Women’s evening and special occasion dresses should be on every retail business’ radar. In 2022, the women’s dresses and gowns market increased by 42%. This trend will continue in 2023.
What trends should retail businesses prioritize? Spring and summer will bring some surprising looks in 2023. For example, more women will flaunt black gowns for a bold look. On the other hand, bright colors will still be a staple, specifically mood-boosting bohemian and floral prints.
Women are also prioritizing comfort over fashion. And versatility is yet another significant factor influencing evening wear trends; with the high cost of living, women want to buy clothes that transition from daytime to night.
Overview of women’s evening and special occasion fashion
Women’s evening and special occasion fashion are within the semi-formal and the formal realm. A woman may wear formal dresses for various reasons. While a formal event, wedding, and corporate party are famous examples, a woman may wear a special occasion outfit to a date or fancy restaurant.
A woman’s standard outfit to wear to these events is a gown, fine jewelry, and high heels. In a cold environment, one can pair their dress with a coat or a sweater and opt for boots instead of heels.
But today, women’s evening fashion is more versatile. Instead of a gown, more women are opting for skirts and comfortable dresses. Interestingly, some women are ditching the dress and choosing a suit.
There are many reasons why these trends are dominating women’s evening wear. The inflation rate in the United States is at 7.7%, the highest in 10 years. Women are saving money on fashion and opting for more affordable pieces for the office and formal events.
Inclusivity is also a significant movement, especially among non-gender-conforming individuals. More women and female-identifying individuals opt for formal wear outside the traditionally feminine category.
Women’s evening & special occasion fashion trends for S/S 23
Retail fashion businesses can expect to see slip and jersey dress styles, the modern women’s suits, and gowns that were popular in the 90s. While dark colors will still reign in 2023, more women will also choose statement colors and prints.
A slip dress is a simple spaghetti strap dress that hugs the body and resembles an underslip (which women wear under a gown).
Slip dresses are trending because they’re versatile. A woman can buy one dress and wear it out clubbing one night and at a wedding the next.
Slip dresses are usually made of nylon, rayon, polyester, silk, acetate, or cotton. These materials are soft—perfect for all-day wear. One can find slip dresses in various colors, though neutral-colored slip dresses are the most popular.
While sleeveless slip dresses are classic, the long-sleeve slip dress is a popular choice for a formal event.
The modern suit is a luxurious alternative to a dress. Unlike corporate pants suits, the modern suit is relaxed and versatile. The trending women’s suit style looks more like a blouse than a button-down shirt, giving a more feminine vibe than a traditional pants suit.
Because of their versatility, these suits can transition from day to night. One can find women’s suits in trousers and skirt varieties. Women are more privy to wearing dopamine-boosting bright-colored suits to ring in the spring and summer weather. They can match any of these suit styles with a classy blazer. Plus, modern women’s suits are inclusive of all body types.
A jersey dress is a comfortable alternative to the gown. These are usually made of stretchy and soft fabric, usually cotton, but synthetic fibers may also be used. Jersey dresses are very versatile—available in all lengths and styles.
This dress also became popular due to inflation; one dress is perfect for lounging, but a woman can also wear it to a party.
This dress is the perfect example of a jersey dress. It covers the top part of the body and the arms. Moreover, the dress is floor-length and flowy, perfect for fall and winter casual wear. But women can also match the dress with jewelry and formal shoes for an event.
Other jersey dresses have exquisite cuts and styles that rival formal dresses. This is a floor-length dress with slips down the sides and exposes one shoulder. Ladies can wear this dress with heels or flats for a formal night out. Since it’s made of an elastic material, it’s comfortable for all-night wear.
More consumers are wary of body inclusivity. Certain styles, such as ruched jersey dresses, flatter all body types.
Certain prints, especially bohemian and floral prints, are popular picks for the spring/summer season. These prints welcome the warm weather and bring good vibes to the fashion world.
During the 2023 spring/summer season, businesses can expect to see classic bohemian styles, such as this leaf design. The brown and white neutral leaves are traditional bohemian choices, but the dark blue shade on this dress is a trending color for spring/summer 2023.
All floral designs, such as this one, will be a staple this year. The baby blue color welcomes spring, the dress is comfortable, and it is inclusive for all body types and ages.
Some women prefer adding a little edge to a classic floral dress, wanting to convey fewer grandma vibes. A half-blue-half-floral dress will represent this trend while keeping this look modern.
Subversive sexy top
Subversive tops heighten the sex appeal in any evening outfit! These tops draw on the underwear trend since they have similar themes, such as sheer fabric, unique cut-outs, and unconventional straps.
Even though subversive sexy tops have a rebellious look, they are simple at their core. That’s why consumers love layering up these tops. For example, a woman can wear a subversive top under a modern suit.
What are some specific examples of a subversive sexy top? A sexy lace top will convey the modern lingerie style. For something simpler, the classic bralette is perfect to wear under a suit or dress. Additionally, a one-shoulder top takes the classic bralette to a more stylish route.
Every year, there are new evening and formal wear trends for the spring/summer seasons. In 2023, businesses can expect more versatility with the slip and jersey dresses, as well as the women’s modern suits.
While the black gown will always reign, spring/summer welcomes bohemian and floral prints. Since we always see decades-old trends coming back, the 90s are making a resurgence next year.
It’s important for fashion businesses to keep up with all trends in the style sphere. Continue reading the Baba Blog for more insight.