I asked Elizabeth Greehy, Editor of www.stylebible.ie, and IIA member, for a few tips for those of us racking our brains about what to wear at the upcoming IIA & Enterprise Ireland NetVisionary Awards 2008. I look forward to seeing you all looking fabulous on the big night!
The countdown has begun for the IIA & Enterprise Ireland NetVisionary Awards 2008, (30th Oct) with next week (the 29th of Sept to be precise) seeing the announcement of the short-listed nominees. If you are one of the ‘Chosen Ones’ then you might be in need of a few style tips to ensure that you are, most definitely, ‘Dressed to Win’ on the big night!
Well, winning is a state of mind (so a seasoned winner once told me) and as we all know, style is also a state of mind with ‘subtle confidence’ being the ultimate common denominator in both. So it goes without saying really, that a winner will not only be confident in his or her approach to their career but also in their approach to dressing… but be careful, this doesn’t give you free reign to be over-confident!. You want to stand out, of course, but for all the right reasons.
The Awards Ceremony is a Black Tie event. So what exactly is Black Tie? Well, simply put, it’s formal! So guys, you have it relatively easy – basically, a black tux (although I will go into more detail later for the boys) and ladies, well, you are now faced with the predicament of ‘finding the perfect dress’. This, as all ladies will know, is no mean feat. There are so many choices and decisions to be made.
Here are a few things to take into consideration before embarking on your shopping trip.
- Be aware of what you like. By this I mean, flick through magazines and try to determine which style of dress really appeals to you as it helps bring your mind in a certain direction.
- Be aware of what suits you. Do you know what styles best suit your body shape? For instance, if you are very top heavy, a dress with a sweetheart neckline or a V neck is very flattering on a full bust and so on. Knowing what does, or more importantly, what doesn’t, suit your body shape, will eliminate certain styles and help you to focus on the style you need.
- Being Black-Tie, the occasion is strictly formal. For ladies this generally means a floor length gown. It was definitely the case that dresses which come to the knee, were once seen as ‘semi-formal’ however, over the years, cocktail dresses have become much more prevalent and acceptable now at Black Tie affairs. But this can still sometimes depend on the occasion in question and indeed where it is being held.
- Shopping for the dress. Although most ladies will enjoy the experience of trawling the shops and trying on dresses and granted, it’s the best way of determining look and feel, it’s also worth considering the other options available i.e. getting a dress tailor made for the evening… yes, sounds pricy but there are lots of accessible Irish designers and the feeling of having something tailor made that fits you like a glove is priceless. Marion Murphy Cooney, (www.marionmurphycooney.com) is a hip young designer, renowned for making Irish celebs such as Lorraine Keane and Karen Koster etc, look fabulous on the red carpet. She is well known and reasonably priced.
- Considering you are all involved in the online world, then we certainly can’t over look all the excellent online shopping websites at our fingertips (literally).
- www.netaporter.com for all you label obsessed girls – pricy yes, but definitely a little slice of luxury.
- www.click-2-couture.com for more amazing labels (Gucci, Miu Miu, Prada etc), but at much more accessible prices (and it’s an Irish website)
- www.estyleme.ie for unique dresses and exciting American and European labels; this website will certainly help you find the perfect evening gown. (inset: long satin fishtail dress, with sweetheart beaded neckline and chiffon bodice €399 from www.estyleme.ie )
- www.asos.com everything from high street to high glamour
- Or if you fancy the exclusivity of one of Ireland’s many boutiques, check out www.irishboutiques.com or indeed www.mybeautifulboutique.com for online listings of our amazing boutiques countrywide.
- Have your hair done. Treat yourself to a sexy up do or some gorgeous GHD curls for the big night.
- Get your nails done. If you normally have manicures and or acrylic / gel nails, treat yourself and get some delicate nail art done – perhaps a diamante or two?
- Find the perfect pair of shoes. The shoes, especially if you are wearing a knee-length dress, are vital. Getting a pair that co-ordinates with your look but has that extra special ‘stand out’ feature, will certainly help you look and feel like a ‘winner’.
- Jewellery. Well, ladies, the old adage ‘less is more’ really rings true in such an occasion. Whatever jewellery you decide to wear, don’t over do it. You definitely DON’T want to be upstaged by fussy jewellery. If you do have an extra special piece that you want to wear, just make sure it compliments the neckline and colour of your dress – the same goes for your bag – a small and delicate clutch purse that compliments your look is ideal.
- At all times, think style over high fashion. Fashionable quirks won’t always translate into flawless elegance.
- Although confidence is, as I mentioned, important in all winners, over-confidence is not an attractive trait. Remember to watch your decorum on the night. Demureness and modesty will go a long way towards winning the hearts of those around you. Style and elegance has a lot to do with how you conduct yourself.
THINGS TO AVOID:
Over tanning: This is very important; the streaky orange look is NOT good.
Too much make up: If you don’t trust your own skills, get your make up done professionally for the night – go for a nice smoky eye, perfect for night time looks.
Showing too much flesh: There is a fine line between subtle sexiness and just ‘too much’. Avoid any dress that might facilitate body parts popping out at inopportune moments!
Getting Drunk: This is acceptable at the ‘after party’ in an awards ceremony, especially if you are celebrating, but no matter how nervous you are over dinner, avoid using ‘Dutch Courage’ as a means of preparing yourself. There is nothing worse than a winner who is slurring over their acceptance speech.
And for the gentlemen!
So you might not have as much to think about as the ladies do, but sometimes ‘dressing to win’ can take a bit more than lashings of Brut and a self boosting ‘Go Get ‘Em’ wink in the mirror before you leave the house. Flawless sophistication doesn’t come easy you know!
- Perhaps you already own a Tuxedo, but if you don’t, remember that you can simply rent one from any good tailors for the night.
- It is important to get fitted properly before either renting or purchasing your Tux so make sure all the relevant measurements are taken including sleeve lengths and inside leg.
- Chose your style of shirt carefully as there are many different types – plain, ruffled, ivory buttoned etc. and remember to consider your partners outfit when doing so.
- Choose a cummerbund that compliments either your suit (black satin) or your dates outfit.
- Don’t forget the all important black bow tie.
- Accessorise with a nicely chosen pair of cufflinks.
- …..then do your self boosting ‘Go Get ‘Em’ wink in the mirror and you’re good to go!