You don’t have to spend big bucks to get the look of an A-list celebrity on their way to an awards show. Plenty of stars have shunned designers in favour of high street shops. Just take actress Bryce Dallas Howard, who wore a Topshop dress to the 2016 Critic’s Choice Awards and continues to wear easily accessible brands that her fans can get their hands on.

Image Credit

Model Adwoa Aboah even walked down the Met Gala red carpet wearing a dress by a 21 year old fashion student, whilst others wore outfits made by some of the most prolific designers. It just shows that the perfect evening dress doesn’t have to have a big name designer attached to it or cost a fortune for it to look stunning. If you’re looking for a one off dress that is cost effective, try making your own. There are tonnes of patterns that are simply beautiful if you’re not ready to go freehand, and these fabrics are guaranteed to finish it off perfectly.


This works effortlessly as an evening gown due to its soft, smooth shine. It is rich, deep and makes for an amazing elegant dress.

Image Credit


This lightweight fabric creates a beautiful, feminine drape but can be a little tricky to work with due to the fineness.


If you like the idea of a flowing dress which is able to withstand small details then this is your fabric. You will often see beads and sequins on this type of material due to its ability to hold its shape well.


A dressmaker’s favourite, crepe has a wonderful texture which is easy to shape. This makes it a perfect starter fabric if you want to make your own clothes.


This is becoming increasingly popular due to its flexible nature which still adds shape to the body. When looking for dress making fabrics, you might not come across neoprene easily, but sites such as often advertise it as scuba fabric.


Another popular fabric for evening gowns due to its sleek and lustrous finish. The light bounces off the fabric which makes it an eye-catching choice for evening wear.


Another lightweight option, organza is often used to create romantic pieces. It can be layered and used for both modern and traditional styles.