Women's Dresses (31111)

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What is a formal or evening dress?

A formal or evening dress is a style of women’s clothing suited to black tie, white tie and even semi-formal occasions. Traditionally, a formal dress was floor length, but modern takes on the style include those designs that are tea length or ankle length, and even some dresses that hit above the knee. Formalwear is usually made from luxury fabrics like silk, chiffon, lace, satin or velvet, and may or may not feature embellishment like beading or embroidery.

A short history . . .

The history of the evening or formal gown is long and storied. Going back centuries, formal gowns were the domain of royalty and aristocrats. Designed for wear at court, women’s dresses were woven from sumptuous and expensive fabrics, embellished with beads, lace and embroidery, and required restrictive undergarments to give them shape. In the 18th century, as societies revolted and a middle class emerged, eveningwear became de rigueur. Over time, the silhouette of the evening or formal dress has featured full and fitted skirts, high and low necklines, various sleeve designs, and different lengths.

What styles are available in women’s formal or evening attire?

The modern definition of women’s formalwear includes quite a few variations on the traditional evening gown. Today we see mermaid, sheath, A-line, fit and flare, empire, trumpet, princess, and maxi silhouettes, to name a few. There are strapless, halter, sleeveless, short sleeved, and long sleeved versions of formal gowns. Many formal and evening dresses are long, hitting the floor, while others are cut at the ankle, mid-calf, knee, or just above the knee. Some have full skirts, while others are much more form fitting, or have a straight drape.

What’s the occasion for an evening or formal gown?

In the past—like a long time ago—the upper classes dressed for dinner, and so women wore evening gowns every night. Today, they are usually reserved for special occasions, like black or white tie events, proms, and weddings. Lucky is the girl who gets the chance to dress in formalwear, as it’s an opportunity to accessorize and groom like you’re going to walk the red carpet.

What goes with an evening or formal dress?

A formal dress calls for formal accessories. No ordinary shoe and bag will do. Style up your evening attire with some fancy heels, a clutch, and elegant jewelry. Don’t forget that special dresses call for special undergarments.

 

Shop formal and evening dresses on sale from top designers like Halston Heritage, Tadashi, Rachel Zoe, Marchesa, and BCBG Max Azria.  

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$79.00 $38.99
from Macy's
14
$88.00
114
$315.00 $244.55
Not all sizes/colors
29
$89.00 $69.00
Not all sizes/colors
37
$188.00 $144.99
from J. Crew
41
$89.00 $69.99
Not all sizes/colors
23
$69.95 $34.99
from Gap
6
Eyelash Sweater Dress
Anthropologie
$148.00 $19.95
42
$447.41 $284.20
Not all sizes/colors
15
$39.50 $15.99
from 6pm.com
22
$148.00 $88.80
53
AMIRA DRESS
Tory Burch
$250.00
73
$145.00 $86.42
Not all sizes/colors
15
Bellina Dress
Anthropologie
$260.00 $100.00
31
Alana Dress
Anthropologie
$260.00 $120.00
42
Lillianne Floral Dress
Anthropologie
$138.00 $39.95
8
$60.00 $30.00
from 6pm.com
11
$128.00
20
$348.00 $208.80
71
$168.00 $100.80
32
$138.00 $49.95
13
$445.00 $339.27
Not all sizes/colors
13
$345.00 $269.74
Not all sizes/colors
6
Lola Cocoon Tunic
Anthropologie
$158.00 $19.95
18
$70.00 $35.00
from 6pm.com
10
Loren Tunic Dress
Anthropologie
$158.00 $99.95
7
Sophia Dress
Anthropologie
$280.00 $140.00
43
$128.00 $64.99
from J. Crew
20
$189.00 $129.00
from Macy's
2
$134.00 $103.33
Not all sizes/colors
14
$158.00 $79.99
from J. Crew
25
$128.00 $76.80
22
$138.00 $41.40
from 6pm.com
16
$134.00 $89.99
Not all sizes/colors
13
$70.00 $35.00
from 6pm.com
6
$69.95 $34.97
Not all colors.
from Gap
13
Sybil Dress
Anthropologie
$895.00 $620.00
21
Fleurette Silk Chiffon Kaftan Dress
Diane Von Furstenberg
$368.00 $220.80
21
$228.00 $177.06
Not all sizes/colors
15
Milana Striped Dress
Anthropologie
$178.00 $49.95
11
$198.00 $99.99
from J. Crew
14
Avalonne Silk Dress
Anthropologie
$188.00 $49.95
9
Breanna Skirt
Anthropologie
$230.00 $140.00
19
Lorene Dress
Anthropologie
$695.00 $300.00
18
Bellina Dress
Anthropologie
$260.00 $100.00
20
$138.00 $89.99
from J. Crew
8
$250.00 $100.00
from 6pm.com
23
$138.00 $108.03
Not all sizes/colors
16
Rasa Dress
Anthropologie
$280.00 $140.00
15
Alana Dress
Anthropologie
$260.00 $100.00
25
DVF Milena Sheath Dress
Diane Von Furstenberg
$398.00 $199.00
21
$98.00 $73.56
Not all sizes/colors
9
$68.00 $27.20
from 6pm.com
36
Elia Open-Shoulder Dress
Anthropologie
$138.00 $39.95
8
Waverly Dress
Anthropologie
$138.00 $39.95
8
Coral Jumpsuit
Anthropologie
$540.00 $280.00
16
$98.00 $63.24
Not all sizes/colors
28
Rasa Dress
Anthropologie
$280.00 $100.00
14
$130.00
46
$4,995.00 $1,748.25
23
Jackie Jumpsuit
Anthropologie
$240.00 $70.00
35
$99.00 $75.11
Not all sizes/colors
5
Coraline Dress
Anthropologie
$220.00 $60.00
15
Ersalina Dress
Anthropologie
$320.00 $220.00
15
Alana Dress
Anthropologie
$280.00 $190.00
19
Nadya Dress
Anthropologie
$340.00 $240.00
13
Sequined Alana Dress
Anthropologie
$290.00 $190.00
13
$195.00 $109.59
Not all sizes/colors
8
Lilah Dress
Anthropologie
$298.00 $210.00
16
Fleurette Silk Chiffon Kaftan Dress
Diane Von Furstenberg
$368.00 $220.80
16
DVF Viera Lace Dress
Diane Von Furstenberg
$498.00 $249.00
16
$26.94 $15.00
Not all colors.
8
$150.00 $103.21
Not all sizes/colors
14
$99.50 $59.38
Not all sizes/colors
6
$88.00 $45.99
Not all sizes/colors
21
$128.00 $51.20
from 6pm.com
21
$158.00 $63.20
from 6pm.com
18
$75.00 $37.50
from 6pm.com
6
$99.00 $49.50
from 6pm.com
11
$99.00 $74.99
Not all sizes/colors
5
$80.00 $40.00
from 6pm.com
11
$128.00 $76.80
20