What to Wear to a Gala in 2023: 90+ Unique Outfit Ideas!

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Finding the perfect ensemble for a grand occasion can be a challenge. If you’re wondering what to wear to a gala, your search ends here! From sparkling gowns to tailored tuxedos, we’ve curated the ultimate collection to make you shine like never before.

Ah, the word “gala” itself sparkles with excitement, doesn’t it? It’s more than just an event; it’s a dazzling showcase where fashion takes center stage. When it comes to a gala, the mantra is clear: Dress to impress.

what to wear to a gala

This is the time to embrace the “go big or go home” philosophy, and I must confess, that thrill is what I really live for.

If you find yourself with an invitation to a glamorous gala and are still on the hunt for the perfect ensemble, you’ve in the right place.

what to wear to a gala

Wondering what to wear to a gala? I’m your girl! I’ll unveil outfits that are stunning and worthy of a fashion icon below.

What to Wear to a Gala

It is common knowledge that a gala is formal. So expect that it will be full of elegant gowns and cocktail dresses.

But always remember that it still depends on the gala’s theme. If there’s no definite instruction for the dress code, you could try contacting the organization.

Outfit Ideas for Gala

And if they say formal gowns or semi-formal gowns and you’re still unsure what gowns would be appropriate, don’t fret. We will get you sorted out.

Long Gown

What else would embody that gala spirit if not for a long, sweeping gown?

A floor-length gown would be a foolproof approach to a formal dress code. That’s elegance right there, ladies and gentlemen.

Shein Off Shoulder Split Thigh Floor Length Formal Dress

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For black tie events, it’s a rule of thumb to wear long gowns for women and black tuxedo for men as formal attire.

Ladies, if you’re men are looking extra fine in that tuxedo, match it with some extra pizzazz on your outfit. Pair your long gown with the following:

And you’re sure to gain compliments at the event.

Sequined Dress

Long gown, but make it more sparkly. Yep, sequined dresses at your service. This is definitely a personal fave.

Shein Giffniseti Keyhole Neck Mermaid Hem Sequins Maxi Formal Evening Gown

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Now tell me if that doesn’t look classy. I wore something similar to the picture above in our school event before, and the compliments got me blushing. [covers face]

The sparkle the sequins give when hit by lights is what makes them appealing to the eyes. Combine it with some:

And you bet you’re one of the darlings of the crowd.

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Cocktail Dress

Most charity gala events have a white or black tie dress code. However, as I’ve said, that still depends on what type of specific theme or dress code the event is going for.

If it is a semi-formal event, you can never go wrong with a cute cocktail dress.

Shein One Shoulder Contrast Sequin Wrap Hem Dress

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As much as I love white-tie events, I also love semi-formal events just as much. It’s because I can wear chic dresses that I can move freely with, unlike most formal long gowns.

And for a semi-formal gala dinner, let’s rock it with some stylish cocktail dresses that will surely stop the other guests in their tracks. Mix it with some:

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Retro-style Dress

Another great option for a semi-formal gala event is a retro-style dress.

Shein Frenchy Plus Polka Dot Surplice Front Dress Without Belt

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The retro dress’ nostalgic charm will keep everyone’s attention directed to you. It perfectly accentuates your natural body shape, and the flared skirt also gives you that youthful vibe.

Match it with:

Contemporary Jumpsuit

A dressy jumpsuit could also be a great idea for gala charity events. If accessorized properly, it’s just as elegant and classy as a floor-length dress.

Pink Lily Black V Neck Jumpsuit

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A formal jumpsuit is the perfect gala outfit if you’re someone who doesn’t want to get their movements restricted from fitted long gowns. It shows your personal style while still incorporating the charity ball’s spirit.

For this special event, accessorize your chic jumpsuit properly with:

Make your accessories as sparkly as possible, especially for an evening gala. If it’s a daytime gala, match it with statement accessories to make your outfit pop.

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Ball Gown

If you’re a fan of long gowns, I have another great option for you; full-length ball gowns. This is just the perfect outfit, especially for award ceremonies.

CoutureCandy Detachable Sleeve Sweetheart Ballgown

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CoutureCandy Detachable Sleeve Sweetheart Ballgown Light Pink
CoutureCandy Detachable Sleeve Sweetheart Ballgown Purple
CoutureCandy Detachable Sleeve Sweetheart Ballgown
Nordstrom treasure trove imitation pearl crystal drop earrings

Note: It’s always safer to be a bit overdressed than be underdressed, especially for formal affairs like a black-tie gala.

As I’ve said earlier, if you’re doing it, you might as well go for the gold. Show them how a true fashion icon does it, girl. But remember, never overdo your accessories for this one.

Try matching it up with these accessories:

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Floral Gowns

While plain colors give off that effortless elegant vibe for formal evening gowns, you can also go chic with floral patterns to match the cheery vibe of the event.

Shein Missord Square Neck Gigot Sleeve Mermaid Hem Sequins Formal Dress

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What else encapsulates feminity and sophistication if not floral prints? This dress style is certainly a head-turner, whatever event you attend.

You can add a little spice to your floral gown with these:

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Formal Suits

Who said only men can slay in suits? If you’re not particularly fond of gowns for black-tie attire, then maybe formal suits are for you.

Shein Prive Single Button Flap Detail Blazer Tailored Pants

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I also love suits for women. They really scream girl power to me. And when paired with chic accessories, you’ll have people vying for your attention.

Add more flair to your look by adding these:

Business Casual

We also have the so-called business casual attire, which is perfect for a semi-formal gala event. It is quite similar to suits but this one’s more casual.

Shein Modely Lapel Neck Double Button Blazer Wide Leg Pants

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The popular combination for a business casual is the blazer and pants duo. This match-up is something that combines coziness and chicness. Throw your hair into a bun or curl it into big curls, and voila! You’re a stunner.

You can also combine it with:

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Coordinates

Last entry for today’s semi-formal attires; classy coordinates.

Chic coordinates like these are perfect for a more contemporary look for the semi-formal gala party. It’s effortlessly classy and cute.

Shein Square Neck Crop Top Ruched Ruffle Trim Asymmetrical Hem Skirt

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And it has a wide variety. You can go for a top and dress pants combo, a top and skirt combo, a top and flare pants combo, etc. How cool is that?

Add a little flavor to the final look by mixing these to the ensemble:

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FAQ about What to Wear to a Gala

Do you wear black to a gala?

Yes, wearing a black dress or gown to a gala is a classic choice. Black is one of the considered elegant, classy, and sophisticated choices of clothing for formal events.

Can you wear color to a gala?

Definitely! While black is traditional, you can certainly wear color to a gala. Bold colors can show your personality and make a statement.

What does gala mean in clothing?

Gala in clothing means formal or special event attire. It implies that these clothes are supposed to be refined, sophisticated, and glamorous in nature, fitted for large events.

What is the difference between a ball and a gala?

The terms “ball” and “gala” are often used interchangeably, but there can be some subtle differences. “Balls” are usually formal dance events, while “galas” are upscale social gatherings for charitable causes or honoring significant individuals.

Can you wear GREY to a gala?

Yes, definitely. Grey is a neutral color that can easily complement accessories, making it chic. It also exudes an understated and refined elegance, perfect for a gala event.

In Summary

Anddd, that was it, classy gala fits that’ll surely be a scene-stealer. 

Quick run-down; Gala is a formal event, so you must dress appropriately. Unless stated otherwise in the gala invitation, always assume to go for elegant gowns, such as long gowns, sequined gowns, ball gowns, etc.

A quick reminder: Always remember that dressing up only comes second in the priority lane for a gala. A charity will be grateful for your support regardless of what you wear.

Shein Joyfunear Split Thigh Sequin Cami Dress

I hope this post helped you decide on what to wear for that gala you’re going to. Remember, your confidence is just as important as the dress code. 

Don something that genuinely makes you happy and beautiful, and waltz in the venue like you own the place. Confidence will always be the key, babe.😉

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