Yesterday Mary Jo talked about the three days of high class fashion New Yorkers can look forward to – Couture Fashion Week 2009. I wish both of us could be there in the front row. Or maybe toward the middle…fine, I’d settle for standing in the back!

Image: Zumapress

Image: Zumapress

But the question that has always been on my mind is what I would wear if I was able to score a seat for one of the big name shows? There appear to be all sorts of rules and expectations…so, just to be prepared for when that invitation lands in my mailbox, I decided to compile my top ten list of tips for what to wear to a fashion show.

  1. Keep it casual. You’re not trying to compete with the ladies up on the runway, so don’t feel you have to wear an outfit worthy of a thousand camera flashes.
  2. Get thee a tailor. I’ve said this before and I’m sure I will say it again. Your best kept secret for looking like a million bucks should be a tailor who knows your figure and your wardrobe. Don’t just grab something off the rack and assume it will look amazing. Make sure there aren’t weird pocket bulges or sleeves that are too long before you get to the show.
  3. Save your money. Unless you are a super celebrity with an eight figure salary, there is no reason you should drop an entire month’s rent on a new outfit for the show. Sure – buy a beautiful investment piece that stands out and is re-wearable. But don’t go overboard on designer wear just for this one show.
  4. “I wear my sunglasses…” Put on your best diva pout and wear your big ol’ sunglasses while you’re cabbing it to the show. But…you are not of such elite status that those shades should stay on your face during the duration of the event. Pull them off, let those peepers see everything and remember that those who are trying to stay incognito are just cheating themselves anyway…those fashion shows are always dim as it is!
  5. These shoes were made for sitting. Most of the time, I’m all for functional over fabulous. But honey this is no time for ballet flats. Put those comfy shoes away and realize this is one of the only times your most decadent, beautiful shoes will have a reason to exist besides being beautiful in your closet.
  6. Your best accessory. If you’re new to the fashion scene, then you probably won’t have gobs of people to commiserate with and chat up during the dull points of the show. Bring an equally fabulous and fashionable friend who you can whisper to when a model almost falls down or a particularly heinous creation passes your eye.
  7. It’s in the bag. Remember when I said don’t go designer? I didn’t mean your handbag. This is one area where you shouldn’t skimp out with a pleather replica of a popular design. Buy (or borrow) the real thing and wear it with pride.
  8. Basic black is oh so boring. Don’t cheat yourself and fall back on a basic black cocktail dress. All the uber fashionistas around you will see right through this coy “conservative” play. A pop of color never hurt anyone – and you will certainly appreciate the extra boost in confidence once you’re surrounded by the chic elite.
  9. I said sophisticated, not slutty. Put the girls away, pull down that skirt and have some decency. This is not the time to leave all the goods on the table…you want to exude elegance, not ‘easy’. Anything that might be appropriate for a frat party is not okay for a fashion show.
  10. Who are you again? Remember…you’re you. Most people are going to be so focused on snagging a celebrity sighting or their own outfit that they aren’t going to even notice what you’re wearing. Stay calm, have confidence and enjoy yourself instead of worrying so much about stray threads and whether or not your shoes are from last year’s collection.