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The Most Stylish Evening Gowns for Women

An evening gown is any long, elegant dress meant to be worn to formal events like galas, weddings, or other fancy gatherings. Evening gowns don’t necessarily have to be floor-length (though many are), but as long as they reach the calf and are flowy to some degree, they count. Evening gowns are often made of luxurious fabrics like silk, chiffon, or velvet and can be simple and sophisticated or elaborately decorated. If you have a formal event on your calendar, here are a few evening gowns we recommend.

What to Consider in an Evening Gown

Here are a few things to think about before buying an evening gown:

  • Style: There is a nearly limitless selection of evening gown styles. You can find evening gowns that are strapless, thin-strapped, off-the-shoulder, v-necked, halter, and more. They can be form-fitting or loose and flowy, and slit however high or low you desire. They can have an empire waist, drop waist, asymmetrical waist, etc. The sleeves can be long, short, three-quarter length, see-through, or nonexistent. As long as they meet the requirements of a formal dress with a long and somewhat flowy skirt, the sky is the limit on any other style or design choices.
  • Color: Just like the style, your color options for an evening gown are nearly limitless. You can’t go wrong with a classic, elegant black gown, of course, but other neutral colors, bright colors, or pastel colors are also acceptable, so don’t be afraid to pick out your evening gown in the color that best suits you. Evening gowns tend to come in solid colors, but there are also multicolored and even patterned options available, too. It all comes down to your personal preferences and whatever you think is most fitting for the event you’re attending.
  • Decorations: Many people might think of an evening gown as a simple yet elegant dress in one solid color. While these types of evening gowns can certainly look stunning, don’t be afraid to go for a more unique flair if that’s your style. Pleats, ruching, lace, ruffles, sequins, bows, rhinestones, long trains, frills are all on the table. Whether you want an evening gown that is simple or extravagant or somewhere in between, there’s sure to be an option that perfectly suits your fancy.

Best Off-the-Shoulder: YMDUCH Women’s Off Shoulder Evening Gown

This off-the-shoulder gown is a classic style for evening gowns, a timeless design that will always look chic and elegant for any event. This formal off-the-shoulder number is made of polyester and spandex for a soft, stretchy fit that will feel comfortable all night. The skirt is floor-length with a slit partway up the thigh for an eye-catching silhouette. The gown is available in seven different solid colors that range from neutral to rich shades that will never look out of place at any formal event. Sizes run from S to XXL (corresponding to women’s numbered sizes 4 to 18).

Best Off-the-Shoulder

YMDUCH Women's Off Shoulder High Split Long Formal Party Dress Evening Gown Black

A classic, solid-colored, off-the-shoulder evening gown that invokes a look of timeless elegance.

Most Versatile: IWEMEK Women Transformer Evening Gown

If you’re on a budget or don’t want to buy a new evening gown for every formal occasion, try this multifunctional number on for size. The tie closure of this wrap gown can be arranged and tied in up to 24 different styles, all in the same dress. You can tie it in a halter top for one event, a v-neck for another, make it a strapless gown for the next one, and so forth. The skirt is floor-length, with several colors available in a high-low skirt. The material is a polyester-spandex blend that is comfortable, highly elastic, and breathable. Choose between 43 different color options and sizes ranging from S to XL (see accompanying sizing chart for reference).

Most Versatile

Women Transformer Evening Long Prom Dress Multi-Way Wrap Convertible Floor Length Wedding Halter Maxi Gown High Elasticity

A floor-length evening gown with a tie closure that can be rearranged into 24 different styles.

Best Vintage: PrettyGuide Women’s 1920s Evening Dress

Vintage styles are back in vogue, and this gorgeous sequined evening gown is sure to turn heads wherever you wear it. Evocative of a 1920s wedding dress designed in a classic art deco style, the sequins and beads are sewn to resemble a pattern of four-leaf clovers. The cap sleeve and shoulders are sheer, decorated with some sequins, to create an illusion sweetheart neckline. The skirt reaches all the way to the floor with a touch of movement, and the gown zips up the back. Each of the 18 possible color options is adorned with its own colored sequins and beads as well. In some cases, the sequins and beads are a darker or lighter shade of the gown’s color; in others, they’re contrasting colors. Six sizes are available, ranging from XS (2 to 4) to XXL (20 to 22).

Best Vintage

PrettyGuide Women 's 1920s Black Sequin Gatsby Maxi Long Evening Prom Dress, Gold - 2/4

A gorgeous 1920s style vintage gown adorned with sequins and beads for a timeless design.

Best Plus Size: Ever-Pretty Women’s V-Neck Evening Dress

Here’s an elegant evening gown specifically designed to fit and flatter women with curves. Made of 100% polyester with a zipper in the back, this flowing gown is made to resemble chiffon. It’s feather-light to wear and fully lined, with some slight stretchiness for additional comfort. The elbow-length ruffled sleeves, double v-neck, floor-length skirt, and empire waist combine for a look that is both flattering and ultra-feminine. Sizing starts at a 14 and runs up to a 26. This gown does tend to run small, so it is recommended you order it one size up from normal. You have a choice of 16 different colors to choose from in shades that are jewel-toned, pastel, neutral, and more.

Best Plus Size

Women's Plus Size Long Maxi Dress Evening Wedding Bridesmaid Gown Green US18

A feminine and elegant evening gown specifically designed for plus sizes.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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