How to Do Summertime Black-Tie

Recently, a client called me for help in pulling together an outfit for a black-tie party held in July. A lightweight and colorful dress felt right for the Summertime date, but how to incorporate the traditional black-tie accessories and details?  The solution: add both black and white/light accessories to the monochromatic lace dress. We created the final look without ever meeting face-to-face.  See how, below...

Above are just a few of the styling options I found for this sweet dress.

Above are just a few of the styling options I found for this sweet dress.

1) She sent me a picture. The first picture was of a pretty salmon colored dress that I felt was too 'daytime.' This had been her concern, too; and it felt good for her to get confirmation on that. I created an Online Boutique with some dress options for her and she ultimately found this mustard colored lace dress after looking at my suggestions.

2) I shopped for all the finishing touches. She wanted to add traditional black details (shoes, necklace, etc) but thought that black may feel a bit heavy against this dress.  I agreed that solid black would be too overwhelming and shopped for accessories made of black, white, and crystal elements. The black formalized the look; the white/crystal lightened everything up for Summer. I gathered all my finds into her Online Boutique so ordering was a breeze for her: just click on the photo and put the item into her shopping cart.

3) She ordered, tried on, sent me photos--and we finalized the look all via email. She had a pair of white earrings and a small white/gold box clutch already in her closet.  Mixing those pieces with the new shoes and necklace created the authentic final outfit.  My extra touch of adding the black ribbon to the necklace made it one-of-a-kind and at the same time on-trend with this Summer's feeling of vintage layering.  As an added bonus, she kept a few other pieces that I'd found and I sent her styling tips on how to wear those within her daily wardrobe.

Click here to see her entire Online Boutique for this outfit--more dress options and jewelry and shoes.

I bought a dress for a summer black tie party, and realized I had no idea if the dress was appropriate for the occasion or how to accessorize it. Maria pulled everything together for me in just a few days. First, we shopped together via online links for jewelry and shoes. Then, we used cell phone pictures from my current closet to select the clutch and earrings— this took 10 minutes. The whole process was easy, efficient and very economical. She pulled the look together in less than a week, and I did not overspend for this black tie party. She is a gem and her process is pure joy!