Fabulous Evening Gowns for Holiday & Special Events

Clockwise from upper left: Adrianna Papell black-multi, short sleeve beaded evening gown ($222.40 Nordstrom), Jkara navy beaded rose-print mermaid gown with cap sleeves ($246.69 Lord & Taylor), Shubette black sleeveless self-belted evening gown with silver sequins (£220 House of Fraser), Shubette mulberry red cap sleeve evening dress with cap sleeve (£250 House of Fraser), Patra navy sequin, long sleeve formal gown with side slit ($229 Macys), Boutique navy jersey evening gown with embellished cap sleeve ($239 Bloomingdales)


Calvin Klein black/silver one-should strap evening gown ($239 Lord & Taylor), Laundry by Shelli Segal bronze sequin, short sleeve evening gown with plunging back ($365 Lord & Taylor), Miss Selfridge black multi, beaded fish tail, sleeveless dress (€135 Miss Selfridge Europe), Adrianna Papell black sequin, 3/4 sleeve evening gown with front slit ($196 Bloomingdales), John Lewis black sequin, long sleeve evening gown (£160 John Lewis)

View the complete evening gown assortments at these retailers:





Great Cocktail Dresses for the Social Season & More

Clockwise from left: Karen Kane black v-neck scalloped lace dress ($118 Bloomingdales), Jaeger burgundy cocktail dress with black lace top (£250 Jaeger), Tommy Hilfiger pine green v-neck, cap sleeve party dress (£250 Tommy Hilfiger), Jaeger gold jaquard, A-line cocktail dress (£199 Jaeger), DKNYC black sleeveless dress with sequin blocking ($149 Bloomingdales), Jigsaw green silk long-sleeve shift dress (£96 Jigsaw)


Lauren Ralph Lauren red sleeveless lace peplum dress ($146.99 Macys), Sue Wong gold embellished, v-neck cocktail dress ($469 Lord & Taylor), Adrianna Papell black short-sleeve shutter pleat cocktail dress ($160 Macys), Michael Michael Kors black short-sleeve, embellished cocktail dress (£295 Zalando), Alice & Olivia red stretch velvet, cap-sleeve peplum party dress ($299 Bluefly)

View the complete cocktail dress assortment at these retailers:






To select the right formal, evening or cocktail dress for a special occasion event starts with a few easy steps. Just remember to keep in mind the 5 K's:

  1. Know your body type: This is the body that looks back at you in the mirror, not the one in your head. Start with reality and draw your lines. You want a dress that will accentuate what you feel are your best physical traits. Don't stop at the torso. If your upper body is below average but you have got great legs, then you should look for a gown that is going to show them off. 
  2. Know the event: There is nothing worse than showing up at an event with an above-the-knee cocktail dress when it's a black tie affair and all the other women are in evening gowns. Likewise, don't over dress for a "cocktail" event.
  3. Know your budget: Do not go broke just because you found one dress you absolutely love, but it is four times the price you had budgeted for. There are a plethora of dresses available at all prices. The chances are very good that, with a little searching, you will be able to find a dress very similar to the one you love that actually fits into your pre-defined price range.
  4. Know it fits: Do not just try it on, but actually spend at least 15 minutes in the dress doing things to mimic what you may need to do the day of the party. Obviously, this will need to be done once you purchase the dress, but you almost always have the opportunity to return it if there is a problem. If you will need to climb stairs at the event, then put the dress on and climb some stairs. Mimic going to the powder room to make sure you will not have an issue the night of the party. Most importantly, sit in the dress for a few minutes, to make sure it is comfortable in this position. After all, not only will you most likely be sitting for a good amount of time at the function, but likely on the way to and from the event as well. By the way, you should be wearing either the exact pair of shoes you will have on that night, or at least ones of a similar height, as you try each of these tasks.
  5. Know you like it: Take a few pictures of yourself in the dress. Set the timer on your camera and then place it at different heights, in different rooms (for lighting variations). This will give you the opportunity to view yourself as other party guests will see you that evening. If you like the way the you look in the photos, then it's the right dress!