It’s Fashion Friday, friends!
Thank you for sending in all sorts of fun questions.
Next week we’re going to tackle another “coded” invite attire question.
But today, Fashion Friday is all about Gala Guidance. My post last week elicited texts and emails with questions and conundrums.
If you’re interested about the funny twist my own gala gown took after Friday’s post, stick around to the end.
For now, here’s a few tips based on the kinds of questions I got last weekend:
1. Dress your frame.
I had folks texting me questions about specific gowns. It all boils down to this, consider your frame. If you are petite, then large loud prints or big bold ruffles are going to overwhelm you. If you are tall and slender, it’s easier to pull them off.
Similarly, if you have a big bust, then a dress cut down to there is going to be hard to pull off in the real world. I realize Hollywood does it, but we don’t have tape specialists working in our bathroom to ensure we don’t experience a wardrobe malfunction.
Below are some dresses I discussed with friends. The first had a pattern that would overwhelm my very petite friend but we found more muted patterns (the next two) for her to try.
The final gown is for my slender friend with a smaller bust line. She looks smashing in every shade of blue and would knock the gala socks off in this. All dresses at Dillard’s.
2. Consider stepping outside your comfort zone, by renting.
I had the best conversation with work colleagues about gala gowns this week. One of them said that she would never invest a few hundred dollars on a big bold color in an evening dress. But she likes the ideas of reds and greens and blues. So for several years running, she’s rented her gala gown from Rent The Runway. We’ve talked about RTR before on the blog about subscription services, but this is an entirely different option. If you can normally guess your size (you get two sizes just in case), and you know what style looks good on you, then RTR might be perfect for you to step outside your comfort zone in print, pattern or color. (But leave time for an emergency steam if it comes crumpled!)
3. Pick a focal point.
If you have a daring neckline, you probably don’t need a statement necklace. You are the statement. If you have deep smokey eyes, then you don’t need bold lipstick. If you have a high-low hem with show stopping stillettos, then don’t overwhelm them with large sparkly earrings. Put on your dress. Decide where you want people to look. Work around your focal point. Don’t create too many distractions. Quality not quantity.
Cate Blanchett always gets it right – Smokey eye, nude lips, minimal jewelry, killer statement dress:
4. Feel beautiful.
If you read my post-gala dress saga below, you’ll see one dress I loved. But I felt heavy. I mean, I am heavier right now. But I felt heavy. You should feel beautiful. Don’t wear something you think is a statement dress but you don’t feel smashing in it. Similarly, don’t wear a long black gown because you don’t want to draw attention to yourself because of how you’re feeling about you right now. Feel beautiful. Get a friend to encourage you. Find something that is not only comfortable but also lovely to you. A color. A pattern. Fabric. Shimmer. Whatever.
As for my post-gala gown sequel, as soon as I wrote last week’s post I thought, I don’t want a long plain black dress. Yes it looked pretty but it just wasn’t jazzy enough for me.
So I ran up to Dillards because they were having a big evening gown sale. I tried on TWELVE dresses that were lovely. Yes, I’m on a spending freeze but I thought I might be able to exchange my gown even though I was past 30 days.
The last gown I tried on I found while browsing the dozens of racks. It was the exact same as my black dress but in a deep royal blue (plus they only had one and it was my size!!!). I saved it for last to give the other gowns a try.
Previously, I had tried two blue gowns that I absolutely adored for their color (see above), but I just didn’t feel confident or comfortable in them because of the fit across my abdomen.
When I put the old/new dress on, I loved it. Still it was my favorite gown (a nice confirmation of the first one). AND it solved my problem with it “just being” a black dress.
I pleaded my case to the saleslady (because of the 30 day return policy). She said if I would run home and get my dress, she’d hold this one until I returned. She could give me store credit for my black dress and apply it to the blue one.
So I ran ALL THE WAY HOME (I wasn’t close to my house at the time) and now I’ll be wearing blue tomorrow night. Hoorah for color! (Pictures tomorrow!!!)
See you next week fashion friends.