what do you wear to a gala

What to Wear to a Gala: 10 Gorgeous Gala Attire Ideas for Every Woman

Most gala events are luxurious and formal, and the best way to present yourself is by embracing the appropriate attire that reflects your style and shows that you're a person of prominence.

Gala dinners are typically aimed at supporting fundraisers, charity events, or similar special events. Generally speaking, gala attire includes an evening dress, dressy heels, a small clutch bag, and statement jewelry that completes the overall look. Still, it’s vital to feel comfortable in what we wear.

That said, variations are allowed. If you don’t feel comfortable in a floor-length gown, you can go for a jumpsuit or a cute cocktail dress instead. Also, if you cannot walk in high heels, wear a pair of embellished flats.

This article will show you the 10 best dresses for galas that you can wear instead of gowns and still look fabulous and in line with the gala dress code.

What is Gala Attire?

Gala attire calls for the formal dress code, which often consists of the occasional dress, a sleek pair of heels, and statement accessories such as jewelry and a clutch bag. Like we have already mentioned, the gala dress code allows certain modifications, but you shouldn’t go too far – avoid casual items and apparel that you'd typically wear for some less formal event.

Before you pick a perfect gala dinner dress, check the dress code that's written on the invitation. You’ll probably see the following gala dress code ideas:

  • Black tie gala: This is quite a formal dress code that involves long, formal gowns in bold colors that indicate elegance and luxury. Sequin is also allowed if you want to embrace a shiny look that will match your partner’s attire.

  • Black-tie optional: Since formal attire is optional, you can choose not to wear a floor-length dress. You may go for an occasional cocktail dress or a jumpsuit if you desire and complete such a look with statement accessories and nice shoes.
  • Semi-formal gala: A semi-formal gala is a party with a more relaxed atmosphere so that you may opt for a cute cocktail dress or a midi dress. You're also allowed to embrace floral prints and multiple colors that bring an extra dose of joy to the event you're attending.

Top 10 Gala Outfit Ideas to Embrace in 2020

The following list will present you with the 10 semi-formal dresses for gala events and provide you with useful tips on how to accessorize them to look fabulous.

1.    Black Midi Bodycon Dress ($78.00)

When it comes to gala dinners, don’t underestimate the iconic power of simplicity and elegance. This fusion is well-presented on the Black Midi Bodycon Dress, one of the best ways to embrace a semi-formal gala event. It features a square neckline, perfect midi length, and a subtle sheen, which makes it a perfect choice for all the ladies who want to achieve an attractive and sophisticated look.

2.    Emerald Cowl Neck Satin Slip Dress ($78.00)

A jewel-toned emerald color will make you stand out at the gala event. Go for the Emerald Cowl Neck Satin Slip Dress and make sure you feel comfortable and confident as you’re wearing a soft satin fabric and ideally draped neckline. Enhance the dress with statement earrings, a sleek pair of stilettos, and a tiny clutch to get a gorgeous look that won’t go unnoticed.

3.    Lavender Cowl Neck Satin Slip Midi Dress ($98.00)

A Lavender Cowl Neck Satin Slip Midi Dress is an excellent dress for gala dinner. Apart from its soft yet effective color, this dress features a high-quality satin material and the uniquely designed neckline that provides this item with a dose of subtle sexiness. It also has an exciting opening on the back, which is another attractive detail that takes your overall look to the next level.

4.    Light Pink Mini Dress with Pleated Sleeves ($148.00)

A Light Pink Mini Dress with Pleated Sleeves is something you need if you want to embrace the gala attire to the fullest. A detail such as pleated sleeves is quite in line with the gala dress code, which is why you’re encouraged to go for it. This dress will definitely make a statement, not only because of the sleeves, but also thanks to a full lining, hidden back zip closure, and a mini length cut.

5.    White Apron Mini Dress ($68.00)

A White Apron Mini Dress is a perfect cocktail dress for semi-formal gala dinners, and you won’t go wrong if you wear it. It bares skin in all the right places, making sure you look classy and attractive at the same time. Apart from a high neckline, hidden back zipper closure, and multiple color options, this dress comes with a little party in the back, which is an exceptional detail that makes this item cute and unique.

6.    Off White Off-the-Shoulder Midi Pencil Dress ($118.00)

Off White Off-the-Shoulder Midi Pencil Dress ($118.00) is a stunning gala attire for women with style. It provides an effortless yet sexy look thanks to the unique details such as sheer balloon sleeves, an off-the-shoulder design, and hidden back zipper closure. It comes in either black or white and can be nicely enhanced with jewelry, an elegant hairstyle, a clutch, and heels.

7.    Straight Neck Jumpsuit in Red ($68.00)

A Straight Neck Jumpsuit in Red is a convenient choice for women that don't want to wear a dress for gala events. It's a classy and chic item that will enhance your style and help you make a statement in front of your colleagues and other important people you'll see at the party. Pair it with elegant pumps, a statement bracelet, and a clutch to make sure you look fabulous and elegant.

8.    Black Front Slit Bustier Dress ($88.00)

A Black Front Slit Bustier Dress is sexy and supportive at the same time, which makes it an ideal solution for formal events such as gala dinners. It features a front slit leg opening and underwire cups, but its overall design enhanced by full lining and hidden back zip closure is the reason why this item will fit you perfectly no matter where you are. You can choose between black and the champagne color.

9.    Natural Off-the-Shoulder Ruched Sleeve Mini Dress ($98.00)

A flirty, off-the-shoulder design and sheer ruched sleeve make the Natural Off-the-Shoulder Ruched Sleeve Mini Dress a unique a classic piece that must be shown on any gala event. It features a non-slip silicone neckline, which delivers an elevated dose of comfort and makes sure you don’t worry about slippage anymore. Enhance it with big earrings, a silver clutch, and a pair of heels in which you feel comfortable.

10.    Black Strapless Midi Bodycon Dress ($58.00)

You’ll never go wrong with a Black Strapless Midi Bodycon Dress ($58.00), an excellent example of a timeless little black dress. Although it features a more or less basic design, this dress can be embellished with a wide variety of accessories and cute jewelry that will provide your look with a whole new dimension. This gala attire dress is incredibly comfortable and sexy, and it will make you feel quite sophisticated no matter where you are.

How to Dress for a Gala: 5 Essential Tips to Choose a Perfect Gala Attire

The truth is that dress code rules have become quite blurred. You can never be 100% sure about whether you've chosen the right outfit for a particular event since not every host has the same idea when it comes to the attire. However, it's always better to stick to the guidelines you find on the invitation.

But some additional steps won’t harm either! Let’s take a look at the 5 proven strategies on how to dress for a gala respecting the dress code and looking fabulous.

    1.    Consider Adding Clutch Bags and Pieces of Jewelry

Clutch bags are a must when it comes to gala events, as well as jewelry. Going without jewelry is considered a bit plain – however, it doesn’t mean that you should wear every piece you can find but opt for the statement one instead.

2.    Consider the Event’s Theme and Purposee

It’s essential to consider the event’s theme and purpose to narrow your gala outfit choices and find the perfect apparel much more quickly. If the host organization has their own colors that mean something, make sure you embrace those tones and show them your support.

3.    Have Comfort in Mind

Most gala nights convert into an all-night occasion, which is why it’s essential to wear something in which you feel comfortable. Leaving a gala carrying your shoes or ditching a particular garment due to discomfort is considered classless, and you should avoid that at all costs.
gala attire female

4.    The Location Matters, Too

The location of a gala says a lot about what you should wear. Consider a wrap if it’s chilly outside, while a short dress will be convenient for hot summer days, especially if the event takes place outdoors.
If it’s a garden party, the best would be to wear wide-heeled shoes that allow more seamless movements.

5.    Don't Forget About Hair and Makeupe

A good hairstyle and professional makeup can boost your entire look and bring a significant dose of sophistication. There are many excellent makeup artists and hairdressers that do incredible makeovers to take your overall look to the next level.