Final Touch: Formal Wear with Savoir Faire
The rules of black tie dressing were made to be broken, and not simply by opting for casual garb when formal wear is in order.
Way back in 1930, a little known (at the time) German actress named Marlene Dietrich sported a top hat and tails playing a nightclub singer in her first Hollywood film, Morocco. The scene made her a household name overnight, and suddenly androgynous evening apparel invaded women’s closets the world over. Black tie has never been the same since.
These days, while boys are still tied down to a tuxedo when an invitation calls for black tie (named after the colour of the tuxedo bow tie), dressing formal is fair game for us women. And today, formal wear is less about having an elaborate new gown for every occasion and more about accessorizing with luxe yet minimalist pieces. Call it “barely there accessorizing” if you must, but investing in sleek and sophisticated accoutrements with just the right dose of edge is the ultimate way to transform simple summer looks into formal style statements.
With wedding season and Gatsby-inspired summer parties on the horizon, forgo investing in gowns that break the bank and get creative instead. Invest in summer apparel that you’ll wear on both formal and semi-formal occasions, like this crew neck minimalist midi dress. While you could easily wear this dress at a gallery opening, a few metallic accessories make it instantly black-tie wedding ready.
Adding an armour-inspired arm cuff will riff off the minimalist modern “sleek chic” vibe. Then, for a hint of old Hollywood glam, don a pair of faux diamond dangly earrings. Add extra sparkle to the look by opting for a classic silver clutch for a timeless purse with a punch of punk. Finally, top off the look with a simple, sexy, silver ankle-strap sandal. Elegance achieved.
Hold up, though. The absolute best part about a simple ankle-strap sandal? Versatility. Not only does it look elegant on the black-tie circuit, it looks just a fashion-forward when paired with everything from jean cut-off shorts with a vintage white tank to men’s-inspired blazers. In other words, Dietrich would approve.