Reader Question: Funky & Punky Formal

Tuesday, March 08, 2011
This is Rikki. She sent me an email asking what she should wear to a formal banquet. Then I got jealous that I wasn't invited. Her personality is a mix of funky and punk and she loves to make a statement with her clothing. My kind of girl! This is the ModCloth dress she picked out. Totes adorbs!! I've never done funky-punky before because I'm not cool so if I'm totally off my game for this post now you know why... Sorry in advance, Rikki!

When I first saw the dress, I thought COLOR...and LOTS of it! For me I see two ways to work with color:  make it the statement piece and revolve neutral pieces around it or compete with it using MORE color!


With the colorful tights and shoes, I went with a classic route with the accessories to offset the color contrast.

Option 1:  green/blue tights

Option 2a:  red/pink tights

Option 2b:  red tights


Here are some options with light-colored tights and shoes to make the yellow dress be the focal point of the outfit.

Option 3:  You could also wear the striped tank top underneath for some more color!

Option 4:  A neutral blouse underneath for a modest option.

Option 5:  Another modest option with a tie-neck blouse.

Option 6:  gray tights


Tips for Rikki

  1. Since it's a formal event, I would keep it simple in the tights and shoes but then go crazy with the accessories.
  2. But simple doesn't have to mean boring! I would stay away from black tights because it is a harsh color contrast with the pretty yellow so go for color! ..or neutral tights like gray or ivory.
  3. If you plan on wearing jewelry, go for chunky bracelets to adorn those bare arms! As for necklaces, you could either go for layering choker necklaces or layering long strands so you can really go either way depending on if you want the pretty detailing of the bandeau top of the dress covered or I tried to give you as many options as possible.
  4. Don't forget about your jacket! I think it's just as important as your dress or shoes. I would suggest a cropped jacket such as a bolero or a jacket that is similar to the length of your dress that also flares out at the bottom. Think capelet but not really..
  5. What tips do you have for Rikki on styling her dress for her formal banquet??


  1. That is a great dress. I rally like all your suggestions. I would definitely wear a cropped jacket with that, probably with a 3/4 length sleeve. I think a cream or white jacket would look really good with it. you just want a jacket that will still keep the bodice as the star of the show, and not cover it. If you have a hard time finding something like that you could also do an open cropped cardigan or a flyaway cardigan.
    My Heart Blogged

  2. When I saw the dress I immediately envisioned something like option 1. I think the bright funky colors would look great and stand out in a good way.

  3. So, orange and turquoise are my fav color combination. The angel wings bangle bangle on option 2 and the daisy tights on option 3 look kind of aqua, with the Micheal Antonio turquoise shoes on option 5... they would look cute together.

    Great picks, so many awesome ideas!

  4. Great tips!!

    I know, that dress is so amazing and is such a great color it was so hard to narrow the choices down!

  5. Hmm, I'm not the expert on funky & punky but here are my humble suggestions:

    Forgo the tights if the weather allows, if you need tights go with patterned tights/stockings to give it an edge (maybe something like this: )
    Go for a bright pink/fushia pumps, they will compliment the yellow dress
    Go for "punk inspired" but still a bit refined accessories (kinda like this: )

    Hope that helps, Rikki!
    Lidi @ Eclectic Flair

  6. i personally LOVE the gray tights with the purple shoes. i just think it looks rockstar and who doesn't want to look like that? but i'm not all that edgy so my idea is probably a little more on the safe side.

  7. Love the option with the green tights! But I don't like white tights (also they make your legs look bigger). I think black and yellow would be a great combo! A cropped black blazer maybe or a biker jacket (to bring in the punky-ness)? And I also like the idea of wearing a lot of necklaces, pearls and other with this dress.

  8. I think mixing this with other bright colors is a great idea. I love the way Sydney does that color yellow with purple (as seen in these two posts):

  9. Fabulous advice, darling!
    Especially loving option 2b!


  10. YES. I lovee the studded jewelry for punkifying the dress! I think the gold would be too harsh so perhaps mixing metals (eep!) would be the best option?

  11. I would do a bracelet with studs. The punk look is all about the hardware.

    Born To Be Styled

  12. I would suggest a contrast color heel, bare legs, a bolero in a neutral shade but with a big pattern and definitely a statement necklace OR bracelets as the statement.

  13. In just want to say...I LOOOVE Rikki! (And I took that picture of her =) Anything she wears will be fabulous, but I might be a smidge biased.

  14. And biased you should be! She's adorable!

  15. no tips, but all the options are awesome!

  16. I like the gray tights option, the best... since it's a banquet I would keep it simple with the yellow dress.