Filed under: WomenDO
Choose a solid or almost solid color, floor length gown
Black tie means floor-length, plain and simple. We know you have myriad gorgeous and fancy cocktail dresses in your closet, but stay away from them for now. The best idea, to picking an appropriate floor-length gown is to choose one that is simple, meaning a solid color or limited color combination. Animal prints, polka-dots, big florals, anything you'd wear to a club, is a no-no. You can, however, use rhinestones and other subtle embellishments to snazz up your looks so you're not just a walking tube of black silk.
Assymetric Draped Dress,$119, David's Bridal
Calvin Klein Embellished Gown, $88.90, Nordstrom
Don't Overdo Bling
Though formal affairs can sometimes limit your person expression, what with our rules above, that doesn't give you an excuse to go all out with crystals, earrings, necklaces and other baubles. It's better to play it safe and go with one statement piece or a few, more subtle accents. Chandelier earrings that or classy or a big cocktail ring are fine but then don't add anything else. If you're going smaller, don a dainty necklace and bracelet or stud earrings and a smaller ring.
Floral Sparkle Earrings, $12, Accessorize
Pave Chandelier Earrings, $35, Dillards
Select the right handbag
It's incredibly tempting to walk into a ballroom with your entire makeup kit stored in your bag for any mishaps, but this requires a hefty tote and for such formal occasions, this is a faux-pas. That's where the clutch comes in--it's tiny, we know, but it's chic. Clutches require you to make decisions and rule out things you don't absolutely needs. Just pack essentials--cell phone, eyeliner, lipgloss, small compact--and leave the rest of your goods in the car, if possible. Have a date? Use his pockets as your makeshift purse, if he'll cooperate.
Kemfort Tote, $50, Aldo
Jessica McClintock Satin Clutch, $31, Zappos
Show a little skin
And this is not a blank check to buy a dress with a slit up to your belly button. In a floor-length gown, you may feel like you're swimming in fabric so to take this edge off show a little of your back and shoulders or a tiny bit of cleavage. Even a small slit is fine, but the point is, keep it classy. Would you be comfortable wearing this dress in front of your coworkers? If not, don't wear it.
Aspeed Design Dress, $65.99, Overstock.com
Adrianna Papell One Shoulder Gown, $148 at Nordstrom
Complete your look with the right hair and makeup
Here is where you can use those make-up skills you've been dying to show-off. Pick your best feature and go bold (though not 'queeny'). If you want to show off your eyes, go smokey, your lips go red and don't forget to get your nails polished with a french manicure or solid classy color. All that practicing you've done in the mirror can pay off now because guess what? You're not heading to a bar or a sporting event. Use foundation, blush and bronzer to give yourself a glow, but make sure you're using the right colors. In photos, if your face is a different shade then your neck, it will show. Rest assured, lots of photos will be taken at this black tie affair so you may want to snap a few before you leave to be sure you're looking even.
A too-tan Kim Kardashian overdoes it with bold eyes and lips
As for your hair, formal events are excellent excuses to do an up-do, especially if you want to show off some of your gown's embellishments, your shoulders or jewelry. Slick your hair back and make a tight bun that will let you collarbone, necklace or chandelier earrings frame your face. If you prefer a down do, silky waves will do the trick or try pulling your hair half-back which will keep the interest on your face, but allow some locks to fall over your shoulders. We recommend practicing your do at least once before the night of your event to ensure perfection.
**For more fashion tips and advice, please visit TheBudgetFashionista.com
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