How to choose an elegant evening gown, without looking like you’re headed to the Prom!

stunning evening dresses for your next red carpet appearance

Hervé L Leroux long dress

Temperley London long dress
$3,200 –

Coast sequin gown
$285 –


The 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!

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Susan Conforte McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur, Harper’s BAZAAR Style Ambassador, and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! In addition to Susan Said… WHAT?! Susan also writes for It’s how you play the game! the corporate website of the award-winning You’ve been Sentenced! word game.


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  1. 1

    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!

    • 2

      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…

  2. 3

    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.

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