Black tie dresses

What should ladies wear to a black tie event?

Gorgeous fishtail satin peacock gown a great dress which adheres to that all important black tie event dress code!

Gorgeous fishtail satin peacock gown a great dress which adheres to that all important black tie event dress code!

From now to December the social calendar is awash with black tie events, and many of our first time customers come to us having just received a black tie invitation and are in a panic as to what to wear.  The black tie dress code has been modernized over time, but one thing has stayed the same:  black tie events are gorgeously sumptuous, important social events!  So, before you dip into your wardrobe, just make sure that you are aware that black tie means formal event and you will be expected to dress appropriatelyHowever, don’t feel daunted by this concept; instead, see it as your big opportunity to show yourself off in a stunning gown and some statement pieces of jewellery.

Compared to men, women have to go through a much more complicated process when choosing their black tie outfits, but the staff at Walk in Wardrobe are here to help.  Outlined below are a few tips and tricks to help you shine at your black tie event.

Can I wear a cocktail dress to a black tie event?

Black tie events usually mean that you will need to wear a full length gown, but as time has gone on, there has been some relaxation to this rule and some women prefer to opt for a knee length dress.  However, caution must be exercised if you decide to go for a short black tie dress as cocktail dresses can be considered semiformal and you may feel underdressed in a short dress.  If you do go for a short dress, make sure it’s as glitzy and glamorous as possible, and do not go for a minidress.  Do remember though that it’s not every day you get to wear a floor length gown – so if I were you, I would take full advantage!

Do I have to dress conservatively for a black tie event?

Do not limit yourself to a conservative dress, try to keep modern and sexy whilst maintaining a touch of class.  A plunging neckline or a backless dress can definitely be styles which are appropriate, but try to steer clear of anything too revealing, e.g. a backless dress with a plunging neckline and a thigh high slit, remember, it’s all about looking classy!

What colour dress can I wear to a black tie event?

There are no limitations for colour when it comes to choosing your black tie dress, so you can be pretty daring when it comes to the colour you pick, so be confident and play with colour, bold colours can be really attention grabbing!

What accessories should I wear to a black tie event?

At black tie events you can really show off your jewellery, but it’s really important not to go overboard and to accessorise well.  Choose a necklace and a pair of earrings which go with the outfit or a complimentary colour.  If you are unable to find a good match, go for a nice neutral colour for your jewellery, for example, clear sparkles or silver or gold jewellery.  Choose a clutch bag which matches any embellishments your dress may have or matches your jewellery, but try to stay away from an exact match to the dress as it can blend in too much with your outfit.  A stole to go around your shoulders works fantastically for a winter event, giving you that touch of Hollywood glamour whilst keeping you warm.

Our team at Walk in Wardrobe are very well versed in what to wear for a black tie event, if you have any other questions just leave it in the comments box below!

What accessories to wear with a blue dress

Blue has always been a particularly influential colour in the fashion world and it has often frequented the red carpet on celebrities such as Kate Middleton and Kylie Minogue.  So why has blue been a colour which has stood the test of time amongst fashionistas?  The answer is simple – blue is powerful, regal, commanding and uber-stunning!  Blue is also a fabulous colour due to it’s versatility; being a colour where there are unquestionably hundreds of different shades, it would be truly impossible to be unable to find a hue of blue which suits you!

One question which has often cropped up is what accessories go with a blue dress?  One thing I would like to say is to make sure that you are not over-doing blue, a blue dress with tonnes of blue jewellery can render you looking rather smurf-like – a BIG fashion faux pas!  Instead, opt for a complimentary colour, as blue looks great with a variety of colours, you can be fairly flexible when it comes to accessories.

Midnight blue full sequin dress

Midnight blue full sequin dress



This gorgeously stunning full sequinned dress in midnight (or navy!) blue with black lace trim is gorgeous if you want to wear a dark colour to your event but you want something a little softer than black.  Features of the dress include adjustable straps at the back to ensure perfect fit with full support and a thigh high split for that sexy-but-classy look.  Being sparkly, this dress is pretty versatile when it comes to accessories.  You could compliment the dress and offset the black lace trim with some matching black accessories.  If you are going to go for black accessories make sure you stay away from anything too chunky, instead opt for black strappy sandals and delicate black crystal earrings and a bangle to keep in line with the elegance of the dress.  Another option with this dress is to wear silver sparkles to really bring out the shine of the sequins.  If you are going for silvery sparkles, make sure that you opt for delicate silver shoes accordingly.

High neck backless dress in royal blue

High neck backless dress in royal blue





This undeniably beautiful royal blue high neck backless dress (pictured right) is the perfect dress for a black tie event or prom.  With it’s silver sparkly rhinestone neckline and back, there really is only one option for this dress when it comes to accessories – silver.  Couple this dress with glitzy silver shoes, a silver diamanté bangle and some diamanté twinkles in your ear lobes.  With this dress it’s probably best to stay away from a necklace as it can make the neckline look too cluttered.  If you do want to wear a necklace, choose one with a thin chain and a very long drop and wear it in reverse so the drop cascades down your exposed back for a real top celebrity, red carpet look!


Stretchy blue long sleeved pencil dress

Stretchy blue long sleeved pencil dress



This dress is a really lovely desk to dinner dress, and due to the fact that it is plain (but beautifully cut!) you can really have a lot of fun with the accessories and really go over the top.  Quite simply, there are countless ways to accessorize this dress, if you are going out for the evening in this dress and want to look particularly glamorous, team it up with silver or gold sparkles and a pair of dramatic earrings.  However, if you are wearing this dress in the day time, I think this dress looks particularly funky with neon coloured accessories, in particular a bright pink.  If you do decide to go 80’s neon with the accessories, choose chunky jewellery to make a real statement.

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The latest summer fashion trend for 2013 – Monochrome

Black and white monochrome bodycon dress with frills by Forever Unique

Black and white monochrome bodycon dress with frills by Forever Unique

Unfortunately there is little we can change about the horrible weather in the UK by moaning about it, but we can cheer ourselves up by looking fabulous!  I can feel a bit silly wondering about in this murky grey in a summer floral dress, but I can look just as summery and stylish in one of the hottest summer fashion trends – colour blocking monochrome.  Indeed, the spring and summer catwalks 2013 have been dominated by a bold glare of black and white monochrome prints incorporating stripes, zebra print, polka dots and big blocks of black and white.  This is a timeless trend with roots harking back to the 1960’s mod era; the trend has now undergone a modern twist and has been endorsed by celebrities such as Beyonce Knowles, Rhianna, Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton but to name a few.

There are so many reasons why I love monochrome, mainly because there is something very clean and simple about a black and white ensemble, giving the impression of modern, powerful self-assuredness, whilst still remaining elegant, sophisticated and not too overbearing.  Monochrome is also such an easy trend to wear, so it is no problem finding it in shops in all seasons, and it will never go out of fashion (and believe me, fashion waits for no-one, so it’s brilliant to be able to have a good solid staple style in the wardrobe!).  It’s also great for plus size ladies, as the black minimizes the areas you want to hide, and the white enhances the areas you wish to show off.  Another big tick in the monochrome style box is that it transcends seasons, so it is a great transitional trend which will take us seamlessly from summer into autumn and beyond.

Stunning black tie monochrome summer silk floaty maxi dress

Stunning black tie monochrome summer silk floaty maxi dress

So how do I wear monochrome?

Monochrome can be a single coloured black or white dress and you can contrast the black or white with the opposing colour for your accessories.  Alternatively, you get the best of both worlds and combine both colours together in one dress with a gorgeous print or with dazzling, bold blocks of colour.

How do I accessorize monochrome?

The key is that if you are going for a monochrome look, stick to monochrome only.  Adding an extra colour with your accessories can lessen the whole effect.  Instead, stick with black or white accessories and shoes.  If you are going for a one colour, completely black or white dress, go for the opposing colour for your accessories to break it up a bit.  If you go for the same colour for the accessories you can be in danger of your outfit looking too black or too white.  Likewise, go for an opposing colour bag so it doesn’t blend in too much with the outfit, and it will give a nice little colour break to your ensemble.  Another look I love if you are going for a plain black or white dress is to add zebra print, stripes or polka dot accessories into the mix.  Again, try to make sure that these accessories are predominantly in the opposing colour.

If your dress has both black and white, match the accessory colour to the colour which is least reflected in the dress.  Another piece of advice when it comes to accessories is not to mix the colours of the accessories too much (e.g. a white necklace and black earrings), particularly if you have a dress with both colours as it can be a bit too much for the eye and can look a bit messy.

Monochrome black and white disc fascinator - perfect for Ladies Day at the Races!

Monochrome black and white disc fascinator – perfect for Ladies Day at the Races!

If you are going to the races, don’t forget to complete your monochrome look with a daring and sophisticated hat or fascinator for a real Audrey Hepburn kind of look.

How should I wear my makeup with a monochrome outfit?

I believe that as black and white gives a very clean, bold effect, bold makeup looks fabulous with it.  Dash a nice, thick black line with some liquid eyeliner on the upper eyelid with a flick at the corners of the eyes and use an eye pencil for the inner rim of your lower eyelid.  Being a fan of false eyelashes, I recommend a pair of these also for a dramatic look.  I also love red or pink lipstick to finish off a monochrome outfit, remember, the look is bold, so don’t be shy when it comes to the lip colour!