How to dress for a black-tie affair - women

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How to dress for a black-tie affair - women
Dress for a Black-Tie Affair - Women

Your date can only choose a tux, but your black-tie options are limitless. Whether you choose satin or beads, a dress or a long skirt and top, remember that black-tie means very formal.

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  1. 1

    Select a style and cut that flatters your figure, highlighting your assets and minimizing any problem areas.

  2. 2

    Look for full-length skirts and dresses; lengths that hover around the knee are usually considered semiformal.

  3. 3

    Consider the material and texture. Silk, satin, embroidery, beads, rhinestones, velvet and metallics are all well-suited for formal attire.

  4. 4

    Evaluate your options if you decide to wear a two-piece ensemble. Pair a beaded stretch top with a full-length, slim velvet skirt, or a silk organza blouse with a full satin skirt that hits at your ankles.

  5. 5

    Remember that your dress options are unlimited. Consider spaghetti straps or a jewel-neck collar; a plunging back or a revealing front neckline; and side or back slits. Some events may call for more conservative attire, so consider this when making your selection.

  6. 6

    Choose colors that complement your complexion. Black isn't the only evening color. Deep reds and plums, crisp pastels, and silver and gold can all look equally stunning.

  1. 1

    Treat yourself to a manicure, and opt for a pedicure if you'll be wearing open-toed shoes.

  2. 2

    Match your lip and nail color. Do more pronounced lips or dramatic eyes, but avoid the two together or you may appear overly made up.

  3. 3

    Choose a hairstyle that's different from your everyday one. Curl it, gel it in place, or sweep it into a romantic updo or slick ponytail.

  4. 4

    Select earrings that complement the tones and trims in your outfit. Pearls look great with beaded ensembles; diamonds or zirconia accentuate rhinestone-studded and metallic outfits.

  5. 5

    Dangle a bracelet or two from your wrist when baring your arms. A charm bracelet will complement a short-sleeved bodice; a wide gold or rhinestone band will work well with a strapless number.

  6. 6

    Complement a lightweight silk or satin outfit with strappy sandals or slipper mules. Velvet or colored satin pumps will work nicely with heavier materials.

  7. 7

    Select a minibag or small clutch in the same material, color family and trim as your outfit. Black-tie events are no place for roomy purses. All you really need is your compact, lipstick, keys, I.D. and some cash.

Tips and warnings

  • Invite a trusted companion to see you in the outfit you're considering before you make the purchase.
  • Consult with your date to ensure that his tie and cummerbund match the color of your ensemble. Black complements everything.
  • Wear underwear that will remain discreet. Check to make sure that bra edges and straps will remain concealed throughout an evening of sitting, standing and dancing.

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