Ok, first off we're gonna change the theme a little bit. We're dropping the "formal" tag because it seems to be creating some confusion.
So the new theme is going to be Dresscode: Female: Elegant/Ceremonial.
I'll PM a mod and ask for the thread title to be changed to reflect this, and Sephi is going to make a new banner as well.
The ground rules are basically going to be summed up as follows:
We want girls dressed pretty. But we want the clothing to be elegant, flowing, something you don't wear everyday.
So a maid uniform? No. Military uniform? No. Business suit? No. School uniforms? No.
We want ballroom dresses. Wedding gowns. Yukatas. Shrine gowns. Lace. Frilly things. Royalty clothing. Fancy stuff. If you want examples, check out Renegade334's post or the first image of Daniel E.'s post on this page. Sephi has posted examples as well, you can find them linked under the banner in the first post of this thread.
This doesn't mean that more modern clothing isn't allowed. We're not strictly saying that you can only have old style clothing. What we are saying is that the clothing has to be something that a girl would wear for a special occasion, and that the clothing must be flattering to the female form (without the ecchi aspect, we already had that contest).
If the clothing is mundane, something you might see used commonly, then it isn't what we want for this contest.
What we don't care about, is the setting of the image. It could be Clare in a wedding dress cleaving a Yoma in two. We don't care, as long as she looks elegantly dressed doing it.
Hope that clarifies things a bit.
If not, ask away, and I'll attempt to clear up any confusion.