Is it ok to wear a red gown to a professional black tie event? The event will be in the evening with dinner.
Hmmn. We’ve talked about what not to wear to a black tie event, how to do black tie on a budget, and whether cocktail dresses are appropriate for black tie events — but never what colors are appropriate. To be honest, my gut reaction here was “If you are the honoree or the hostess of the event, knock yourself out. Otherwise, step away from the red dress.” But after some Googling, it seems like a red dress is becoming more and more popular — even Tim Gunn says “absolutely” to bright colors at evening affairs.
Still, for my $.02, I would stick to dresses in muted colors for professional events — a dark plum or an emerald, or a navy — and leave brighter colors to details like your clutch, or your bag. Call me a traditionalist, I suppose. I also suspect there’s some degree of variation based on the event — if you go to Charity X’s gala and find that color is completely acceptable, you’ll know that when selecting what to wear next year for Charity X’s gala. But if this is your first time going to this event, I’d suggest staying with a black dress or a muted color.
Readers, what do you think? Should you only wear black dresses or muted colors to a professional black tie event, or are red dresses acceptable?
(Pictured: Issa London Eye gown, which retails for $838 but is available for rental at Rent the Runway for $135, sizes 2-14 in petites, regulars, and longs. And can I just say that I love the user-uploaded photos so you can see how a variety of real women of different sizes and body styles look in the dress?)