Choosing evening dresses for special occasions can sometimes be daunting, but the right dress is out there for you, you just have to find it! To help you, here is a guide to the different types of evening dresses:
Floor Length Dresses
Floor length dresses are ideal for very formal occasions, such as a ball or a red carpet event. These are dresses that literally sweep the floor and can be worn with either high heels of flats, depending on how much height the wearer would like to gain or not.
Floor length dresses are available in many different styles. Backless dresses are always glamorous, and shoulder-less dresses have been popular for many years.
Tea dresses are knee-length or mid-calf length dresses with a fitted bodice and a reasonably full skirt. Normally worn at afternoon tea parties, they can also be appropriate for slightly more informal evening occasions. Tea dresses can be dressed up with the right accessories, jewellery and shoes. Tea dresses are often associated with pretty floral prints, sweetheart necklines, and are extremely feminine.
Full Length Dresses
Full length evening dresses are long dresses that do not quite reach the floor; the hemline usually falls to just below the anklebone. They can be used to show off beautiful shoes or sandals. Full length dresses can look wonderful in a wide range of fabrics and styles.
Taffeta, silk, chiffon and lace can all be used to make stunning evening dresses, and styles include empire-line, back-less, sleeve-less, figure hugging or with a full skirt.
A cocktail dress is the term used to describe a short dress i.e. knee length or shorter, that is designed to be worn in the evening at an occasion such as a cocktail party. Today, cocktail dresses are worn at all sorts of evening occasions, weddings, parties, restaurants and even nights out clubbing.
Cocktail dresses are typically close fitting, although this is not always the case.
Luxurious fabrics such as velvet or lace, with sequins and rhinestones can help add glamour to a cocktail dress, and they are available in may different shapes and styles, so they can be found to make the most of every type of figure, style and budget.
Add a pair of killer heels and a cocktail dress can make an evening outfit that will turn heads.
Some Evening Dress Do's and Don'ts
Whatever style of dress you choose, the main thing to remember is to observe the dress code of the event, which will be clearly specified if it's black tie or white tie.
Never wear a white dress to a wedding. Even if the bride says she doesn't mind, the chances are high that she is just being polite, and many other guests will secretly think that you are being the opposite!
If you wish to look elegant and classy then a good rule of thumb is to think about which area of the body you wish to emphasize. If you are wearing a dress with a low-cut top, go for a longer length dress. If you wish to show off your legs, opt for a top with short sleeves and a higher neckline.
One recent occasion where these rules weren't strictly followed was this year's Met Ball in New York, where many different styles were showcased. Fashion critics agreed that Anne Hathaway looked elegant and fashion-forward in a slinky, full length gold dress, which featured an unusual hood. Rihanna looked stunning in a floor length canary yellow dress, which was liberally encrusted with Swarovski crystals, although it was the enormous matching yellow robes that stole the show.
Some celebrities opted for shorter cocktail dresses, such as Beyoncé who wore a revealing dress that showed off her figure. Alicia Keys wore a full length gown with a full white layered skirt of tulle, with a navy tailored jacket and bodice. Singer, Rita Ora, wore a slinky satin red dress that was low-cut and figure hugging.