You’ve been invited to a black-tie event. No need to fear. Dressing for a formal event doesn’t have to fill you with panic or dread.
When choosing what to wear over 40 to a formal event, it’s important to follow proper etiquette for formal occasions. Those occasions frequently include late afternoon and evening weddings, garden and holiday parties, and any other formal event such as a ball. When dressing for a formal event, women over 40 can choose from a variety of styles and fabrics. One standard, however, is that the dress be a full-length evening gown or a fancy cocktail dress.
One of the biggest faux pas in formal dressing is that women try too hard to find the prettiest dress they can. Remember, you want to be the one who shines and the dress is just there to support you! If you are confused about what to buy, simple is better. Think about what styles flatter your body the best.
Choosing the right dress is only a portion of your entire look. Picking the right accessories and hairstyle must also adhere to certain formal-wear standards.
The outfit above is perfect for a gala, upscale reception, or a formal wedding.
The Dress – Formal gowns generally reach the floor. This long, silver dress has a simple design, yet the metallic finish adds the flair that meets formal-wear standards. The belt adds an additional formal touch that is modest but elegant. When considering formal dresses for women over 40, always pay attention to the cut of the sleeves and neckline. Most formal gowns are sleeveless and feature plunging but not necessarily low-cut necklines. There’s a wide selection of party dresses for women over 40 available in a variety of cuts and colors to flatter any figure. Choose your accessories and hairstyles according to the dress.
The Shawl – A shawl, stole, or pashmina is the ideal item for draping over a sleeveless gown. Unlike a sweater or a jacket, a shawl is a stylish addition to a formal gown and works well with both indoor and outdoor venues.
The Shoes – Your shoes should complement the dress but not necessarily match it exactly in color. The shoe above has silver detail which, when paired with the cobalt blue straps, is a perfect choice for this dress. When choosing a shoe, it’s ideal to try on the shoe with the dress to be sure that they are a good match. Make sure your shoes are comfortable to wear for the entire evening. It is never acceptable etiquette to change shoes at a formal event.
The Jewelry – Earrings, bracelets, and necklaces are the perfect accompaniments to a formal gown. Diamonds, pearls, and precious stones are great choices for proper jewelry to adorn you formal outfit. Unless it looks real, costume jewelry should be saved for another occasion. A simple pair of stud diamond earrings will go a long way to dressing up a simple gown. If you’ll be wearing an up-do, earrings are an absolute must, but keep them simple such as a diamond stud or small dangle. Otherwise, everyone notices your overwhelming earrings and neglects the other important details.
The Clutch – Evening bags should be small in size and should match your evening dress. The detail on this clutch pairs well with the dress and the shoes.
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