Accessories embellish any outfit, and a formal evening is the perfect occasion to go to town. From amber to zircon, hats to hose, scarves and shawls to shoes and slip-ons, consider the occasion and the season.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Cashmere Shawl
- Evening Gloves
- Evening Handbags
- Hair Accessories
- Silk Scarf
- Women's Closed-toed Shoes
- Women's Dress Shoes
Accessorize one (or all) of your most visible areas: neck, wrists and shoulders.
Think seriously about costume jewelry and faux gems; they are relatively inexpensive and readily accessible at department stores and secondhand boutiques.
Evaluate your formal outfit carefully: Is it simple and elegant or fancy and froufrou? (Remember that a hot pink feather boa will be a showstopper at a ball but will merely attract stares at a college graduation.)
Ponder the notion that less is usually more ... and almost always suffices.
Choose a matching bracelet and necklace.
Get real, cultured or faux pearls and wear them anywhere.
Wear a tennis bracelet - such as a single strand of diamonds - for a dramatic look. Or consider an evening watch instead of a bracelet.
Try elegant pearl or diamond studs for your ears. Vintage clip-ons or exotic dangling earrings could also work.
Adorn your hair with sparkling clips, tortoiseshell barrettes, a diamond tiara or even a fresh gardenia.
Find a ring that complements your other jewelry.
Put on your fancy shoes, no matter how elegant or frivolous, but be sure they are comfortable enough to dance the night away.
Choose stockings in a neutral palette. If you want hose with a design, make it subtle.
Go with gloves to the opera, a debutante ball or the Ascot races.
Toss a shawl around your shoulders; make sure it goes with your outfit in terms of color and texture.
Try a lace mantilla or a vintage smoking jacket for "a look" or for warmth.
Carry an evening purse or a beaded bag large enough to hold business cards, keys, cash and lip gloss.
Tips and warnings
- Analyze your bracelet, earrings, necklace, scarf, shoes, stockings and evening bag. Does everything work together?
- Consider wearing a limited number of fine (or glamorous) items, not everything you own.
- Be sure a matching set is all real or all faux, not some of each.
- Consider the company if you want to wear an ankle bracelet.
- Treat yourself to a manicure, especially if you're sporting a ring.