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Question: What should I wear to a masquerade party?

Answer: Dress to impress! Masquerade Balls began in Venice, Italy, and date back to the 15th century. Traditionally, they were elegant and formal occasions—celebrations for royal weddings & events, tied to the Venetian Carnival. Today, obviously, a masquerade party doesn’t have such a stuffy Renaissance dress code (and if it did, you’d be paying a fortune for your gown!). The outfit you choose really depends on who you are and the particular occasion. Is this a sweet sixteen, a best friend’s wedding reception, or Vogue Paris’ 90th Anniversary Masked Ball? No matter the occasion, a masquerade is all about mystery and intrigue. It reminds me of the countless chick flicks where the nerdy girl arrives fashionably late to the soirée and, à la Cinderella, all eyes are fixed on her at the top of the stairway. The belle of the ball always has that wow factor. So, here are some tips on what to wear to a masquerade party: 

Find the perfect mask.

After all, it’s the key piece. Is it a simple DIY mask made of felt with an elastic tie? Something ornate in gold and jewel tones? Feathers? Or, do you prefer creating a mask with your makeup? If so, a couple of rhinestones and a little face paint or glitter will do the trick. Anything goes, so go with your gut.

Photos: Pinterest

Choose a dress that complements your mask.

Semi-formal is usually your best option when you’re unsure about the party’s dress code. If you’re opting for an extravagant mask, you’ll want your outfit to be a little more subdued to allow your mask to speak for itself as a statement piece. If you’ve got a simple mask, choose a dress with a bit of sparkle. Maxi dresses are best for formal parties, while a cheeky shorter dress is best for a day or cocktail event. Here are a few different budget-friendly styles to try out – from basic to frilly, from laid back boho to costume.

masquerade party Crepe Crusader Plunging Skater Dress – $17.95 from: lulus dress LULUS Exclusive Candied Petals Peach Maxi Dress – $65.00 from: Lulus
dress Rustic Refinement Dress – $69.99 from: ModCloth dress Moonlight and Rose Gold Dress – $65.99 from: ModCloth

Find cute shoes & accessories to match.

When you stick with neutrals to accessorize your party outfits, you can use the pieces again and again for many outfits, thus getting the most bang for your buck. Although, a bright pop of color at a Masquerade is never a bad thing.

masquerade shoes 2 Chains Shimmery Heels – $17.95 from: GoJane shoes for masquerade ball New Shoes: Laser Cut Lace-Up Booties – $29.90 from: GoJane shoes for party Mary Jane Platform Pumps – $30.60 from: GoJane
party Studs-titute Teacher Peach Envelope Clutch – $43.00 from: Lulus shoes for a party Play the Party Clutch – $44.99 from: ModCloth party shoes Cantaloupe Gigi Clutch – $24.99 from: Zulily
Collar Me Crazy Pink Necklace – $18.00 from: Lulus Pointed Sisters Gold Layered Necklace – $10.00 from: Lulus Cuff and Ready Gold Cuff Bracelet – $10.00 from: Lulus

The most important thing is to have fun! A smile is the best accessory to wear with any outfit. When you’re enjoying yourself, you’ll be looking your best and all eyes will turn to you. I hope these styling suggestions help inspire the perfect outfit for your masquerade party.

As with any event you might be attending—dress to impress!