As is the case with most Irish red carpets these days, it's becoming increasingly difficult to translate a dress code.
Black tie can mean anything from jumpsuit to mini-dress or a couture gown for women and chinos and a blazer for men. Formal means a dress of any length can be worn if it looks tailored enough and god help us if it says smart casual. Everyone wants to stand out and look different: some by wearing a bright colour, a dramatic train or just by wearing a classic LBD in a sea of sequins.
Which brings us to the interesting case that is the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards on Monday night. It's considered a black tie affair; but try telling that to the celebrity guests who each brought their own rather unique style to the event at Dublin's Clayton Hotel.
Let's have a look, shall we?
Vogue Williams wore a red cut-out gown by Alex Perry from her favourite designer rental company The Ivory Closet, who have been supplying her with dresses for years.
Former US correspondent with RTE and incoming Six One newsreader Caitriona Perry must have enjoyed the novelty of red carpet attire and she chose a gothic style berry and black gown with beading.
Fellow broadcaster Maia Dunphy went old Hollywood in a black satin number with full skirting and embellished crossbody bag.
Celebrity chef Rachel Allen opted for a sequin pink midi dress and black strappy heels.
Retired Irish footballer Shay Given marked the popularity of his book Any Given Saturday in a classic black tuxedo alongside fiancée Becky Gibson, who chose a dramatic satin midnight blue gown with a black tulle flamenco style finish.
Praise be for Dublin footballer Philly McMahon and PR executive Sarah Lacey, whose boho cut-out dress brought the type of youthful elegance this event needed.