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Evening Dresses For Every Occasion

You got the invite! It’s such an exciting moment to open an invitation to a wedding, gala, holiday party or charity fundraiser…that is until you realize you’re unsure of the dress code. Don’t panic. Macy’s can help you get dressed to the nines (or tens if it’s a white tie affair) with our curated selection of dresses. Discover what dress to wear for every occasion: shop formal dresses, evening dresses, black-tie dresses, semiformal dresses, party dresses and more! IMO (in Macy’s opinion) a well-dressed guest is the best decor for any event. Plus, find top brands such as Adrianna Papell, Calvin Klein, Alex Evenings, SL Fashions, INC (Created For Macy’s) and more.

1.  Wedding: The bells are ringing, it’s wedding season! Whether you got the invite or sent out the invites, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to wear. What you wear is one of the most important things to consider (besides your excitement for the bride and groom, of course). Macy’s came prepared—discover what dress to wear for every occasion involved in the wedding. In case you didn’t know, there are a lot of pre-wedding festivities leading up to the actual ceremony and smaller events in between. No time to waste—let’s get to the dresses!

Bridal Gowns: All Eyes On The Bride. If you’re the beaming bride-to-be, the perfect wedding dress is a must-have on your big day. Round up all your best ladies and head to a Macy’s Bridal Salon by Demetrios or shop from various white evening gowns from your home. Macy’s has the best wedding gowns for every type of bride. Cue the “oohs and ahhs”.

Finish The Look. It’s your wedding and you’ll sparkle if you want to! To finish your bridal look, grab wedding day jewelry perfectly suited to your dress, a clutch (for necessary breath mints and lipstick touch-ups) and bridal shoes. To incorporate “something blue,” go with shoes that have cute blue soles.

Wedding Guest Dresses: Show Up, Don’t Show Off. Whether it’s black tie, semiformal or dressy casual, your dress should be in-line with the wedding occasion. It definitely should not be overly flashy and take attention away from the bride—you don’t want to be that girl.

Finish The Look. Finishing your look will depend on the occasion. If it’s black tie, dress up your look with bedazzled accessories: jewelry, heels and a clutch. If it’s semiformal or casual, go low-key with subtle shine.

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bridesmaids Reporting For Duty. Congrats are in order—you’re a bridesmaid! Typically, brides-to-be gravitate towards formal dresses when selecting bridesmaids’ dresses. However, brides-to-be today are becoming less and less traditional. It also depends on the season. For a summer wedding, cocktail dresses that are shorter in length would look great. Yet if it’s black tie, stick to evening dresses or even ball gowns.

Finish The Look. Typically, a bridesmaid needs to stick to the dress the bride- to-be picks out. Accent your dress even if it’s not your fave (it’ll be our little secret!) with a clutch, jewelry and pumps. Be sure to stick to her color scheme when it comes to selecting a color for your shoes. When in doubt, check with her first!

Bridal Shower Dresses: Showering The Bride. Here comes the…bridal shower! This day is truly all about the bride-to-be, and the dress code depends on her preferences. Did the invite leave out a dress code? Don’t fret! Macy’s has plenty of ideas for you. The venue of the shower is important to keep in mind. Brunching at an upscale restaurant or opening presents at her parents’ house? Location makes all the difference. For a restaurant setting, go with a semiformal dress like a LBD or floral dress that is no shorter than 2 inches above your knee. An on-trend midi dress would be super chic, too. You don’t want to show up the bride-to-be—avoid anything that can be too short, overly revealing or over-the-top. Stick to a casual dress if the location is at a family member’s house.

Finish The Look. If your dress already has some form of embellishment, tone down your look with subtle jewelry like a delicate layered necklace. If you want to infuse more shine into your look, add statement earrings. Don’t forget a handbag and shoes to pull it all together.

Bachelorette Dresses: Celebrate In Style. Wedding planning can be stressful—encourage the bride-to-be to participate in some pre-wedding relaxation and fun. If you’re heading to a fun city for club hopping, dinner parties and dancing, you definitely need to stock up on party dresses and cocktail dresses. There’s always a reason to celebrate if your dress is on-point. If you’re a bachelorette party participant, it’s very trendy to wear all black, while the bride-to-be wears all white. Grab a few little black dresses (it’s okay if these are on the shorter side for this occasion). Best friends, great food, good music…better outfits! Best. Trip. Ever.

Finish The Look. Tend to embellish? Now’s the time! Whether you choose statement jewelry or on-trend delicate jewelry and a logo mini bag, now’s your opportunity to have fun with your outfit using accessories. Comfortable, yet trendy heels are a must-have for dancing—block heels are ideal!

Rehearsal Dinner Dresses: Ready To Rehearse. The rehearsal is usually a run-through of how the actual wedding ceremony will play out, followed by a celebration dinner on the eve of the big day. Ladies, just because it’s practice, doesn’t mean you get to skip bringing your stylish A-game. If you’re the bride-to-be, definitely go with a white dress (your future hubby will get a fun preview). If you’re a guest, a semiformal dress, cocktail dress or party dress are perfect options. Remember to keep it classy and timeless. What not to wear? One major rule to keep in mind: if you’re not the one getting hitched, leave your little white dress at home!

Macy’s Pick: The Alex Evenings Petite Sequined Midi Dress and Jacket.

Finish The Look. Since you’ll be doing a practice walk down the aisle, definitely grab a pair of comfortable shoes. This could be heels, flats or sandals depending on your comfort level. Grab a mini bag like a gold clutch or silver clutch and finish off the look with a touch of sparkling jewelry.

Macy’s Pick: The INC Lindsayy XXLurex Clutch Created For Macys.

2.  White Tie: Break Out The Ball Gowns. White tie affairs are usually reserved for over-the-top gala parties and ultra-fancy weddings. This is your chance to wear a beautiful ball gown or super-enchanting evening dress. There’s no such thing as going overboard at these events, so do it up big (and with a big, exaggerated ball gown skirt). Midi-dress ball gowns are also very chic. If you prefer the streamlined look, a form-fitting shimmering metallic dress will be a total hit. #Gowngoals.

Macy’s Pick: The Calvin Klein Open-Back Halter Gown.

Finish The Look. Be the girl that glitters with statement jewels that accent your dress. You’ll also need a great pair of heels and a handbag or clutch to carry all your must-haves for the event.

3.  Black Tie: Go All Out Glam. G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S—as the singer Fergie once sang—it’s all about the glamorous life. If you’re lucky enough to be invited to this fancy affair, you will be expected to wear a black-tie dress such as a floor length formal dress or a formal evening dress. The glamour is real.

Style Tip: If it’s black tie optional, go with a sleek cocktail dress. A flirty midi dress with embellishmens, ruffles or lace details is a fun option, too. However, if you like to keep it formal you can stick to a long evening dress. Black tie optional is still considered formal, but slightly more relaxed that white and black-tie events.

Finish The Look. In details we trust! You’ll want to add touches of bling with sparkly jewelry pieces and bejeweled shoes and clutches.

4.  Semiformal: Cocktails Not Included. Cocktail dresses on the other hand…definitely included! Floor-length formal dresses are not required for a semiformal event. A cute cocktail dress is definitely the way to go for this occasion. You can’t go wrong with a little black dress for an evening semiformal event. For a semiformal event held during the daytime, go with a casual dress in a fresh floral print.

Macy’s Pick: The SL Fashions Tiered Rhinestone Capelet Dress.

Finish The Look. Even though it’s semiformal, how you accessorize is everything! Punch up your LBD with some glitz and glam—shiny jewelry, pointy-toe pumps and a chic clutch.

Macy’s Pick: The INC Prudence Shiny Mesh Clutch, Created For Macy’s.

5.  Prom: Our Promposal Is Stunning Dresses. Mood: prom queen. Make your grand entrance and feel prom perfect with the help from Macy’s. No matter your style or shape, we have the best dresses: evening dresses, ballgowns, cocktail dresses, midi dresses, high-low dresses, two-piece dresses and more! All you’ll need is Prince Charming.

Finish The Look. Find your (sole)mates: a great pair of heels. Chances are you’ll be dancing the night away, so they should be comfortable. Dazzle your date with added shine from your accessories like shimmery jewels and a beaded clutch.

The Dress Destination!

What (dress) dreams are made of. Check out Macy’s Dress Destination for all things fashion, stunning styles, the best brands and It List-approved looks.

Macy’s Dress Destination Pick: The Adrianna Papell Metallic Jersey Dress.