Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Sept. 21, 2021

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Unready to wear: A guide to deciphering event dress codes

The Columbian
5 Photos
Clyde Jones in Funeral Cocktail Chic.
Clyde Jones in Funeral Cocktail Chic. Photo Gallery

The spring social season is right around the corner, which means there will plenty of moments to say “I have nothing to wear!” What can make this even more panic-inducing is when the dress code reads “creative comfy” or “casual chic,” leaving partygoers scratching their heads. Fear not. There are ways to navigate the style end of the social scene.

Casual Chic

Think jeans or leggings, a pretty blouse or blazer, and either a pair of wedge booties or stilettos (if the idea of a casual dress or skirt seems dull). Jewelry can always dress up an outfit or lend a pop of color. For men, it’s all about dark jeans and a dinner jacket or a nice button-down shirt and cashmere sweater. Bow ties are always a yes.

Parisian Chic

When an invitation comes with a city attached to the word “chic,” focus on the style of a designer from that part of the world. This could mean a color scheme, particular pattern or accessories that embody that region. It never hurts to surf Pinterest for inspiration.

Creative Comfy

Ladies, break out your flat shoes. This is a perfect time to wear easy, comfortable clothes in cheerful colors or prints with shoes made for walking. For men, tone down the polished vibe and let everyone enjoy that hipster ‘stache.

Funeral Cocktail Chic

Whenever there is a very specific type of clothing required focus on a color palette. The obvious choice for this would be black, but think outside the box and wear something unexpected like white (which is worn to funerals in the eastern part of the world). Remember, clothes are meant to be fun, so take risks and enjoy the costume aspect of specific dress codes. When in doubt, opt for a little black dress or dark suit and add excitement with accessories like hats, brooches or long gloves.

Black Tie Optional

The little black dress is always appropriate here, but it’s always nice to glam things up with a long gown. Try www.renttherunway.com if the idea of spending hundreds of dollars on a dress for one night is too much to handle. If showing off the gams is more your speed, pick a shorter dress that has embellishment to help amp up the glam factor. For men, a nice suit will do … coordinating pocket square and tie are always a plus.