Discover how to style a plain black gown to create an elegant and classy look. Plus, check out my Christmas/ New Year’s eve party photo shoot editorial for some style inspiration!
Hey gorgeous! Black is such a great color for fashion – it creates the perfect blank canvas on which you can draw countless personas using accessories, makeup and hair. Obviously, styling a black dress, just like anything else, is different depending on the mood and the occasion.
Since it’s the holiday season, let’s discuss a bit about how to style a plain black gown for a party.
The Color Pop Idea:
You may want a simple party look, if it’s just a semi-formal dinner and drinks with friends. For such an occasion, you can add a pop of color on your black dress using a bright belt and earrings or statement necklace. Add a pair of black stilettos, or gold pumps if you’re feeling bold. Match it with your lipstick, and hopefully, also your bag. Curl your hair or just pull it up in a high-ponytail, and it’ll be perf for the occasion.
The Elegant Christmas/ New Year’s Look:
For a cocktail party or a fancier dinner, you want a more formal look. You can look really elegant if you pair the black dress with plain black pumps, or even embellished ones. You can add on a black clutch or evening bag. For this look, I chose a simple black gown with sleeves. I made it more festive with a large Swarovski snowflake crystal pendant.
For the hair, I wanted to keep it really fuss-free and at the same time, very classy. So I combed it in place, pushing them all at the back and tucking the side-flicks behind the ears neatly. Alternatively, you can also straighten it or make a chignon.
I completed the look with solitaire ear-studs, and sure enough, a classic red nail polish, finished off with a gel coat. Such a simple, yet classic way to style a long black dress.
The Retro Look:
For the hair and makeup, I felt like creating some vintage vibes through a bold cat-eye look. Nothing too crazy, it’s really wearable for a classy black-tie event or birthday cocktail party. For the eyeshadow, I started with a metallic cream shade, using it on the inner corners of my eyes and also on the brow bone. I also pushed it further on my lid, blending it with copper-colored eyeshadow. Finally, I used a deep burgundy color on the outer edges and crease of the lid, and blended it well all along. I finished it off with the black eyeliner and lots of mascara. Of course, I also used some eyebrow gel to fill in the brow gaps and also set it in place.
Of course, I wanted to create a really glamorous look. So I used a lot of highlighter. I strobed along the bridge of the nose and also a bit on the nose-tip and even between the eyebrows. Sure enough, I also used the highlighter on the high points of my cheekbones and on my lip’s cupid’s bow.
I took the retro vibes further with a bold deep and glossy red lip. I paired it with a matching deep wine-ish blush and some contouring under the cheekbones, sides of my nose, on the jawline and also a bit on the sides of my forehead, near the hairline.
The Lady-Like Look:
If you’re off to an engagement party, or a black tie event, you can switch up the look even more by tying the hair up in a french bun, or a high-bun. Not only will it keep the hair in place, looking very lady-like, but also it’ll make you look taller! Yay!
Wanna know how to wear a black dress casually? Check out the full guide here for both summer and spring outfits: 5 Ways to Wear a Little Black Dress: Casual, Party, College & More.
Hope you liked my black dress outfit for party. If it inspired you to create your own look, I’d love to check it out. So share it with me by tagging me on Instagram @shilpaahujadotcom & I’ll surely double-tap it!
You may also like:
How to Accessorize a Black Dress for a Formal Event
Shilpa Ahuja the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion. Other than defining the direction of the magazine, she also writes about fashion & beauty trend forecasts, industry analysis, and opinions.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University.
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