Ever felt that sense of dread when you’ve been invited to a big, beautiful event but suddenly realise you’ll have to find something fabulous to wear? Or maybe you’re a regular at those kinds of gorgeous forays and relish the chance to dress up. Either way, it’s always nice to have a gown or two in your arsenal to pull out on such occasions. Something sensational and timeless and, of course, that makes you feel like a million dollars.
Whether the dress code is more refined black-tie or the ritzier, more glamorous white-tie, or even if you’re just looking for a full-length gown to see you through many seasons of festivities and weddings (or perhaps, a dress for your own nuptials), below, we’ve rounded up 30 of the very best gowns to shop now. From more affordable ASOS versions to all-out Taller Marmo numbers, there’s something for every budget.
Team Who What Wear has over a decade of combined experience working in the industry as stylists, fashion editors and merchandisers, and having dressed stars for glamorous magazine covers and red carpet events, we can, by now, pinpoint the traits of an enduring gown that turns heads but always feels elegant—one that is unique yet timeless and appropriate for the majority of formal occasions. Our advice? Look out for unique, elevated details—things like a cape effect, a feathered trim or an interesting neckline. Even an unexpected colour (of course, black and white remain the most classic, but opt for a bright hue that looks incredible on you and you’re bound to be remembered) or textured fabric. Either that or channel Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, and go extremely minimalist.
Keep scrolling to see the 30 best gowns that we, as stylists and all-round "fashion people," would happily wear for elegant affairs this year and for many to come. If only our invites hadn’t got lost in the post…
Shop the Best Gowns