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Here’s How You Should Dress If You’re Attending A Fashion Show

As an online fashion magazine, we get to be invited to a number of fashion events and shows and first thing we notice apart from what’s on the runway, is what the people are wearing. Not those on the runway, but those who will be sitting on the sidelines. So the big question is what do you wear to get noticed by the likes of photographers, fashion magazines, bloggers and important connections you want to establish?

Imagine that you’re going for a party which will be attended by the most stylish people, where the centre of everything is fashion and everything pretty. You definitely have to step up your own style game because the idea here is to be noticed, especially if you have the benefit of snagging one of the coveted front row seats.

Much as fashion week in Nigeria may not be as stressful as in the US and Europe  where you have to scurry between at least 5 different venues, most of the events take place in one venue, but the pressure to look your very best is still on! One thing you have to do to begin with is to prepare well in advance.

…Some things that you should always remember before you head out to the show: while you may think that the clothes you wear are the most important thing, it is actually the impression the pieces leave on the onlookers that matters. Dressing up for the fashion week can mean that you are dressing up for work, or promoting your personal brand. It can mean dressing up to show loyalty towards another label, or even encouragement for the designer whose show you are now watching. No matter what you are dressing for, remember these few style rules on what to wear to a fashion show:

Fashion events definitely bring out many attendees’ dramatic side, but you don’t need to channel Derenle Edun or Lady Gaga to fit in. When it comes to getting dressed for one of these occasions, you want to look effortless. Think: your everyday style-but elevated! Imagine yourself standing around talking fashion shop; you’ll need shoes that are at least semi-tolerable and an outfit that involves one conversation piece. Since we are so involved with the many things the Ankara can turn out, find an outfit that’s simply unique.

Instagram/ chicamastyle

Jeans make a good choice for any fashion event, you just have to spiff them up a bit. We love the idea of a slim, slouchy or cropped jeans, distressed or a perfectly worn-in blue jeans, paired with a girly blouse, something trendy, or if you are not into the trends, something classic but with a twist, maybe a Peter Pan collar, pussy bow, flounce or tie-neck. Add high-heeled strappy sandals or stillettos then punctuate your look with an oversized clutch (animal print, colour-blocked, two-toned, or even just bright) and a vibrant red lipstick.


A   high-waisted pencil or circle skirt, maybe even in the season’s key colour, ankara, with a tucked-in men’s style button-up in classic white or blue. While heels are always appropriate, why not make a more fashion-y choice and opt for an unexpected pointy-toe flat, boy shoes or go athleisure with a pair of sneakers?

Another go-to look for fashion events is the most timeless and coolest of them all, not to mention the easiest! The recipe is simple: start with a feminine, printed/Ankara dress. It doesn’t matter if you go for something long-sleeved, cap-sleeved, or with three-quarter sleeves, just make sure it has a slightly loose silhouette. Next, add a little pizzaz with a statement piece, whether it’s your bag, a hat, scarf, shoes or jewelry.Finally, throw on some high-heeled pointy-toes as the perfect finishing touch for your fashion event outfit!

Tips to go by:


1. Keep it Casual: The truth is that you are not trying to be the model at the show- you do not need to look like a million dollars yourself, even if the pieces being showcased have such an incredible price tag. Chances are that you will barely even be caught on camera so just go with the flow and try to be a bit more like you, personally. A casual look is usually the best approach to fashion show style, because it won’t seem as though you’re trying to compete with the models on the runway.

2. There’s nothing worse than seeing a woman get out of a car, she enters a fashion show venue while looking like she has borrowed her garments from someone either a size or two bigger or much smaller than herself. Pulled button, extra loose blazers, pants that look like they are painted on but should not do so, or even skirts with hems way too short to be part of the latest fashion trends; chances are you are going to be committing a terrible faux pas if you do not get yourself to a tailor and make each piece you are wearing fit you personally like a glove. Your body is not generic and neither should be your clothes. Weird pocket bulges and sleeves that are too long for your own arms, no matter how shapely they may be, are all too common a problem that must be checked quickly.

3. Do Not Spend a Fortune: Even if the couture pieces on display begin from a few hundred thousand Naira each, the ensemble you have pulled together as an attendee of the Fashion Week shows need not cost you an arm and a leg… unless, of course, you are a multi-millionaire to begin with. You don’t need to put in the month’s pay to buy a new outfit either. Just pool your money for something that is more of an investment piece, versatile for many occasions and that which is sure to have you looking and feeling as amazing as can be. You also want to be able to wear the garments once again and not donate them too soon.

4. Again, Those Shoes: Your first choice should be those beautifully unique ones that are also very comfortable. If you have nothing like that, then you may need to step out of your comfort zone ..sorry. beauty trumps comfort here… It matters not if you are able to walk in them for long( you’ll be seated the duration of the show anyway), let alone for long periods of time. The shoes will be grabbing as much attention as the coats and the dress, so you’d better be getting them out and start practicing. They will hurt, they will kill, but the reason for their existence is made clear here: they were made for the Fashion Week! Add an insole for comfort if you can, but know that these lovely things must be given their chance to shine bright against the backdrop of all that the fashion world stands for.

5. Go for the Sophisticated Look: Too often women seem to think that the sluttier the look, the better it is. You want to show off that you are elegant by design and not an easy catch to rut with for the night. Sometimes, that the best outfits on the market are the ones with a good balance of skin and mystery. Even the latest sheer craze is complimented with high necks and long hems, effectively ensuring that a woman knows she looks amazing, but does not appear to be cheap in any respect. You are at a fashion show and not a frat party so it would do you good to look up the latest trends and really pick up pieces which follow the designer hints.

Adopt an equally casual look with a dress in a low-key style for an effortless, stylish look. A shift dress features an uncomplicated design, usually ends at or above the knees, and has a loose fit at the waist to give it a relaxed feel. Put on a simple white or cream shift – wear it alone with a pair of dramatic chandelier earrings or with a statement necklace. Add a pair of eye-catching studded pointy-toe pumps or open-toe booties and a pair of sleek aviator sunglasses for a fashion-forward vibe.

6. Accessories Are Important: Sunglasses. An essential for coming to the show even if you may not be able to wear them inside. Your bag is probably even more on display than the rest of you. When it comes to the bags, you should actually spend a bit more and get the real deal or the cheaper high street brands,  instead of a replica that does it no justice. You may also borrow from a close friend or relative, no shame in that, if you are short on cash, just don’t turn up with a fake. A bag, jewelry, it’s all in.

7. Add Color: You do not need to just stick to a boring old black color, no matter how slimming it may be. Instead, add a pop of color to whatever you plan to wear, whether in the form of a belt, a hat, a handbag or switching up the skirts and the blouses. If you can walk into a room in a lovely kaleidoscope of colors and still exude confidence in yourself, you have really taken the leap necessary to attract the attention of those, who would help you in your career moves.

8. Be Yourself: At the end of the day, you are you and nothing more or less than that. You may not even be anywhere near the limelight so breathe easy, relax your back, lift up your chin and stare straight ahead. Chances are that no one will know that you are wearing something that doesn’t look as perfect on you as you may wish. No matter what we say here however, what you wear still needs to fit your style personality, so you will feel like yourself.


9. Bring a Friend: The fashion shows themselves may not be very long, but it can get awfully lonely sitting there alone, without a soul to talk to, whisper comments with or simply share a gesture of dislike for a heinous piece that somehow made it onto the runway but rather belongs back in the dumps. Humans are inherently social creatures and sharing your experience with another is infinitely more pleasurable than trying to enjoy it on your own. So bring a friend along!

FOR GUYS: A suit is the easiest option for men heading to a fashion show. Mix things up if you prefer a more striking look. Instead of your usual tie, leave the top few buttons on your dress shirt undone and add a masculine scarf, or swap your suit pants for your favorite jeans to give your outfit a more casual, rugged feel. Leave off your suit jacket and wear a cardigan or pullover sweater instead for a preppy look. If you can pull off the modern Ankara menswear, this is probable the best way to go. Do what feels good and fun for you.

Etiquette tips for going to a fashion show also include: arriving with credentials ready for a smooth entrance, and bringing your ID, invitation and anything needed to prove that you are supposed to be there. Give the show your full attention, as that is the best form of respect an attendee can bestow on the designer, and keep self-promotion to a minimum.

Finally, make sure to have the time of your life!