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Formal dresses are an essential part of every woman’s wardrobe. From prom nights to black-tie events, formal gowns are the epitome of elegance and grace. While the classic black gown is always a safe option, it’s time to switch things up and explore some unique colors for formal evening gowns.

In this post, I showcase some stunning hues and ways to accessorize them that will make you stand out at any formal event.



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Radiant Red

Red is a bold and powerful color that exudes confidence and glamor. Therefore, a red long gown is perfect for a formal evening event beyond the usual association of red with love and Valentine’s Day balls. Just think Julia Roberts as Vivian going to the opera in the movie Pretty Woman. Whether it’s a bright cherry red, ruby or a deeper oxblood, there is a hue for every color season. Add accessories sparsely, and you’re good to go.


Emerald Green

Green is a refreshing and vibrant color that is often overlooked. In an emerald green gown, you will stand out in a sea of black gowns. This color works equally well with gold or silver accessories. Therefore, it’s perfect for any formal occasion from what to wear to the opera premiere and, to my experience, even a Governor’s Inaugural Ball.


Royal Blue

Royal blue is a majestic, regal color and a great alternative to black for formal evening wear. In contrast to black it looks stunning on almost every skin tone. Because this color is a statement, go minimalist on accessories. Silver pumps with a black clutch or vice versa are foolproof. Try patent leather or satin for either the shoes or clutch when the dress has a matte weave. Go for normal leather when wearing a satin gown. In both case, finish the look with silver or diamond accessories, a festive hair do, and makeup, and you’re ready to go.


Blushing Pink

Pink is a feminine and delicate color that is perfect for formal spring wedding guest attire. A blushing pink gown is a great way to add a touch of romance to your look. This color works well with silver or rose gold accessories, and it’s best for women with Romantic personal style.


Bold Burgundy

Burgundy is a sharp, deep, rich and luxurious color that may connote high ambitions and power. Because it works as a neutral, a burgundy formal dress is easy to accessorize. You can tune it down with silver or black evening pumps and clutch, or style it more bold with gold. Gray patent leather pumps, a light gray matte clutch and cold color pearls look as elegant with a burgundy attire than with the classic black, but much more interesting and unexpected.


Chic Champagne

Champagne is a sophisticated, feminine, elegant color perfect for a formal wedding guest outfit. However, this color works equally well for what to wear to a military ball. Go for a simple, sleek cut in satin or plain-weave accessorized with sequins or beads. Both styles look great with nude pumps and a cream clutch, or cream pumps and nude clutch. Add chandelier earring for a minimalist style to a champagne gown. Pearl or diamond studs are enough for any embellished version. Go for a French women makeup, and you feel like a star ready to hit the red carpet.


Moody Navy

Navy is a classic color that is a great alternative to black formal evening wear, and it looks stunning on every skin tone. Whether the fabric is a satin weave or a crepe, this color looks sophisticated and laid back. Like black, navy is a perfect canvas to display a statement piece of jewelry – fake or not.


Stunning Purple

Purple is a color that has been associated with Royalty for centuries. It’s a bold and regal color that is perfect for a formal event. A long purple gown will make you feel like a Queen and will make you stand out in a crowd. Pair it with some silver or gold accessories, and you’re ready to turn heads.


Timeless White

White is a classic color that works for many formal events even when you are not a bride. It’s a great alternative to black, and there is a chroma for every skin tone. Whether it’s a satin finish or a more matte look, in this color, this color will grab everyone’s attention. Pair it with some silver or diamond accessories, red shoes, and you’re ready to hit the red carpet.

When choosing a white gown, make sure to pay attention to the fabric and fit. A too tight or sheer white gown can be unflattering. Therefore, find a style that works for your personal style and body shape.


Bold Prints

Yes, you can opt for a bold print gown for a formal event except a White Tie State’s Dinner. Whether it’s a floral pattern or an abstract design, a printed gown is sure to make you stand out in a crowd. Pair it with minimal accessories and let the print do the talking.

When choosing a printed gown, it’s important to pay attention to the color and size of the print. A large print can overwhelm a petite frame, while a small print may be too busy. Find a print that works for you and make sure it complements your figure.



Metallics are a great way to add some sparkle and shine to your formal look. A silver or gold gown is perfect for a formal evening event, and an easy way to make a statement. Pair it with some simple accessories, and you’re ready to shine.

When choosing a metallic gown, make sure to pay attention to the shade of silver or gold. Some shades may wash out your skin tone, while others may be too bold. Find a shade that works for you and complements your skin tone. More on how to style metallics.



Pastel colors are perfect for spring and summer formal events. A pale pink or lavender gown is a great way to add a touch of elegance and femininity to your look. Pair it with some simple accessories and a soft, natural makeup look, and you’re ready to stun.

When choosing a pastel gown, pay attention to the fabric and fit. Some pastel colors can be see-thru or unflattering. Also get the right bra and underwear in your skin color.

End Note on Unique Colors for Formal Evening Gowns

It’s time to ditch the classic black and try something new for your next formal event. These unique colors for formal evening gowns are sure to make you stand out and turn heads. Whether it’s a bold red or a moody navy, these colors will add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your look.

So, next time you’re hunting for the perfect formal gown, consider one of these stunning hues, and you’re sure to make an entrance.

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