At last an occasion to dress up! Advice is needed.

Next weekend (not this one) will be Robbie Burns Day, and I was already psyching myself up to wear tartan, eat haggis, and sing dirges at the annual dinner which is completely predictable. But now we have been invited to attend the Chinese New Year Gala instead (well, the next night, but I'm not that up for 2 in 1 weekend). So, what to wear?

The friends who invited us are very well-off recent immigrants from China; she wears designer leather and purses, but sincerely compliments my remixes of thrift-store finds. They said "wear whatever you want". Of course, I am looking for an excuse to dress up, but don't want to go way overboard (this is a town where Costco competes with BassPro in the flannel and camouflage market).

I located some pictures from last year's gala; I am guessing cocktail party attire (men are in suits; women, including the non-Chinese ones, are in colourful knee-length dresses). I know that red is de rigueur and black and white are funereal. Beyond that, I draw a blank.

Of course, all my knee length fancy dresses are black; I have some summery ones (less fancy) in blue. I have always had one red coat-dress in my stable, but currently it is, rather, a dress-styled coat, so won't do. I have some red items, even satiny ones, but would need to assemble an outfit of separates (less dressy?) involving black somewhere, or else go floor length.

I might post pics of some of the pieces later for comment. Right now I am looking for general advice and guidance.

PS it is mid winter here. I doubt I would be comfortable in a sleeveless top. But I intend to check my snow boots and change into some of the dressy flat footwear I have collected for date nights.