What To Wear With a Dress: Your Ultimate Style Guide

What To Wear With a Dress: Your Ultimate Style Guide

January 13, 2022
By Dani Walker

You just purchased the perfect gown. You tried it on without full hair and makeup, but know that it will look even more incredible once it’s styled. The only problem is…”how do you style it?” There’s four things to consider when styling a gown: hair, makeup, accessories and shoes.

Most of us can agree that even if we finally found the perfect dress, the right added details aren’t always easy to choose. Never fear, we are here today to give you options to lead you in the right direction of fashion perfection. Whether you’re interested in an easy-breezy summer look, or trying to channel a winter wonderland vibe, we have put together a few fashion do’s that will be sure to get you noticed.

1. Happy Feet

Before you head out the door you’ll need to put on your shoes. Take it from Cinderella’s fairy godmother, shoes are just as important as the gown. They can elevate your entire look, or cheapen it. So, choose wisely. Generally, if you want to create height you will wear a platform heel. Unfortunately these styles look rather bulky and often draw the eye to the wearer’s feet. I save skyscraper platform heels for long gowns that cover the feet. Nine times out of ten, you’re better off wearing a minimal strappy heel or classic pointed toe, if your feet are exposed.

Shoes are the first and easiest detail when you’re trying to put your perfect ensemble together. Shoes don’t necessarily make or break an outfit; honestly, an ill-fitting garment will do this, but the wrong shoes will throw off the vibe that you have so tirelessly tried to achieve.

We want to begin by saying that there is never a wrong pair of shoes, but not always the right pair for any outfit, so if you see a pair of shoes you can’t live without, buy them! We will just find a different outfit to match them to.

Heat Wave

Heat Wave

It’s the middle of summer and you are attending a gorgeous outdoor wedding. You found a great satin number that hangs and hugs in all the right places. But what kind of shoes do you wear? In the summer, you want to keep your shoes light and airy.

This will keep your feet from sweating and you from being uncomfortable; but also a really heavy shoe just isn’t at home in the middle of a heatwave. Your shoes need to say, hey it’s hot so here we are: strappy and sassy and we will keep you cool.

Heels aren’t your thing, but you still have that wedding to attend… Well, try a flat sandal that has a cute ankle bow detail. Still fitting for the season but flat so you’ll be able to enjoy yourself.

Bold-colored flats in jeweled tones are another great option for a flat in summer. In this instance, your shoe is obviously a full coverage foot detail, so lean into the heat of the season and go for a big and bright color that screams summer.

Winter Wonder

It’s winter, and you need something for a fun party. You bought a beautiful tulle knee-length skirt with a satin bow detail at the waist and a tight-fitting bodysuit to go with it. You’re going to want a full coverage pump, and something in a deep red or emerald green is perfect to give you cozy winter vibes.

An ankle bootie is another great option, especially because it’ll give you the option of wearing a sock and now your foot is also warm. You’re welcome. Maybe you have a great holiday party dress, but it’s a baby doll or mini dress. This is the perfect time to find thigh-high boots in soft velvety suede. You will be covered to keep you warm and channel your inner JLo (she is a big fan of this look). We are jealous just thinking of it.

Form To Follow

The weather isn’t the only way to style your shoes to match your dress. Mermaid-style gowns are full coverage, literally down to your feet. So keep your shoes on the lighter side so they don’t weigh down your look. We recommend strappy sandals, in a complementary color to your gown.

Two-piece sets are always the exception to any style rule. The skirt could be long, short, flowing, tight, or actually anything. These style tips for various looks work with these styles as well. The most important thing to remember is to not counterbalance your look. If your dress is more, make sure your shoes are less and vice versa.

2. Side Piece

Accessories are a mix of items to adorn your hair and body. They may range from a statement necklace, to a delicate hand bag. The items you choose should make the most sense for your event. If you’re attending a gala, you probably need a purse. But, if you’re competing in a pageant, leave the purse behind and focus on evening gown earrings to compliment your stage look.

Your purse is not just fashion, it’s function. So above all else, decide what you will need for your day or night before deciding on this style. For purses, your style and vibe say more about what is appropriate versus the season. Since your dress will match the weather, you aren’t trying to keep your arm warm or cool with your style choices.

Sunday Best

Picture this: it’s the weekend; you’re out shopping and brunching with friends. To keep yourself looking effortlessly cool, you chose a cute A-line sundress with a simple pair of sneakers. The look says I want to be cute, but I want to make it to all of my favorite stores.

This is a great opportunity to try out the fanny pack trend. They’re cute and casual, but hold everything you will need for a day of activity. Bonus point, you don’t have to necessarily use hands or shoulders to hold these styles so your arms are free for more bags!

Fanny packs aren’t the right look for you? Instead, try a slouchy bag. Something that hangs lax on your shoulder, looks effortlessly cool, and holds everything you need. We love these bags for daytime outings; they come in a variety of textures and colors and always just make the wearer look like they weren’t trying to be trendy, it just happened so naturally. Another great selling point is they look a bit like a bag someone would carry at the Farmer’s Market so it really is at home on a shopping trip!

Out on the Town

Maybe you’re looking for the perfect accessory for your favorite cocktail dress for this weekends’ networking event. Because the look is cute but trendy, you’ll want something that is a little more dressed up.

Try a purse that’s small so it’s more subtle, enhances the dress as opposed to having its own moment, and maybe try something with a little chain detail. Leather straps are great, but a chain detail is like a fashion mullet. The purse says I’m a serious boss babe, but the chain says I also like to have fun.

Black-Tie Affair

Gowns call for a very formal style of arm wear. You’re going to want a clutch

Gowns call for a very formal style of arm wear. You’re going to want a clutch. A clutch does obviously have a downside because you have to basically tuck it into your armpit if you don’t want to hold it in your hand all night, but this style of purse is sleek and sophisticated and just emphasizes the formality of that beautifully cut mermaid gown perfectly.

If you have any crystal or sequin detailing to the dress, try a metallic purse in a coordinating color. If you chose an all-over sparkling number, go for a more understated purse in a neutral.

If you ever need a little inspiration, look to Kim Kardashian; that woman knows how to rock the right purse.

3. Bling Baby

We aren’t saying that your jewelry will make or break your look, but we’re not not saying that. While your dress is the focal point of your look, your jewelry will really emphasize the vibe.

While the look and type of event are necessary to take into consideration when picking out jewels, you’ll also want to cut, fabric, and overall design of your dress. These are the most important aspects of your dress, so you want to pay attention to them and highlight them with appropriate sparkle.

While your dress is the focal point of your look, your jewelry will really emphasize the vibe.

Neckline Necessity

High neck dresses, something with a collar or mock or turtlenecks are styles that should not be worn with necklaces. The collar is the focal point of the design, so let it take center stage and leave any parts of your neck that are shown bare.

The designer produced the gown to accentuate the neckline and added these details for a reason so listen to them and do what’s best for your garments; try a chandelier earring or a big ring to still add sparkle to your skin without taking away from the dress and its original beauty.

If you chose a gown with a strapless or low-cut neckline, you can definitely go for necklaces that add bling to your look. Channel your inner Paris Hilton; she is a big fan of low-cut necklines and loves to play up her jewels to match.

You can go for a big statement necklace if you’re going to a dinner date or maybe add a blingy belt for an edgier vibe. Either way, the sparkle in these areas will show off your neckline in the best ways so shoulders back!

Casual Care

If your look is more of a daytime, casual event but you still want to play up some pieces, we highly suggest going for a layered bracelet look. Mix a little leather and sparkle to give your style effortless chic. It’ll show that you have style and fashion sense without looking like you tried too hard. There are so many designers out there creating bracelet stacks as well so the options are endless.

4. Makeup

Makeup should compliment your gown, as well as your hairstyle. If you choose an elaborate hair style, you may want to avoid a smokey eye and bold lip. For voluminous and curled styles, consider soft glam makeup. Even if you decide to incorporate details of a decade, like finger waves in your hair, you can compliment the look with makeup of a Hollywood starlet.

Accessorize Away!

Mix and match these four different elements to create your perfectly styled looked. When you create your own combination you’ll always have an original look that compliments your unique style.

Following a few simple dress rules when shopping for accessories will have you picking the best pieces for any look in your possession and you’ll walk in any room with your head held high. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!


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