Evening dresses are, in the conventional sense, formal wear that suit white tie occasions. From the most formal of all dress codes, evening dresses today are worn at slightly less formal occasions like black tie events and so on.

Typically, there are three categories of evening dresses for women.

  1. The ball gown
  2. The evening gown
  3. The cocktail dress

Although these are three distinct styles, the dynamic nature of the fashion world often blurs the distinction between the three types.

Some of the most commonly seen evening dresses are:

‘A’ Line dresses: As the name suggests, these dresses look like the letter ‘A’ with a narrow top and a flare at the bottom. Although this kind of dress suits almost all figure types, it is best for bottom-heavy women.

Ball gown dresses: No points for guessing what these are. Fitted bodice and full skirt define this dress. The dress is ideal for women who want to hide full hips, thighs and legs and want to keep their tummy out of view. Ball gown dresses are best for tall women although those with medium height can also carry it off nicely.

Empire style dresses: these evening dresses are characterized by a raised waistline which is ideal for hiding thick waists or heavy bottoms. Due to their style, these dresses are best on petite women.

Hankie hems: A great looking style that is catching the popular imagination, these look somewhat like a scarf in their airiness and designs. They reach below the knee or may even touch the ankle. This is a halter style dress with two pieces that meet behind the neck. The dress exposes the arms and is therefore suited for most body types, particularly those with great looking arms.

One of the most essential pieces of evening wear that no woman can do without is the little black dress. When accessorized properly and combined with the right hairstyle, nothing can beat the poise and sophistication of this number. Its elder sister, the long black evening dress, is equally versatile and more suitable for highly formal events. Floor length and made from luxurious materials, these dresses ‘wow’ you with their implicit elegance. The right cut can make this dress sit well on almost any body type.

When it comes to choosing the right materials for evening dresses, there really is a wide variety of choices. From satin to velvet and silk, evening dresses come in all sorts of materials. These dresses are generally more expensive as they are required to look luxurious and make a woman look her very best. Some of the latest trends in evening dresses are off-shoulder evening dresses, backless evening dresses and evening dresses with spaghetti straps. These days, many women are receptive to wearing funky designs and prints even for formal occasions. Thus, polka dots and zebra prints also find a place in this section.

While the evening dresses itself lovely concept, it cannot really take off unless care is taken to choose the right accessories and footwear.