Isn’t this the question that everyone with a formal occasion wants to know about their hairstyle from their hairdresser for the big night? While it may seem like a trivial question to most, how you wear your hair can make a big difference on your overall formal appearance. Choosing the wrong hairstyle to wear with a certain dress can make you look too over the top or make you look like you didn’t pay as much attention to your hair as you should.

When it comes to choosing a formal hairstyle, the most important thing to consider is the dress that you are wearing. Take into account the cut of the dress. Is it long, cropped, off the shoulder? Or does is have plumes of fabric on the shoulders or lace around the neck? All of these are important factors when it comes to deciding whether you want to wear your hair up or leave it down.

Here are just a few basic rules of thumb to help you decide:

· Off the shoulder or strapless dresses – These types of dresses show a lot of skin on the neck and shoulders. While it may be the tendency of some to sweep the hair up and off of the neck, doing so can make your neck look too long and thin and can detract the eye from the graceful curve of your neck and soft shoulders. I’m not saying that you can’t wear your hair up with this kind of dress, but if you do, choose a style that leaves a little hair hanging softly down on the neck and shoulders. This will help soften your look and direct the eye to wear it should go. It will also balance your complete look.

· Full-shouldered dresses – These dresses are the ones with the full, intricate or puffy sleeves. With this type of dress, you almost always have to wear your hair up. Leaving it down, only makes your whole style look much too busy. You should also choose a simple updo over an intricate one so that you do not end up looking like you’ve tried too hard. If you want the focal point to be your dress, try a simple French twist.

· Classic cut, simple gowns – These are the gowns that will really allow you to get creative with your do. You can choose just about anything. You can wear your hair up or down and style it with intricate weaving and braids or leave it simple.

So, the next time you’re battling with formal hair decisions, let your dress be your guide. Doing so will allow you to create a complete look that is complimentary rather than over the top.