What to Wear for a Black Tie Party in Summer

Black Tie events in spring/summer are a bit more questionable because all you want to do is wear a summery cocktail dress but you know that it needs to be somewhat fancier than a regular summertime dress. I had a “black tie optional” event yesterday and found it difficult to choose something summery that wasn’t too casual. There were so many options from Natori that I took home to try and all I wanted to do was wear this beautiful Natori Orchid Maxi dress with a deep v-neck, beautiful palm trees, and ruffles, but I knew it would be all wrong and not appropriate. Today though, the lines are a bit blurred between what is appropriate and what isn’t when it comes to cocktail / black tie, especially during the spring/summer where things can get a bit more casual. I settled on this beautiful Josie Natori Scenery Jacquard dress – it’s my absolute favorite print, and comes in a matching bomber jacket, culotte pants, long topper, and blazer. I brought the bomber and dress home but went without the bomber because it was feelin’ hot, hot, hot out.

scenery jacquard
How pretty is this dress? SO magnificent in design & shape, this dress will make your special night that much grander

The event I was attending was for Fohr Card, an agency that brings influencers and brands together to create a story and promote a product. The company started a few years ago and employs approx. 20 people. The founders and directors are a very talented, creative group of people, born in Australia and London, who are taking advantage of this influencer space that most companies are optimizing to grow brand awareness. It’s clearly becoming heavily relied upon for all companies, and influencers are making anywhere upward from $1000 per post!

Anyways, Fohr Card invited us to a joint birthday at the divine, artsy Rose Bar in the Gramercy Park Hotel. The attendees were dressed up in a range of outfits that they took to be “black tie optional.”

My friend, Alexis, took “black tie optional” to flaunt a Josie Natori bustier top with elegant white suit pants, simple black stilettos and an oversized Gucci bag.

On the run with Alexis Texas, to “influence some influencers”

The other attendees chose what seemed like prom dresses with sequins and glitz but Alexis and I decided to go for a chic cocktail and pantsuit favorite from Natori.

It’s apparent from the party that there really isn’t a right or wrong way of dressing up in black tie these days, as the times have changed considerably. From red carpet events where we see certain celebrities wearing a random assortment of obscure outfits, it is clearly cooler to be spotted rocking a pantsuit than a floor length gown.

Grace & Gracie
At the event with the lovely Grace, an Aussie director of Fohr Card
The art in Rose Bar is always beautiful and fun to look at

Rose Bar is such a pretty space with black and white checkered floor and velvet lounge chairs. It features custom furniture from Oscar-nominated director Julian Schnabel, a huge pool table, and a rotating display of bold artwork from 20th century artists, including Andy Warhol and Keith Haring.

alexis alone
Alone but chic. How well does she pull this “black tie” look off…
hannah and gracie
Embracing the summer heat and dressing up in gold and yellows

I wore the Josie Natori Scenery Jacquard dress, an appropriate choice for a “black tie optional” cocktail event because even though it is a shorter dress, the beautiful multicolor pattern and flattering cut makes it classy enough to pull off. This is also my favorite style from the new Spring/Summer collection. All are available online and are selling fast so shop them quick!

For a final shot, of course we ended the night at New York’s finest– Upland Restaurant for a late night dinner.

Upland is open late and has the most beautiful lighting, ambiance and incredible food / service. It’s a MUST-TRY if you haven’t already.

Enjoy all your summer soirees this season in pretty color and style, and have a great weekend!


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