I received the following question- Holly- I have a convention to attend in California in September with an evening gala. I was told it is black tie and I will need a dress. Can you help? What are the rules? Thanks, Jen Thank you for your question! Black tie can be a dreaded word if you are unfamiliar with the event. With evolving dress codes (what two people consider business casual can differ greatly), these words can get really tricky. Here’s my decoding: 1) Black tie is dressy. It does not mean a sundress in cotton. It means a formal. 2) Black tie is dressier than business casual. Guys need to wear jackets and leave the khakis for another day. So wear something nicer than a typical jersey work dress. 3) Black tie is not as dressy as white tie. White tie means a gown- like you’re headed to the Oscars. Black tie usually means “cocktail” dresses. Differ to Pretty Woman- she wears the lacy black short dress to meet for drinks. She wears the red ballgown to the opera. That’s the difference. I hope that helps clear up that what black tie means. Now, knowing that you are on the petite side, I picked a few looks that will accentuate your figure. Petites look great in shorter dresses, showing a little bit of leg will elongate your stature. Look number one is figure flattering and the color will be an attention-getter. Red dresses do not need red heels. Find either a nude heel or a leopard print. Don’t forget to leave the giant mom bag at home! Bring a clutch. Great places to find them are thrift stores, especially if you’ll use it once a year. The second look is a safe bet. Black almost always looks more expensive and is something that can be worn to many different occasions. Simple accessories let the dress stand out but a fun pair of heels can really add a sophisticated element to the LBD. Black heels would be pretty boring. The last look is riskier. A fun color like this light green is ladylike in lace. Pair it with other ladylike accessories such as pearls. I paired it with a mint heel in the same color family. This dress would also look great with silver metallic heels. I hope this helps! And you have a great time!