Cinderella goes to the ball...
April 11, 2012 8:18 AM Subscribe
Ritzy-ditzy gala, need a dress
posted by cartoonella to clothing, beauty, & fashion (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've been invited to attend a type of event I've never been to before - a full-on gala for our city's symphony orchestra that requires formal attire.
I'm not from an affluent background, so the thought of something like this is giving me all kinds of status-anxiety jitters. I want to look good and blend in, not really stand out. I mean I want to look lovely, but certainly not garish or like a parvenu. I need to rock this so that I can seem to be part of these people's world, rather than someone who's trying to hard and just not getting it quite right.
I'll know some of the people who'll be at this thing, and they're really nice people. I mean I don't hold it against them that they have way more money than I do. I figure if I concentrate on them, and whatever it is we're chatting about, my other worries will go away. But I've still got to figure out what to put on.
I saw what some women wore to this same event last year. Some of these ladies were really over the top - deep backless dresses with sequins all over, gigantic fur stoles, you name it. I don't want to look like that.
I think I could pull off a certain kind of old-money look - pale skin, deep-toned lips, groomed brows, no bangs. That seems like a better choice than smoky eyes with nude glossy lips, which is maybe a bit too LA - although I saw that last time too. Clueless as to the jewelry.
As for the gown - I'm 5'5 and busty. I think I'd be comfortable in something that covers the decolletage but leaves my shoulders bare, like a halter style dress, or one of those crossover styles that fasten behind the neck. I'm clueless as to color. I'm a fair-skinned blonde, so kind of afraid I'd be overwhelmed by anything jewel-toned. I'm leaning toward mint, gray, pale gold, something like that. Nothing metallic! No fur for me, but I feel like I should have something to put over my shoulders. What would that be?
The thing is, I have no idea where to look for a fancy dress - and no idea what they cost. I'm assuming I'll be out $1,000 at least. Is it possible to rent these outfits, as you would a tux? Would a bridal shop be a good place to search?
I'm mostly worried about the dinner part, where I'll be talking to people. I want to feel confident and not worried about pieces of my outfit slipping off, or anything else going majorly wrong. Also - I know how to satisfy my own appetite without making others lose theirs, and I can follow the forks because you just start with the furthest one out and move in. I'm not sure what else I should know about eating at one of these things.
Any other tips on how not to instantly reveal that I'm in over my head socially would be welcome!