Occasionally playing dress up is fun: getting dolled up, spruced up, pampered and prettied up for a special party or event. For the fashion lover, and those who prefer a more dressed down look, wrapping yourself in a gorgeous, glamorous evening gown can be downright enjoyable.
An evening gown is a long flowing women’s dress, usually worn to a formal affair. The dress can range from tea and ballerina to full length. Evening gowns are usually made of luxurious fabrics such as chiffon, velvet, satin, organza, etc. Silk is a popular fiber for many evening gowns.
Evening Gown Fun Fact: Although the terms are often used interchangeably, ball gowns and evening gowns differ in that a ball gown will always have a full skirt and a fitted bodice; in contrast, an evening gown can be any silhouette — sheath, mermaid, A-line or trumpet shaped, and may have an empire or dropped waist.
Evening wear for women, sometimes also known as court dress based on its creation at royal courts, has its origins in the 15th century with the rise of the Burgundian court and its fashionable and fashion-conscious ruler Philip the Good. Wool was the most dominant of fabrics for dresses, and the ladies of the court simply added a train to their kirtle for formal occasions. Rich fabrics and fibers were usually the domain of the nobility, and clothing was still used as an identifier of social ranks and status.
The dawn of the Renaissance slowly changed the rigid social rank system, and allowed wealthy Patricians and merchants to visibly display their success.
Ah, the allure, appeal and style of the elegant evening gown is now revered the world ’round!
Evening gowns are particularly popular in black, with royal blue and red or burgundy close behind!
White Tie Occasions: When worn to white tie occasions, the evening gown is generally more elaborate than when worn to black tie events. Often the silhouette will be fuller, to match the “very formal” white tie attire worn by men. Today, the evening gown is becoming more frequent in women’s formal wear, even at white tie occasions, but fashion etiquette states that ball gowns must be worn. (Fashion Divas often make their own rules)!
Black Tie Occasions: When attending a black tie event, evening gowns can range from tea length (mid calf to the ankle) to full length (to the floor). In general, the same rules of a white tie event apply to a black tie event, although in some cases a cocktail dress is acceptable (think New Year’s Eve)!
Although all evening gowns are stunning, my most favorite and preferred gown by far is the mermaid. With it’s form fitting, hip hugging style and the outward drape of the hemline, the mermaid dress is beautiful…the queen of land and sea!
Eye catching evening gowns for a special night on the town!
Evening Gown Fun Fact: Evening gowns gained prominence in beauty pageants, both national and international. Judges in the beauty pageants score the contestants in the evening gown segment, the highest of which is propelled to the top 5. Most pageants offer awards such as “Best in Evening Gown” to the contestants with the most beautiful dresses. Usually, the crowning moment shows the winner and the rest of the pageant contestants in evening gowns.
Evening Gown Fun Fact: During the Edwardian era, the s-shaped figure was fashionable, which included a very narrow waist. Immediately preceding and during World War I, style lines and cuts became looser and more fluid as a precursor to the boyish silhouettes of the 1920s. During this time, the hemlines of evening gowns rose and cuts were simple, to match the new lifestyle of the Flapper era.
The 1930s introduced bias cuts and artificial fibers. Along with the empire cut, over the years the sheath, mermaid, A-line and trumpet shapes became popular. The dropped waist and princess styles were also trending, depending on the era. Grace Kelly is noted for wearing understated evening gowns!
Evening gowns are extraordinary dresses to be worn to extraordinary events such as formal dinners, the opera, theater premieres, formal dances, The Academy Awards, other awards events, evening wedding receptions and charity balls.
“Your black gown is lovely; you are by far the most exquisite lady on the dance floor.”
“This is my sultry, slinky mermaid gown…the material is less but the beauty is more.”
“Why don’t you do me a favor and swim across the dance floor for me?”
“A true mermaid moves only elegantly, gracefully and beautifully.”
“I’d like to have the next slow dance with you if you are up for that.”
“I’ll be happy to swing and sway with you, but for fashion etiquette, remove your hat!”
Evening Gowns: Always take center stage and be the style boss as you dance dressed splendidly through the town in an opulent, glamorous evening gown!
Nancy Mangano is an American beauty/fashion/style influencer, fashion journalist, screenwriter and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series. Visit Nancy on her global online fashion/style/beauty magazine Strutting in Style! at http://www.struttinginstyle.com, her Facebook page Nancy Mangano at https://www.facebook.com/nancymmangano/ Twitter @https://twitter.com/nancymangano and her author website http://www.nancymangano.com