Before You Go Shopping 8 Tips for Choosing Evening Gown
Finding the right dress will make you 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. But there is so much variety in evening dresses, that it can make shopping for the perfect one totally confusing!
So, how do you set about looking for one, and identify if it is the right choice for you?
Here are ten valuable tips from Best for Bride, to help you find the right formal gown for your next big social event.
Before You Go Shopping 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 right 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
By choosing a dress style that flatters your body shape, you will look and feel confident and attractive. Certain styles, 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, evening dress from Nordstrom Evening dress collection is a safe bet in terms of fit, color, 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 dress that is good, within your specified range. The price is often determined by the number of details in the gown, the fabric, embellishments and designer collection to which it belongs.
Evening gowns can be expensive. However, you should balance out the price with the use you intend to get out of it. If it is in a neutral color and timeless design, so you can get several uses out of it, it is worth spending more for the good 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 a good idea to look in the sale section. If you have an eye for detail and know it when you see a gown that is just right, 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 on it.
Check out this sale and clearance section on Nordstrom for the latest attractive offers in wedding dresses and evening gowns.
Give priority to dresses from good designer collections
Although you can find formal dresses that are really cheap, 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 of the fabric and enhance the natural features of the wearer, 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 major 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 the evening dress from the Jadore Collection. This collection features exquisite designer gowns showcasing the latest trends.
Choose a gown closest to your actual size
There is no such thing as a standard size for women, and so it is highly unlikely that you will find a gown off the rack that fits you perfectly. For the best fit, recommends that you have your chosen dress altered to your actual measurements.
This is quite easy to do, and so you incur the least expenses on alterations, you should choose a gown that is closest in size to your actual measurements. This simply means that you shouldn’t choose gowns that are too big or too small in size.
Don’t ever make the mistake of choosing a gown that is smaller 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 simply lose the chance to wear the dress you carefully chose for the occasion.
Buy your actual size at the time you go shopping, and you can always have the extra fabric taken in when you lose the extra weight. When wearing close-fitting gowns, it is also recommended 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 gowns in lace, for example, features a slimming fit and flare silhouette. To bring out the actual 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 isn’t necessary that it will be the best choice in color for you. When choosing formal evening gowns, it is always a good idea to only look at colors that match your complexion.
Colors play a significant role in enhancing your overall look. 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 color that may not work for you. Many dresses are available in more than one color. So you may like to look at the other color options if you absolutely love a particular design but the color doesn’t look great on you.
Also, always try on the different dress options you have shortlisted. This will clearly reveal which one is best on you, rather than go by instinct.
This stunning red beauty, from the Jadore collection, is also available in Taro and black. So, you can satisfy yourself with the same design in an alternate color, 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 it for much longer. Specific prints, styles, and embellishments can quickly lose their charm, and you may not find it appropriate to wear this dress in a year’s time. Some of the safe choices that are bound to always 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 favorite for several reasons. This Mori Lee 112 evening dress 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 color, will always be festive and suitable for most formal occasions.
Choose the right fabric for your evening gown
The way a fabric drapes around your body and the natural flow it has will impact the overall effect of the dress. While some fabrics like tulle are crisp and rigid, others like chiffon are soft and flow gently. The fabric you choose for your dress should be one that is 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 fabric 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 your evening gown. Since you will most likely be using this dress more than once, also find out how it has to 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 an ideal choice for women who don’t want to spend too much time or money on 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. 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, as well as other design elements of the chosen dress.
This one 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, as well as look great with the right choice of accessories.