Gala season is upon us! This time of year we may attend black tie or less formal events throughout the season and every year I get asked almost the same questions from my clients. So this year I have decided to make it easy with a quick questions and answer dialog that I hope answers any question you may have.
Is it ok to wear short for a black tie?
Absolutely, in fact I encourage it. It is a more modern look and also more practical for other uses. Just make sure it is very dressy and a beautiful fabric. Look for embellished fabrics, shine, sequin, lace, interesting details and cuts.
Is it ok to wear pants to a black tie?
Again, absolutely. This can be tricky as it must be a very formal style pant and blouse or jacket. Or even a velvet or embellished suit could be great.
Do I have to dress in accordance to the party theme?
I’m not a huge theme person as it almost always prohibits me from wearing what I really want to wear, so I offer my clients a similar version of the theme but something that is not costume like and you can be worn again. I don’t believe in spending money on costumes unless it’s for a Halloween party. It’s very easy to wear a beautiful dress with perhaps a headband, costume jewelry or a boa to create an era like look.
Can I wear flat shoes because I can’t stand in heels all night long?
Well, it’s not what I would recommend with formal dressing, however, some of my clients have had to attend formal events in flats because of foot problems. If this is the case the long dress must be all the way to the floor, where you cannot see any of the shoe, or you could do a nice formal pant suit either wide leg or skinny leg with an embellished flat. I don’t suggest doing a short dress unless you are able to wear a kitten heel.
Do I have to wear fine jewelry?
Not at all! If you have beautiful fine jewelry then wear it, as you don’t get many chances to do that. But it’s not necessary. Many designers do great costume jewelry and the prices vary so much that there is something for everyone at all price points. Keeping it simple is key.
How do I accessorize?
A few things that are overlooked are the bag and jacket or layering piece. These are just as important as your shoes. Please invest in a good simple black evening bag. It can be beaded, embellished or just black satin. It’s something you should own. Also a black cashmere, velvet or silk wrap, or embellished short jacket are equally as important. If you are in colder climates please invest in a long black dressy coat or fur, or a short faux fur jacket, which is fun and modern. I say black as it is universal, but if you already own these items in black then have fun with color and or prints and cuts.