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What to Wear With an Evening Gown

Updated February 21, 2017

Evening gowns call for luxurious, tasteful accessories. Anything worn with an evening gown should complement it and not detract from the dress. If your dress is simple, you can choose bolder accessories. If your dress is flashy, choose accessories that are more subdued.

Jewellery for an Evening Dress

Whatever jewellery you decide to wear, make sure that it is real. It is better to wear smaller, authentic jewellery, than larger costume pieces. Costume jewellery will detract from the dress and, ultimately, from you. People will be able to tell, even if they do not say anything about it.

When choosing jewellery, it is a good rule of thumb to limit yourself to only one large piece, with any other items much smaller. You don't have to wear all the jewellery you own. Consider the cut of the dress to decide what jewellery to wear. If you have a beautiful, open neckline, consider letting a necklace take centre stage. If you are going sleeveless, a more embellished bracelet may be the right choice.

Bags and Shoes

With an evening gown, there is a limited choice if you want to wear flats. If at all possible, wear heels. Avoid clunky heels and most wedges. They don't match the sophistication of the evening dress. If you are wearing a dark dress, it is hard to go wrong with black heels. If you do not normally wear heels, practice in them first. If you wobble or look uncomfortable walking in the heels, it will detract from the entire look of the outfit.

A bag does not have to match the shoes. Match your handbag to the dress. Don't choose anything with a shoulder strap or a bag that is bulky. Get a clutch bag, either with a wrist strap or without any straps. Shoulder straps ruin the line of the dress.

Stoles and Wraps

If your dress has little fabric and is sleeveless or strapless, a stole or wrap can definitely add to the elegance of the gown. A silk or velvet wrap that matches or contrasts can complement the dress considerably. In the winter, furs and fake furs can add to the outfit. Stoles and wraps can be draped over the shoulders or through the elbows. Avoid a stole or wrap that is very long. Wider and shorter is better. When wearing a wrap or stole, be mindful throughout the event of where the stole is placed. An uneven wrap, or one trailing on the ground, is unsightly.

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About the Author

Antonia Sorin started writing in 2004. She is an independent writer, filmmaker and motion graphics designer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has completed work for the Long Leaf Opera Company, the former Exploris Museum and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She graduated from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.