Tara writes, “Hello Fashion Bomb! Your What To Wear posts are among my favorites on the site and have given me many an awesome outfit idea, but my husband and I will be attending our 1st military ball in December (yes, I’m starting early :) ), and I am stumped!… I want to impress without looking like I’m going to the club, prom or a bridesmaid! I’m petite – 5’2″, size 4 – and I do need to wear a gown. I’m so proud of my husband and want to look awesome among his colleagues and superiors, please help!!”
Hey, Tara! The early bird catches the worm, so I feel you on wanting to prepare months in advance. I took some cues from Army Wives Lives on how to properly dress for the occasion. The key is to be elegant without being too flashy.
First up, I went with a beautiful red one shoulder gown. Since the ball takes place in December, this particular color proves to be fun and festive.
Next, I went classic with a Notte by Marchesa black and white gown.
Emerald drop earrings look gorgeous when coupled with black and white garments, with this being no exception. Keep the footwear simple with a pair of black pumps. You can achieve some soft makeup with a light shade of lipstick and this eyeshadow duo.
For the final look, I went with a draped chiffon gown complete with a sweetheart neckline (this silhouette has never failed me).
You might want to try your hand at statement jewelry, and if so, this Rodrigo Otazu “Brilliant” Crystal and Cabochon Necklace complements the dress. Go gold on your feet with a pair like these Giuseppe Zanotti Metallic Double Platform pumps. Finish the look with a clutch and Essie manicure.
I hope this was of some service to you, Tara! I’d personally recommend buying your gown from a boutique versus online, that way you have a precise idea of how the dress fits and are immediately aware of the alterations that need to be made. To help keep the look from skewing more prom/bridesmaid, be mindful of how you style your hair. Go for sleek ‘dos, or looser hanging curls and waves.