Date Night | What It’s Like To Attend A Gala

“A queen is never late. Everyone else is simply…early.” – me rushing to date night every single time

It’s not everyday that your prince charming whisks you away to a grand ball. So if you find yourself with an invitation to such a coveted affair, you need to figure out what to wear and make sure not to lose your slipper. Based on my recent experience attending the Frostiball, a charity gala for the Overture Center of the Arts, here’s the breakdown of everything you need to know:

A typical gala is a formal affair, often held as a fundraiser, charity event, or to support some other special occasion. Generally speaking the dress code calls for you to take off your stretchy pants and whip out your fancy clothes — an evening dress, heels, a small clutch, and statement jewelry. But not everyone has a spare gown and glam squad lying around…so how do you show up looking like the queen you are?

A big fear of mine was that I would be wearing the same dress as someone else attending the gala. It would be like reliving prom and NO ONE wants to do that again! So not only was I trying to stand out from a crowd full of black dresses, but I also wasn’t willing to go into credit card debt over it…ya girl still has to pay rent! (think Met Gala style with a MTV Awards budget)

That’s why I am so grateful that I ordered a dress from Rent The Runway! They have so many different styles at a complete range of price points, depending on what you are looking for. I especially loved looking at the reviews left by previous renters not only for size recommendations but also for inspiration on how to accessorize. I decided to go with a silver sequin number with a daring neckline and slit paired with simple black heels and emerald drop earrings. Overall, no matter what you decide to wear, Rent the Runway makes sure you go all-out with the glamour!

*side note: Can we please appreciate Carson channeling his inner GQ model with the turtleneck, gold chain, and loafers? I’m convinced that he is the lost fourth member of Migos.

SHOP MY LOOK: Dress (Halston Heritage, Rent The Runway)| Heels (Sam Edelman, DSW) | Earrings (Aldo, similar found here)| Rings (Charming Charlies)


If you want to feel 100% for the event, you’ll have to do a little prep work — how much is up to you. My overall goal was to feel healthier both inside and out. For the month leading up to the gala, I got myself to the gym more frequently, ate more veggies and less cheese, and participated in Dry January to make sure I stayed on track. Want to know more? Check out my survival guide and try my favorite mocktail margarita.

To make sure I glowed as much as my sparkly gown, I had to settle into a skincare routine. I made sure to never fall asleep with makeup on, applied moisturizer both in the morning and at night, and did various face masks twice a week. For the inside scoop on what products I like to wear, head over to my Instagram stories (@masayomadison) for #skincaresunday.


Our date night together was a tale as old as time — my favorite moment was twirling on the dance floor with Carson as he hoarded desserts in his suit pockets. Also, winning at the blackjack table was pretty sweet. If you remember to always split 10s, double down on 11s and hit on soft 16s, your night will be aces! Planning to go with a group of friends? I suggest getting together beforehand to take pictures so that when you get to the gala, you only have to focus on fun! (also because the mood lighting is not ideal for a fashion shoot) Eat, drink, network, and dance the night away! With so many activities, comfort is key so make sure you take that into consideration when deciding what you wear. Overall, strut your stuff, enjoy being in the moment, and get that kiss before midnight!

Photography by: Allison Kelly (@heyallie.xo)

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