Nordstrom Formal Dresses: A Comprehensive Guide

Nordstrom Formal Dresses

Nordstrom is a luxury department store founded in 1901 in Seattle, Washington. Over the years, Nordstrom has become synonymous with high-quality fashion and excellent customer service.

The store offers many products, including clothing, shoes, beauty products, and accessories for men, women, and children. One of the most popular categories at Nordstrom is formal dresses.

Formal dresses are an essential part of any woman’s wardrobe, and Nordstrom offers an extensive selection of formal dresses to suit various occasions.

From weddings to proms and black-tie events, Nordstrom has a dress for every formal occasion.

In this article, we will look in-depth at Nordstrom formal dresses, the different types of formal dresses available, the brands and styles available, and the factors to consider when choosing a traditional dress and tips for shopping at Nordstrom.

What Nordstrom is?

Nordstrom is a high-end department store chain in the United States and Canada.

The group was founded in 1901 by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin in Seattle, Washington.

Nordstrom started as a shoe store and extended to sell an extensive range of products, including clothing, accessories, beauty products, and home goods.

Nordstrom is known for its exceptional customer service, a core company value.

However, Nordstrom’s philosophy is to provide customers with a personalized shopping experience and to go above and beyond to meet their needs. Nordstrom is also known for its generous return policy, which allows customers to return any unsatisfied item, even if they have used it.

Nordstrom operates both brick-and-mortar stores and an online store, which offers customers the convenience of shopping from anywhere at any time.

The company has a robust online presence and has invested heavily in e-commerce to make shopping more accessible to its customers.

Nordstrom is also committed to sustainability and social responsibility and has implemented various initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and support the communities it operates in.

Brief history of Nordstrom

It was founded in 1901 by Carl F. Wallin and John W. Nordstrom in Seattle, Washington.

The company started as a shoe store and quickly gained a reputation for offering high-quality shoes and exceptional customer service.

In the early years, Nordstrom focused on providing customers with personalized service and carrying hard-to-find shoe sizes.

In the 1960s, Nordstrom expanded its product offerings to include clothing and accessories.

The company continued prioritizing customer service and launched its first catalog in 1963, allowing customers to shop from the comfort of their homes.

In the 1970s, Nordstrom expanded beyond the Pacific Northwest and opened stores in California, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Nordstrom expanded its product offerings and store locations and became known for its high-end fashion and exceptional customer service.

In 1995, Nordstrom launched its first website, which allowed customers to shop online.

In the 2000s, Nordstrom continued to innovate, launching a loyalty program, expanding its e-commerce offerings, and introducing new product categories, such as beauty and home goods. The company also expanded internationally, opening stores in Canada.

Today, Nordstrom is one of the largest luxury department store chains in the United States and Canada, with over 100 stores and a solid online presence.

The company remains committed to providing customers with high-quality fashion and exceptional customer service and continues to innovate and advance to meet the changing needs of its customers.

What formal dresses are?

Formal dresses typically worn for special occasions that require a dress code that is more formal than everyday wear.

These occasions include weddings, galas, balls, proms, and other formal events.

Formal dresses come in diverse styles and lengths but generally feature elegant designs, high-quality materials, and intricate details such as beading, lace, or embroidery.

They are often made from luxurious fabrics such as silk, chiffon, satin, or velvet and may adorn them with sequins, crystals, or other embellishments.

The length of a formal dress can vary depending on the occasion and personal preference.

Long formal dresses are usually appropriate for black-tie events, while shorter dresses may be more suitable for semi-formal occasions.

Formal dresses also come in various colors, with black, navy, red, and metallic shades being popular for formal events.

Importance of formal dresses

Formal dresses hold significant importance in society and often worn to mark special occasions or events that require a dress code that is more formal than everyday wear.

Here are some reasons why formal dresses are essential:

  • Formality: Formal dresses are a way to show respect and honor for an event or occasion. They are a way to dress up and show that you take the event seriously and have put effort into your appearance. Formal dresses help create a sense of occasion and add to the event’s overall atmosphere.
  • Tradition: Formal dresses have been worn for centuries and are part of many cultural traditions and customs. They are often associated with milestone events such as weddings, graduations, and proms and seen as a way to mark a significant moment in a person’s life.
  • Confidence: Wearing a formal dress can make you feel confident and empowered. It is a way to express your style and show your individuality. Formal dresses can help you feel more comfortable and at ease in social situations and give you the confidence to interact with others and make a lasting impression.
  • Fashion: Formal dresses often designed to be fashionable and stylish. They can be a way to showcase the latest trends or to make a statement with a unique and eye-catching design. Formal dresses can be a way to express your style and to stand out from the crowd.

Overall, formal dresses are an essential part of our social and cultural fabric and can be a way to express our individuality, mark special occasions, and feel confident and empowered.

Overview of Nordstrom formal dresses

Nordstrom offers various formal dresses for numerous occasions, including weddings, proms, galas, and other special events.

They carry dresses in multiple styles, lengths, and colors, making it easy for customers to find a dress that fits their style and preferences.

Nordstrom’s formal dress collection includes classic and modern designs, with options ranging from elegant ball gowns to chic cocktail dresses.

Nordstrom carries dresses from various designer brands, including Badgley Mischka, Tadashi Shoji, and Adrianna Papell.

These brands are known for their exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail, and unique designs.

Nordstrom also offers customization options for some of their formal dresses, allowing customers to tailor the dress to their specific measurements and preferences for a perfect fit.

Nordstrom’s formal dress collection includes a range of price points, from affordable options to high-end designer dresses.

They also offer a variety of accessories to complement their traditional attire, including shoes, jewelry, and clutches.

Whether looking for a classic, timeless style or something more trendy and modern, Nordstrom’s formal dress collection offers something for everyone.

Their commitment to quality, variety, and customer service makes them a top destination for formal dresses.

Nordstrom Formal Dresses

Nordstrom is a well-known retailer that offers various formal dresses for multiple occasions. From elegant evening gowns to chic cocktail dresses, Nordstrom has various options for different styles and tastes.

Here are some of the features and benefits of Nordstrom formal dresses:

Quality: Nordstrom is known for offering high-quality products; their formal dresses are no exception. They use premium fabrics and materials to create dresses that are not only beautiful but also durable and long-lasting.

Variety: Nordstrom offers a vast selection of formal dresses to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a classic, timeless style or something more stylish and modern, you will find a dress that fits your needs and preferences.

Designer Brands: Nordstrom carries formal dresses from various brands, including Badgley Mischka, Tadashi Shoji, and Adrianna Papell. These brands are known for their exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail, and unique designs.

Customization: Nordstrom offers customization options for some of their formal dresses. This allows you to tailor the dress to your specific measurements and preferences, ensuring a perfect fit and a flattering silhouette.

Price Range: Nordstrom offers formal dresses at various prices, from affordable to high-end designer dresses. This makes it possible to find a dress that fits your funds without sacrificing quality or style.

In addition to these features and benefits, Nordstrom offers excellent customer service, with knowledgeable and helpful sales associates who can assist you in finding the perfect formal dress for your needs.

Different types of formal dresses available at Nordstrom

Nordstrom offers a variety of formal dresses to suit different occasions, body types, and personal styles. Here are some of the different kinds of formal dresses available at Nordstrom:

  • Ball Gowns: Ball gowns are typically long and flowing, with a fitted bodice and a full skirt. They often worn to formal events such as galas and black-tie weddings. Nordstrom offers a variety of ball gowns in different colors, fabrics, and styles, from classic and traditional to modern and trendy.
  • A-Line Dresses: A-line dresses fitted at the waist and flare out gradually towards the hem, creating a flattering silhouette for all body types. They are versatile and worn to a variety of formal events. Nordstrom carries A-line dresses in different lengths, fabrics, and colors, from simple and understated to glamorous and embellished.
  • Sheath Dresses: Sheath dresses are fitted and streamlined, with a straight silhouette that skims the body. They are often made from lightweight fabrics such as silk or chiffon and are perfect for more modern, minimalist looks. Nordstrom offers sheath dresses in various styles and colors, from simple and stylish to bold and edgy.
  • Cocktail Dresses: Cocktail dresses are typically shorter than ball gowns and wear to semi-formal or formal events such as cocktail parties or weddings. They come in various styles, from classic little black dresses to more colorful and embellished designs. Nordstrom carries cocktail dresses in different lengths, fabrics, and styles to suit multiple personal tastes and preferences.
  • Mermaid Dresses: Mermaid dresses fit through the bodice and hips and flare out dramatically at the bottom, resembling the silhouette of a mermaid tail. They are often made from stretchy fabrics such as jersey or crepe and are perfect for more formal events such as proms or galas. Nordstrom offers a variety of mermaid dresses in different colors and styles, from sleek and simple to ornate and embellished.
  • Two-Piece Dresses: Two-piece dresses have become increasingly popular in recent years, featuring a separate top and skirt coordinated to create a formal look. Nordstrom offers a variety of two-piece dresses in different styles, from crop tops and full skirts to fitted tops and mermaid skirts.
  • Tea-Length Dresses: Tea-length dresses are typically longer than cocktail dresses but shorter than full-length gowns, falling just above or below the knee. They are perfect for semi-formal or daytime events and can be dressed up or down depending on the time. Nordstrom carries tea-length dresses in different styles, including A-line, sheath, and fit-and-flare designs.

In addition to these types of formal dresses, Nordstrom also offers a variety of styles that are perfect for specific occasions, such as bridesmaid dresses, mother-of-the-bride/groom dresses, and prom dresses.

Their wide-ranging collection caters to all sizes, budgets, and personal styles.

Brands available at Nordstrom for formal dresses

Nordstrom carries a wide range of designer brands for formal dresses, including:

  • Badgley Mischka – Known for their glamorous and luxurious designs, Badgley Mischka, offers a variety of formal dresses that are perfect for special occasions.
  • Tadashi Shoji – Tadashi Shoji is known for their elegant and feminine designs, offering a variety of formal dresses in luxurious fabrics such as lace and tulle.
  • Adrianna Papell – Adrianna Papell offers a variety of formal dresses in classic and modern designs, focusing on intricate detailing and high-quality fabrics.
  • La Femme – La Femme is known for its selection of prom dresses and formal gowns in various styles, from classic ball gowns to modern two-piece sets.
  • Xscape – Xscape offers a variety of formal dresses in glamorous and sophisticated designs, often featuring intricate beading and sequin detailing.
  • Vince Camuto – Vince Camuto offers a variety of formal dresses in modern and on-trend styles, often featuring unique cutouts or asymmetrical hemlines.
  • Halston – Halston offers a variety of formal dresses in sleek and modern designs, often featuring bold colors and luxurious fabrics such as silk and satin.
  • BCBGMAXAZRIA – BCBGMAXAZRIA offers a variety of formal dresses in contemporary and chic designs, often featuring unique details such as lace overlays or cut-out backs.

These are just a few designer brands at Nordstrom for formal dresses. Nordstrom also carries many other brands, including their in-house brand, offering a wide selection of options for customers with different tastes and preferences.

Nordstrom Formal Dresses

Here are some of the most popular formal dresses at Nordstrom:

Ralph Lauren Collection Tiered Chiffon Dress: This elegant dress is made of lightweight chiffon fabric and features a tiered skirt and a sweetheart neckline. It is available in various colors, including navy, black, and red.

Ralph Lauren Collection Tiered Chiffon Dress

J.Crew Lace-Up Back Dress: This sophisticated dress is made of black lace fabric and features a fitted bodice and a lace-up back. It is perfect for a formal event or a night out.

J.Crew Lace-Up Back Dress

Monique Lhuillier Floral-Print Gown: This stunning gown is made of floral-print chiffon fabric and features a fitted bodice, a sweetheart neckline, and a full skirt. It is perfect for a special occasion.

Monique Lhuillier Floral-Print Gown

Oscar de la Renta Sequin-Embroidered Gown: This glamorous gown made of sequin-embroidered tulle fabric and features a full skirt, sweetheart neckline, and fitted bodice. It is perfect for a red carpet-event.

Oscar de la Renta Sequin-Embroidered Gown

Proenza Schouler Silk Slip Dress: This minimalist dress is made of silk fabric and features a fitted silhouette and a long, flowing skirt. It is perfect for a more understated formal event.

Proenza Schouler Silk Slip Dress

These are just a few of the many formal dresses available at Nordstrom. You can find a dress to fit any occasion and any budget.

Price range of Nordstrom formal dresses

Nordstrom offers various formal dresses at different prices to accommodate varying budgets. So the price range of Nordstrom formal dresses can vary depending on the brand, style, fabric, and level of detailing.

Here are some general price ranges for Nordstrom formal dresses:

  • Under $100 – Nordstrom offers a selection of affordable formal dresses under $100, including cocktail and tea-length dresses.
  • $100-$200 – This price range includes a wide variety of formal dresses, including cocktail dresses, A-line dresses, tea-length dresses, and more affordable ball gowns.
  • $200-$500 – This price range includes various formal dresses, including more intricate and detailed A-line, mermaid, and ball gowns.
  • $500 and up – Nordstrom also offers a selection of high-end designer formal dresses, including some that are custom-made or made-to-order. These dresses can be expensive, ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

It is worth noting that Nordstrom regularly offers promotions and discounts on their formal dresses, particularly during the sale seasons.

Additionally, Nordstrom offers a price matching policy, which means that if you find a lower price on a traditional dress from a competitor, Nordstrom will match the price.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Formal Dress

Body type

Body type refers to the natural shape and proportions of a person’s body, which can influence how different styles of clothing fit and flatter their figure. There are several common body types, including:

  • Hourglass: The hourglass body type features a balanced proportion between the hips and bust, with a narrower waistline. This body type can wear most styles of formal dresses but may benefit from styles that accentuate the waist, such as A-line dresses or fit-and-flare styles.
  • Apple: The apple body type features a broader midsection and narrower hips and thighs. For this body type, looking for formal dresses that create a streamlined silhouette, such as sheath dresses or empire-waist styles, can be helpful.
  • Pear: The pear body type features wider hips and thighs, a narrower waist, and a bust. For this body type, looking for formal dresses that balance out the proportions can be helpful, such as A-line dresses or ball gowns with a full skirt.
  • Rectangle: The rectangle body type features a relatively straight and balanced shape, with a similar measurement between the bust, waist, and hips. For this body type, looking for formal dresses that create curves and definition, such as mermaid or trumpet styles, can be helpful.
  • Inverted Triangle: The inverted triangle body type features broader shoulders and busts, with narrower hips and thighs. For this body type, looking for formal dresses that balance out the proportions can be helpful, such as A-line dresses or ball gowns with a full skirt.

It’s important to note that these body types are just general guidelines; individuals may have a unique combination of body proportions.

Ultimately, the most essential factor in choosing a formal dress is to find a style that makes you feel confident and comfortable.


The occasion is momentous when choosing a formal dress, as different events may have other dress codes and expectations. However, here are some common occasions and their corresponding dress codes:

  • Black Tie: A black-tie event typically requires formal attire, such as a full-length evening gown or a dressy cocktail dress.
  • White Tie: A white-tie event is the most formal dress code and typically requires a full-length evening gown or a traditional ball gown.
  • Semi-Formal: A semi-formal event typically requires dressy attire, such as a cocktail dress or a formal skirt and blouse.
  • Prom: Prom typically requires a formal dress, such as a full-length gown or a shorter cocktail dress.
  • Wedding: The dress code for a wedding can vary depending on the time of day and location. A full-length gown or dressy cocktail dress may be appropriate for a formal evening wedding, while a daytime wedding may call for more casual attire.
  • Bridesmaid: The bride’s dress code typically determined by the bride but may require a specific style, color, or dress length.
  • Mother of the Bride/Groom: The dress code for the mother of the bride or groom may vary depending on the formality of the wedding but typically requires dressy attire such as a cocktail dress or a formal gown.

Checking the dress code for the occasion is essential before choosing a formal dress. So if you are unsure about the dress code, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and choose more formal clothing.

Personal Style

It is an important consideration when choosing a formal dress, as it can influence your dress’s colors, fabrics, and overall design. Here are some common personal styles and their corresponding traditional dress styles:

  • Classic: A classic personal style typically favors timeless silhouettes and neutral colors. This may mean choosing a simple and elegant A-line or sheath dress in a black or navy color for formal dresses.
  • Romantic: A personal, romantic style typically favors soft and feminine details, such as ruffles, lace, and floral prints. This may mean choosing a delicate lace or tulle gown in a soft pastel color for formal dresses.
  • Trendy: A trendy personal style favors modern and on-trend designs, such as bold prints or unique cutouts. This may mean choosing a two-piece set or a dress with a daring neckline or hemline for formal dresses.
  • Glamorous: A glamorous personal style favors luxurious fabrics and bold statement pieces. This may mean choosing a sequin-covered gown or a dramatic ball gown with a full skirt for formal dresses.
  • Minimalist: A minimalist personal style typically favors clean lines and simple designs. This may mean choosing a sleek and streamlined sheath dress in a solid color for formal dresses.

Ultimately, the most decisive factor in choosing a formal dress is finding a style that makes you feel confident and comfortable, regardless of your class.

So it can be helpful to try on various styles and colors to see what looks and feels best on you.


Color is an important consideration when choosing a formal dress, as it can influence the overall look and feel of the dress.

Here are some standard colors for formal attire and their corresponding meanings:

  • Black: Black is a classic and timeless color for formal dresses, representing elegance, sophistication, and formality.
  • Red: Red is a bold and dramatic color for formal dresses, representing passion, confidence, and power.
  • Navy: Navy is a versatile and elegant color for formal dresses, representing trustworthiness, stability, and sophistication.
  • Burgundy: Burgundy is a rich and luxurious color for formal dresses, representing elegance, luxury, and refinement.
  • Champagne: Champagne is a soft and romantic color for formal dresses, representing luxury, celebration, and elegance.
  • Blush: Blush is a delicate and feminine color for formal dresses, representing grace, beauty, and romance.
  • Gold: Gold is a glamorous and luxurious color for formal dresses, representing wealth, success, and prosperity.
  • Silver: Silver is a sophisticated and modern color for formal dresses, representing elegance, grace, and beauty.

Choosing a color that complements your personal style, skin tone, occasion, and dress code is essential.

In addition, neutral colors like black, navy, and champagne are always a safe and classic choice, while bolder colors like red or gold can make a statement and add a touch of glamour.


Fabric is an important consideration when choosing a formal dress, as it can influence the dress’s style, comfort, and overall look.

Here are some standard fabrics for formal attire and their corresponding features:

  • Satin: Satin is a luxurious and shiny fabric for formal dresses. It has a smooth and silky texture that drapes well and adds a touch of glamour to any dress.
  • Chiffon: Chiffon is a lightweight and flowy fabric for formal dresses. It has a sheer and delicate texture that creates a soft and feminine look.
  • Lace: Lace is a delicate and intricate fabric for formal dresses. It has a romantic and vintage feel and adds elegance to any attire.
  • Tulle: Tulle is a lightweight and airy fabric for formal dresses. It has a sheer and ethereal texture, creating a whimsical and dreamy look.
  • Velvet: Velvet is a soft and rich fabric for formal dresses. It has a rich and luxurious texture adds a touch of luxury to any attire.
  • Crepe: Crepe is a lightweight, textured fabric for formal dresses. It has a subtle and sophisticated texture that adds a touch of modernity to any attire.
  • Organza: Organza is a crisp and lightweight fabric for formal dresses. It has a sheer and glossy texture, creating a structured and elegant look.

It’s essential to choose a fabric that complements the style and season of the dress, as well as your personal preferences and comfort.

Lighter materials like chiffon and tulle are excellent for warmer weather and flowy styles. At the same time, heavier fabrics like velvet and satin are great for colder weather or more structured classes.

Tips for Shopping for Formal Dresses at Nordstrom

  • Know your measurements: Before you start shopping, having your measurements on hand is a good idea. This will help you find the right size and fit for your body. Nordstrom offers a size chart on their website that can help you to determine your size based on your measurements.
  • Research the dress code: Different occasions may have different dress codes, so knowing what is appropriate before shopping is essential. Nordstrom offers various formal dresses for other events, including black-tie, white-tie, semi-formal, prom, and weddings.
  • Consider your style: Nordstrom offers a wide range of formal dresses in different styles, colors, and fabrics, so it’s essential to choose a dress that reflects your style and makes you feel confident and comfortable.
  • Check the return policy: Nordstrom offers a generous return policy, but it’s still a good idea to check the details before you make a purchase. Make sure you understand the return window and any potential fees or restrictions.
  • Take advantage of Nordstrom’s styling services: Nordstrom offers various styling services, including personal stylists, alterations, and beauty services. However, these services can help you find the perfect dress and complete your look.
  • Shop during sales: Nordstrom offers regular sales and promotions, so it’s an excellent idea to try their site or sign up for their email list to continue informed. Shopping during sales can help you save money on formal dresses and accessories.
  • Read reviews: Nordstrom allows customers to leave reviews on their website, which helps when choosing a formal dress. Reading reviews can give you a better idea of the fit, quality, and overall experience of other customers who have purchased the dress.


Overall, shopping for formal dresses at Nordstrom can be a great experience, as they offer an extensive range of sizes, styles, and prices to accommodate different preferences and budgets.

It’s essential to research and prepares before you start shopping, including knowing your measurements, understanding the dress code, and considering your style.

Additionally, using Nordstrom’s styling services and checking their return policy can help you find the perfect dress and complete your look for the occasion.

Whether you’re shopping for a black-tie event, prom, or wedding, Nordstrom is a great place to find formal dresses that are stylish, high-quality, and versatile.

Related terms:

  • Nordstrom formal wear
  • Nordstrom evening gowns
  • Nordstrom cocktail dresses
  • Nordstrom prom dresses
  • Nordstrom bridesmaid dresses
  • Nordstrom mother-of-the-bride dresses
  • Nordstrom designer formal dresses
  • Nordstrom special occasion dresses

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