Make an entrance in one of these long formal dresses to suit any event

Saying yes to the dress has never been so simple.

Formal and black tie events always have a habit of popping up when we are the least prepared. 

So having some fool-proof, guaranteed-to-look-good long formal dresses on hand is always helpful for when the occasion sneaks up. 

Particularly when we come into the age of weddings and anniversaries every other week, having your go-to formal dress on hand can be a total lifesaver. 

Now, there is a difference in dress codes for some formal occasions, which means you may have to switch up your formal dresses accordingly.

The best long formal dresses for any occasion 2024

On the hunt for your new favourite long formal dress and want to ensure you get a good deal and look show stopping? Well scroll on, because below we have rounded up some of our favourite options to suit an array of occasions, dress codes and budgets. 

Mia lace up maxi dress the iconic
(Credit: The Iconic)

Shona Joy Mia lace up maxi dress

$320 at THE ICONIC

Shona Joy designs guarantee show-stopping elegance and the Mia lace up maxi dress is no different. Whether for a sunset dining experience or a formal evening event, this satin dress is designed to flatter any figure with its intricate cross-stitching detailing. 

Key features:

  • Smooth satin fabric
  • Plunging neckline
  • Lace up detailing extending front to back
  • Maxi length 


Review montreal maxi dress in black
(Credit: Review)

Montreal maxi dress

$239.95 at Review

This elegant dress features a classic floor-length skirt with a thigh split, complemented by delicate rouleaux straps, a fitted bodice, a graceful cowl neckline and a high-waist seam. Crafted from luxurious stretch satin fabric, it’s designed to accentuate your figure, while keeping you comfortable.

Key features:

  • Designed in Australia
  • Satin stretch fabrication
  • Fitted bodice with cowl neckline
  • Fully lined


Elysia mesh maxi dress
(Credit: Peppermayo)

Elysia mesh maxi dress in rainforest

$99.95 at Peppermayo

If you’re after a luxe look for less then you can’t miss the opportunity to shop this iconic mesh maxi dress from Peppermayo. The bold printed design will make an eye-catching addition to your wardrobe. 

Key features:

  • Maxi dress
  • Halter neckline
  • Sheer with lined skirt
  • Ruched waist


ASOS never fully dressed black satin dress
(Credit: ASOS)

Never fully dressed linen lace maxi dress

$186 at ASOS

A silky slip dress is a sure-fire dress to dress up or down depending on the occasion. We love this lace option that works particularly well as a wedding guest dress or school formal gown.

Key features:

  • V-neck
  • Adjustable straps
  • Cut-out detail
  • Lace trims


Joanna satin maxi dress in yellow
(Credit: Peppermayo)

Joanna satin maxi dress in lemon

$99.95 at Peppermayo

A great option for those wanting to opt for something more modest, or perhaps just wanting to add a pop of colour for weddings and events. This silky maxi dress stuns in a delicate light yellow colour. 

Key features:

  • Maxi dress
  • Straight neckline
  • Satin fabrication


Mossman amberlight midi black dress
(Credit: Myer)

Mossman midi dress in black

$289.95 at Myer

This glamorous dress is easy to style to suit a range of occasions. The asymmetric draping adds an eye-catching point of difference.

Key features:

  • One-shoulder
  • 100 per cent polyester
  • Curve-hugging fit


Shona Joy Luxe Maxi Dress
(Credit: THE ICONIC)

Shona Joy Luxe asymmetrical gathered maxi dress

$295 at THE ICONIC

Australian label Shona Joy is known for its mid-priced formal wear and we can’t go past this luxe mocha-coloured slip. It also comes in onyx, emerald, eucalyptus, azure and rose shades.

Key features:

  • Available in three colourways
  • Asymmetric neckline
  • Ruched detailing
  • Adjustable strap


Variel midi dress showpo
(Credit: Showpo)

Variel midi dress in champagne

$109.95 at Showpo

Strapless, shimmer, sparkle and shine without blowing your budget thanks to Showpo. This gorgeous floor-length gown with golden detailing oozes confidence and sophistication. 

Key features:

  • Strapless bodycon dress
  • Zips closure
  • Inner lining included


Peppermayo melody halter neck midi dress
(Credit: Peppermayo)

Melody day halter neck maxi dress in tangerine

$119.95 at Peppermayo

Perfect for a black-tie or other formal event, this maxi showstopper showcases a slim-cut fit, perfectly finished with a centre neck tying.

Key features:

  • Maxi dress
  • Halter neckline
  • Backless 
  • Invisible back zipper


Sheike Monaco Maxi Dress
(Credit: Sheike)

Monaco maxi dress

$179.99 at Sheike

Showcasing a fitted cut, thin adjustable straps and a cross-back closure, the Monaco exudes a timeless and elegant silhouette.

Key features:

  • Jersey stretch fabrication
  • Fitted styling
  • Adjustable straps with cross back closure


Flordzelia Midi Dress
(Credit: Showpo)

Flordzelia midi dress in chocolate

$89.95 at Showpo

Spice up your days and nights with the Flordeliza midi slip dress! This understated but luxe pick has an elegant cowl neckline, as well as a sultry thigh-high split on one leg. You’ll want to wear it on repeat for every occasion, from formal dinners to day parties.

Key features:

  • A-line satin dress
  • Midi length
  • Cowl neckline for chic touch


What is the difference between formal and black tie?

In both formal and black tie events, women typically opt for floor-length gowns or refined cocktail dresses. These garments are characterised by their classic and timeless designs, often featuring fine materials and exquisite detailing.

However, the key difference lies in the level of detail and strictness associated with the black tie dress code. At black tie events, a higher degree of formality is expected, and this usually means avoiding dresses that show your ankles.

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