Elegant Gowns For Your Formal Events

not elegant cocktail dresses

So you have a red carpet event coming up… What elegant gowns are appropriate? How do you style yourself to look your elegant best?

A formal event usually requires a formal dress code like black tie or white tie. The dress code usually specified in the invitation. If it is not, kindly call your host.

Formal events might consist of

  • Cocktail parties
  • Charity balls
  • Weddings
  • Prom or Pageants
  • Cotillion
  • Launch parties
  • Dinner and Dance
  • Formal VIP parties

Unfamiliar with dress etiquette? Refer to a simple dress code reference.

Sometimes we get confused with ‘What exactly is an elegant gown?’ Does that mean long dresses are elegant? (No, not ALL long dresses are elegant).

In my gallery below, I will try to illustrate the differences between these types of elegant evening gowns, pageant gowns and other formal gowns.

Formal ‘Day’ Gowns

If the event dress code is “formal” and it occurs in the day, this usually means gowns in ‘day’ colors.

Light, earthy and pastel colors are appropriate in daytime elegant gowns. Simple jewelry, pearls, flowers and corsages are the appropriate accessories. That also means black, too many and too large shiny jewelry is inappropriate.

elegant gowns

Elegant Long Dresses

Elegant long dresses are chic responses to the dress code ‘smart casual’ or ‘cocktail’ for any semi-formal event. Maybe you got invited to a Christmas party or to go to a party at a beautiful restaurant. Other similar events include launch parties, media events and sometimes, even glamorous birthday parties!

The event usually is not AS formal that requires you to wear a gown.

It is, however, not AS casual for you to come in jeans.

These long dresses are a dressier alternative to a cocktail dress, or as I would say, a dressed up version of smart casual.

Check out some examples below and on this page Elegant Long Dresses

elegant long dress

Elegant Gowns, Evening Dresses

Elegant evening dresses and gowns come in ‘evening colors’.

What are ‘evening’ colors? They usually are darker and richer; such as black, rich colors, a rich red, green, navy, white. They are also made of thicker, heavier more luxurious fabrics.

Other exceptions to these dark colors that are appropriate for elegant evening events, gold, champagne gold, silver, or any color whose fabric have been made sparkly or glittery. For instance, a glittery baby blue dress etc.

How do I distinguish whether a dress is an evening gown? Match the formality of the dress to the formality of the event. If you are about to meet the queen in a charity ball, get the most formal. If the past yearbook pictures of your prom ball has all these pictures of girls in cocktail dresses, don’t get a wedding-looking type gown.

elegant long dress

Elegant Prom Dresses

If you are going to prom, you are probably a young person. The common mistake in elegance is a young person dressing really mature and old. There is nothing quite like looking at a young person obviously trying to look older!

Stay away from dressing in mature colours such as black, deep purple, red, grey and brown. Avoid mature styles that are too sophisticated or revealing, if you are an elegant lady.

Check out our Elegant Prom Dresses

elegant prom dresses

Dressing elegant is also knowing about appropriateness, whether it is to the age or occasion.

If you are young, embrace all the beautiful happy colors, high-waisted styles, ruffles, darts, flowy and soft dress styles!

Depending on the formality of your prom, where it is held, dress code, you can opt for cocktail dresses or longer dresses as in the picture.

Elegant Cocktail Dresses

They are the best to have in your wardrobe! They are a wardrobe staple, if you choose correctly…you can dress them up or down, wear them to school or the office and on the weekends.

See more Cocktail Dresses.

legant cocktail dresses

These Are Not Elegant Gowns and Cocktail Dresses


Not all short pretty dresses are cocktail dresses. This is especially those the dresses that are made of cotton, linen and definitely not T-shirt material

A visual example of What is NOT appropriate to wear to an evening event.

not elegant cocktail dresses

You may like:

1. More Elegant Evening Gowns

2. Elegant Dresses

3. Elegant Wedding Dresses

4. Online Museum Archive of Elegant Dresses

Thank you for reading Elegant Gowns page!

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