How to find your perfect gala look

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Galas, art openings, cocktail parties ... the holiday social season has arrived, bringing its perennial demands to calendars and wardrobes. Dressing for special events can be tricky— how do you put together an outfit that's formal enough for the event, but doesn't look stuffy? One that's fashion-forward but festivity friendly (your shoes won't kill you and your dress will let you dance all night)? On the eve of the Easter Seals' Sealed in Style Gala at The Shops at Canal Place (333 Canal St.), the judges of its style contest offer their advice and reveal their own gala looks.
Dress from BCBGMaxAzaria;  clutch and gold Serpentine ring, Elizabeth bangle in amber, pylon tile sinker cypress chain necklace, all by Mignon Faget. - ASHLEY BEL
  • Ashley Bel
  • Dress from BCBGMaxAzaria; clutch and gold Serpentine ring, Elizabeth bangle in amber, pylon tile sinker cypress chain necklace, all by Mignon Faget.


When it comes to galas, it's better to overdress than underdress. I'd recommend aiming somewhere between cocktail and formal attire with light accessories and statement shoes. -Juley Le of Upperlyne
Blazer and skirt, both from BCBGMaxAzaria; jewelry from Mignon Faget: Hive brooch, Hive wide cuff, Hive dangle earrings, Hive stations chain necklace, Hive double row ring. - ASHLEY BEL
  • Ashley Bel
  • Blazer and skirt, both from BCBGMaxAzaria; jewelry from Mignon Faget: Hive brooch, Hive wide cuff, Hive dangle earrings, Hive stations chain necklace, Hive double row ring.


Be true to yourself and spice it up. If you have a certain cut that you adore, find a look that translates your signature style with a more formal spin. For instance, I love a good V-neck shirt. When I spotted a sequined shift dress version, I was like, "YUP. What's up, holiday season?" -Liz Cooke of Lionheart Prints
Silk wrap skirt from C. Wonder; Meg clutch from Flying Fox. - Heels from Anne Taylor Loft; jewelry from Mignon Faget: Hive ebony ring, pylon stud ring,vine ring, scarred node narrow ring, triple knot cuff, Wish ring Necklace, Obscuro silk silver tassel. - ASHLEY BEL
  • Ashley Bel
  • Silk wrap skirt from C. Wonder; Meg clutch from Flying Fox. Heels from Anne Taylor Loft; jewelry from Mignon Faget: Hive ebony ring, pylon stud ring,vine ring, scarred node narrow ring, triple knot cuff, Wish ring Necklace, Obscuro silk silver tassel.
Be yourself, just a little bit fancier. Trade in your boots for some awesome stilettos. Add some jewels and a chic clutch. Accessories are a great way to show your personality, and you can balance any trend if a well-fitted black dress acts as your foundation. - Tiffany Napper of Flying Fox
The Easter Seals Louisiana's Sealed in Style fundraising gala takes place from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. There will be a style contest for attendees with a prize package worth $500. For more style inspiration, see the judges' Pinterest board here.


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