25 Gala-Appropriate Pieces That Don't Cost a Fortune


Mariya Nicole Photography

It’s not every day you get to go to a gala, so if you find yourself with an invitation to such a coveted affair, you may be wondering what to wear. Fret not. That’s where we come in.

A typical gala is a formal affair, often held to support a worthy fundraiser, charity event, or other special occasion. Generally speaking, gala etiquette calls for an evening dress, sleek heels, a small clutch bag, and statement jewelry. In addition to following the dress code, though, it’s just as important to feel comfortable in whatever you choose to wear.

So, if you just aren’t a dress person, swap in a sophisticated jumpsuit. The same goes for heels. Don’t get caught wobbling in über-high stilettos if you aren’t used to wearing them; opt for embellished flats instead. No matter what you decide to wear, this is your chance to go all-out with the glamour. (Just think Met Gala on a smaller scale.) How much is too much, though? We’re here to help you figure out what to wear to a gala with our favorite styles to help guide your search.

We’ve broken down our gala guide to make it as easy as possible for you to dress for this possibly daunting affair. Shop the dresses, heels, clutches, jewelry, and alternative options we’d love to wear to a gala below.


We can’t decide what’s better: the lace detailing or the color.

A velvet take on an elegant slip dress.

Prefer a simple look? Opt for a silk slip dress. Pair this with statement earrings and bold shoes for a complete look.

Who says you can’t wear white to a gala?


You can’t go wrong with metallic nude heels.

Paired with a simpler dress, these shoes are guaranteed to stand out.

Trust us—you need silver heels in your life.

Clutch Bags

The It bag of the season is also a great accessory for your next gala.

Pearls are everywhere right now.

You don’t have to break the bank to look sophisticated at the event.

Statement Jewelry

Ear climbers are a fresh take on the traditional sparkly drop earrings.

These long multicolored earrings will make any outfit pop.

These two different earrings are the perfect way to add a bit of edge to your gala outfit.

A tad more casual, these earrings will stand out without being too bright.

Alternative Options

A sophisticated jumpsuit for when you just can’t put on a dress.

These flashy flats are gala-appropriate and comfortable.

The silk jumpsuit of our dreams.

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated. Next up: 11 pairs of flats french girls are buying right now.

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