How to Accessorize a Formal Dress

December 13, 2014

accessorize a formal dress

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Why? Well, for one thing, the holidays mark the beginning of party season. Whether you’re heading to a black-tie event, attending a wedding, or tackling the holiday party circuit, you may need to slip into a formal dress.

I recently went to a winter wedding with a formal dress code. While picking the dress was easy (I’m a sucker for gorgeous red gowns), figuring out how to accessorize a formal dress proved challenging. You want to add flair to the look without upstaging the main piece. In attempt to enhance my ensemble, I did a little experimenting.

Here are a few ways to spice up your formal look and celebrate the season in style:

With Statement Jewelry

If your formal dress features intricate details or fancy embellishments, then keep your accessories to a minimum. You don’t want to overwhelm your look with too much jewelry. Instead, opt for a statement piece. A baroque inspired cuff stands out and adds a touch of old world elegance to any outfit.

accessorize a formal dress

Cuff, vintage. Similar here and here.

With a Killer Clutch

No formal dress is complete without a clutch in hand. How else can you carry those three extra lipsticks? Instead of toting around a typical evening bag, invest in a clutch that makes an impact. A truly eye-catching clutch boasts some bling so seek out styles with embroidery, jewels, or bright colors.

accessorize a formal dress

Clutch, NastyGal (sold out). Similar here and here.

With a Bold Lip

A bold red lip can make all the difference. Remember when Angelina Jolie matched her lipstick to that unforgettable Versace dress? That major fashion moment proves that striking makeup can be its own accessory. My favorite hue? Jungle Red by NARS.

With a Faux-Fur Jacket

It’s chilly during the holidays so if you’re dressing up this winter, then consider a jacket. Of course, outerwear doesn’t have to be boring. Top off your formal look with a festive faux-fur coat. An accessory that’s cozy and chic is always appreciated.

accessorize a formal dress

accessorize a formal dress

Faux-Fur Jacket, NastyGal.

Dress, Mark + James by Badgley Mischka. Similar here and here.

Focus on two accessories in order to keep the outfit simple, yet stunning. Remember, formal doesn’t have to equal stuffy. Have fun with your look!

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  • Reply Helena December 14, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Simply gorgeous

  • Reply Sarah Blodgett December 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    This is a gorgeous look!!!! The red is stunning on you!

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