How to Choose an Evening Gown

How to choose an evening gownThe recent fashion promenade on the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards is a wonderful example of how evening wear can go very right (Sophia Vergara) or very, very wrong (Lena Dunham).

My rule of thumb is simple: If you go for vibrant colors (cobalt blue, fire engine red, shimmering silver) keep your lines classic and elegant. Classic halter and simple strapless are two of my favorite looks. One embellishment (ruffle, beading, ruching) is usually enough to add panache to this look without looking a little too “prom.”

Simple hues (black, bronze, white) can all handle a bit more va va voom. Draping, rhinestone accents and trim, or sequins will pump up the volume.

Above, I’ve showcased a few of my favorite evening dresses that are sure to turn heads at your next event!

  • Hervé L Leroux long dress (
  • Hervé Léger long dress (
  • Temperley London long dress ($3,200 –
  • Coast sequin gown ($285 –
  • Christian Dior wrap dress (

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Named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone, Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to a life filled with style. From must-have fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus the latest products and ideas for chic parties, you’ll find it here. Editor Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait


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  1. 1

    I love these gowns. My faves are the Hervé L Leroux long dress from, the Temperley London long dress from, and the Coast sequin gown from Thank you for sharing this selection and your tips.

  2. 2

    Gorgeous selection! I love the blue especially. I think Sofia Vergara looked gorgeous – that black gown and the necklace she wore was just amazing! Lena…I didn’t mind her dress this’s a giant improvement over some past choices – but her posture was just horrible! I have faith she’ll get it right!

    • 3

      True “women’s” evening wear is so hard to find! I went to an event two years ago and the hostess wore a beaded and chiffon lilac ball gown. She looked like a giant cupcake…

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