Black Tie and Denim

Q. I am invited to a black tie event. The invitation reads: Black Tie – Denim – and Sparkle. There will be prizes given out for the best attire that combines all the aspects.  It is formal so I was wondering, do you have any ideas of how to wear a long gown with denim & sparkle and still look formal? I wear a size 4 and I am up for anything!

-Sparkle & Sass   

A. Have a Bedazzler?  This is the time you get to truly mix sophistication and whimsy.  One of my favorite photos from an old issue of Vogue is of a model wearing a long black ball gown skirt with a white tank top and a dark denim fitted jacket.  You could take this look and add the sparkle.  Look for a top that already has its own jewels, gems or sparkle or buy a black or white top or even a tank and add your own fabric paint that has sparkle, or pick up a Bedazzler and add your own “jewels.”  You can also wear a fitted denim button front shirt over a ball gown and tie the bottom of the shirt at your waist since you can’t tuck it in. It would be preferable to find a strapless or thin strap dress for this look which can also be worn with a denim jacket.  If there is no sparkle to be had, then add diamonds (real or faux) or other bright jewels for the sparkle effect.

Try wearing this dark denim fitted jacket ($98 at

82535 Bl8740 Sp07 M

Paired with a simple white tank or shimmering top and ball gown skirt:

68716 Wt0022 5272653 5240959-1

left to right: white tank, $14.50 at; BCBG Max Azria Drape Neck Sequin Top, $298 at; JS Collections A-Line Taffeta Skirt, $98 at

Or choose a black tie dress instead to pair with your denim jacket:

Edressme 1938 14104547-1Edressme 1937 29817184-1Edressme 1938 51389768-1

left to right, all at Strapless Polka Dot Prom Dresses by Jovani, $440; Short Bubble Prom Dresses by Betsey Johnson, $390; Strapless Little Black Dresses with White Embrodiery, $110

Back to Top