For a more formal recital, I go for a long dress and beg and bribe my friends to do an up-do for me. Again, I recommend strong colors that will show well on stage as well as a fabric with some shine or texture to it.
- Make sure you can move freely in it without any wardrobe mishaps, particularly in the bodice area. I've heard nightmare stories of girls who didn't play in their gowns before the recital and had their dresses fall open. Not what you want to be worrying about on your recital day!
- For the reason above, make sure that any strapless dress is fitted perfectly, so you don't have to worry about it falling. Also make sure any straps on your gown are securely fastened. You won't be able to stop and fix your dress in the middle of your concerto.
- Be careful about embellishments on the gown in the neck area, such as sequins, beading, or bows. Make sure that nothing about your dress will (a) change how you hold your violin or (b) make your violin buzz.
Here's a close-up picture of the back of my dress. A little bit of interest to ad some flow to the style. I love details on the back of a dress - they add a lot of personality to the overall style and they won't hinder your ability to play at all!
In the picture below, which you may have seen elsewhere on the website, you can see the full front of the gown. For my head shots I chose to have my hair down, but usually when I perform I have it pulled back.
As in the less-formal outfit I posted earlier, I kept my jewelry to a minimum. Small pearl studs for earrings, and a simple pendant on a thin chain as a necklace - beware of heavy jewelry that could make your violin buzz!
And as for shoes, remember - comfort and practicality. If you're dressing up this much for a recital, you're playing for 30 - 60 minutes or more without sitting down. Whether you wear stilettos or flip-flops (although don't wear flip-flops, it's tacky), make sure they won't distract you from your playing or cause you discomfort.