Couture Comment: How to wear an Evening Dress – Necklines and Silhouettes

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It’s party season! A part of me feels that I blinked at the beginning of January, only to find the food stores are now selling Christmas puddings, such is the speed of 2018!

So with party dresses on my mind, let’s talk about plunging necklines and dress silhouettes. A décolleté applies to women’s wear, and means that your garment is low cut. On an elegant long evening dress, a dramatic plunging neckline is seen as daring; my thoughts of the wearer: ‘she exudes confidence and celebrates that part of her persona’.

There is however, a balance to be addressed with a low cut evening dress, especially with a voluptuous figure: less is most definitely the way to go and a little bit of mystery goes a long way. The correct undergarments are essential in this area; falling out of the bodice of your dress is not an attractive look, gone is the mystery, along with your dignity!

How much of a plunging neckline is too much?

Well look at it this way, if you have never worn a deep plunging neckline before, then maybe it should be a gradual process, then again, I did say this woman exudes confidence, so you may just want to go all in, with your first outing of this look. I would look at the shoulder straps, or shoulder line first, as this is where you are going to get your support. If you have a large bust, thin straps on an evening dress will only work providing that you have some form of inner construction in support of the bodice – think in terms of corsetry, or a bra made specifically for low cut dresses. The straps in this instance would serve to be part of the design, more of a feature, as there would be too much strain on the straps to provide much-needed support to your bust. A wider strap will give you more support, and it does not need to look cumbersome either.

A smaller pert bust can often get away with not having to wear specific undergarments with a plunging neckline, but that does not mean we forget about balance and throw caution to the whimsical ways of fashion! A low cut garment loses a lot of its charm when cut to one’s navel, the mystery of the woman extinguished, which is why the statement ‘less is more’ is apt.

Moving on from the neckline to overall silhouette, curvy figures can support the drape of a Grecian style design especially in the tummy and hip area, the same voluminous fabric would drown a leaner petite frame… I guess its one of those, women with straight hair would like curly hair, and vice versa!

What is very apparent with regards to this style of dress, is that it is a showstopper, oh yes people will notice you, look at the photographers’ frenzy on the red carpet. A finishing touch with an evening dress of this nature, is either a faux fur wrap, cape, or trench coat – the first two adding additional style, and the latter sensibility for comfort.

Whilst I remember: the perfect accessory if you are not too sure about the depth of your plunging neckline – you can easily camouflage your décolleté with lots of pearl beaded necklaces, this works a treat as a fashion distraction, but does not take away from the beauty of your dress!


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