Showing up to an event wearing the wrong kind of outfit is probably one of the most common social anxieties women face. Picking the right outfit for a formal occasion can be daunting, so here’s seven essential style tips to help you look your very best for that masquerade ball this season.
If the invite says cocktail, wear a cocktail dress. If you’re unsure about the dress code, or the invite doesn’t say, don’t be afraid to call the hostess and ask. You can casually slip this into conversation when you call to RSVP: “So, is this a cocktail dress, high heels kind of party?”
L-R: Antonio Berardi, Stella McCartney, Marchesa
It’s easy to get caught up with what everyone else is wearing—what’s on the runways in fashion capitals, what celebrities are wearing, and what the fashionistas in your town are currently donning. But don’t get too caught up in a trend. Trends come and go, but classic cuts (and colors) never go out of style. If you are going to a formal event that requires a ball gown, you may want to invest in a designer piece that is versatile and that you’ll be able to wear in years to come. If you’re unsure of what to wear, choose a black dress; simple and versatile, a beautiful black dress can be accessorized in a multitude of ways to yield different looks.
L-R: Colombina Black Velvet 1, Colombina Harlequin Pink Duo, Colombina Gold Ventaglio 6
Not all masks are created equal. Once you know what you’re wearing, pick a well-made, authentic Venetian mask. These are handmade with the finest materials, and the way they are crafted ensures breathability. If you want to be able to eat, dance, and be able to use both your hands throughout the evening, we recommend a Colombina with satin ties.
L-R: Christian Laboutin, Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana
All you ladies who’ve endured evenings of agony while standing in too-tight shoes that pinched your toes or sky-high heels that hurt your calves know exactly what we’re talking about. Now, we’re not suggesting you sacrifice style, but pick a shoe with a heel that’s not too high, a platform for added support, and that allows you to walk (and stand) comfortably. If you don’t think you can endure an entire evening in heels, then choose an elegant low wedge, or a sparkly flat sandal. Either of those options is sexier than a cranky girl who can’t wait to sit down and take her shoes off.
L-R: Ana Khoury, Larkspur & Hawk, Olivia Collings
Given that you’re already wearing a masquerade mask, you probably need very little accessorizing. We always recommend elegant earrings and bracelets (or a cuff). We recommend wearing a necklace only if it doesn’t detract from your mask. Simplicity is best, so remember Coco Chanel’s famous words: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”
If you’re planning on wearing a masquerade mask, you want to carefully plan your hair and makeup around it, as it will alter the perception of some of your facial features. Here’s our top makeup tips:
L-R: Alexander McQueen, Charlotte Olympia, Nancy Gonzalez
If you are attending a formal event, the only acceptable type of purse is a clutch. A clutch is a teeny tiny handbag (without a strap) that one clutches in their hand. Clutches often fit very little, so our recommendations for masquerade ball essentials are: lipstick (in the shade you’re wearing); hair pins, band aids, Advil (just a couple, not the whole bottle), blotting papers, and wet wipes. And your phone of course.
Get the latest content first.