Dressing up for a gala dinner can be intimidating especially when it is your first time. A general question is – What to wear to a Gala Dinner?. The way you turn out will actually have an impact as to how your colleagues look at you and your boss perceives you. Mostly gala dinners require you to dress well and showing up in dress that is not correct will definite mar your evening and earn you dirty looks all around. Mostly gala dinners specify an ultra formal dress code which includes black tie.
Black tie usually means a higher level of formality than a casual event but is considered less formal than a white tie occasion.
Some black tie elements for women: Generally speaking the black tie elements for women are not so well defined. Which means a lot of confusion as the way casual dresses and formal dresses are defined varies. But you need not fear as you can get many of your pointers from the host or hostess. Many good hosts or hostesses make it easy by putting down a particular dress code that they require on the invitation. You can use this information as a guideline to picking out your final dress.
What to wear to a Gala Dinner
The dress: You could go for smaller length dresses as these too could be accepted at many events, but generally speaking the formal dresses tend to more of the floor length. You can base the decision for the length of the dress based on the crowd, the occasion and the age of the people attending.
The footwear: You may wear pumps or evening sandals along with formal dresses. Do not wear beach kind of sandals, slippers, sneakers to such occasions.
The purse or bag: Normally the bag or purse that you carry along with your evening dress needs to be a bit fancy like made of satin, silk, velvet or even leather. It should go with your outfit.
The kind of jewelry: Try not to go overboard with jewelry; if the earrings are elaborate then the neck piece should be simple and vice versa. The simpler the combinations, the more elegant the look.
Normally the prudent thing to do would be to get a dress and wear it and build the other things around it. You need to look good as well as be comfortable to carry it off.
Black tie elements for men: For men generally the black tie would mean a woolen suit, lapels made of silk, a dress shirt in white, cummerbund or waist coat, black dress shoes and a black tie.
The jacket: You can go for single pressed in midnight blue or black. Mostly made of polyester or wool though nowadays silk is also used.
The pants: Pants that are worn for such gala events are usually without belt loops or cuffs. The seams on the outer side are embellished with one braid of silk or some other material that will go with the facing on the lapels.
The waistcoat: This is usually shaped in the form of a V or U and can be only in the front as usually at such events the jacket is never open.
The shirt: Usually shirts worn at such events are white and made of linen or cotton or a blend of both. They have front that is bibbed and have double cuffs and the stylish ones come with matching studs.
The shoes: Normally a type of shoe known as Oxford made of black patent leather is the most accepted.
Other accessories: According to fashion these accessories will add to the look as long as they are chosen with care.
The handkerchief: Can be worn in the breast pocket.
Boutonniere: These need to be worn without the handkerchief.
Outerwear: The only outerwear considered acceptable is a somber overcoat.
Hat: Nowadays hats are not part of the acceptable gear though you could go for one in black or midnight blue.
A timepiece: Pocket watches are no longer in vogue so go for a simple elegant watch on the wrist.