What to wear to a gala no matter what the dress code
If you’ve been invited to a gala, it can be tricky to figure out the perfect outfit to wear. Whether you’re heading to a charity event, or maybe an awards dinner, this article has the perfect choices if you’re busy planning what to wear to a gala.
What is a gala?
First of all, what exactly is a gala? Well, it’s a formal event that usually involves some entertainment and a dinner. You might, for example be heading to a charity gala that features a fundraising auction, or maybe an awards event.
Embrace the opportunity to get dressed up
Whatever the reason for the event, a gala is a great opportunity to get dressed up and embrace the glamour of the occasion. This is your chance to have some fun with style!
What is the dress code?
While all galas tend to be formal, they don’t all have the same dress code. Take a look at your invitation to see what it says. Below are some of the options.
White tie is the most formal attire, so you’ll have to take extra special care if it says this on your invitation. In this case, a floor length dress is the best option.
Sandra @lapecosapreciosa above looks beautiful in her metallic asymmetric dress.
This gives you a little more leeway when it comes to what you wear. You can choose a long dress, cocktail dress, a jumpsuit, or even a pants suit.
In this case, you will probably prefer to wear a shorter dress length, at the knee or a midi length rather than a long option.
Sheree @shesheshow above shows how you could opt for a dress with a high-low hem.
Themed dress code
Perhaps your gala has a dress code, or a theme. Think about the world famous Met Gala – there’s a new theme each year. If there is a theme, then have fun with it.
Can you wear pants to a gala?
Don’t feel constrained to a dress if you are more comfortable in pants. You could opt for a wide, palazzo style, a pants suit or a tuxedo jacket.
Wendy @fashionoverfifty.wendy above shows how you could dress up a classic black suit.
what to wear to a gala
Now let’s move onto some specific outfit choices for your gala event.
dresses and jumpsuits
A dress is the most classic choice for a formal gala, but a jumpsuit is also a great choice. The overlay jumpsuit (below) combines the look of a dress and a jumpsuit. Metallic shades will add a touch of glamour, while red will get you noticed.
Jackets and wraps
Depending on the weather, and whether you want to cover your upper arms, you will want a jacket or cover-up. A blazer is always a smart choice. To elevate your blazer look, opt for a tuxedo style. Or try a dramatic cover up like the tulle blazer (below), which has the look of a jacket and a skirt, so would look good over pants.
If you only want to cover your upper arms, wear a shawl, scarf or wrap.
There are more stylish cover-up ideas in this article on how to cover up a formal dress.
AZALEA WANG Mixed Media Blazer – GRACE KARIN Sequin Tank Top – The Drop Maya Silky Slip Skirt – Steve Madden Elina Crystal Bow Ballet Flat – Olga Berg Gabby Metallic Hot Fix Crystal Clutch – SAVVY CIE JEWELS Halo Stud Earrings
If you’re opting for separates, what top should you choose? Well, because separates can look more casual than a dress, make sure you choose a really special top. Look out for luxurious fabrics, draping, glamorous shapes, and sequins. You could choose a white shirt and elevate your look with statement jewelry.
Reformation Ronda Asymmetric Neck Silk Top – Alice + Olivia Crystal Trim Dylan Pants – Calvin Klein Fairy Ankle Strap Sandal – Olga Berg Ellie Crystal Mesh Bag – Nordstrom Cubic Zirconia Baguette Drop Earrings
pants and skirts
If you’re choosing a pair of pants or a skirt to go with your top, then a pair of wide leg pants are a glamorous choice. You can see why in our article on the best wide leg pants and how to wear them.
When it comes to choosing skirts, look for silk, satin, sequins, and a maxi or below the knee length.
Alice + Olivia Everly Tulle Blazer – KOBI HALPERIN Mila Sleeveless Stretch Silk Blouse – Alice + Olivia Dylan Bootcut Pants – Steve Madden Elina Crystal Bow Ballet Flat – Nina Billow Art Deco Frame Clutch – SAVVY CIE JEWELS Halo Stud Earrings
shoes to wear to a gala
Heels are always a classic choice. Choose metallics, neutral shades, or pick shoes that match your dress. If you think you’ll be uncomfortable being on your feet during the event, you could choose a pair of glamorous flats instead.
Accessories always elevate any outfit, but they are particularly important when you are creating an outfit for a special occasion. You will want a clutch bag to fit in your essentials. Then choose statement earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
Olga Berg Ellie Crystal Mesh Bag – Olga Berg Gabby Metallic Hot Fix Crystal Clutch – Nina Billow Art Deco Frame Clutch – FULU AUTUMN Stackable Beaded Bracelets – Ettika Crystal Drop Earrings – Nordstrom Cubic Zirconia Baguette Drop Earrings – SAVVY CIE JEWELS Halo Stud Earrings
Adrianna Papell Colorblocked Overlay Jumpsuit – Sam Edelman Bianka Slingback Pump – Nina Billow Art Deco Frame Clutch – FULU AUTUMN Stackable Beaded Bracelets – Nordstrom Cubic Zirconia Baguette Drop Earrings
Your gala outfits together in one capsule
Below, you can see how you can put your gala outfits together. You can easily mix and match to create different looks if you have a number of events to attend this year. You could, for example, create an all-red look with the red dress, wrap and clutch bag. Or, you could wear the white or black blazers over any of the outfits.
shop the outfits to wear to a gala below:
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Feature image by Sandra @lapecosapreciosa
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