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What To Wear: To A Gala

Gala: A social occasion with special entertainments or performances, "a black-tie gala that begins with a cocktail reception" synonyms: fete, fair, festival, carnival, pageant, jubilee, jamboree, party, garden party, after-party, celebration. Now that we have the Google definition out of the way, what the heck do you wear to one of these things? And, are all Gala's neccesarily black-tie? We not only have the perfect solution, but also a look that will transition you from work to venue in one fabulous piece even if you have to take a train, plane, or automobile. 

Finding The Right Dress: Not all Gala's are black-tie, but most specify on the invitation or when you purchase your seat. The Gala event I attended did not specify black-tie so most women were in cocktail dresses and men were in relaxed suits, rather than tuxes. My issue was what do I wear from work to event that looks both professional, yet suitable for a Gala? What can I wear on the train, the subway, and at work before hand? What can I dance all night in? What can I actually feel comfortable in? What can I actually eat in? After trying on every suitable dress I owned, with every possible shoe combination I decided this black knee-length cocktail dress by Laundry was going to do the trick. (I am sure the Life Look's Better In Black Blog approves!) 
Stiletto Suggestion: So maybe you're not thrilled to be wearing black, yet again. Or maybe, you were just yearning to wear some color. Well, add color with your shoes! I added these pink patent leather Ralph Lauren stilettos to add some youthfulness and surprise to my dress. Also when going to a Gala you should choose thin heels over chunky. Opt for stilettos over wedges. I know the wedges are comfier but they are not as formal looking. 
For your jewelry: I wore my Michael Kors Watch, Ann Taylor International Woman's Day Bracelet and Tiffany bracelet. I wore three real diamond rings, because I think every girl should have her own diamonds. Because of the cut of my dress, I decided against a necklace but went for big statement earrings instead. The rule of thumb I usually go by is to choose either a statement necklace or a statement earring. 
For your face: Sometimes I focus on one part of my face and last night it was lips. I wore Tarte's matte lip tint and a blush that matched by Almay. For my eyes I kept my make-up light, but pumped up the volume on my lashes with Tarte's Lights Camera Lashes 4-1 mascara.  I swear by this stuff. If you are not going to focus on your lips I suggest a smoky-glam eye that takes your look up a notch. It seemed everyone either wore a bold lip or a bold eye look.

For your purse: So it looks like all I brought with me was that tiny little clutch by Banana Republic, but that is not the case. I had a huge bag (about twenty pounds) filled to the breaking-brim of all the things I needed for work that day. Thank goodness for coat-check! You should, whether it is black-tie or not, bring a clutch or envelope purse. 

I hope this guide helps you with figuring out what to wear to your next event! And if you're still unsure, ask us by leaving your comments in the comment section below.

Stay Lovely,


Editor and Curator of

Dusk & Rubies 

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