When it comes to dressing up for a ball, the word lavish immediately comes to mind! Undoubtedly the little girl deep inside of us jumps for joy at the thought of classic fairytale styling. Nothing will make you feel more like a princess than a trail length gown, delicately intricate beadwork or an elaborate fitted silhouette. There always seems to be some type of hybrid ball popping up and choosing what to wear can leave you feeling a little perplexed. So whether it’s a Charity Ball, Masquerade Ball, Cotillion Ball or even the Met Gala Ball (no harm in dreaming, maybe one day!) we are here to help with the hottest style tips guaranteed to have you acing that elegant formal look in no time!
Image source: marieclaire.uk
Decoding the dress code
Before we begin it’s important to understand the purpose of the event you are attending, So let us begin with the term “ball”. The word “ball” is derived from the Latin word “ballare” which means “to dance” . Remaining true to its roots the word “Ball” has gone on to become known as “ A type of formal dance party held in a ballroom where dancing may or may not occur” making it synonymous with all things grand and glamourous. Traditionally speaking, the ball was an event commonly associated with all things aristocratic and usually consisted of a religiously elite following. However, nowadays it has vastly evolved to include a larger and more dynamic plethora of demographics and groups. Today the commonly known gala/charity ball has become highly popular amongst the corporate and media industries.
Classics vs Trends
If we were to think about traditional ball attire, our first thought would be a “full ball gown skirt”. Luckily and much to our delight times have changed dramatically and we no longer need to stress about the logistics of the dress we decide to wear, such as how do I get to the event/ fit through a doorway?! In saying that however, it’s great to see that typically a black tie dress code is still highly desired and encouraged at present day events! Though the rise of increasingly relaxed wardrobe options are becoming more and more popular, we still manage to pay homage and respect the value of what this type of event truly means!
So how do I know what to wear?
Before you choose an outfit for your glamorous ball event the best thing you can do is look closely at the details of your invitation. Consider elements such as the venue, the particular reason the ball is being held and, of course, the demographics. Always keep it sophisticated and dress for your body shape. Try to avoid the obvious blunders like mini length dresses, inappropriate footwear options like thongs or sneakers and dirty clothing. Always remember, if in doubt always stick to formal attire as you can never be overdressed at a ball function.
Choose a trend! Keep it fresh and fashion forward
The sheer skirt
The perfect way to add a bit of peek-a-boo flare to your formal look. This is a great option for those who may feel intimidated at the thought of wearing a full length gown. The sheer skirt overlay provides comfort and ease in movement making it super practical to wear!
The V-plunge neckline
Definitely not a look for the faint hearted, the plunge neckline will most certainly create the drama you desire. This trend is red hot at the moment and will offer your formal style a subtle sultriness without making you feel overly revealing or exposed.
‘Lingerie look’ lace
A modern twist on a classic fashion favourite, the lingerie lace look explores the concept of undergarments worn as outer fashion wear. For a contemporary look and interesting adaptation of traditional elegant evening wear try this undeniable feminine style.
Stick to the classics! Stick with timeless fashion options
The ‘LBG’ long black gown
Known as a classic for good reason, the A Line floor length gown is a perfect option for your upcoming ball event! What I personally like to refer to as the LBG is guaranteed to stand the test of time. So, to avoid cringe worthy fashion photos in future years to come choose this winning look!
Head to toe sparkles
A favourite look amongst many Hollywood fashion heavyweights of past and present, the full length sequin gown will instantly leave you feeling like a glamorous screen siren goddess! Tip* Pick a colour shade that works well with your skin tone.
The Full skirt
This style suits almost all body types which is the reason it has become highly popular with fashionistas over the years and has become a classic fashion silhouette. To create this stunning look, opt for a fitted bust line that extends to a beautifully billowing full skirt.
Break the mould! Don’t be afraid to take a fashion risk
Keep it monochromatic
Play around with the same colour tone for a modern minimalistic type of elegance. Bold colours can be a powerful yet simplistic way of shaking up your fashion look. Make sure you pick a colour that works for your skin tone and stick with it when styling your outfit. Adding more than one colour may overcomplicate the overall finished look so handle with care!
Try an elegant Jumpsuit/Pantsuit
Are you a rebel at heart? Not your typical girly girl? Well your time is now as there hasn’t been a better time to celebrate minimalist edge than the present! Beautifully tailored to the figure, the jumpsuit or more recently trending power pantsuit pays a modern tribute to the revamped 80’s trend.
Rock a midi length dress
Most glamorous ball events are associated with dress attire that features super long length hemlines and indulgently beaming fabric textures, but that doesn’t mean we have to necessarily dress to the constraints of what is expected of us. Try mixing it up with an elegant midi length dress.
What about my accessories?
Match it up!
Keep your accessory styling the same colour value as the outfit you have selected to wear for a minimalistically yet impactful style.
Pick a theme
Stick with it! If it’s floral keep it floral. If the outfit features a bold print avoid over-complicated accessories as they may clash.
Don’t go overboard
If your dress is overly embellished to start with try and play it down when choosing your matching accessories.
For more hot style tips read our What to Wear to a Black Tie Ball Ultimate Style Guide blog post!
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