This past Wednesday, I volunteered at the AICP Next Awards and AICP Show at the Hammer Museum at UCLA. AICP stands for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, and several of my company’s clients were honored.
The event was tricky to dress for. In LA, people dress super casually for events. However, I wanted to walk the line between looking young/my age and looking professional. The event began at 4:00, but lasted until midnight, so you couldn’t dress too daytime-y or too nighttime. I also HATE wearing black at night – it’s undeniable that everyone looks great in black at night, but it’s also super predictable and cliche.
There were tons of really cute corporate dresses, but not in my price range. H&M’s workwear and eco-conscious clothes are really attractive and well-made, but I wasn’t looking to invest in a $50 dress on this particular occasion.
I headed upstairs, where the younger styles are held. I found a really pretty lavender dress with lots of sheer layers. It was a conservative length, flowy, sparkly and cute. The spaghetti straps were easily covered up by this amazing white, cropped, shoulder-padded blazer I found, also at H&M (although spaghetti-strap and strapless outfits are totally fine in LA).
That being said, I just didn’t love the dress – it just wasn’t me. And as much as I didn’t want to invest in a dress, per se, I did want to buy something that I would want to wear again and again.
So I opted to go the exact opposite of cliche black and long lavender – neon! On my last visit to H&M, I fell in love with this neon pink/orange dress. It’s a great cut, super flattering, short but not too short, and the price was right (just $13). However, the super-low back would very obviously show a bra band. And as someone with big boobs, going bra-less is just never an option for me. So I have never purchased this dress in the past.
However, enter super-amazing white blazer and the problem was solved! The white blazer also served to make the bright, young dress more calm and more professional. Combined with some demure baby pink and gold flats from Fashion Rush Clothing and a pretty gold necklace from Target, I was good to go!
I think my outfit turned out great. I felt young but professional, confident and my outfit fit in well with what everyone else was wearing (it was actually a lot more conservative than most people’s outfits!).
What do you wear to work functions where you don’t want to swim in a sea of black? Let me know in the comments!