When the invitation reads “Black Tie” affair most people who don’t own a closet fit for a celebrity get nervous, including myself. What do you wear? How fancy is black tie? What is everyone else going to wear? No one wants to look like the odd person out, which is easy to happen at a dressy event because there IS a such thing as being overly dressy or not dressy enough. So how do you find a common ground? The first step is to relax. Keep in mind that the event is only for one night! And since we don’t have the wardrobe of Rihanna or the designer connects of Luptia Nyong’o who can’t wait to fit us in their unreleased digs…we have to opt for what we have.
My thing is, there is no need to go out and spend a lot of money on an outfit that will be worn for one night only. Let’s be clear, everyone knows that due to social media (thank you very much IG), once you wear an outfit and take pictures, you don’t want to continuously be seen in the same dress over and over. If you have this mentality, then you need to connect that with your wardrobe and your wallet and make the best of both worlds. I recently wore a Bestsey Johnson Evening wear dress that I found at a consignment shop (that someone probably wore once and didn’t want anymore) with some stockings (because it was cold) and some shoes from my closet. My first inkling was to wear a pair of “formal” type of shoes. I looked in the mirror and saw all “black tie” and no “me”. So I switched it up, and added some spikes. Wa-la! I gained the look that I felt most comfortable in while maintaining a respectful air of “black tie-ness.”
Dresses (and suits) are everywhere. The thrift store, Forever 21, Express, or your friends closet. And no one wants to tell you this but…you can add your personality to formal. It doesn’t have to just be by the book; black tie, formal, stuffy, shoes that are dyed the same color as the dress, etc. It is 2014 and everyone has a “look.” Why not bring out some of that in everything you do, including a black tie event?
There are some things that you have to stick to, like fit. The fit of a dress or suit is very important, therefore you can’t override this with the cheapest thing you can find. The outfit has to fit your body first. Then your personality. Or vice-versa. Either way these two things together are a win. Add some spice; if you don’t like a super long dresses go for a midi. If you don’t like formal satin shoes, grab some with spikes. If you don’t like bow ties wear a tie. If you don’t like black suits wear a blue or brown one with a polka-dot shirt :). The key is to have a clean cut look that is dressy, fits well, and represents who you are. The cookie cutter days of fashion, including the reigns on black tie, are out of the window in 2014. Personality and confidence will make an outfit, within certain parameters. Ladies, a super short dress that is tight on the booty is probably not a good idea for a black tie event. But there are other ways of getting your sexy on. It doesn’t always have to entail short and tight.
Black tie events can happen year round so get ready. If you are out shopping one day for a tee shirt but find a dress that fits and works, get it! Hide it away in your closet until that event comes up, because it will come up. I purchased this dress months before I had anywhere to wear it. And…if you ever have questions, just ask me! I’m here to help you reach your Style Stamped potential.