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Pomp and Pageantry: How to dress for a Gala

Posted by Michael Gallego on

That time of year has arrived.  You’ve been invited to the hottest Gala in town, and it’s for a noble cause.  Proceeds will go towards a charity.  You’re ready to be Mr. Socialite for the evening, and your significant other – in – arms is ready to strut her stuff too.  It’s an adrenaline inducing fest.  Except you can’t seem to channel that in a positive direction.  You’re nervous as all hell.  You have no idea what to wear, how you’ll fit in, and whether people will caste you off in your own sequel of the intouchables.

Let’s help you allay some of your fears.  As, given the event, you should just relax and take it in stride.  Which will be all the more feasible once you’ve got this starter’s guide to how to dress for your next big gala event:

1.  If specifically designated as a black tie event, you should dress in a tuxedo.  A classic tuxedo is a black or midnight blue suit with a satin or grosgrain lapel fashioned in a single-breasted style.  The collar on the shirt is typically peaked to distinguish it from conventional business suits.  Trousers on a tuxedo are also formal, with banded outer seams made from silk or satin, or even grosgrain, depending on the jacket.  Socks should ideally be constructed of wool or silk, and you should be worn with fine leather shoes to boot.

2.  If the event is not specifically designated as a black tie event, you can hit your gala with considerable aplomb sporting a black suit, midnight blue, or quite frankly, even a shade of grey if you so wish.  While most people will stick to the perennial frontrunners for such events i.e black and midnight blue’s, you can still wear a grey suit and dress your impeccable best.  The color isn’t as important as that one cardinal rule: Be IMPECCABLE.

If you’re adding color to your outfit beyond the suit, its best to wear a white shirt and layer in color with either a vest or a tie.  But keep it classy.  A solid color that won’t in the slightest hint any affiliation with Craig Sager.  Yup, that’s a must.  As can be accessorizing your suit with a few other details.  Don’t go overboard though.  A boutonniere (lapel flower) can work wonders, as can pocket squares.  Wear both though, and you’ve got the equivalent look of Don King with half Perm, half buzz cut.  Get the idea?

Below are some pictures of celebrities that have recently strutted gala events in various representations, what works, and most likely, what doesn’t:

gala event

Imagine hitting the gala dressed like this! Headfake and Sweetness!

peaked grosgrain lapels and a black tie

Alexander Skarsgard keeping it classy (at the Met Gala 2013) and elegant with peaked grosgrain lapels and LITERALLY, a black tie!

blue jacket

Brady showing us he not only throws perfect spirals at QB and with women, but also when it comes to fashion. Going against the grain with a blue jacket, he has pulled this off perfectly.

Gala Event dressing

Jagged Little Pill: If you have to dress for a gala, please go as Mick. Even the eccentric Alanis Morissette would need medication for this one.

How do you dress up yourself for a Gala event? Share your thoughts with us!

Filed under: Black Tie Tagged: Alanis Morissette, Black tie, Gala, Mick Jagger, Tuxedo

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