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Weddings & parties

(85 article)

Effortlessly styled: flowing maxi dress, smart cocktail dress or lightweight boho dress? Be inspired by our range of smart dresses and find your perfect look.

Evening gowns: the right dress for every dress code

While evening dresses generally used to be long, nowadays, shorter cuts are also highly presentable. If the invitation mentions a dress code, make sure to take that into account when choosing a dress:

  • White tie: at very formal evening occasions, women wear elegant, floor-length gowns in muted colours. These are paired with closed court shoes and skin-coloured stockings as well as a stole or an elegant jacket. Shoulder-free dresses are a no-go at such events.
  • Black tie: slightly less formal but still extremely elegant. Women wear long evening gowns or classic, knee-length cocktail dresses. Shoulder-free designs are also allowed. However, at the beginning of the event, your shoulders should be covered by a stole or a small jacket. This dress code requires closed court shoes and fine, skin-coloured stockings.
  • Cocktail: this dress code gives you a bit more freedom. Women wear a chic cocktail dress or skirt suit. Bold tones and pastel colours are allowed, as are pretty accessories.

Find out more about evening gowns at s.Oliver.

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Formal evening gowns for special occasions

When choosing evening wear, women have considerably more choices than men. That is also the case when the invitation specifies a dress code. Whether you are looking for an elegant gown for a special occasion or a pretty party dress – s.Oliver has a huge selection of dresses, so you are sure to find one that is not only perfect for the event, but one that's also perfect for you.

Party dresses: find the right dress for your figure

Evening gowns come in many different designs. But what defines the perfect dress? The key is that the style of the dress must match the occasion. Additionally, the dress should fit well and accentuate your individual style. Because if you feel good in a dress, that is what you project to others around you. Are you unsure about whether short evening dresses look good on you or whether an elegant dress with a bateau neckline flatters your figure? The following tips will help you make a decision:

  • A type: Waist, shoulders and chest are relatively slim in comparison to hips. Bottom and thighs are generally slightly on the thicker side. To balance out your proportions and create a harmonious overall look, you should try to accentuate your upper body. This can be done with a top with flounces and gathers, for instance. Formal evening dresses from the s.Oliver range with an A-line cut and empire dresses with a high waist are flattering for the figure. Dresses that accentuate the hips, such as those with a tulip skirt, shiny fabric or horizontal stripes, are less flattering.
  • V type: Hips are narrower than shoulders. The chest is usually slightly larger, whereas legs are very slim. Evening dresses that accentuate the core are especially flattering for this figure type. Wrap dresses are perfect for this. Evening dresses with a short cut are great for accentuating your delicate ankles and slim legs. A V-neckline makes the shoulders appear narrower. Bateau necklines and high collars that accentuate the shoulders are better avoided for this figure type.
  • H type: Shoulders and hips are roughly the same width, while the waist is less pronounced. This creates a rather androgynous figure type. Arms and legs are usually very slim. You can create feminine curves with fitted evening dresses. You can accentuate the waist additionally with a matching belt. Frills, drapes and embroidery can add more volume around the upper body. Oversized dresses and shapeless designs are less flattering on this figure type.
  • X type: Shoulders and hips are roughly the same width and the waist is narrow. To show yourself from your most advantageous side, you should try to accentuate the core. Slim-fitting sheath and cocktail dresses from s.Oliver are perfect for this. Floor-length evening gowns in a mermaid style are great for very formal occasions. Voluminous dresses and very firm fabrics, on the other hand, are not so flattering for this figure type.
  • O type: Chest and core are quite well-built and proportions are quite rounded. A high-waisted empire dress is great for making your legs appear longer and for concealing the waist. A-line dresses and dresses with a wrap effect on the upper body are also a flattering choice. Tight evening dresses and designs that accentuate the waist with additional details are less flattering for this figure type.

Tips for short women: Generally, short women look great in short evening dresses that make the legs appear longer. If the occasion requires a floor-length dress or if you prefer a longer cut, use these tips to get the most out of your outfit: Choose an evening dress with a softly flowing fabric and with a skirt that is not too flared. This skims the figure. A high slit in the skirt is visually elongating, as is a V-neckline. The same is also true for an elegant up-do. The skirt section and bodice should be kept in the same colour, because a colour division has a visually shortening effect.

An evening dress for a friend’s wedding: dos and don'ts

If you are invited to a wedding, there are special rules that must be observed. Dresses for a wedding should match the occasion but definitely not steal the show from the bride and groom. Showing too much skin is therefore a no-go. One of the most important considerations is choice of colour. White is definitely off the cards for female guests. Dresses in cream or champagne are likewise best avoided. Typical wedding colours are reserved for the bride alone. You should also be cautious about choosing a classic “little black number”. In most Western countries, black is more associated with funerals, so, to be safe, it's best to ask the bride and groom beforehand.

Aside from these few exceptions, you really have a lot to choose from when it comes to an evening dress for a wedding. If you like pretty dresses, try some s.Oliver designs with lace, flounces and sequins. If you prefer straight cuts, go for a classic sheath dress. When it comes to colour, delicate pastel tones are ideal for weddings in the spring or summer. Your choice of colour can be a little bolder when it comes to the autumn and winter. However, if the bride and groom specify a specific colour scheme or theme, you should take this into account when choosing your dress.

Shop evening dresses at s.Oliver

If you want to shop evening dresses online, you will find a huge selection at s.Oliver. Have you found a dress you like but aren’t sure about the size? Use our s.Oliver Fit Finder to find out your size in just a few steps. You can find the link under the size options on any product page. s.Oliver also has plenty of genuine jewellery if you are looking for accessories to round off your outfit.

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