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Old 11-24-2007, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Working on relocating
800 posts, read 2,992,843 times
Reputation: 436
Default What do women wear to a black-tie dinner?

Hey there!

Just curious as to what to wear nowadays (as a woman) to a black-tie dinner? I haven't been to one since college (I'mm 35)...Not sure what to wear.

I'm not a high fashion gal and really more rockabilly or retro...Would one of those dresses be suitable? My formal wear is more punky actually

It's a one time deal and I'll probably never see these people again LOL...It's in January in San Diego

What to wear? Or, not to wear?

Gosh, I don't even own pumps! I wear ballet flats more in my retro daily look...

I don't want to be inappropriate LOL...help!

Thanks and hugs,
AB
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla
1,822 posts, read 4,838,276 times
Reputation: 1367
I hope I can help but I went to a black tie event for some charity just this past October. I wore a long black dress (probably described as more of a 'gown' than anything). It was sleeveless, the top was nothing more than two silk pieces draped across each other and a long chiffon type of 'skirt' on the bottom half. I wore satin-y black pumps and carried satin evening clutch purse to match. If you search macy's, dillards and some random sites online, look up 'evening' dresses to get some ideas of what to wear. I would stick to something dark and make sure it is full length and NOT party length, also.
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla
1,822 posts, read 4,838,276 times
Reputation: 1367
I wore a dress similar to the one on the far right (just imagine it in black).

Macy*s - Fall Style Source
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:43 PM
 
2,775 posts, read 5,180,761 times
Reputation: 1996
Default What a question...

Blacktie for men means "wear a tux", and that is the end of the story.

For women, it is a wholly different approach. Here is the mindset you need to put yourself into before you begin to choose from the nearly infinite styles available.

One, if any part of your ensemable has black, you will be wearing 3.5+inch heels. Black heels. No other color is acceptable. Ever.

Two. You are not out to show off a fabulous figure, cleavage, or anything else about your body. Black tie means that the clothing itself is what looks good. The cut, the style, the design... Hint at what's beneath, but even in the summer one never dresses to show off the body at such a formal affair. Ever. This is not the place, nor the time, to show off that body. So when choosing clothing, choose the clothing for the clothing itself. Yes, find something that attires your figure well, and fits you well, but the body issue here just isn't the primary one.

That being said, if you were a fashionista I would say, yes, go for those deep reds or plums, other evening colors that can be worn as formal blacktie wear for women. However, because you're asking what you should wear, I'm going to hazard a guess and say that you're not quite there yet. So completely avoid anything but black, because black is always safe.

If you are an African American woman, however, you can wear white. For white women I'd be extremely leery of white, given the time of the year, but if you're a black woman there are other colors you can wear that are perfectly acceptable for formal evening attire.

Think about your age. I'm young enough that I can wear plunging necklines, a dress without a back, etc. Spaghetti strings, real diamonds, interesting hair-dos, etc. If you're in that 35+ range I'd say that it's time to start covering up a little more.

Full-length skirts and dresses are appropriate; for women, semi-formal is considered above/around the knee. You want a cut that's full. For the dress itself, go all out and buy real silk or satin, because that's definitely worth it.

Last but not least, you absolutely have to make sure that your bra and the like are completely hidden. Nothing should ever, ever show through.

In my opinion, I'd say "no" to pearls or any jewelry that isn't ornate, small and colorless. I cannot stand women who wear big gold (fake OR real, it doesn't matter) beads. Pearls can absolutely kill an outfit-- I'd avoid those too. Diamonds really are a girl's best friend, avoid broaches like the plague on fashion that they are (broaches are to evening wear what fanny packs are to dresses!), and please remember that you can go for dramatic eyes or dramatic lips but not both. Otherwise you'll look too painted. Fixate on what you want others to fixate on. If you wear other stones, like emeralds or rubies, wear them in extremely small amounts and usually focus them in only one place: on the throat, in the hair, on the wrist. That is all you will ever need. It's like a balancing act: they should only ever be on one place. To my eye, women look too poorly "balanced" if the style of their hair doesn't exactly match where they wear their jewelry. Too much to the left, too much to the right, or too symmetrical.

It's worth paying someone iRL to walk you through this if you cannot do it yourself. Go to any department store and the sales clerk for women's attire should happily walk you through all of this.
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:50 PM
 
2,775 posts, read 5,180,761 times
Reputation: 1996
It just occurred to me that comfort is also a non-issue. You are not going to be comfortable. You will have to look as if you are.
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:04 PM
MB2
 
Location: Sebastian/ FL
3,496 posts, read 6,532,024 times
Reputation: 2619
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwine View Post
Blacktie for men means "wear a tux", and that is the end of the story.

For women, it is a wholly different approach. Here is the mindset you need to put yourself into before you begin to choose from the nearly infinite styles available.

One, if any part of your ensemable has black, you will be wearing 3.5+inch heels. Black heels. No other color is acceptable. Ever.

Two. You are not out to show off a fabulous figure, cleavage, or anything else about your body. Black tie means that the clothing itself is what looks good. The cut, the style, the design... Hint at what's beneath, but even in the summer one never dresses to show off the body at such a formal affair. Ever. This is not the place, nor the time, to show off that body. So when choosing clothing, choose the clothing for the clothing itself. Yes, find something that attires your figure well, and fits you well, but the body issue here just isn't the primary one.

That being said, if you were a fashionista I would say, yes, go for those deep reds or plums, other evening colors that can be worn as formal blacktie wear for women. However, because you're asking what you should wear, I'm going to hazard a guess and say that you're not quite there yet. So completely avoid anything but black, because black is always safe.

If you are an African American woman, however, you can wear white. For white women I'd be extremely leery of white, given the time of the year, but if you're a black woman there are other colors you can wear that are perfectly acceptable for formal evening attire.

Think about your age. I'm young enough that I can wear plunging necklines, a dress without a back, etc. Spaghetti strings, real diamonds, interesting hair-dos, etc. If you're in that 35+ range I'd say that it's time to start covering up a little more.

Full-length skirts and dresses are appropriate; for women, semi-formal is considered above/around the knee. You want a cut that's full. For the dress itself, go all out and buy real silk or satin, because that's definitely worth it.

Last but not least, you absolutely have to make sure that your bra and the like are completely hidden. Nothing should ever, ever show through.

In my opinion, I'd say "no" to pearls or any jewelry that isn't ornate, small and colorless. I cannot stand women who wear big gold (fake OR real, it doesn't matter) beads. Pearls can absolutely kill an outfit-- I'd avoid those too. Diamonds really are a girl's best friend, avoid broaches like the plague on fashion that they are (broaches are to evening wear what fanny packs are to dresses!), and please remember that you can go for dramatic eyes or dramatic lips but not both. Otherwise you'll look too painted. Fixate on what you want others to fixate on. If you wear other stones, like emeralds or rubies, wear them in extremely small amounts and usually focus them in only one place: on the throat, in the hair, on the wrist. That is all you will ever need. It's like a balancing act: they should only ever be on one place. To my eye, women look too poorly "balanced" if the style of their hair doesn't exactly match where they wear their jewelry. Too much to the left, too much to the right, or too symmetrical.

It's worth paying someone iRL to walk you through this if you cannot do it yourself. Go to any department store and the sales clerk for women's attire should happily walk you through all of this.
OMG....I couldn't have it said better myself....ever.
The above named "CD Peep" covered just about everything, and I second that.
I hate overkill....for one.
And, another I would like to add is, just because a dress is black, make absolutely SURE, it won't show and isn't see through !
Safe solution? Wear a slip, if need be!
I went to many black tie events, and had an absolute stunning gown on...problem was, in the camera flash, it was see through!!!!! (Of course doesn't one find out, until the pictures are handed around! How embarrassing THAT was!)
And, another BIG hint....HAVE FUN!
Even the most ugly dress will bloom if one wears it with pride, joy and happiness!!!!!
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:33 PM
 
2,775 posts, read 5,180,761 times
Reputation: 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovingBack2PA View Post
I went to many black tie events, and had an absolute stunning gown on...problem was, in the camera flash, it was see through!!!!! (Of course doesn't one find out, until the pictures are handed around! How embarrassing THAT was!)
Oh my god, I've been there It looked so sleek in the store, it was like every other LBD that I've worn, and then the camera >.< God that was mortifying.
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:51 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
15,537 posts, read 17,671,283 times
Reputation: 23811
I agree with almost everything that's been said, except I think that most likely the dresses will be cocktail length, not long. I feel overdressed in long unless I know in advance that everyone will be wearing long. Other than that, at your age it's high time you free yourself from flats and sensible clothing and let er rip! Get some totally slutty shoes and an elegant dress that flatters your figure.
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Old 11-24-2007, 03:01 PM
 
2,775 posts, read 5,180,761 times
Reputation: 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I agree with almost everything that's been said, except I think that most likely the dresses will be cocktail length, not long. I feel overdressed in long unless I know in advance that everyone will be wearing long. Other than that, at your age it's high time you free yourself from flats and sensible clothing and let er rip! Get some totally slutty shoes and an elegant dress that flatters your figure.
Vogue has been notified of this post. The special ninja squadron has been dispatched and will be arriving at your door in twenty minutes time.

Escape is not an option.
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:52 PM
MB2
 
Location: Sebastian/ FL
3,496 posts, read 6,532,024 times
Reputation: 2619
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwine View Post
Vogue has been notified of this post. The special ninja squadron has been dispatched and will be arriving at your door in twenty minutes time.

Escape is not an option.
LOL...funny one!
Yes, I agree! LOL
BTW...I think just about anything goes these days.....except showing up in thongs and bra! LOL
And, if you DO, make sure it's very fancy lace.....ROTFL.
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