What to Wear to a Black Tie Wedding
Links to all the products I used in this look below!
Shot by Evan Febrillet
Have you ever found a fabulous brand that you’re just dying to wear, but don’t have an occasion in your life that calls for it? For me, Needle & Thread was that brand. For the past year, I’ve been infatuated with their beautifully detailed pieces and have waited SO long for an excuse to finally buy one of their garments.
Luckily, this past New Year’s Eve weekend, Jordan and I were invited to his cousin’s black tie wedding in New York. I would be meeting many of his family members for the first time so I knew I wanted to find the perfect dress to make a great first impression. I finally had my reason!
Needle & Thread has an etherial and feminine aesthetic with highly detailed embroidery and whimsical embellishments. These gorgeous details come at a price, however. Dresses start around $200 and range upward of $675.
My exact dress is sold out, but I’ve listed some similar Needle & Thread options (as well as some budget-friendly dupes) below!
Save (under $200)
There are a few things to keep in mind when buying a formal gown (especially online):
1. Your body type – I am about 5’5″ with an athletic build and small chest so the “t-shirt cut” really looks best on my body type! Strapless is a huge no for me because I have nothing to keep that thing up (and the last thing you want is to be pulling your dress up every 5 minutes while you’re dancing!). You may need to order a few dresses and see what looks best on you, or go to a department store and try some on for fit and size.
2. Your audience – At an event where I would be meeting many of my boyfriend’s family members for the first time I didn’t want to be “that girl” with every inch of skin hanging out or look inappropriately dressed for the venue. The high neck line and chiffon sleeves created a sophisticated look, while the open back was more playful without being too revealing. Your dress should make you stand out for the right reasons! Always keep your audience in mind when selecting a dress.
3. Your comfort – No one wants to be stranded at their table because they’re too worried about a wardrobe malfunction or feel uncomfortable in what they’re wearing. While it may be the most popular dress style on the red carpet, an ultra high leg slit or that “on the verge of a nip slip” camisole top, is going to ruin your night. Make sure you’re 100% comfortable in whatever you’re wearing. Wear your dress confidently, DON’T let your dress wear you.
4. Your timeline – Unless you
sit stand in the 5’7″-6’0″ height category, chances are you will have to get your dress altered. I thought I beat the system and could get away with simply wearing my highest heels, but I was so wrong. **In these photos my dress has NOT yet been hemmed and you can see it is a touch too long. While this worked fine for taking photos I knew it would be a hot mess in reality (dancing + alcohol + heels = no bueno). So make sure you order with enough time to have your dress altered if necessary.
5. Your Accessories – When you splurge on a dress you want IT to stand out (not the accessories). For that reason I opted for simple accessories – square stud earrings and a black velvet clutch with a gemstone handle.
To complete this look I went with a side swept, soft wave, a classic smokey eye, bold brow and neutral lips (wearing my go-to matte stain from Hourglass Cosmetics in the color Canvas. Shop here). I’ve linked everything I used to achieve this look below!
I’ve been getting a ton of questions on how I styled my hair for this look and may do a quick tutorial (stay tuned)! Also, check out my last post about my favorite at home tanners if you have a special occasion coming up.
We had an absolute blast at the wedding! I don’t think I ate a single bite of dinner or desert because we were dancing the entire night. (They also had an incredible cocktail hour with every “trendy” food you could imagine!).
Thanks for reading guys!