DEAR STYLE FIX,
I need your help. I have a work gala function coming up and I never know what’s appropriate to wear to these things! I know it’s a bit more fancy than our regular business attire but every time I go to these things the women there are either ‘slutting it up’ or going the grandma route. Help me find a happy medium!
Dear Miss S,
Your problem is a common one! Just when you think you’ve got the work wear issue down…they throw a style wrench at you.
Here’s what you do – these evening dinner events usually require that you wear a ‘cocktail’ type of dress. This is NOT (as you say) a license to go ‘slutty’ and wear some sort of Granville street clubbing wear. It’s a way to go a little fancier, a little shinier and show a little more skin than you normally would in the workplace but you need to stay classy.
I recommend always going with a dress on these occasions and ones that are solid, bold colours work best in my opinion. Something like this:
Anthropologie “Whirligig Dress” – $138
It’s simple and elegant and is a little more fancy than you would wear to work. I especially love this pinky purple colour and conveniently….it’s a great colour for red heads *hint hint 🙂
Here are some things to keep in mind when you are planning your gala outfit:
1. Open toed heels are appropriate (where they wouldn’t be at work)
2. Avoid anything with spaghetti straps – these looks are either too young, too summery/casual and just plain show too much skin
3. Watch your hemline – although I’m not opposed to wearing a dress that’s fitted for these events, just make sure that they are no shorter than 1 inch above the knee. We DO NOT want a Britney Spears or Paris Hilton slip up here.
4. Try staying away from black – black is very work-ish and basically doesn’t do much but let you blend into the background (NOT what you want in a work environment). Go for bold colours that work with your colouring:
- Blonds: Turquoise and Pinks
- Red heads: Purples and Emerald Greens
- Brunettes: Royal blues and Reds