Whether it is held for charity fundraisers or to uphold a prestigious event, galas are formal affairs – the ideal opportunity to bring out your inner style goddess (or god) and be the dazzling talk of the town. However, given the formality of such affairs, a strict etiquette is also typically required in such events.
Image: ICON’s 11th Anniversary Gala Ball
-Be glamorous, and don’t be shy about it. That means ritzy accessories and extravagant gowns – the whole nine yards. Though you would traditionally choose an evening dress, cocktail dresses, which are usually just above the knee, are becoming increasingly acceptable for today’s glamorous affairs.
-Don’t be afraid to break some sartorial rules too. If a daring, menswear-inspired pantsuit is what you would rather go with, make sure the overall look is equally glamorous and formal.
-High heels are the norm, and you best wear them. Stilettos, and open toed, strappy heels are great, but leave the thick soled wedges and clogs for casual Saturdays. Though not a hard rule, it is also a good idea to complement the colour of your outfit with your shoes.
-For situations that heels are simply not suitable for you, make sure your flats are glamourous and embellished. When in doubt, the store staff can provide some advice.
Image: 5 of the Grandest Cartier Diamonds
-Your pieces should complement rather than compete with your dress. For example, a shimmery gown does not need more glitz, so low-key accessories would be more ideal such as plain gold or plain silver pieces. A low-key gown on the other hand would certainly need a glamorous statement piece.
-Pearls, diamonds and gold are traditional options when it comes to accessorizing, but you can also wear costume jewellery. No matter what your choices, the key is to maintain a level of sophistication.
-When it comes to formal handbags, always go with the minaudiere or the clutch. Larger purses are viewed as too informal, but if you must carry a purse, make sure it is tiny with exceptionally thin straps. (We would still go for the clutch).
-Now that you’ve dressed for the occasion, don’t forget your make-up, which must be every bit glamorous as your get up. Given that galas often occur at night with softer lighting, don’t be afraid to dramatize your makeup more than usual.
-Heavy, smokey eyes can be balanced with neutral lips, with natural-looking blush and foundation. If you prefer your lips to stand out instead, with perhaps a bold red, then keep the colour off your eyes with more minimal tones.
-Make-up artists are useful for such occasions, and will cater your makeup to perfectly complement your outfit.
Guide: Fine Dining Etiquette