August 6th, 2012
Style Inspiration, What to Wear
Style Inspiration: What to Wear to an Upscale Poetry Reading
By The Fashion Bomb Staff

Shailo writes, “I’m going to an upscale poetry reading/birthday bash in downtown Houston this weekend and I have no clue what to wear. I don’t want to go to “club-y” or too relaxed. HELP!”

I’m on it! I’ve been to my fair share of poetry readings, and the attire can be very casual, while there are some people that tend to go the dressy route. Being that this is on the upscale end, and a birthday extravaganza, these looks are decidedly reflective of that.

The key in avoiding the look from being too “club-y” is to make sure your outfit is neither too tight, nor too short.

This red peplum top will skim along your hips and work in conjunction with the leopard print pencil skirt to highlight your curves. It’s sexy without being scandalous. I wanted the focal point to mainly be the garments, so I kept it simple with gold studs, and a matching clutch. I also went for black pumps with a gold plated cap toe (they’ve been huge this season). Keep your lips a faint color, and go more a subtle smokey eye.

If you’re not up for showing those gams, perhaps you’d like to opt for look 2.


I went for a basic black tank, and jazzed it up with a pair of floral cropped trousers. Brighten your look with a pair of pink pumps like these Brian Atwoods, and a turquoise clutch. The button stud earrings complement the floral detailing found in the pants, while the pink lip will set off the ensemble.

Lastly, I chose an Alice + Olivia silk chiffon dress. It’s fresh and summery.



To make this outfit pop, add colorful accessories. Purple pumps look great against the white dress, and is also uplifted by the green clutch. You can opt for a bold coral lip and black and gold earrings.

There you have it, Shailo! Now I’m contemplating hitting up a few poetry readings myself. I love a good spoken word.


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9 Responses to “Style Inspiration: What to Wear to an Upscale Poetry Reading”

  1. 11 Reasons says:

    I love look #1 & #3! Houston “upscale” scene is either extremely ostentatious or tacky. No middle ground. If the reader where’s any of theses looks, they’ll definitely be the trend setter.

  2. Ruth says:

    I loved look number 1 the best, i just wish the top was into a dress, then for me it would be perfect! The choice of pumps on all 3 outfits were for me great too, i especially loved the gold detail on the black pumps as it gives a more richer, deeper effect to an otherwise plain shoe.
    Loved it! – Ruth

  3. nendir says:

    Beautiful choices.

  4. I hope none of yall go buy those Valentino pumps as they are on my fall must have list.

  5. I like #3 the best. Very chic.

  6. binks says:

    I agree with 1 or 3

  7. FBD Lover says:

    I love #2!

  8. Keesh says:

    I love number 1 or 3! Tres chic!

  9. Christopher mitchell says:

    Kanye may be talented with his lyrics, but he dresses like ish!! If he wears them stankin a** leather pants one more time I’ll kill myself, he can rap, be rich, and whatever, dressing is not inhis ozone!! you can have millions and look like Dollar General!

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