We all know that feeling you get when you finally find the perfect evening dress and it fits just right. But what to do next? How to style it so you look your best? Check out these ideas for inspiration! Whether you want to go glam or keep things simple, there’s definitely a look for you. Keep reading at Live Enhanced to find out more!
If the shoe fits…
Shoes can be difficult to spot beneath mermaid trains, which are like fabric spotlights encircling—and drawing all attention to—your fabulous self. Nevertheless, this is no reason to shoehorn the shoes! Put your best foot forward with something to contrast your evening ensemble. Got a particularly ‘loud’ and vibrant dress? Then tone down the shoes. Is your dress more understated? In that case, compensate with some fancier footwear!
On the left, note how the velvety, satin fabric both hugs and melts across the figure, its strong, burgundy shade further emboldening its statement. This equates to a ‘loud’ gown, and so the heels—though diamond-encrusted—are understated and have a predominantly nude tone. This adds a subtle sparkle that’s yet natural enough to not subtract from the stunning main event that is the evening gown.
On the right, we have a crisp, white evening gown that finds its statement in its more defined edges. On the whole, however, it is more understated and benefits from the brassy high heels with big embellishments. These shoes are strappy, frilled, and tasselled. They get their chance to shine against the white backdrop.
Focus on one piece of jewellery
The fancier the dress, the more focal it should be—unless you’re dressing it down for a casual setting, but that’s a separate blog post. In a formal environment, you’ll want to draw attention to the dress and complement it with one major piece of jewellery. That’s not to say that only one piece is allowed, but you should focus on a centrepiece and build all other bling around it.
So in this case, the model is sporting some beautiful butterfly hoop earrings in gold. These rather lavish accessories not only look fabulous against the black, lacey gown, but they are the major (and only) piece of jewellery to complement this evening ensemble. If this model were to wear a necklace, it would be a single gold chain—perhaps with one golden butterfly attachment. Ensure your jewellery is thematically linked (which will likely mean colour-matched) and small enough to ‘orbit’ around the centrepiece.
Remember: your clutch is an extension of your outfit
Amidst the planning, it can be easy to forget that your purse or clutch is actually part of your outfit. Consequently, you may choose something last-minute that clearly was not factored into your aesthetic beforehand. Dodge a report to the fashion police and plan ahead. Your purse or clutch needn’t be too elaborate!
As a catch-all solution, something elegant, petite, and chic should do the trick. However, you should also bear your outfit in mind. Are you looking to colour-match your clothing with a clutch, or are you seeking to offset your whole outfit? If it’s the latter, ensure to choose something contrasting rather than a random, mismatched colour.
Keep the outerwear brief
If you’re wearing an evening dress, chances are it’s long, flowing, and pooling at your feet. (In case you hadn’t noticed, we have a strong bias for mermaid cuts and trains. Had you cottoned on?) If you’re taking in the evening in a floor-length evening gown, the worst thing you could do is wear a coat or jacket that stops at the waist. This will clash and undermine the gown’s purpose, which is to hug and elongate the torso.
So, what should you wear instead? A coat that goes all the way down—it a trench coat or something woollen! This will provide bodily coverage whilst playing to the gown’s appearance or length. Like any addition to your outfit, ensure that the colour is thematically linked to your dress by either matching or contrasting the ensemble. Take into account gold or silver trimmings, for example, which may align with your jewellery.
Coordinate and understate
When planning your evening attire, ‘coordinate and understate’ could be a good mantra to live by. You need to choose additions that will complement the main event but will ultimately not subtract from it. The goal is to coordinate all moving parts to create a beautiful whole. Overdo the extras and you create a space where all pieces are competing with one another, resulting in a visually exhausting look. If the evening dress is the main event, then think of your main piece of jewellery as the auxiliary accessory. Everything else should follow suit.
One last thing to consider: the dress’s colour. Some dresses will be more elaborate than others. Work this to your advantage. The more understated the dress, the more you can dial up the embellishments. The more overstated, the more you’ll want to invest in complementary accessories. It all begins with the dress. What is your dress telling you?