Anniversary dinner invitations
Viiwe.com – Anniversary dinner invitations, You’ve received the invitation to your cousin’s wedding, and you get really excited until you read the dress code at the bottom…”Black Tie Optional”.
Huh? Your hubby wears ties, not you!!
Panic sets in…what IS the difference between Black Tie, Black Tie Optional and Cocktail attire?
Getting invitations should be fun, not stressful, but cracking that infernal dress code can be a real pain!
What if you get it wrong! Who wants to show up at their cousins wedding in a full length gown only to discover that you could have worn a short summery dress instead? Or worse, how about attending your client’s party in jeans only to discover that it’s a formal party?
First, you need to do a little reconnaissance…
1. Don’t be afraid to ask! This is the simplest way to find out what the dress code means. The host/hostess can give you the guidelines for the proper attire and would be much happier to help you upfront that have you show up miserable because you’ve worn the wrong type of outfit!!
2. Look for hints on the invitation! Is the invite engraved? Formal! Was it an evite? Probably informal. What type of occasion is it? A company picnic and a class reunion might both state the same dress code, but you’d interpret it differently. Check the time of day…morning to late afternoon events tend to be more casual, evening events more formal. And lastly note where the event is taking place…a beach wedding requires much different attire than a church or synagogue.
3. Who will you run into? Mostly old college friends and family? Potential dating material? People you’d want to network with professionally? They could all be held at the same place and call for “business casual”, but you’d wear something different to each event.
4. Look up the venue. If the party is being held somewhere other than at a person’s home, you can give them a call or check online to get a sense of what type of establishment it is. Look/ask for menu pricing, the décor of the rooms and types of events they host.
Still unsure? Follow these guidelines for cracking even the most difficult dress code.
Casual: This dress code can often be the hardest to determine. Casual means the host of the party wants you to be comfortable, but we all know that everyone has distinctly different opinions about what constitutes “casual”. Just know it never means that you can wear ratty jeans and that old college sweatshirt no matter how well you know the host. Instead, try a nice pair of jeans or khaki’s with a cute top and sandals or a flirty skirt with a casual top.
Semi-Casual, Resort Casual or Casual Chic: Think about what you’d wear to a private country club or think casual jumped up a notch. It means that the host is afraid that someone will show up too sloppy (remember that sweatshirt?) and wants a more refined casual instead like for a beach wedding or dinner at most restaurants. This means that you need to nix the jeans and opt for trousers or a skirt, maybe add something with a heel, and swap in a blouse for the casual tee.
Business Casual, Corporate Casual: So many companies have allowed their casual Fridays to turn into sloppy work days that you can’t go by that as a guide. Instead, think of business casual as being one step under a business suit occasion and go for dark wash jeans, straight leg trousers or khakis and a collared shirt with a cardigan or jacket worn over it. Boots or heels complete the look.
Business Attire: The best analogy here is to think about what you’d wear to a job interview. The safe bet for more traditional environments is a suit (matching pants and jacket) in a fabric other than cotton or a knee length dress or skirt plus a jacket. For more creative environments you’d be okay wearing separates, but always with a fitted jacket. Close-toed shoes are a safe bet, and keep the jewelry toned down. For evening, go for darker colors.
Western: To keep yourself from appearing like a cartoon caricature, don’t attempt to wear every clichéd piece of western gear available. Instead, opt for either a pair or cowboy boots or cowboy hat, and wear with either a Western belt buckle or gingham shirt. You get the idea – only a few pieces of Western gear are necessary to show you’re in the spirit but maintain your stylish ways!
70’s Retro, Disco: For these types of events you can either channel your inner Janis Joplin or go a little more sophisticated. Option one: wear a short, fitted sheath, lots of chunky bangles and/or a beaded necklace and tall boots. Option two: pair a tunic or peasant top with flared legged jeans and a floppy hat. Option three: wear black or white flared pants with a colorful flowing top and strappy sandals. You get extra points if you can straighten your hair and wear false eyelashes!
Black & White, All White: While this dress code seems obvious, I’m including it to prevent you from appearing like a waitress at the party. If the code calls for black and white, go for chic and wear the white on the bottom with a fitted black top. Or wear an all black outfit with white accessories like beads, bangles, shoes and sunglasses. For an all white party, try white jeans or a white skirt paired with a casual tee or fitted top. Too many puffy white pieces and you’ll end up looking like a bride.
Festive: Seen recently on more and more invitations, this is your host’s way of asking you not to wear black…not their way of telling you to dress like you’re going to Mardi Gras! Generally speaking, festive also means that you can get a dressed up, but less rigid than a black tie event…like an Anniversary Party or toned down New Years Eve. For daytime opt for a brightly colored or patterned top to pop your outfit; for evening add on chunky jewelry and metallics to spice things up.
Cocktail: This dress code is intended as an opportunity to get dressed up in a way that is sexy and stylish. Carrie Bradshaw and friends wore “cocktail” attire when they sipped their Cosmo’s… You could go for a cocktail dress (LBD), or a dressy fitted skirt and sleeveless blouse, but the must-have accessory is a killer pair of strappy heels.
Dressy: A little obscure for sure, “dressy” is something that would be required for most weddings, holiday parties or to dinner at a really nice restaurant. A pair of dress pants paired with an elegant blouse or a simple but sophisticated dress are de riguer. This is also one time when wearing stockings with your dressy flats or heels is required.
Black Tie: This one is actually easy to interpret. Black tie events are the most formal events you can attend, including formal evening weddings, the Opera or Symphony or to a formal government reception. Wear a floor length dress in any color other than all white, and nothing in cotton or wool. Add heels and you’re ready to go.
Black Tie Optional: You will find people dressed everywhere from Cocktail to Black Tie at events specifying “black tie optional”. You can either wear a floor length gown or a knee length cocktail dress with heels. Base your choice on the age range of people you may know who are attending and the location.
If you’re still a little unsure, always err on the side of being dressed up. You look better to be overdressed than underdressed and will make more of an impression.
If the thought of that doesn’t appeal to you, bring along a few extra pieces that would allow you to make a quick change. Shoes, a different pair of earrings or necklace to add drama or a cashmere wrap are all quick ways to take your outfit up or down a notch if needed, and you can always leave them in the car if you discover they’re not necessary! see image of anniversary dinner invitations below.