What to Wear to a Gala: Inspiration from the Met Gala 2024

Vetted By: Jamie Lewin

5.7.24

The Met Gala was last night and what better inspiration for 'what to wear to a gala' is there than the fashion event of the year?! True, some of the red carpet looks are too over-the-top for your traditional gala, but there were looks last night that deserve to be imitated for all of your black-tie events. Galas are such special occasions, oftentimes a charity event as well, and require a formal dress code. From cocktail dresses to ball gowns, here are some of the best looks from last night's gala event.

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Nicole Kidman wore a black and white replica of a vintage Balenciaga gown which was a show-stopper. Wearing color-blocked, dramatic floor-length gowns is a great way to stand out at a formal gala.

Jessica Biel in a pink gown

It's fun to see bright colors at formal occasions and Jessica Biel added a fun pop of color in her Tamara Ralph embellished gown.

woman in a floral crochet dress

While you wouldn't normally think of crochet dresses as appropriate attire for a gala, Ayo Edebiri proved that they can and should be in her Loewe floral gown.

woman in white lace gown

Greta Lee's Loewe dress was absolutely beautiful, just make sure your face is a little less obstructed. When there is a gala dinner, you want to make sure you can eat (and talk)! Take her lead with a long gown in white chantilly lace for your special event and you'll be sure to turn heads.

woman in light pink full gown

Pamela Anderson brought the romance to the formal occasion in an Oscar de la Renta gown and statement jewelry from Pandora which dripped down her back.

man in tuxedo with woman in a black dress

While a gala dress code usually calls for formal gowns, Jessica Seinfeld opted for a little black dress and high heels from Chanel more typical of cocktail attire or a semi-formal event. And let's not forget the men! As a gala is typically a black tie event, many men wore a classic black tuxedo and white shirt like Jerry Seinfeld.

woman in a white sequin gown

There were other dresses that were more simple, but equally elegant. Kaia Gerber's white column sequin dress from Prada was absolutely stunning and a beautiful overall look for any gala.

woman in a sea foam green beaded gown

If you like to have fun with your personal style, Naomi Campbell's beaded fringe evening dress from Burberry is a great option. In a gorgeous sea foam green, this dress was made to move.

woman in red full gown

Galas are a perfect time to stand out in a red dress like Shakira did in Carolina Herrera. With strategic cut-outs and embellishments this is a perfect outfit to show off your body shape and a beautiful color on any skin tone.

woman in black and white floor length gown

Allison Williams' floor-length dress with a modern sweetheart neckline by Michael Kors Collection was a standout. Don't be afraid to go with a graphic print for your next gala.

woman in silver crystal dress

Irina Shayk looked radiant in a dress made entirely of Swarovski crystals. She added a choker and stacks of bracelets to lend even more shine.

If you receive an invitation to a black-tie gala, use the Met Gala as inspiration for your own look. As a rule of thumb, it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed! Full length gowns are usually more appropriate attire vs short dresses. And don't be afraid to stand out in statement pieces with a bold color or strong print!

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