How to accessorize formal evening wear

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How to accessorize formal evening wear
Accessorize Formal Evening Wear

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:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Cashmere Shawl
  • Evening Gloves
  • Evening Handbags
  • Hair Accessories
  • Handbags
  • Hosiery
  • Silk Scarf
  • Women's Closed-toed Shoes
  • Women's Dress Shoes
  • Bracelets
  • Earrings
  • Necklaces

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Accessorize one (or all) of your most visible areas: neck, wrists and shoulders.

  2. 2

    Think seriously about costume jewelry and faux gems; they are relatively inexpensive and readily accessible at department stores and secondhand boutiques.

  3. 3

    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.)

  4. 4

    Ponder the notion that less is usually more ... and almost always suffices.

  1. 1

    Choose a matching bracelet and necklace.

  2. 2

    Get real, cultured or faux pearls and wear them anywhere.

  3. 3

    Wear a tennis bracelet - such as a single strand of diamonds - for a dramatic look. Or consider an evening watch instead of a bracelet.

  4. 4

    Try elegant pearl or diamond studs for your ears. Vintage clip-ons or exotic dangling earrings could also work.

  5. 5

    Adorn your hair with sparkling clips, tortoiseshell barrettes, a diamond tiara or even a fresh gardenia.

  6. 6

    Find a ring that complements your other jewelry.

  1. 1

    Put on your fancy shoes, no matter how elegant or frivolous, but be sure they are comfortable enough to dance the night away.

  2. 2

    Choose stockings in a neutral palette. If you want hose with a design, make it subtle.

  3. 3

    Go with gloves to the opera, a debutante ball or the Ascot races.

  4. 4

    Toss a shawl around your shoulders; make sure it goes with your outfit in terms of color and texture.

  5. 5

    Try a lace mantilla or a vintage smoking jacket for "a look" or for warmth.

  6. 6

    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.

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