dress code decode: simple ‘Creative Black Tie’


It’s Gala season and we are stoked! But with that comes a mixed bag of required dress codes: Black Tie, Black Tie Optional, Creative Black Tie, Cocktail, ‘Festive’ Cocktail, Dressy Casual (seriously WTF?), Casual Chic, Business Casual and the list goes on. Today we decode ‘Creative Black Tie’ because this one has become more & more popular lately. We are seeing it on benefit invitations for a variety of industries from education to the arts. We love Creative Black Tie because it is conservative Black Tie’s wild, younger sister. Take this opportunity to wear an edgier, sexier gown & more color. PUT DOWN THE FUR COAT. I REPEAT, PUT DOWN THE FUR COAT. This is prime opportunity to pair a cute motorcycle jacket with obnoxious elaborate costume jewelry that you otherwise have minimal use for. Keep the purse small enough to fit only the essentials and keep the shoes flirty, but comfortable.

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Super helpful tip: go up a HALF size in heels if you will be standing, socializing or dancing for the duration of the event.


The stones in this piece of costume jewelry complement the dress. With something this big, keep the earrings to simple diamond studs.


We try to find costume jewelry that has BOTH silver and gold in the design so we don’t have to worry about a weird mix of metals if say the coat has silver zippers but the purse has gold details.


We picked up The Kooples black waxed lace motorcycle jacket a while ago knowing we could pair it with a gown at some point. Don’t pass up these types of cool pieces.


Of all of our clutches, these Furla‘s make pretty regular appearances because they are simple, the chains are a nice weight & they go with almost everything. We own them in every color.


Creative Black Tie is the time to try trendier gowns and let your personality peek out a little.


If the Choo fits, wear it as often as possible.


See how this look is too funky for a strict black tie affair, but still works if your date is in a tuxedo? We also like our date’s outfit to complement ours. We suggest sneaking in something subtle- jewelry, socks, tie- but NOT full on Prom circa 1989. (Google it. It’s a thing)


Cold night, hot date. And don’t forget to leave room in the budget to support whatever cause is bringing you out in your most Creative Black Tie gear.

The Gear

Shoes: Jimmy Choo ‘Rosa’, Saks

Bag: Furla ‘Metropolis Top Handle’

Jacket:  The Kooples, Waxed Lace Biker Jacket (similar)

Gown: (similar vibe) Neiman Marcus 

Necklace: (similar vibe) Kendra Scott ‘Bette’, Neiman Marcus

Best, N+K