A ball gown or ballgown is a type of evening gown worn to a ball or a formal event. Most versions are cut off the shoulder with a low décolletage, exposed arms, and long bouffant styled skirts. Such gowns are typically worn with a stole (a formal shawl in expensive fabric), cape or cloak in lieu of a coat, couture or vintage jewelry and opera-length gloves. Where "state decorations" are to be worn, they are on a bow pinned to the chest, and married women wear a tiara if they have one. Although artificial fabrics are now sometimes used, the most common fabrics are satin, silk, taffeta and velvet with trimmings of lace, pearls, sequins, embroidery, ruffles, ribbons, rosettes and ruching.
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