Sunday, December 13, 2009

Question of the Week: Dressing for a Winter Ball

"I have a question about dressing for a formal ball. Can wear an above-the-knee dress? I'm debating between a body-fitting black dress with a sweetheart neckline and a bright fuchsia tube dress with ruching on the front and a tier right above the waistline.

And how would I dress up my outfit and accessorize on a budget? I want to be more fashionable and different from other people."

- May, New York

It's hard for me to tell you whether or not an above-the-knee dress would be appropriate for this ball since formal could mean a lot of things. I would check with friends who are going.

For formal events and dressing in general, keep balance in mind. If the dress is snug, make sure it covers enough leg, skin, and the other way around, if the dress is short, then it should be voluminous. Covering your legs with tights can help keep your look classy. And covering your shoulders with a faux fur capelet or shawl will give your look some glam!

If you're looking to stand out, I would suggest playing with funky shoes, statement necklaces and patterned tights. And to avoid overkill, do not wear all three at the same time.

Funky shoes

Jeffrey Campbell Michelle, $119.95
& N.Y.L.A. Slinger Bootie, $119

Statement necklaces

Express Twisted Chain Bauble Necklace, $39.50
Forever21 Reflective Shard Necklace, $10.80

Patterned tights

Urban Outfitters Tuscan Floral Tights, $14
& Pamela Mann Duo Tone Tights*, $13.30

*For a formal event, I would go for these tights in black and white. You'll look Chanel-inspired chic!

If you go with the body con black dress, I think a bib or statement necklace would be really cute. If you want the focal point of your look to be the dress and sweetheart neckline rather than your jewelry, you could wear a simple pendant. And you can finish your look with some fun shoes or tights.

If you do the bright fuchsia dress, you could also do statement jewelry, but if the dress is like what I'm picturing, then it may be overkill with the bright color and ruching, and a simpler or more basic necklace like pearls or slim chain might be a better option. And again, simplicity with the shoes and tights to complement a busy, bright dress.

Readers, what do you think? Do you have any other suggestions for May?


Nhat Vo said...

For a formal event, I think tights won't make the look formal enough since the laces create a feel of lingerie. However, I love Erin/Lani's idea of a fur vest, coat, etc. If you do choose the fur, pull your hair back to create a strong face, sport a classic black dress with v-neck line (or something similar) that's to the knee or pass it a little, with a simple necklace. If you're looking for a more fun and creative, a headpiece wouldn't hurt.

jae said...

def not funky tights for a formal event.

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