There is so much variety in evening dresses that it can make shopping for the perfect one confusing. However, when you find the right dress, you will feel like a diva in it. Not only will it be comfortable, but it will also bring out your best features and make you happy to show it off.
So, how do you set about looking for one and identifying if it is the right choice for you?
Here are eight valuable tips from Best for Bride to help you find the suitable formal gown for your next big social event.
Assess your body shape first
This is the primary factor in finding a gown that will look great on you. For best results, you should always choose an evening gown that enhances your best features while hiding or camouflaging the less desirable aspects of your body frame. To find the fitting silhouette for your body shape, you should first determine your body shape. Our previous article here will guide you towards finding out what category you fall into. In brief, we can say that most women fall into one of the following categories:
- Apple-shaped: where the shoulders and upper torso is wider than the hips and legs.
- Pear shaped: Where the lower half of the body, from the waist and hips is more pronounced than the bust
- Hourglass: Where the bust and hips are similar in proportion, and separated by a distinctly slender waistline
- Rectangular: Where there are few to no noticeable curves and the frame is slender overall
- Petite: where the overall height is less than 5’4” with a well defined bust and hip region
Depending on which category you fall into, you can find suitable recommendations in dresses in this previous article of ours. By choosing a dress style that flatters your body shape, you will look and feel confident and attractive. Specific techniques, like dresses with A-line skirts and V-necklines, are universally flattering and are suitable for most body types. If you are unsure of your body shape, these may be the options to consider.
This A-line, beige evening dress from the Dessy Evening dress collection is a safe bet in fit, colour and style.
Stick to a budget
Before you go shopping, it is essential that you first calculate the maximum amount you can afford to spend on your evening gown. This will help you narrow down your choices and find a suitable dress within your specified range. The price is often determined by the number of details in the gown, the fabric, embellishments and the designer collection to which it belongs. Evening gowns can be expensive. However, it would help to balance out the price with the use you intend to get out of it. If it is in a neutral colour and timeless design, you can get several benefits out of it; it is worth spending more on the excellent quality. Plus, this will help you make sure that it will last longer and look fresh. If you want to find a good deal for the money you spend, it is good to look in the sales section. If you have an eye for detail and know it when you see a just right gown, you may find the right pick for a fraction of the original price in the discounts department. Also, be prepared to shop in the off-season (typically summer and winter), when prices will be at their lowest. This way, you can find a gown for the next holiday season without paying a fortune for it.
Check out this sale and clearance section on Best for Bride for the latest attractive offers in wedding dresses and evening gowns.
Give priority to dresses from good designer collections
Although you can find cheap formal dresses, you will be trading off design quality for savings when you choose them. Evening gowns designed by experienced professionals are usually superior in terms of look and quality. They will feature flattering fits, neat seams and beautiful necklines. These dresses are created to showcase the best fabric and enhance the wearer’s natural features through the appropriate placement of embellishments. So, the extra price associated with a designer gown is usually worth it. If the price tag is a significant source of concern, you can choose from discount and sale sections or be on the lookout for shops that offer sales on the designer collection.
Featured here is an evening dress from the Jadore Collection. This collection features exquisite designer gowns showcasing the latest trends from the top fashion catwalks.
Choose a gown closest to your actual size
There is no such thing as a standard size for women, so it is doubtful that you will find a gown off the rack that fits you perfectly. We always recommend that you have your chosen dress altered to your actual measurements for the best fit. This is relatively easy to do, and so you incur minor expenses on alterations; you should choose a gown that is closest in size to your actual measurements. This means that you shouldn’t select dresses that are too big or too small in size. Don’t ever make the mistake of choosing a more petite gown than your actual size, expecting that you will shed several pounds closer to the time you have to wear it. Just in case you don’t, you will lose the chance to wear the dress you carefully chose for the occasion. Instead, buy your actual size when you go shopping, and you can always have the extra fabric taken in when you lose the excess weight. When wearing close-fitting gowns, we also recommend that you invest in some good quality shapewear to hide any unsightly bumps and sport a fantastic, trim figure instead.
This gorgeous Mori Lee evening gown in lace, for example, features a slimming fit and flare silhouette. However, to bring out the true beauty of the dress, you should either have a perfect hourglass figure or wear shapewear underneath to tuck in any flab you may have around your waist or hips.
Choose colors wisely
As beautiful as a dress may be in a picture or when on display, it doesn’t need to be the best choice in colour for you. When choosing formal evening gowns, it is always a good idea to only look at colours that match your complexion. Colours play a significant role in enhancing your overall look. However, they also have the power to do the opposite. Why should you want to wear a dress that makes you look pale or sick when you could be wearing one that makes your eyes pop and your skin glow? Remember this when you go shopping, so you can stay focused even though you may be attracted to a dress in a beautiful colour that may not work for you. Many dresses are available in more than one colour. So you may like to look at the other colour options if you love a particular design, but the colour doesn’t look great on you. Also, always try on the different dress options you have shortlisted. This will reveal which one is best for you, rather than go by instinct.
This stunning red beauty from the Jadore collection is also available in pale yellow and black. So, you can satisfy yourself with the same design in an alternate colour if this dress doesn’t look as beautiful on you as you would want it to.
Don’t always go for the trendiest
Trends come and go with startling speed. Unless you don’t mind your gown looking outdated in a few months, it is best to buy dresses that aren’t too trendy. Choosing dresses with features that are always in style will allow you to use them for much longer. On the other hand, specific prints, styles and embellishments can quickly lose their charm, and you may not find it appropriate to wear this dress in a year. Some of the safe choices that are always bound to be fashionable include the following.
- Sweetheart necklines where the neckline gently follows the natural curves of the bust.
- V-necklines have and will always be popular because of their universally flattering style
- Cap sleeves are romantic, whimsical and a versatile choice for many types of figures
- A-line dresses appeal to all women as they are a safe option that looks good on all body frames
- Colors like black, white, navy and gold are always trendy
Here is a gown that will always be a favourite for several reasons. This Mori Lee evening gown is a classic beauty, with a sweetheart neckline and an A-line silhouette. The criss-cross ruched bodice and gently shirred skirt, as well as the stunning navy colour, will always be festive and suitable for most formal occasions.
Choose the right fabric
The way a fabric drapes around your body and the natural flow it has will impact the overall effect of the dress. While some materials like tulle are crisp and rigid, others like chiffon are soft and flow gently. The fabric you choose for your gown should be suitable for your structure and height. If you are naturally very slim, a fabric that clings to you may make you look even thinner. If you are bulky, a crisp fabric structured to give more bulk to a dress may add extra pounds to your look. So, make a wise choice where the material is concerned. How the fabric is layered and whether it features ruffles or similar dramatic elements can also alter the overall look of the dress. Another factor to consider is the suitability of the fabric for the weather at the time you will be wearing the dress. Since you will most likely be using this dress more than once, find out how it must be cared for and cleaned. Certain materials like silk will require a great deal of care, and you may have to dry clean it to keep it looking fresh.
This Mori Lee chiffon dress with embroidery is suitable for functions in summer and spring, as the fabric is soft, lightweight and breathable. It is also low maintenance, making it ideal for women who don’t want to spend too much time or money cleaning it.
Choose to dress it up or down with accessories
While a great dress will do wonders in transforming you into a striking beauty, it is also necessary to choose the right accessories to complete your look. Of course, you can always dress your overall look up or down, based on the accessories you wear with it. As a general rule, if your evening dress has elaborate details, stick to minimum accessories to avoid a cluttered look. On the other hand, if your dress is relatively simple, you can dress it up with bold accessories that add the desired touch of drama. Apart from shoes, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, also consider clutches, hair accessories, scarves and belts or sashes to create an entirely different look. Other factors to look at when choosing the right mix of accessories include the neckline and sleeve and other design elements of the selected dress.
This gown from the Jadore collection is a dress that can be accessorized in many different ways to create the look you desire. It is a lovely dress that will work by itself and look great with the right choice of accessories.
Best for Bride has dresses for women of all ages and sizes. We bring you a stunning collection of evening dresses to choose from. Visit our evening dress collection today to find out what fabulous dresses are available today. Also, the clearance and sale section will allow you to choose from the most attractive deals available. So take a look today, and we are sure you will find more than just one that you will love.