The minute the weather warms up, it seems like there are endless things to do. So keep your questions coming about What To Wear To different events in your lives! Today I’m solving one of my reader’s dilemmas: what to wear to a gallery opening. Art events are tricky. I was a Studio Art minor in college and experienced many different vibes when it came to artists. Whether you’re going to a cool, edgy studio or a more glamorous, classic exhibition, I hope these five tips will help you when figuring out what to wear! (On a side note: you can use this post as inspiration for a regular cocktail party even if you’re not surrounded by sculptures for the evening).
1. Read the dress code.
Sometimes you’re lucky enough to receive an invitation actually includes a dress code. If it’s a formal affair, a long dress is an easy option. I have a go-to navy dress that is classic enough to wear over the years. A cool necklace, like I added during fashion week, makes it “art world” friendly. If there’s no dress code, I always recommend being over-dressed than under-dressed. So I try to think of my outfit as something that would fit in at any cocktail party.
2. Make a statement.
Whenever you’re at a party or a special event, you want to make some type of statement. Art events, like a gallery opening, allow you endless creative freedom. I like to get inspired by works of art. This beaded top and embroidered pencil skirt reminded me of a bouquet of Raoul Dufy flowers. You can also think to your favorite impressionists and try out a watercolor print top. Not a fan of color? Stick to all black, whether it’s a dress or jumpsuit. Then add a bold necklace, like a geometric bib or collar that makes you think of a breathtaking sculpture. A cool bag, like a Lichtenstein inspired pop-art purse, is also a fun conversation starter (just make sure to read tip #4).
3. Leave skin to the nudes.
An art event isn’t the time to show off too much skin. That’s not to say you have to cover everything up! I did a crop top that shows just a peek of my midriff when I move. Sheer panels are also a great option, like on the sleeves and hemline of my outfit. They allow you to give off the illusion of bare skin without actually showing it all.
4. Bag it small.
The worst thing you could do at an art party is knock into a piece on display! I like to bring a clutch that’s just big enough to fit all my essentials. If you want to go handsfree, try a cross-body so you know your purse is by your side, and not swinging as you walk.
5. Mind your feet.
Unlike normal cocktail parties, when you usually have a place you can sit for a while, art events rarely have seating. So you want to keep that in mind when choosing a shoe. A flat is a great choice. If you’re shorter like me, you probably feel more confident meeting new people in heels. So aim for a cushioned platform or a wedge
I hope my five tips on what to wear to an art gallery party help you if you’re ever in a fashion rut when trying out the art world! You can see more in my Monday What To Wear To series here. And feel free to ask me any questions if you need help deciding what to wear!
Photos by Jodee Debes