When it’s time to dress up for a formal or semi formal occasion, many women turn to the little black dress in their closets. Whether you opt for a long black dress, a short cocktail dress, or a bright party dress, finding the right accessories to wear with your ensemble can make or break an outfit. Here are some tips on choosing the right evening shawls and evening bags for every special occasion.

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An Evening Shawl to Match the Mood

Depending on the type of evening shawl you choose, you can have a light, fun look, a comfortable, cozy look, or a sleek sexy look. It’s all in the fabric you choose and way you wear your shawl or scarf. Here are several ways to wear shawls for each mood and occasion.

Off the Shoulder Shawl – Wearing a shawl in this manner is traditional, yet sexy. Let it wrap lightly across your shoulders and slide off to the middle of your back, held by falling loosely across your arms. Choose a lightweight shawl in a satin or silk type fabric to match perfectly with a more formal dress. Wearing a shawl in this manner will help fight off a cool chill if someone’s got the air conditioner a little too high, or if the evening turns out not to be as warm as you expected when you purchased such a light and airy dress.

Draped – Choose a long cotton shawl and let it drape loosely down your back. This will show off your neckline and accentuate your chest. This style looks great with a bright colored dress underneath. Accessorize with jewelry that complements the shawl, being careful not to let them compete for attention.

Scarves – Similar to a shawl, but with less fabric, a scarf can be used in numerous ways to add texture to your evening look. You can tie a large knot off to the side, make a slim tie down the front, or wrap it around your neck for a winter look. Choose colors that complement and accent your dress. Contrast a patterned scarf with a solid dress, and vice versa.

Evening Bags With Class

When choosing an evening bag for your cocktail or party dress, it’s important to know your purpose. Are you trying to accessorize your look or simply have a place to store a few essentials? Do you want the bag to stand out, or be muted in the background? Depending on what your answers to these questions are, your style choice will vary.

One great rule of thumb for many occassions is to match your dress to your shoes or your jewelry. This will even out your color scheme and make it easy to find something perfect for any event. If, on the other hand, you’re wanting to make a statement with your evening bag, choose something with bling that doesn’t clash with your outfit. This is perfect for a long black evening gown or a solid colored party dress.

No matter what the occasion, choosing evening shawls and evening bags that will complement and accessorize your outfit is an important but often overlooked part of choosing your outfit. Take a few minutes to think about what look and mood you want, and you’ll be ready to choose just the right finishing touches for your special evening.

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