QUESTION: My little sister is a Sweetheart in this year's American Heart Association Heart Ball. My husband and I have never been to an event like this. I know it is formal but is there a dress code or an event attire thing I should be looking at? I just don't want to embarrass her!
CALLIE'S ANSWER: A cocktail dress will be perfect for this event and will not embarrass her! Have fun!
LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: The Oklahoma City Heart Ball, to be held on Feb. 23, is a formal event, and one of the bigger ones in Oklahoma City, so go as formal as you can. Sales associates at any of the local boutique stores would be glad to help you pick something out.
A floor-length gown or a formal and elegant short dress would be appropriate for you and a tuxedo would be for your husband.
My friend Kara Locke, who is on the Heart Ball auction committee, told me that a lovely black dress would also work and not take away any of the spotlight from your sister, as long as your sister isn't wearing black.
More importantly, enjoy the evening and know that you're dressed up for a good cause — to raise money for the American Heart Association — and for your sister.
HELEN'S ANSWER: The Heart Ball is one of the prettiest events and most fun events during the year. Formal usually means a long dress for women and black tie attire for men. All of the Sweethearts will be in long dresses, but I imagine you will also see some short, fancy, formal dresses among the guests.
And congratulations to your little sister. The Sweetheart program, which lasts all year, is lots of fun and is very meaningful to the girl and her parents. Have fun at the party!
GUESTS' ANSWER: Terri Bailey, Heart Ball Director, American Heart Association: I'm so glad you will be joining us for Heart Ball this year. It's always great to have new faces in the audience. Black tie for men means a tux, and for women, this means floor-length gowns.
After the event, there is a band, so if you like to dance, be sure that your gown allows you to move around a bit. Our theme this year is “Wonders of the Heart,” which is meant to be whimsical and fun.
The cause of heart disease is very serious, but we want you to have fun at Heart Ball, and that certainly includes your dress!
Callie Gordon is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email email@example.com. For more 20-40-60 etiquette, go to blog.newsok.com/partiesextra.