Invitations to black tie-themed weddings, dinners and other events are exciting, but they present a significant fashion conundrum. Namely: “How the hell can I dress formally without being boring about it?”
I’m not a mind-reader, but I imagine this very question was running through the minds of those who attended the 102nd White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner on Saturday night.
Held in Washington DC, the annual political media love-in is about as fancy as you can get — and when you’re in the same room as the President of the United States, you want to avoid wardrobe dilemmas at all costs. So, how did the various celebrity attendees navigate through this?
Well, there were a few key lessons to be learned.
1. Whip out your fancy pants.
Emma Watson revisited to wonderful effect the black tie pant-under-gown look she wore at the 2014 Golden Globes. This time, the actress and feminist advocate went for a navy pair — which she matched to her heels — and wore them beneath a floral dress that fell open at the front.
Watson proved once again that you can adhere to the dress code, while still being a little bit interesting.
L-R: Watson and her fancy pants at the Correspondents' Dinner, and at the 2014 Golden Globes. (Images: Getty)
2. Monochrome need not be plain.
Black and white are fail-safe choices for a black tie event, but that doesn't mean you have to slip under the radar.
As several stars demonstrated on Saturday night, it's all in the detail — whether that be a panel of sparkle or a different texture, a la Nina Dobrev and Karlie Kloss' gowns, or an interesting hemline like Kerry Washington's.
L-R: Nina Dobrev, Karlie Kloss, Kerry Washington. (Images: Getty)
Watch: Another big fashion event, the Met Gala, is just around the corner. Check out the best looks from past years. (Post continues after video.)
3. When in doubt, go for bold colours
Even the most simple dress will pop if it's in a vibrant block colour. Just look at Friday Night Lights star Connie Britton in that glorious royal blue one-shouldered design — magnificent. Her plus one for the night, Sophia Bush, followed the same principle in her pink floor-length gown.
Arguably, the most explosive colourful look of the night was seen on Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery. It's hard to look away from that delightful yellow.
L-R: Connie Britton, Sophia Bush, Michelle Dockery. (Images: Getty)
Check out the rest of the looks from the night in our gallery. (Post continues afterwards.)
But perhaps the most important style lesson came from Star Wars' Carrie Fisher, who illustrated the importance of being accompanied by a dashing red carpet date — in this case, her dog, Gary.
Oh, and having Tom Hiddleston on your other arm helps, too.
Featured image: Getty images