The holiday season has arrived and with it invitations to everything from cocktails to office parties to New Year’s Eve dinners. They all contain those coded party terms: “cocktail,” “festive,” “formal,” “semi-formal,” “casual chic.” How do you interpret the requested attire? Don’t stress! Let the following guidelines take the wonder out of what to wear: Formal (a.k.a. Black Tie) Traditionally this called for a long, elegant gown but today your choices range from a long dress to a more formal cocktail dress to dressy silk, satin or beaded separates. What about color? At one time black tie meant a black dress, but now color is acceptable – and jewel tones, including holiday’s red and green, are perfect for winter. When it comes to black tie formal one is expected to go all out. Wear some sparkle and shine: a sparkly necklace or chandelier earrings (but never both), a beaded or metallic clutch, and super shoes all help to complete your ensemble. But don’t overdo it; this is the time for classic elegance. And please take note: If wearing a cocktail dress, be sure it is no shorter than a touch above the knee to keep it “formal.” Semi-Formal (a.k.a. Black Tie Optional) This is a more relaxed version of black tie. A long gown is appropriate if your date is in a tux; a cocktail dress in a dressy fabric (lace, satin or silk) should be your choice if he opts for a suit. Elegant evening separates are also an option. And yes, shimmer and shine fit the bill for this occasion! Cocktail Attire “Cocktail” is one of the most common dress codes seen on invitations. It’s also the easiest to interpret. It generally means a short dress that is party-ready but silky or satiny separates are definitely appropriate. When in doubt, wear a little black dress and dress it up with fun jewelry. Up the wow factor with an interesting silhouette or color and don’t be afraid to shine bright! Business Formal This is the dress code suggestion for daytime semi-formal events, particularly work lunches and conferences. You want to wear something business appropriate that also feels dressed up. It’s almost the same thing as cocktail or...Read More
Image & Wardrobe Consultant Founder, Smart Women On The Go Spokesperson & Packing Expert,Smart Travel Press
Asheville, NC 917.297.9686 firstname.lastname@example.org
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