The 12th Annual Short North Arts District Gala is almost here! Guests often have questions regarding appropriate wear for this deliciously unforgettable evening. While ultimately you’re your own fashionista, it helps to have some guidance from the pros who live off of their passion for making Columbus look its best!

The Gala calls for “Short North Chic” cocktail party wear. If you’ve never been to a cocktail event before, or if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, fear not – the District has got you covered.

Deangelo Chaney and Sheyan McGrath of Pursuit recommend an overall monochromatic color scheme. Pursuit has your standard tuxedo slacks with a satin stripe down the outside of the legs. These can be paired with a tuxedo suit jacket with satin lapels, but if you don’t want to spend time or money getting the jacket tailored, wearing a nice button-down complete with a bow tie is sufficiently sharp. Make the bow tie satin to match with the pants to really bring it all together.

Chaney describes Short North Chic as sprezzatura – that is, “studied carelessness,” or the effect of effortlessness when, in truth, there’s a plan behind everything. “Things going together incidentally,” he said. Your personal Short North Chic is natural to you and hard to emulate, as everyone’s “natural” is different.

If you’re feeling a more classic look than the modernity offered at Pursuit, head over to Samson Men’s Emporium. Travis Samson, founder and owner, put together this coordinate comprising of a cream linen-blend suit by Nifty Genius and an electric-colored seasonal tie. He also recommended pairing a neckerchief with an open-collared shirt. Samson said you can work with the colors of Spring, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to be matchy-matchy.

“I think it’s classic with a twist,” said Samson about Short North Chic. “With the artistic history of the Short North, it’s taking a classic outfit and adding your own spin.”

For the ladies, Stephanie Tersigni, owner and founder of Jolie Occasions, has your back. Since the Gala is at the end of April, she proposes bright, Spring-y colors. Nothing too flashy – sticking to solids or subtle, not-too-busy florals are safe choices. Pair your dress with some statement jewelry to set looks to stun.

What Short North Chic is “depends on whatever you want it to be,” stated Tersigni. Her personal Chic is “girly and fun,” but everyone’s Chic is unique. “Anything goes here!”

Aileen Clemans of rowe boutique is another fashionable lady here for your Gala getup. “For cocktail attire, we suggest a mini or midi dress. A full length dress leans more toward black tie,” she explained. “Pants aren’t completely ruled out for women; they can wear a nice tailored pant or a jumpsuit if the fabrication is right.”

As for shoes, Clemans said that a nice boot, heel, or flat would be best. There’s more to a great outfit than the dress! “Elevating the look with the right accessories is important. Adding statement jewelry can dress up a look and carrying a clutch instead of a large handbag is also more in line with ‘cocktail.’ The most important thing, though, is that you feel comfortable and happy with what you’re wearing!”

Regarding jewelry, Gala-goers can browse Red Giraffe Designs for some one-of-a-kind bling. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Have a piece custom-made to suit your ensemble!

Another District shop packed with shiny eye-catchers is Store 5a. They carry second-hand fine jewelry and accessories, so you’ll never know what kind of treasure you’ll come across for a more affordable price than what you’d see elsewhere.

Once you’ve got your outfit, it’s time to get ready for the big night with some freshening and pampering. Make an appointment with any of these fine establishments today to look your absolute best when you arrive at the Greater Columbus Convention Center!

Turner’s Barber Shop & Shaving Parlor

Turner’s Barber Shop & Shaving Parlor has everything for the handsome man. This classic parlor offers traditional and modern cuts and buzzes, boast-able beard trims, and straight-razor shaves so sharp your outfit will be jealous.

Jacob Neal Salon

Finally receive the up-do of your prom night dreams from Jacob Neal Salon. Their professionals offer Blow-Dry Styling and Special Styling, or, if you’re looking for an entirely new you for the Gala, they can also apply coloring, highlighting, and extensions.

The W Nail Bar

Relax with a manicure or pedicure from The W Nail Bar to elevate your look. This environmentally-friendly nail bar will soak and soften your feet in their anti-microbial copper tubs to be ready for those open-toe shoes. Top all 20 of your nails with gorgeous color!

Max The Salon

Get the boutique spa experience at MAX The Salon. Along with skin and makeup services, their professionals can design a hair style or cut that will reflect the you that you didn’t know existed.

Mukha Custom Cosmetics and Medi-Spa

Mukha Custom Cosmetics and Medi-Spa‘s staff will reveal a new you when you undergo a Makeup Application. They also offer various brow, lash, skin, and hair removal treatments. Truly make your look your own with custom lip color, lip gloss, and face powder.


Rid yourself of any unwanted hair with an appointment at Waxxpot. Get your first Waxxpot wax worth up to $50 for free!


~ Ann Faris