Mrs Stepford explains Black Tie to Casual and every outfit in between.
It is always lovely to receive an invitation to a party or event, whether by formal invitation through the post from an acquaintance to an informal invitation by a close friend.
Whilst penning the date in our social diaries, I am sure I am not the only woman whose immediate thought is “what on earth shall I wear”? Followed secondly by, “dress code, what does that mean”!!?? Cue total fashion panic and potential social disasters.
I have laid out the standard rules in etiquette dressing for today’s modern woman and her significant other. It seems a shame that this vital information isn’t as readily available as it once was in bygone eras, but thankfully, social institutions such as Debrett’s help with these matters.
Take what you want from the ‘rules’, tips and suggestions, but most importantly, dress how you feel most comfortable within the dress code parameters to be a relaxed and sociable guest. Use your current wardrobe to maximum potential, or use it as the perfect excuse to go shopping for a new frock. However, I am sure most of us don’t need much of an excuse, do we girls?
This Week – Formal (White Tie or Full Dress) – never before 5pm
Event Types: All diplomatic and government receptions, balls, operas, galas, fundraisers, charity and debutante balls, or for those lucky enough – Elton John and David Furnish’s annual White Tie and Tiara ball. This is where you pull out all your finery since your host is letting you know this will be one elegant affair.
Gentlemen; white tie (required), tails and the required additions (black seamed trousers, white vest, bow tie, boutonniere, hat, scarf, cuff links).
Ladies; floor-length ball gowns and evening dresses, evening wraps or stoles, sparkly shoes, gloves and the family jewels are best saved for these occasions.
Fabric and accessories: Satin, silk, velvet, sequins, pearls, diamonds, diamante, tiaras, elbow-length gloves, full length velvet capes, clutches, muffs, faux fur.
Colors: White, Black, Subtle Metallics, Jewel Tones, Rich and Deep tones.
Avoid: Dresses shorter than ankle length, showing too much skin or cleavage, large handbags, fabrics with prints, neon colors, chunky shoes, un-manicured hands and feet, loose hairstyles, too much jewelry, bad fake tan, drinking to excess (Mrs Stepford recommends sticking to ‘white’ drinks such as Champagne, Martini’s or Gin).
Next time…. Black Tie
Have you ever had the pleasure of going to a White Tie occasion? What did you wear?