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How do you wear a pashmina with a formal dress?

Wearing a pashmina shawl is a great way to add a stylish yet elegant touch to your formal dress. A pashmina can provide extra warmth, transform your look, and elevate your outfit. When styling a pashmina with a formal dress, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

Choosing a Pashmina Style and Fabric

The first step is choosing the right pashmina for your dress. Here are some tips:

  • Opt for a formal, elegant style pashmina in luxurious fabrics like silk, cashmere, or pashmina wool.
  • Avoid overly casual pashminas with embellishments or patterns. Stick to solids or subtle prints.
  • Match the color and texture to your dress. For example, pair jewel tones with cocktail dresses or black with evening gowns.
  • Select a larger pashmina size, at least 80×27 inches, so you can wear it in different ways.
  • The higher the momme weight (silk density), the more lustrous and luxurious the fabric.

Styling a Pashmina with a Formal Gown or Dress

Now it’s time to style your pashmina! Here are tips for wearing a pashmina with formal gown silhouettes:

With a Strapless or One-Shoulder Dress:

  • Wrap the pashmina around your shoulders, crossing it in the front.
  • Secure with a brooch or knot under the shoulder opposite the dress strap or sleeve.
  • Let the ends drape loosely down your back or pull to the front.

With a Halter Neck Dress:

  • Fold the pashmina into a long rectangle.
  • Place at the nape of your neck, pulling ends to the front.
  • Tie the ends in a loose knot or bow at your collar bone, letting the ends hang long.

With an Off-the-Shoulder Dress:

  • Drape the pashmina around your elbows, crossing it behind your back.
  • Take the front ends, pull to the front, and tie in a loose knot or bow at the waist or hip.
  • Make sure the shoulder straps are still visible.

With a V-Neck Dress:

  • Place the pashmina around your shoulders, ends hanging in the front.
  • Crisscross the ends in front of the V-neckline and tie in a loose knot or bow.
  • Adjust the V-neckline so it’s still visible under the crisscrossed pashmina.

With a Fit and Flare or A-Line Dress:

  • Drape the pashmina loosely around your elbows, crossing it behind your back.
  • Take the front ends, pull to the front, and tie in a loose knot or bow at the natural waist.
  • Make sure the dress design is still visible.

With a Sheath Dress:

  • Wrap the pashmina around your shoulders and cross the ends in front.
  • Pull the crossed ends behind you, under the opposite arm, and back to the front.
  • Tie the ends in a loose knot or bow at the waistline over the dress.

With a Mermaid or Trumpet Dress:

  • Drape the pashmina around the top of your arms from behind.
  • Cross the ends over your shoulder then wrap around your waist.
  • Tie the ends together on one side of your hips in a loose knot or bow.

Styling Tips

Follow these tips when styling your pashmina with a formal dress:

  • Make sure the pashmina complements your dress style and doesn’t overwhelm it.
  • Focus on draping and tying at the waist, shoulders or neckline – key areas for formal dresses.
  • Aim for a loose, asymmetrical look and avoid tightly wrapping the pashmina.
  • Combine multiple styles for a unique look like wearing one pashmina at your shoulders and another at the waist.
  • Use brooches, pins or hair clips to help secure the pashmina in place.
  • Add subtle volume by loosely braiding or twisting the pashmina before draping.
  • Play with lengths, leaving ends hanging or evenly aligning two sides.
  • Use a matching clutch purse to complement your pashmina colors and textures.

Pashmina Alternatives

If you don’t have a pashmina shawl, here are some alternatives to try:

Item How to Style
Silk Scarf Drape around neck, shoulders or waist and tie
Fur Stole Drape around shoulders
Cashmere Wrap Wrap around shoulders or arms
Capelet Place over shoulders


Pashminas are a gorgeous addition to any formal dress or gown. Play around with different draping techniques at key spots like your waist, neckline or shoulders. Focus on a loose, flowing asymmetry rather than overly wrapping the pashmina. Stick to formal styles and luxe fabrics that complement your dress. Add brooches or hair clips if needed to keep the pashmina in place. Have fun mixing and matching pashmina colors and textures to really make your formal outfit stand out on your special night.