Gala Wear

Gala Wear Black suit

Gala Wear Black dress

What Should I Wear to the Ball?
The difference between cocktail, black tie and black tie optional attire

You just received a hand-addressed, silver embossed envelope in the mail.  You ask yourself, “I wonder what this is?”  You slowly open it.  It reads, “You are cordially invited to our annual gala.”  What is the first thought after you check your calendar to see if you are available to attend?  Of course the next question is, “What will I wear?”

Creative Elegance Boutique can help you dress to impress – educate, offer suggestions and provide the necessary attire and accessories you need to complete your look to the characteristically formal event.

A formal gala event equates to a tuxedo or a designer suit for men, but for women while long gowns, high heels, matching accessories and jewelry are the commonplace, what if the invitation says cocktail attire, black tie or black tie optional?  What is the difference?  Are there options?

The Differences
LiveAbout.com defines cocktail attire as a shorter, party-ready dress for women, such as a little black dress or even dressy separates like a skirt and blouse. Cocktail attire is more casual and less formal than black tie.  

When the invitation says black tie, a formal floor length gown or classy cocktail dress is standard.  An elegant suit or separates is also acceptable.  The black tie optional label generally affects men more than women.  For women, you basically have the option of wearing either a gown or a cocktail dress.

Other options
Kathy Cadieux, owner of Creative Elegance Boutique says, “Adding a chic wrap or stole to a stylish black jumpsuit or donning a pair of palazzo pants with an embellished blazer are sophisticated alternatives to the traditional formal full length gown and cocktail dress.” 

Don’t forget the shoes, jewelry and accessories! 
A classic black pair of high heels, a gold or silver draped necklace and a clutch purse can make simple look elegant.

Cadieux states, “Women have so many more options than men, but when in doubt, it is always better to dress more formal.  The classic floor length gown and the little black dress are the common “go-to” but don’t be afraid to stand out.”

Carrying sizes 4-22, Creative Elegance can help you find the perfect look for your next cocktail party or gala event.