I would say good evening to all the readers of Strutting in Style, but it is only evening for some of you. For others, like me, it’s the afternoon. However, no matter what time of day it is in your hometown, for fashionistas everywhere, occasionally dolling yourself up to glam proportions in splendid evening gowns is exciting and fun. Oh, what a fashion lover’s thrill!
An evening gown is a long flowing women’s dress or gown usually worn to a formal affair. The gowns can range from tea and ballerina to full-length, even flowing on the ground. A woman’s evening gown corresponds to both men’s semi-formal wear for black tie events and men’s formal wear for white tie events.
Tie into the glitz of glamour draped in a luscious, lovely evening gown.
Evening Gown Fun Fact: Evening gowns are often made from luxurious fabrics of chiffon, velvet, satin, organza, and silk. Evening gowns come in a variety of silhouettes, such as sheath, mermaid, A-line or trumpet shaped, and may have an empire or dropped waist.
Although all evening gowns look spectacular, I am quite fond of the mermaid style, that fits snuggly at the hips and thighs, and flows at the hem. Let’s face it: have you ever seen a mermaid who doesn’t look magnificent?
Evening Gown Fun Fact: Evening wear is sometimes known as court dress based on its creation at royal courts. The fancy gowns originated in the 15th century with the rise of the Burgundian court and the court’s fashionable and fashion-conscious ruler Philip the Good. Wool, in various weaves, was the most popular fabric for dresses, and the ladies of the court often added a train to their kirtle for formal occasions.
Popular Styles of Evening Gowns:
- Sheath: Designed to fit the body tightly. The sheath is generally unbelted and has a straight drape. The gown can be either strapless or have shoulder straps.
- Mermaid: The gown is shaped like a mermaid. The dress has a form-fitting bodice and the skirt resembles a mermaid’s tail, hugging the hips and thighs and flaring out at the hem.
- A-Line: The dress is bell shaped, close-fitting at the top and widening at the bottom, without gathers or pleats. Basically a full-skirt that makes for a simple yet elegant appearance.
- Trumpet: The gown is tight fitting until it reaches the knees, where it flares.
- Empire: This silhouette involves the waistline coming up to just below the bust, from where the skirt hangs straight and loose. This is a breezy style.
- Dropped Waist: The gown’s waistline is dropped below the wearer’s actual waistline. The skirt can be fitted or flared.
- Princess: The princess style is tight, cut in single pieces, such as gores, and hangs in an unbroken line from the shoulder to the flared hem.
Woe to the evening gown lover: So many styles of evening gowns to choose from – so few places to wear them!
Although black is my first choice of color for evening gowns, the yellow looks absolutely stunning! Sunny and cheery with mounds of elegance!
Evening gowns can be distinguished from conventional or day dresses by two primary features. First, the cut, where the evening gown tends to be couture and in line with the latest fashions. Second, the fabric itself. Evening gowns tend to be made from luxurious materials and are often richly embroidered or decorated with beads, sequins, jewels or other ornaments.
Evening Gown Fashion Tip: As evening gowns are designed for luxury, often you get the best look with fabulous hair and makeup, and minimal yet dazzling high quality jewelry. A feminine high heeled shoe is a must to set off the glamorous appeal of the dress. Try an open toed pump or an open toed high heeled sandal for a beautiful head to toe look.
Evening Gown Fun Fact: For highly public events, such as the Academy Awards in the United States and the BAFTAs in the United Kingdom, well known fashion designers will lend custom or vintage dresses to famous attendees of the event, in order to showcase their design skills. Often once the gown has been worn, the gowns become part of a permanent archive.
Notable Events to Wear Evening Gowns:
- Dance Parties
- Awards Ceremonies (Music, Theater, Movies, etc.)
- Bar and Bat Mitavahs
- Film Festivals
Evening Gown Fun Fact: In the 1940s, couturiers introduced dancing costumes, a party dress with a full skirt specifically made for semi-formal and formal dances. The dancing costumes resembled evening gowns but were shorter in length.
Eye-catching evening gowns for a fancy night on the town!
Evening Gown Fashion Tip: Although the evening gown comes in a variety of shapes, lengths and colors, the full-skirted ball gown remains what is known as the pinnacle of formality. Add elegant silk gloves that cover the hands and lower arms up the your elbows and wear your hair off your shoulders for an exquisite glamour girl look that shouts regal royalty!
Evening Gown Fun Fact: The vibrant court life of the 16th and 17th centuries, with its focus on art, literature and music, created a perfect environment for feminine formal clothing. Elaborate dinners, dances and theater productions allowed ladies to showcase their fashionable and enviable formal attire to fabulous proportions.
“I’m looking for a knock-out evening gown where I’ll stand out from the crowd.”
“Then you want a dress that is so spectacular it speaks for itself, nothing too loud.”
“I prefer the gown show off my girlish figure, but a style that looks all woman.”
“Make a splash in the royal blue mermaid dress and wear your hair in a wispy bun.”
“I’ll show off my shoulders with the strapless dress and wear a diamond belt around the waist.”
“No wonder you passed Fashion Diva 101 with flying colors, you have divine fashion taste!”
Never tire dressing to the nines for an event consisting of evening gown attire!
Nancy Mangano is an American fashion journalist and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series, A Passion for Prying and Murder Can Be Messy. Visit Nancy on her author website http://www.nancymangano.com, Twitter @https://twitter.com/nancymangano, her fashion magazine Strutting in Style! at http://www.struttinginstyle.com, and her Facebook fan page Nancy Mangano https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Mangano/362187023895846