Evening Dresses & Gowns
Fashion is one of the most significant aspects of culture in both a historical and social context. It speaks to intentions, values, status, and tastes, and functions like a language as old as time. Evening wear is one of the most prominent occurrences in which the importance of fashion reveals itself. Whether the occasion is a wedding, a gala, the opera, or prom, there are numerous events that call for the formal attire of ball gowns and black ties. Fashion becomes a vital outlet of expression in these socially significant circumstances. The way we present ourselves in such environments has a massive influence on how we are perceived and how we are believed to perceive ourselves.
There are formal dresses for every occasion and designers for every dress. No matter what kind of dress you’re looking for, know that your perfect one is out there waiting for you. But how does one even start? Well, it is a process of deliberation.
How to Choose the Right Evening Gown?
So, you’re looking for the perfect evening formal wear. A wide range of dresses are manufactured and sold, but it’s good to go into the hunt with some distinct ideas already defined. That way, you don’t lose sight of the end goal. After all, there’s plenty to sift through, so here are some things to keep in mind as you search:
The season and condition in which you’ll be wearing your dress should be one of your first considerations. Is it an outside summer wedding, or an inside charity event in January? What city is it in, and just how far will you be walking from the front door to the car to the entrance?
Your environment does not always have to directly correlate with your style of dress, but it should be taken into consideration for practicality’s sake. After all, plenty of actresses wear strapless or short-sleeved dresses to the Oscars, an event always held in February, but the ceremony is also located in Los Angeles, a perpetually warm and temperate climate.
If you do decide to wear a short-sleeved dress for a November gala, it would be wise to also invest in a shawl of some sort to stay comfortable—and no, those aren’t just reserved for mother of the bride dresses.
The physical cut and design of a dress are hugely important to the way it fits on you and the look it maintains. This aspect of fashion is possibly the most influential in decision-making. Everyone has their favored looks and wants to dress in accordance. However, once you have decided upon your favorite styles, consider their design in practice as well, with these particular tips:
- The Bra: For individuals most comfortable wearing a bra, keep that in mind when sifting through dresses with unique cuts, backless designs, plunging necklines, and strapless tops.
- Corsets: As beautiful as corsets may be, their restrictive nature can still inhibit your breathing and should not be worn extensively.
- The Sleeves: Consider avoiding long-sleeve dresses at events where there will be food. The sleeves might fall into your food and/or be difficult to roll up.
- The Shoes: If your dress is floor-length, consider wearing flat shoes for maximum comfort.
- Accessories: If your dress is off the shoulder, strapless, or generally revealing of your collarbone area, wear a medium or short chain necklace to make the look seem more layered.
- Tights: Unless the temperatures are low, avoid wearing tights. They are cumbersome and seldom thought to be fashion forward.
- Hairstyle: For the sake of balance, style your hair more or less intricately to compensate for your dress—if your dress is detailed, go for a straight-forward hairstyle. If your dress is understated, try a sleek up-do. Hair is often neglected in considerations of dress, but it is an essential part of any formal attire.
- Outfit Coordination: If you anticipate wearing the evening formal attire with a date, try to coordinate outfits so as to look orchestrated and unified.
Style and Event Tone
Additionally, the tone of the event you are attending is crucial to your decision. Different events call for different levels of formality, and you want to make sure you don't show up overdressed or under-dressed.
On the scale of nationally recognized high-end occasions, the Met Gala has historically been a time for avant-garde and unconventional high fashion, allowing designers and wearers to play with the theme just enough to push the envelope.
Awards ceremonies, such as the Oscars or the Golden Globes, however, tend to be equally high-end but significantly more conventional.
Other occasions, such as weddings, might call for casual attire or formal attire, depending on the wedding theme itself. With evening dresses for weddings, you want your dress to be formal enough to show your respect for the wedding party while at the same time not being so extravagant as to outshine the bride.
With so many occasions that might call for formal wear, it is important to ask: Is your event an artistic one, a professional one, a personal one, or something else entirely?
Color palettes are a vital component of the event at hand and to selecting the right attire. Worry less about what colors look “good on you,” as that is largely subjective, but instead consider the connotations that certain color palettes have in the context of what you are dressing up for. Black floor-length gowns with a bold red lip and gold heel can be show-stopping, but perhaps should be avoided for a colleague’s June wedding.
On the topic of weddings, never wear white if you are not the bride—this is just one of many cultural “no-no’s” to bear in mind, especially with an event as personal as a wedding.
Colors corresponding to current season can be fun to play around with but are usually not necessary. Color is more frequently seen as a feature of style as opposed to an objective reflection of the time of year.
As one of the least discussed features on the topic of fashion, the material of evening dresses is critical to its design. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. Deciding which is most suitable ultimately comes down to preference.
- Silk has an extremely long history in fashion and social status. It is tangibly soft and visually appealing, maintaining an effortless sheen and feeling soft against the skin.
- Velvet is another fabric with connotations of high social status. Classic and sleek, velvet is a great choice almost (if not) every time. The largest complication with this material is its inability to release water, thus making it undesirable for any outside event.
- Tulle is a fun, textured fabric that often portrays youth and carefreeness. It comes off as airy and without worry, whether it is layered over, under, or completely replacing another fabric. It can be irritating against the skin, so keep that in mind if the tulle is a material you’re considering.
- Embellishments like lace, beads, et cetera can be charming and really heighten the design of the dress with little effort. One thing to keep in mind with these is that they can also irritate the skin if worn for too long and/or your skin is sensitive. If your occasion is likely to last all day, try to guarantee your innermost layer of fabric is comfortable.
Affordability is a massive aspect of dress shopping. In fact, it was arguably the largest obstacle in attaining formal wear before the internet. Now, with the internet, you have a vast selection of designers, styles, and most importantly, lower prices. Affordable evening dresses can be found on hundreds if not thousands of sites, including Jovani's. All these sites have their unique roster of options and price tags within arm’s reach.
Be sure to shop within your means, as there’s nothing more heart-wrenching than getting emotionally attached to something out of your price limit.
What Are My Options?
Like any merchandise, your options are only as good as your provider. Evening dresses for women tend to be more niche than other sectors of fashion. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the company—its origins, its qualifications, the mission it hopes to accomplish with its brand, and its overall reliability. You especially want to focus on finding a company that specializes in dresses. The last thing you want is a cheap dress from a knock-off store that manufactures cheap clothing in general without an awareness of what makes a quality dress.
Doing research on manufacturers is an especially valuable step if you’re looking for gowns that need to fit specific needs, such as plus size evening dresses or dresses you can buy on a budget. Not all providers will offer options to meet your needs, but do not get discouraged—everyone deserves to have formal attire that fits and makes you feel confident.
Where Do I Start?
Here at Jovani, we know exactly how to serve our clientele with the best evening gowns for the best prices. Our understanding of fashion and formal attire is the backbone of our company operates, and we know how important it is to be looking at your best in order to feel your best.
Check out our evening dresses page for a wide selection of formal attire. We offer an extensive variety of Jovani designer evening dresses for all of your formal wear needs, and we pride ourselves on the care we put into each gown. Whether you’re going to a charity event, homecoming, or a ballet, know that you’re in good hands with our expertise and passion.