05/02/2012 12:38 EDT | Updated 07/02/2012 05:12 EDT

Workplace Style: 5 Charity Event Style Tips

Style. It's not just what you're wearing but also how you act. Over the past several weeks, my team and I at have been outlining five scenarios, each of which calls for a very distinct style. These include: the workplace, after-work events, charity galas, a Saturday night out, and Sunday.

We encourage the active participation and attendance of charity events to our readers. It seems there are young professional charity events almost every week in most major cities, so this week style at charity events is our focus.

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Dress Code:

The common nighttime charity events that are held at hotels, large, upscale event spaces and museums or galleries call for a distinctively evening look. Unless it is specified that it is a black tie event, typically the ladies should expect to dress up in anything from semi formal cocktail attire to evening gowns. Charity event usually involve more makeup and special occasion jewelery. The men can definitely expect to wear a suit. Depending on the nature of the event, however, there is room to play around with things like colourful ties, pocket squares, bow-ties and even shoes with a tad of character.

Easy on the Booze:

Save the tequila shots and doubles for the neighbourhood pub. Charity events are not the place to get overly intoxicated. There are a few reasons for this. For one, charity events usually bring out many of your young professional peers or older generation of workers and philanthropists that you would (and definitely should) interact with on a professional level. Also, charity events are a good place to meet potential significant others and business contacts so you want to be sure you remember your conversation.

Bring Business Cards:

Charity events by nature facilitate civilized mixing and mingling and it is therefore always wise to have a business card. Be careful, however, not to treat it as a networking event predominantly. While you may be in business mode, fellow guests may want to take the occasion to let loose and enjoy the evening, free of any industry banter. Bottom line: feel out the conversation that you're in; play it cool.

Keep it Classy:

Unless there is some sort of theme in the dress code, keep charity event attire classy. For ladies, there is a difference in the type of dress you may wear out to a club and to a charity event, especially if it involves a sit-down dinner portion. By this age you know what is and isn't appropriate in this regard -- if it is low cut, then make sure it is not too short. The guys should put a little more time into preparing for a charity event in terms of self maintenance and should not look like he rolled out of bed -- neatly groomed hair and cologne (but not half the bottle) are a must.

Be Prepared for the Potential to Spend Money:

You may see a hot silent auction item that you are dying to get your hands on or find yourself tempted by a selection of raffle prizes and want to purchase a few arm's lengths of tickets. So have your credit card handy and make sure to stop at the ATM en route. Remember: at the end of the day it's all going to a noble cause.