Proper fitting and simple styling adjustments can up the luxury of a gown from a ready-to-wear collection. With these tips from Hollywood’s stylists to the stars, you can nail couture style without breaking the bank.
Size it Up!
Another important consideration is picking the right size. Formal wear fits differently than anything else, so order by your measurements, not the size printed on the tag. A dress that fits well will look and feel a million times better than the one you had to shimmy into for fifteen minutes in the dressing room. You will feel far more confident in a dress that shows off your best features, and the key to finding one is paying attention to the way it hugs and hangs on your unique body.
Dresses cut differently show off different assets and shapes differently, so when you’re shopping for a gown, make sure to check out our handy guide on matching body type with most flattering silhouette. Pear shaped? Pull some gowns with Empire waists. Have more of a straight figure? Check out an A-line gown for volume.
Build a Strong Foundation
Believe it or not, even though they are your hidden first layer, foundation garments can ruin your look or take it to the next level. Kate Young, stylist to several A-listers recommends trying on dresses with the bra you are planning on wearing the night of. Peekaboo straps and pinching can throw off the look, so maintain polish and comfort all night with the right bra. If your dress is backless or has lots of skin-revealing cutouts, try a specialty bra, nipple concealers or cleverly shaped cutlets to help shape discreetly.
Make shapewear like Spanx your new BFF, they not only keep you contained, but they create an uber-smooth under-layer for extra unforgiving satin and silk fabrics. The most offensive of foundation missteps is the dreaded visible panty line. There are lots of seamless bikini and thong options like those from Fresh Pair that glide and hide under formalwear. If your dress is unforgivingly show-all and you choose to go commando, follow these tips from Refinery29 to keep your parts protected.
Make it Tailor-Made
Tailoring and alterations can sometimes be done at home, but sometimes will require a professional’s hand. Stylists Jordan Johnson and Jill Lincoln highly recommend a visit to the tailor, saying that almost any gown that looks custom was altered.