How To: Be Prepared For Any Event [women’s]

Inspired by Pretty Living PR’s upcoming event Paint the Town PINK, I wanted to offer my small world of fashion followers a guide for  styling yourself, to look fabulous in functional, elegant ensembles while hosting/attending public relations and networking events. These events can creep up on you and before you know it, you’re scrambling to plan your makeup and accessories, (and sometimes even your outfit) so before you throw up the white flag, turn up the brightness on your laptop and get ready for the easiest guide to getting yourself PINK carpet ready! Remember, you want to dress to impress. At events that promote the prettiest, most chic people and businesses of my city, fashion is everything. Also, considering the gorgeous Sandy Wholey will be judging us for a fashion contest, I’m ready to work it while I work. As an intern, my duties at these types of events are to help the night run smoothly. The action engulfs my attention, and I don’t (and can’t) worry about fixing my makeup, adjust my hair, or worry how my outfit looks.

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There are a few essential clothing pieces you’ll need to start with. Depending on your budget, you can spend way under or way over $200 for these items.

The first is the LBD. That’s right, the little black dress. You’ve seen me blog about it more than twice. It is probably the most obvious, simple and elegant textile that can exist in your closet. The best thing about the LBD is its functionality. Once you find a fit that you like, keep the details simple. The point is to get a versatile dress that will accentuate your accessories and can be worn more than once (this is said with interns’ budget kept in mind). Though it is the central part of your outfit, it isn’t meant to be the highlight – think of it as a canvas, waiting for you (the artist) to decorate it with chunky gold chains, cheetah print stilettos or twelve strands of pearls.  [ OPTION ONE | OPTION TWO | OPTION THREE | OPTION FOUR | OPTION FIVE ]

Second key piece is a Black Pump. This also may be a very obvious choice, but as I have recently learned, is almost impossible to perfect. You don’t want something too shiny, but you also don’t want something too flat. You don’t want something too high, but you don’t want something too short. Bottom line: find a heel that you feel accentuates your legs, that you can handle standing in for 4+ hours and ties your outfit together…meaning, don’t just throw on a pair of black shoes and call it a day). Remember, your shoes can change your whole outfit. [ OPTION ONE | OPTION TWO | OPTION THREE | OPTION FOUR | OPTION FIVE ]

The third essential piece is the  Pencil Skirt. This is mostly because body con and maxi skirts are not appropriate for these types of events. Yes, they are cute and stylish. Yes, I advocate wearing those skirts, but not when the dress code is business casual. You need to look like you are ready to meet Coco Chanel, not go partying at the club. The Pencil Skirt is both flattering and professional, and when paired with a statement necklace is totally chic. [ OPTION ONE | OPTION TWO | OPTION THREE | OPTION FOUR | OPTION FIVE ]

The next is a crisp Button Down shirt. In no particular color, the shirt should be fitted at your torso, stretch without pulling and be fitted around your arms. The simple nature of these shirts makes them a go-to item for a number of fashionistas! You can play around with how high or low you button the shirt, tie it at the bottom, roll the sleeves, wear a statement cami under it, pile on pearls and chains or pop the collar. If all else fails, this shirt never will. [ OPTION ONE | OPTION TWO | OPTION THREE | OPTION FOUR | OPTION FIVE ]

Finally, you will need a Blazer or two (or three, or four). It is beyond be that some stylish females don’t have themselves a few structured suit-style jackets because not only are they great for events, but they are also great for everyday wear. A black blazer adds a strong professional, business appeal to your outfit. Fun colors and prints offer the professional look with an extra dose of femininity. The important thing about blazers isn’t the material, but rather the fit (specifically on your back and shoulders), if you feel like you’re going to “hulk” out of the little jacket, it is either the wrong size or the wrong style for you. But relax, there are so many options for this essential piece, you’re guaranteed to find something that works for you! [ OPTION ONE | OPTION TWO | OPTION THREE | OPTION FOUR | OPTION FIVE ]

These items, when combined, are the easiest pieces to create for a simple, elegant, yet edgy and fashion-forward look. For your next event, try a pencil skirt with some killer black pumps and a printed blazer, or a hot pink button down with multiple strands of white pearls, or even a form-fitting LBD with a color blazer and black pumps. What is important is to look polished without trying so hard, so you look like you belong on Vogue’s Best Dressed while you’re running or promoting a business.

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*This guide was provided by Charissa Livingston, co-owner of Pretty Living PR and Pittsburgh socialite.

The socialite schedule is full of after hour events, so a well-cut black designer cocktail dress will always be needed.*


1.) Never wear the same dress twice. Too many photographs!

2.) Never wear the same color to two events in a row.

3.) Never wear a dress too short! Business Professional needs to meet fashionable.Club dresses, never.

4.) Never wear a ball gown unless the invitation states specifically that the event is black tie! Never be the only one to show up in a ball gown.

5.) Plan your accessories, hair and makeup two days prior to the event. Last minute fixes are too risky.

6.) The socialite schedule is full of after hour events, so a well-cut black designer cocktail dress will always be needed. Always own 3 different styles of the little black dress. You can rarely go wrong with a little black dress!

7.) Nix the purse for a fashionable clutch, every time.

8.) When it comes to shoes, think classy and comfortable. Socialites work the room.


1.) Sparkle. Evening functions are alway appropriate to add glitter to your eyes.

2.) Research what your socialite gals are wearing. It’s good to stand out but within the dress code and theme.

3.) Wear a Statement necklace (depending on the dress). Other accessories should be kept simplistic, but a bold necklace grabs attention.

4.) Keep a simple one toned mani-pedi.

5.) An accent lip. Sets the tone for red carpet events. Red and Bright Pink are first choice, and perfect for camera!

6.) Keep the heel length at appropriate height. You’ll thank me later, so will your feet.

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In order to make that Best Dressed list, your hair and makeup must also be fabulous. When it comes time, you’ll need to accentuate one feature on your face. If you have gorgeous eyes, work around that. If your lips are perfectly plump, let them shine! If you’re like me and hair is the first thing anyone notices, make sure each strand is tamed. We have tons of inspiration for hair and makeup looks on our Pintrest board, Gorgeous, Darling! so be sure to check that out! Remember to have fun with your outfits, keep it classy and get yourself noticed!


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