Gala Season, Part 1

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It’s gala season. Every year, from September to Thanksgiving, Jason hosts a charity event of some sort every week, sometimes more than once a week. It sounds glamorous, and sometimes it is! I get to wear beautiful dresses and learn about inspiring charities. But, it can also be exhausting to be “on” and on the go constantly this time of year. Banquet food gets old too. Sometimes, we eat a few bites of our meal and go out to one of our favorite restaurants when we’re done at the event. Getting to wear fun clothes for each one mostly makes up for it! Plus, never say no to a date night!

The dress code varies at the events we attend – business, cocktail, black tie and everything in between. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve amassed quite a collection of dresses over the years. I do re-wear them. I try to keep a catalog in my head of what I’ve worn where, so I don’t wear the same thing to the same event 2 years in a row. Or, if a certain dress got a lot of comments on social media when I wore it, I might wait awhile before wearing it again. Weird things that I never thought I’d think about, but I do. But really, I’m sure no one else would remember, so it probably doesn’t matter anyway!

I thought I’d share a few of the dresses I’ve worn over the last month or so.

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On the more business side, I love this Shoshanna houndstooth dress from Stephanie’s last year. I wore it with my Diba high-heeled black booties with a zipper detail on the side. These are my fall/winter dressy shoe workhorse. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find them anywhere now. My necklace is from Stephen Vincent Design, my favorite jewelry store, and was an awesome anniversary present from Jason this year. It’s made of woven wire, so it’s stretchy, with pink tourmaline and pearl beads. Topped off with my Gigi New York clutch. Makeup by WarPaint International.

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This is a fairly simple jersey dress by Red Haute from Minq, which recently moved to Southdale. You can’t tell in the photos, but the black part has silver metallic thread going through it, dressing it up a bit. I added jewelry by local designers (earrings from Realia by Jen and the silver leather cuff from Karin Jacobson) to make it more cocktail appropriate.

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The one event that I asked to go to this year (we tend to not go to events that Jason isn’t emceeing, it’s just too much) was the Nordstrom Ridgedale opening gala. I wore the Helmut Lang dress from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I saw someone else there wearing the same dress. Oops! I wore my Stephen Vincent necklace (above) wrapped around my wrist as a bracelet, and carried the pink Gigi New York clutch again. We were surprised to see our photo in the Star Tribune a couple weeks later!

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This was the first dress I’d ever rented. I’ve looked at Rent the Runway before, but for the prices on the dresses I like, I can usually buy one for the same amount or less. Plus, what if it doesn’t fit or I don’t like it when it arrives? My beloved Stephanie’s has a dress rental program! Perfect, I can try it on in store and then reserve it for my date! This gown is by Nicole Miller. I wore it with some long silver beads, which was a fun twist for a formal look, and one of my Nelle clutches. Makeup by WarPaint International. Don’t our friends (and my parents) look great!

We’re not done with galas yet! Stay tuned for Part 2…

Alyssa

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