White can be a really great color to choose for formal dresses, including evening wear, prom dresses, and dresses for black tie dress code events. It can be just as versatile as black in many ways while offering a more interesting and eye-catching look. However, where black can work for just about any occasion, a white formal dress can take a little bit more thought, and can also be a little harder to accessorize, as you don’t want to overpower the effect of the white with overly contrasting dark colors.
White can also be something that some people shy away from when it comes to formal wear because they are worried it will look too bridal. This can definitely be a concern – you don’t want to look like you’ve turned up to a gala or similar in a wedding dress – however, how you wear the dress, the occasion, and the style you choose can all make sure you are not mistaken for a bride!
Here we take a look at some of the things to think about if you would like to start considering white more often for formal occasions, or if you have already fallen in love with a white gown and want to wear it at its best!
When to Wear a White Evening or Formal Dress
In general, white looks best for spring and summer, as it tends to be during these seasons that fresher, brighter colors are worn, and there is nothing as fresh and bright as pure white! This makes white ideal for summer parties, and also for proms. Another reason why white is great for proms is that this is one occasion where, given everybody is young, you don’t have to worry too much about looking like you’ve worn your wedding dress!
White prom dresses are really fashionable at the moment, and so if you are considering this as an option for a prom next year, then it’s a great idea to take a look at the Jovani white prom dresses, which you can browse on the Jovani website. Jovani is one of the most popular fashion brands for formal dresses, including prom dresses, dresses for pageants, bridesmaids dresses, ballgowns and evening dresses, and you’ll find both short and long white dresses in all kinds of styles on there.
One exception to the idea of white fitting in best for summer events is Christmas. A white dress with crystal embellishments or other hints of lace and sparkle, or even with wintry fur or feather details, can be a beautiful seasonal choice for Christmas balls or galas, evoking a kind of icy look that can be further enhanced with diamond or crystal jewelry.
When Not to Wear White
The main time when white should be avoided for formal wear is for weddings (where you are not the bride, obviously). There are exceptions to this, for instance, informal weddings where the bride isn’t wearing a traditional wedding dress may be fine to wear a white cocktail dress or similar to, and some brides even choose white for their bridesmaids if that is the color scheme they like – it can look especially good for summery, outdoor or beach weddings. However, unless you’ve spoken to the bride about it, it is best to assume that you shouldn’t wear a white dress or even a dress that is close to white.
Another time when you will probably find white isn’t the best choice is for events in the fall, or early in the year (excluding Christmas, where, as discussed, white can be somewhat thematic). This is just because it’s not a color people really expect to see around a lot during these seasons where warmer colors tend to be preferred. It’s not a hard rule though – just as you might still sometimes wear all black in the summer.
Accessorize Your White Dress
The first thing to think about is your shoes. With a white dress, it is usually best to go for delicate-looking shoes in a light color. You can choose strappy sandals or even bold stilettos, but don’t go for black or other dark colors unless you are intentionally aiming for a retro, black and white sixties look. Nude, champagne, silver and gold can be nice choices.
For jewelry, choose one metal tone that you like – it can be white, yellow or rose gold, and stick with that. You can wear colored stones with white dresses, but again, it is best to choose one color (or clear) and stick to it so the colors don’t overpower the clean, minimal look of the white.
Hopefully, this article has helped you think about how to pull off your favorite white formal dress looks perfectly next time you have an important formal event to attend!