Formal Wear Etiquette for Women

It is very important for every woman to have etiquette when it comes to formal dressing. Formal wear includes occasions like parties, weddings, balls and formal functions. A formal wear for women includes ball-gowns, cocktail dresses and evening gowns.

Two important formal wears are Black tie and White tie

Black Tie-

This includes a long length gown for a black tie occasion. The length of the gowns are generally till the ankles which are paired with matching shoes. Women can choose any color they want as there is no restriction. During summers, a short cocktail dress is acceptable. If you plan to wear a short dress, then the length should not be less 1” above your knees.

Cocktail dresses should not be too flamboyant and make sure the dress fits you well. Women who are large, a V-neck would look good. If you want to hide any flaws near the stomach then wear dresses with folds and pleats.


Gloves is an optional choice but remember that the shorter the sleeves of your dress, the longer should be the gloves. The opera-style gloves are approximately 23” in length. Dresses that have cap sleeves, a 19” glove should be fine, whereas a three-quarter sleeve should have gloves of 15” length. When it comes to long sleeve gowns, the length of the sleeves should be till the wrist.

Women who are in the receiving line should remove the right hand glove and then shake. Another thing to remember is to remove your gloves when you eat or drink and make sure that your gloves are not too tight or loose.

White Tie-

To dress in a very formal style is known as white tie. This style is very common in European countries but not that popular in the Untied States. The white is refereed to as an ultra-formal. Gowns would include ball-gowns or evening gowns. Ball-gowns are more flared and a petticoat is worn below. The cut of an evening gown has a more straight fit and is slim. Usually a white tie style is matched with evening bags and delicate jewelry and bags are made of the dress material itself.


Coordination is important with your partner when you are going for a party. A couples style and color should complement each other. For a black tie event a man’s cummerbund can match a woman’s dress but remember a cummerbund should not be worn for a white tie event.

Shoes and Accessories-

Necklaces, bracelets and earrings that look real and delicate can be worn with a formal wear. Remember to try your shoes with the dress before you go for the party. Wear shoes that match your outfit and are comfortable throughout. Wear undergarments that are not visible on your formal wear. Your bag should not be very big in size with a formal wear.

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