Walk into an event like a star with these style tips

Pure Bliss - Walk into your next event like a star

With the Oscars last night, I thought I would write a Q&A post with event style tips. I will follow up with my best dressed at the Oscars. Technically, I wrote this as the Oscars were on since I only watch the red carpet arrivals! My best friend Carrie posed the questions to cover how to make an impression at an event and still be true to yourself.

Trends for 2020 in formal wear: Polka dot gowns, classic blue, ombré, billowy maxi gowns, floral print, lace, red and suits.

Ombre dress

Question: What should someone do if they’re unsure of what to wear to an event?

Answer

Usually, the invitation says what the dress code is, so I suggest sticking to it. If it’s not a wedding, I look online to see if there are photos from previous years and see what the guests were wearing. Instagram, Facebook, or if it’s a company, their website are good sources. When in doubt, I will go semi-formal.

If it’s a wedding, I ask other people that are going to see what they’re doing. If I’m close to the bride or groom, I’ll ask them or their parents. Or I go by what I know of their personality and style preferences.

Question: What’s your overall event style tip

Answer

Wear what makes you feel comfortable and fits you well. Depending on the event and the cost, determine which trends you will incorporate into your look. Some dresses I want to last for many seasons, so I don’t always subscribe to trends. But when I do, they come back in style or have stayed trending over the last few years, like suits, floral print and maxi dresses. I am big on re-wearing outfits to different events, especially if the guests are different. 

Zaimara Gown worn at the CAFA Awards 2019

Question: What are your top style tips for black-tie events?

Black-tie: These events require gowns.

Answer

Well, this is where I shine since I haven’t met a gown I won’t wear! Long dresses are usually the requirement and the more elaborate, the better. For this, I shop around to find the right gown. They tend to be more expensive than other dresses so I look for classic styles that I can buy off-season at better prices (like 70% or more off), and I can wear more than once. The Style Escape has maxi dresses I have worn to weddings and events. You can also rent gowns from a site like renttherunway.com. I usually accessorize with a bracelet and large crystal Swarovski earrings (I have them in three colors, too bad they don’t have the black anymore). I don’t overthink it. I let my dress do the talking.

Question: What are your top style tips for black-tie optional/formal events?

Black-tie optional / Formal: A long dress, suit or jumpsuit works well for these occasions.

Answer

I wear pretty much the same thing as I would for black-tie because I love gowns! I also love suits and jumpsuits. But this is where you don’t have to go as elaborate. 

If you’re not into long dresses, or you love showing your legs, you can opt for a long one with a slit, like this black BCBGMaxazria gown, or wear a suit or jumpsuit. 

You can amp up a suit or jumpsuit with some great jewelry and heels.

Check out this Pinterest page with styling ideas for suits and tuxedos. 

Black BCBGMaxazria Dress with slit

Question: What are your top style tips for a semi-formal event?

Semi-formal or cocktail event: Cocktail dresses, jumpsuits and suits are all viable options.

Answer

I prefer long over short, so I tend to stick to jumpsuits or maxi dresses, but have forced myself to wear short ones on a few occasions! I’m seriously surprisingly lazy with getting ready, so I will wear my Swarovski earrings and maybe a bracelet or a statement watch.

Zaimara Maxi for casual or outdoor events

Question: What are your top style tips for an outdoor or beach event?

Outdoor or beach: This type of event calls for light summer dresses, suits or jumpsuits.

Answer

Easy and fun is the way I go. Maxi dresses are more my style, but short summer dresses and two-piece outfits work really well here. So do jumpsuits without embellishment. Flats or wedges are the best options here. It’s not like I haven’t worn heels before to an outdoor wedding, but I did end up ruining the heels, so it’s not worth it to me. As someone with legs thinner than she wants, I can’t tell you how much I loved the lace-up trend. It helps make my legs look slightly bigger! I love ballet flats, and Topshop kindly granted me with a combination lace-up ballet flat. I will still wear these, even though they may not be in style currently.

Question: What are your top style tips for casual events?

Casual / Informal: You can dress however you like but stay away from anything with holes or too sheer.

Answer

You can allow your personal style to show through. I pretty much dress the same as I would for an outdoor event but with smaller earrings and more casual hair. I usually keep my hair straight.

Question: Do you have any last tips?

Answer

My tip is always to be comfortable. You’ll look better overall and feel more confident. Stick to trends that you genuinely like, instead of wearing them because they’re trends. I didn’t buy any of the outfits I showed in this post this year. Some are over four years old!


Check out our Style Icons and Best Dressed at the SAG Awards articles  for more event style inspiration! 

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