Much like celebs use the red carpet to show the world that they mean business, dressing up for an event is your chance to make a perfect first impression.
While for the most part, red carpet style is more hit than miss, death by tabloid is almost certain when celebs get it wrong. From ‘invisible’ dresses with strategically placed sparkles, to frocks that were closer to tents than haute couture, dressing for an event nearly always comes down to choosing the right outfit for the right occasion.
How Dressing Up Makes All the Difference
Dressing up for events can be both challenging and exciting – more so when you are preparing for a special event. Matric dances, weddings, birthday celebrations, work functions, big weekends and even first dates all have their own dress codes, and the key to making that all-important impression is getting the code just right. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.
- Work functions. Whether it is an interview, business lunch, office social or corporate event, the focus on work style is to always keep it on the conservative side. You want to appear professional at any hour, and in any situation. This is no time to be flaunting those curves, in other words – instead, you want to be flaunting your contribution to the company. Flattering suits, fitted dresses in neutral shades, respectable hemlines, minimal cleavage, subtle makeup and under-stated bling will help you get noticed… in the right way.
- Social functions. When you are out with friends and family, you can be more relaxed. Here, you should be guided by the size and nature of the event. Wedding attire should be chosen according to the time of day and year, as well as the dress code, with lighter colours being a good safe bet (as long as you don’t wear white and try to upstage the bride). Cocktail events are ideal for those sexy but sophisticated dresses, while formal family events should take a page from the work event rule on keeping it conservative. One way to think about outfit planning is to remember that you can always dress up a simple dress, but you cannot tone down a bold dress.
- Big functions. Been invited to the event of a lifetime? There are a number of events that you will attend at some point in life that may require a lot more challenge in what to wear. Formal dinner dances, fund raisers, award ceremonies (even if it is a small industry event) and even government events usually have a set dress code that could range from black tie to cocktail or smart casual. If it is an annual event, you can have a look at photos from previous years to get an idea of what is acceptable. As a general rule of thumb, black tie is evening wear that usually means long dresses and ‘red carpet’ glamour; cocktail wear is generally shorter lengths of knee high to over the knee, without being too provocative and smart casual means professional but comfortable.
Step out in style and make sure that you turn heads with the help of these tips for dressing up for events.