outfitters, Dolls Kill, and Verge Girl.

5. Leopard Coat

Hella bougie

Last but not least, the mother of all coats, my leopard faux fur coat. I’ve been trying to buy more outerwear recently, and when I found this, I knew I had to buy it! This coat stays in line with the animal print trends, while also providing warmth and comfort! It brings out my inner zookeeper to the max. It’s certainly more of a statement piece – I don’t see myself wearing this to school quite yet, but one day hopefully! This will be the perfect piece for the date I go on with an 80-year-old incredibly wealthy white guy, I’ll have to find one as soon as possible.

Local consignment store: 15$ similar

Size: Medium

That’s a wrap! I really hope you enjoyed seeing some of the clothing (and accessories) I’ve recently acquired in preparation for spring. Even though I always find that summer is difficult to shop for, I’m excited to start looking for items meant for warmer weather. You’ll probably see these pieces in future posts, so come back again if you like what you see! Until next time,

– Quest to Dress (;

Diverse Outwear with Only Some of Your Babysitting Money!

Hello everyone!

Our good friend winter has popped by once again and sent us a delicious polar vortex (three cheers for climate change affecting weather parameters in the Arctic)! Being a person who frequently avoids buying outerwear due to my fear of committing to investment pieces, cold weather is truly not my cup of tea. I always go back to my reliable trusty purple Columbia jacket, because she is warmer and more waterproof than anything I own.

Me this winter
  1. Camel Coat

However, there have been haphazard attempts this season to buy some outwear a toddler wouldn’t wear. As mentioned, my main goal is to achieve “young girl takes Paris” status, so obviously a sumptuous camel coat is necessary.

Oui Oui

I got this camel coat at the Goodwill for about $10. It’s originally a size 8 from Talbot’s (my mom’s favorite store btw). I originally thought that camel coats were named for their camel-ish color, but the tag on this said 100% camel  hair ??? Either way, I knew this thing would’ve been hella pricey if I actually got it from Talbots, so s/o to the thrift gods for blessing me.

This also came with a spicy pair of oldfangled shoulder pads, which immediately woke the muted DIY spirit in me. I removed them and patched up the sleeve, giving me a more relaxed and contemporary silhouette. There’s also some really cool metal/tortoise shell buttons!

I’m super glad I found this, even though it isn’t the warmest coat ever. It’s an essential neutral that would work with oodles of outfits.

2. Rain Coat

Looks better in real life rip

One of my friends called this a Safari jacket which I really appreciated. When I bought it I was thinking London, Sherlock Holmes, red rain boots, cloudy skies, navy blue and white polka dot patterns – but do I prefer African Safari? Jane Goodall, zebras, binoculars, campfires. I really don’t know.

Once again I wouldn’t say this is the most toasty jacket, but it’s great for fall and spring, especially the rainy months of March and April.

The brand is Gap (another one of my mom’s favorite stores, I see a theme?) but I got it from the Goodwill for $7. International aesthetics for the price of a bougie espresso!

3. Blazer

Coming for you Hillary

This is a lovely black blazer from Banana Republic (this is getting weird, my mom loves Banana Republic). However, I got it from the Goodwill for $5, which isn’t bad for a fairly fancy and versatile black blazer! I really love the texture of this blazer, the velvet is gorgeous – it could definitely contribute a lot to an outfit!

I still have to experiment a little bit with his piece. It certainly does have strong old lady emissions, so I’ll have to work to bring it up to date. If not, I can still use it for all my “business-casual” tournaments.

4. Puffer

This is probably the craziest coat here! I don’t really know what I was thinking, but hopefully it works? This is an old Gap Kids coat I received as a hand-me-down from my cousins. It’s 100% meant for seven-year-old girls but I’m just going to play it off as a “shrunken” puffer coat. The main reason I’m attracted to this coat is the color, it’s the most GORGEOUS baby blue shade. And, it’s probably the warmest coat out of all those mentioned.

So, that wraps up a little collection/haul of affordable outerwear for colder weather! I hope you guys enjoyed! Until next time,

Quest to Dress (:

Outfit to Manifest My Dreams of Spring

Hello fellow icicles,

Right now we’re in the depths of winter, a coagulation of school, snow, winter sports, dark evenings, and overall misery. Maybe I have shown up to school everyday wearing the same three oversized sweatshirts, but this is the internet, so I can pretend to be or do anything I desire! And today, I desire to a fashionable and put-together young female living in a world where it’s April and in the mid-60s. Ah, a girl can dream.

Anyway, on this lovely January day let’s take a quick peak at an outfit I’m anxiously waiting to wear. Here she is:

pls ignore the cat-vomit stain I attempted to edit out

Let’s start from the top, right at my unkempt and frisky hair! Cheers for unhealthy locks.

But in all seriousness, I love the layering trend of pairing spaghetti strap tops or dresses over shirts. It’s a great way to stay warm and hide bra straps, especially during the volatile weather of spring.

This is plain, white t-shirt from Brandy Melville under a burgundy camisole that was $8 from Target. Pretty cheap and easy + comfortable!

As seen in my last post, I’m wearing my cropped PacSun jeans. And yes, that is ANKLE, one of my favorite body parts. Ankles are great, absolutely love them, really recommend using them in your outfits.

We have my classic black Chelsea boots. Please, someone, give me your old shoes or something because I use these in every outfit and I should probably stop? What can I say though, they’re the perfect shoe. Also, why do my feet look so large and weird? Idk.

For accessorizing, I threw on my gold belt with black leather and some gold jewelry. I wore a double-layered gold necklace and gold hoops. As mentioned previously, most of my accessories are just gold or black, so I’m really not thriving too hard in the accessorizing game at the moment. My shoe game is hella weak, but shoes are expensive and I always end up wearing sneakers so ahhhhh

Anyway, thanks for stopping by to take a peak at this pretty basic outfit for warmer times. Hopefully spring is right around the corner! Until next time,

-Quest to Dress

How to Style Sweaters

Hello Everyone!

Image result for michael buble wearing sweater
Will I ever be as fashionable as him?

It’s January, and in the words of Michael Bublé, “baby, it’s cold outside.” Unless you’re one of those wild folks who live ~closer to the equator~, you’re probably bundling up in some snug sweaters and trying to cope with mild seasonal depression like the rest of us. Well, ladies and gents, I got you covered with Julia’s Mini Guide to Styling Sweaters! Strap on your mom’s snow boots, because it’s about to get crazy.

Chunky Knit Sweaters

Everyone that lives in a temperate to polar climate zone should have a reliable and enduring chunky knit sweater. They’re warm, cozy, and effect at hiding the food baby you accrued after a joyous holiday season.

Gucci Wannabe

Sweater: H&M (sold out)

Jeans: Pacsun –

Belt: H&M –

This beautiful knit sweater is from H&M. I love the fit, the turtleneck, and the turquoise color. The sleeves are very oversized, giving me that esteemed pelican look. I paired this sweater with a pair of jeans from Pacsun. They have a more relaxed fit; however, they are still fairly slim fitting. I like the touch of the cropped hem. Sometimes, especially during winter, outfits with sweaters can look a bit stuffy. The ankle sneak-peek combats that by balancing the full coverage turtleneck. Added Bonus: You’ll really grab everyone’s attention with that sexy medial malleolus!

In the yards of fabric that make up this sweater, one’s waist can get as lost as my direction in life. Combat that by adding a nice waist-snatching belt. I like this one from H&M because of the cool gold buckle that’s easy to pair with gold accessories (foreshadowing??).

Styling with Chunky Knit Sweaters:

  1. Pair big sweaters with a more slim fitting pant to balance out your look.
  2. Use a belt and tuck your sweater in your pants to accentuate your waist.
  3. Try to balance a full coverage look by showing skin elsewhere – ankles, wrists, knees, etc.

Accessorizing who? I didn’t go all out with accessories, in fact, I didn’t even go at all, but I would recommend keeping a gold and black theme. I’d probably pair this with some black Chelsea boots (too broke for Docs). Because the sweater has a thicc turtleneck, I’d put my hair up so the neck area isn’t overwhelmed (she has a stressful job). Add some gold hoops to spice up your head + this handsome trapezoid purse with sexy gold accents.

There are links on the images, but they are hard to see because they are blue!

V-Neck Sweaters (+ finely-knit sweaters)

V-Necks are my definition of risky clothing. At any second, your slightly sexist lab partner could see the fabric tag you never cut off your bra or an egregious amount of chest acne. However, this peril comes with a benefit – ultimate layering power. Turtlenecks, tank tops, collared shirt, mock necks, jewel necks, halter necks, etc.

French models come @ me

Sweater: H&M (not exact)

Collared Tank-Top: Croft and Barrow

Necklace: Etsy

Pants: Forever 21 (similar) 

This is the classic dark grey sweater everyone and their mom has. It’s from H&M, and it’s made with a stretchy and finer knit material. I always find these sweaters a little awkward because of their neckline, plus I’m not a huge fan of the material. I tend to prefer fabrics that are a little less ~slippy~.

Either way, I like this outfit. The Forever 21 pants snatch your waist, but the sweater creates some volume, giving you a nice hourglass figure (plus, the plaid is very flattering!). The white collar adds more intricacy to the look and ties in the white in the pants. Because the sweater isn’t too overwhelming, you can get away with a wider leg for the bottom. I added a simple gold pendant necklace because I like the combination of gold + the red in the pants.

Styling with V-Neck Sweaters

  1. Be creative! Use layering to turn your bland sweater into something more interesting.
  2. Accentuate your waist by using the volume of V-Neck sweaters to your advantage.
  3. Stick to pants with a more form-fitting waist and hip area; however, go crazy with the legs!

For the accessories I would stick to basic. I think the slimmer ankle of Chelsea boots, or any other slimmer black boot, would complement the wide pant leg well. If you are at the point in your life where walking in heels is not only a far-off dream and fantasy, I think a heeled black boot would be 10/10. The purse from the first outfit would also work well with this look. It has some gold accents (I love gold accents, even more than British ones) and that my-go-to-clothing-is-satin-shirts vibes – perfect for this look. If you want to spice it up a little, maybe throw in a little black beret or some glasses.

Cropped + Slim Fitting Sweaters

Probably shouldn’t have gotten mad at my mom for shrinking so many of my clothes, because now, I’m paying too much money for the exact same thing from a store. This is the sweater that wants to be a sweater so badly, but are you even justified in calling it such? This is the sweater ideal for fall and spring – a perfect transition piece. This is a great little top and a perfect basic. It has buttons too!!

Sweater: Brandy Melville

Pants: Madewell (second-hand) (similar)

Belt: Target

I paired this shrunken white sweater from Brandy Melville with my thrifted green cargo pants. The pants have a high waist that goes well with the length of the top. And BOY, let me tell you, these pants have the waist-snatching power of my grandma’s holiday hugs. The sweater is cropped, so I would definitely stick to higher-waist bottoms. I added on this Target belt to x2 waist-snatching capabilities, and add some new ~materials~ to the look. These pants have a wider and longer leg, a bit more substantial, so they complement the minimal sweater well.

Style Slim Fitting and Cropped Sweaters

  1. Match a cropped sweater with high-waisted pants to snatch your waist.
  2. A slim-fitting sweater pairs well with a larger and more substantial pant.
  3. To bring your outfit to the next level, try to pick pants with a fun touch. These pants have cool pocket details, but the possibilities are endless.

Because I’m basic and not creative, I would pretty much use the same accessories as mentioned in the previous outfits. Docs would look cool with these pants, and any black boots with hardware would as well! I think some sort of baker boy cap could also work well with this, especially if you’re an aspiring newsboy (this one’s for you, great uncle). Otherwise, I would stick to black with gold accents, although it’s a fairly basic outfit so you could go crazy if you wanted.

Bonus: If you love this sweater but actually experience seasons, a great solution can be to layer the cardigan over a turtleneck!

We’ve finished folks, that was my Mini Guide to Styling Sweaters! I hope you learned a bit about dressing in winter, Michael Bublé, and my inability to accessorize. See you later, hopefully in an oversized sweater.

– Quest to Dress (;

Unsolicited Opinions on Haute Couture

Hello everyone! Welcome to Quest to Dress, a blog by me, where I talk about fashion and other fun things. Today we have quite the exciting topic, a.k.a. my unqualified opinions on the wild world of high fashion. I’ll truly never understand the world of haute couture, but here’s my half-assed attempt at being a well-versed human being. Let’s get started!

Chanel, Spring 2018 Collection, Paris Fashion Week

Nothing better than a good water bottle + Queen Elizabeth look. I never thought bucket hats and the plastic trend would be combined, but I was proved incorrect. I guess I’m impressed? I’m not a huge fan of the silhouette of this look, and overall I don’t like the textures. Tweed and fringe are both in fashion but I’m a fan of neither, so overall this look isn’t my favorite. However, it’s pretty cool that Chanel can stick to their tradition and style while incorporating modern trends. 

Gucci Fall Winter 2018 Collection

This is the embodiment of my dream Sweet Sixteen Birthday Party as a 2000s child. Gucci is out here having the edgiest runways, this was in a weird hospital/mental asylum with strange beeping throughout the whole thing? I’ve already expressed my distaste for fringe, and they went ALL OUT with this look. I do kind of like that Gucci played around (A LOT) with mixing and matching colors, textures, and patterns. There’s business theme – the blazer, pearls, stocking, and collar. However, at the same time, incorporating the checkered print and sneakers adds a bit of an edge, and leans more to the direction of trendy street style.

Yes, it’s ugly, and the ski mask? Just NO. Generally I’m not into looks that blow your eyes out of your sockets. However, I think the purpose and vision is kind of a cool and edgy, so I’m into that. 

Alexander McQueen, Spring 2018 Collection, Paris Fashion Week

If I am ever rich and famous, I WILL get married in this dress! It gives me strong fairy garden vibes, and I love the floral appliqué and tulle skirt, as well as the deconstructed bodice. It adds a bit of edge and individuality to the piece, and I feel like it calls back to aged Victorian dresses. The combat boots add a touch of unexpected bad-ass to the look, and it brings together the hair and accessories as well. Not only is this dress GORGEOUS, but the contrast between edgy street girl and proper fairy queen is so dope.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on some haute couture looks! Obviously this was for laughs, I’m not insulting the work of these artists. I have great respect for the designers and their creativity, it’s honestly so cool and I could never match the amazing work they do. (: Have a great day, ’til next time!

– Quest to Dress