I was recently asked advice about what to wear to a formal event during the summer months in Arizona. If “Black Tie” is included in the invitation then that requires men in tuxedos and women in floor length gowns. If you live in the desert than you know how hot it can get from May to September and how uncomfortable it must be to wear that much clothing during that time of year.

Typically men can get away with wearing a very nice black suit and tie, and formal shoes instead of a tuxedo. As for women, I would suggest getting a long dress that is a very light material, has cut-outs, or has a short skirt and a chiffon overlay. Other options would be wearing a high-low dress where it is short in the front and long in the back, or wearing a classic short black dress could work too. If it’s a wedding and you’re planning ahead, you can always ask the bride and groom their preference for attire. Do not text them the day before if you’re not that close to them. They have other things to worry about 🙂

Take into consideration what the venue is as well. If it’s a cathedral or a Catholic Church ceremony, double think any dresses that have cut outs, a low front/back or a shorter skirt, or simply bring a shawl for when you’re inside the church. If the wedding ceremony is outside or in a slightly more casual setting than think of it as what would one wear on the red carpet. I know that goes into a whole slew of questions, like which award show or what is your celebrity spirit animal. Questions aside, think of it from a stand point of how conservative the venue, event or the host/hostess are and that will give you a good guideline. Some black tie events are charity fashion shows and being a fashion show there is more room for creativity when planning your wardrobe, but still taking into consideration that black tie typically means floor length gown for women.

If you don’t have a floor length gown, but you took all other elements into consideration, and have decided to wear a short black dress (like I am wearing) make sure your hair and makeup match the black tie theme. Here, Lauren from Gossamer Salon pulled my hair back into a polished yet textured low bun. Leiah from The Sparkle Bar created a classic makeup look with a slight cat eye, a nude lip and complimented my fair skin with light bronzer, blush and highlighter. To top it off, I selected classic silver statement jewelry with a fair amount of sparkle to dress up the look. I wore my Jimmy Choo silver wedding shoes to bring the sparkle down to my feet and finish off the glitz and glam “Arizona formal” look.

One thing I failed to mention, if it’s a black tie event during a cooler month and you don’t have a long dress, can’t find a long dress and know you’ll never wear a long dress again, then go through the exercise of asking all the questione and ifou are in the clear with a shorter black dress, add black tights to it to give off the illusion of a floor length gown.

Be you, Bravely.

Katrina Fox

The Foxy Kat (TFK)



  1. I’m Catholic, so I totally get the dress problem. This dress is darling and you look beautiful Kat!

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