Everyone gets those invitations where the first question on their minds is, “What do I wear?” There have always been the grey areas of what type of clothing is semi-formal and formal, what requires just a blazer and what necessitates a trip to Fine Tuxedos. Is the party ironically at an abandoned store with bare plastic gridwall and other retail fixtures/ displays? Or is it at the Louvre? Pretty much everybody knows what casual is, but the other two can be a mystery because they are larger categories than you think.
First of all, Museum Exhibition Openings tend to me more on the formal side. The “invite only” event will usually take place in the Museum and consists of catered cocktails, a sit-down dinner, and followed by some speeches and dancing. For this type of event, you would want to go black tie. A nicely tailored tuxedo or classic suit would be the appropriate attire. You still have the ability to standout out in the crowd by your choice of colors in the suit itself, the dress shirt, and tie. To complete the look, add a great pair of leather dress shoes, a sleek watch, and a pair of sparkling cufflinks.
If you don’t own a tuxedo or a formal suit, then rental is always an affordable option. You can have everything that you need from head to toe, without burning a hole in your wallet.
As for the invitation to an Art Gala, you are leaning more toward the “semi-formal” look. With this type of clothing, you have the ability to be dressed-up, but you also can give your look more of an “artistic interpretation.” Needless to say, you want to start with a pair of tailored pants in the color of your choosing.
For a top, you could select a button-down or a turtleneck and then layer a suit jacket over it. There are so many great tweeds and textured sports jackets this season. Since this type of event is more relaxed, instead of a tie, you may opt for a knitted scarf to accessorize your outfit. Don’t forget to wear a nice leather shoe to complete the look.
Planning your own mini art gala? Don’t forget to buy art easels and dress up the place tastefully.