What type of jacket to wear to a formal dinner?

purple dress

Q:What type of jacket to wear to a formal dinner? How to dress down a cocktail dress

Dressing down a cocktail dress…

I bought a purple halter cocktail dress, pictured here, to wear to a formal dinner. I’d like to wear a jacket with it, but not sure what style of jacket or shape would work well with my fitted, knee-length satin dress. (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)


Your dress has a beautiful fitted hourglass line with an extremely flattering halter neckline. When you want to dress down a fitted dress either to have it look more business-like, conservative, or formal cocktail appropriate, you need to consider a layer that enhances the line of the dress.

A shorter jacket with a fitted waist and, maybe, the new look of more structured shoulders, will keep to the feminine line of your cocktail dress and offer more coverage. Bare legs and strappy sandals or sleek dress pumps will complete the classic feminine look.

For a more downtown vibe, try a luxurious, feather-light boyfriend style cardigan sweater. The long line of the sweater and its light knit is an interesting play on proportion— you can select one with beaded trim or add a bold necklace. I’d try black tights and sturdier platform sandals to keep its edgy feel.

–March 13, 2009

Forever 21 at ShopStyle

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