How to Choose an Evening Dress that Will Last a Decade


Just received an invite to a cocktail party next month What is a good dress style for me that would be timeless and look gorgeous? I need an idea on the best style that will last a decade but I could dress down for dinner too. Otherwise, I just won’t get the wear out of it! Karyn

Many of us don’t have a ‘cocktail dress lifestyle’ one where we’re always out in the evening and need to dress up to the nines, so for us, a cocktail dress is a big investment without great cost-per-wear. Ideally, if it can last 10 years, we’ll get value from it so how do you choose such a dress?

Choosing a Cocktail Dress
  1. Make it simple in construction, the more detail the harder it is to change the look of the dress
  2. Avoid trend based looks such as peplums which will date the dress
  3. Keep it in a great dark colour, black will limit you from weddings, ideally a dark colour that suits your complexion and brings out the colour of your eyes will take you anywhere
  4. Make sure it suits your body shape and proportions
  5. Avoid fabrics that are super shiny or sparkly if you want to be able to dress it down
  6. Make sure it’s well constructed and looks expensive (even if it isn’t)


Styling Your Cocktail Dress

You can see by changing the colour of your shoes, the style from flat to heels, the sheen of your accessories and the fabrics, from a knit cardigan to a structured jacket to a silk wrap you can change a simple dress and adapt it easily to many different occasions.



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  • Some great tips here, but what about those of us whose colouring is light, warm and soft? If I wear a dress that is too dark, it tends to wear me!

  • These are great tips. I don’t dress up very often, so buying a dress that can be dressed up or down based on accessories is a smart idea. I hadn’t thought about not buying the black so it’s more versatile.

  • Thanks for this post – it really is time for me to get a new evening dress – the one I have is over 15 years old now 🙂

  • Great post. Maybe because of my age, I am not as fond of these more fitted styles as I am of a slightly more loose A-line skimmer a la Audrey Hepburn. I have always felt that the sleeveless ones lend themselves to being dressed up and accessorized more. I wear my deep teal one with either a silk Chanel jacket for dress or, for less dressy occasions, with a silk tweed Chanel style jacket (hate lapels), and of course, pearls!

  • (Might sounds like a weird question.) Why is important to always wear clothes that are in fashion/style or timeless?

    I mean, I wear some things from the 50’s~80’s that are considered being outdated (like my mothers old evening clutch. Im 24), but nobody where I live say anything bad about it nor think it make me look older… There are people who think they make me look younger instead. O_o;;
    Which is why I cant understand about the dilemmas about clothes being fashionable or dated.
    Why people make such big deal about it… Only online, I notice some complaints about my style. People complain when I prefer vintage kitten heels and suggest me to wear those 4″ high heels instead because they looks more approppriate for my age because the kitten heels looks like their grandma’s church shoes.

    I can understand why its important to dress approppriate for the occassions (like not looking like a hoochie mama on the funeral,lol), but when a dress or top has a detail that were trendy a couple of a years ago can cause such a drama with some people doesnt make sense to me. :S

    • Same. Like in this post: ‘avoid trendy things, like peplums’ but…why? If you genuinely like it and would still wear it for years to come?

  • Thank you for your useful tips. I think i can choose an perfect evening dress according to your tips. We don’t need get the most expensive dress but find a dress that fit ourselves.

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