What to wear to a black-tie event!

Dressing for a black tie event can be tricky. You want to look fabulous, elegant and sexy without looking trashy, uncomfortable or over-done.

The number one rule when dressing for formal occasions is to not show too much skin.  There are a lot of formal events over the Christmas holidays, which are a great opportunity to unleash your inner glamour goddess.

At formal events like weddings, dinner dances and award ceremonies there will be children and grandparents. Too much skin showing during the day screams tacky.

At the Kingston Business Awards in the Holiday Inn Kingston South, there were many different figures and ensembles showing a combination of glitz and glamour.

Karen Millen and Warehouse do stunning formal dresses for the Christmas season. In the line of styles, empire-line dresses are always a safe option. Pulled in directly under the bust, this type of dress outlines the narrowest part of a woman’s frame while hiding any food babies. Flattering to every figure and timeless, empire-line dresses are trés chic.

Shift dresses were popular in the 60s. This dress is sleeveless and doesn’t usually highlight the waist, it hangs from the shoulders. The shift dress was made big by the house of Chanel post-war and suits pillar, pear and curvy figures. Michelle Williams was spotted recently on the red carpet in a shift dress oozing elegance.

Maxi dresses are glamorous and elegant, but a risky option in winter weather. If the hem gets wet and ragged looking, it will stick to your feet and look bad in photos. Ultimately, it’s not the most practical dress to wear over the Christmas holidays. ‘Tread softly because you tread on my dress’ is not a great introduction in social situations.

Midi (mid-calf) dresses are super-cute and give the same flow you get in a maxi without the worry of anyone tripping you up or walking on your couture. Midi dresses are always appropriate for formal events.

The best type of midi is the sheath/column. This dress has been sported by the first lady of style, Michelle Obama, and Victoria Beckham. A fitted dress with little or no embellishments and generally solid colours, this dress is simple and stunning on every figure. The staff from ‘Hair by Mitch’ favored midi dresses at The Kingston Business Awards, and were the definition of effortless chic.

To look polished, your hair must be done. Black tie events are expensive enough without paying for a hairdresser, so follow these steps to do a French twist hairstyle:

The French twist is a simple up-style that suits most faces. Pull all of your hair clean off the face and, from the nape of the neck, twist it upwards. Holding it at its peak, twist it downwards. Tuck the downward twist in behind the upward twist and slide hair pins around the side.

Secure the style by putting the hair pins in an ‘x’ shape, crossing each other. Top off the look with a hairband or hair accessory. A range of different hair accessories are available nationwide at Primark, from £2. Tame any fly-away hair with a blast of hairspray and smooth it back with your hand. This look is uber-glam in less than two minutes!

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