They all have one thing in common—they are all social activities that bring people together for a similar purpose. What to wear to these events is always a mystery. The location, formality of the invitation, the weather, and frequently what everyone else intends to wear all influence what you should dress to any of these gatherings.
Some broad sartorial principles may still be used as a guide. And consider that almost all “laws” for dressing are just like recommendations with a few exemptions, like not wearing a white dress to a wedding—with a few notable exceptions.
Any kind of religious ritual
Dress up a style with feminine undergarments and accessories by pairing it with an eye-catching flower or petal print daytime midi dress. Make sure to carry a light sweater to cover up any sleeveless designs and avoid anything that is too short or clinging. Choose a maxi dress or elegant slacks with a jacket or shawl to cover yourself in the chapel or cathedral if there is no time to switch before the reception.
A charity event in black tie attire
Tuxedos, glistening fabrics, and intricate accents are all on the menu. A tea- or floor-length dress is your best bet for etiquette rules on dress length. However, well-tailored, stylish and formal dresses are a great option for a more refined look. Make a statement with your accessories, footwear, and haircut this season.
If the invitation specifies that black tie is not required, you may choose to dress a little more casually. Instead of a floor-length gown, choose a cocktail midi dress that hits just above the knee.
Cocktail hour and the reception – maxi dresses
If you’re attending one of these “pretty swanky” parties, the dress code is likely to be cocktail wear. Wear a cocktail dress—a little black dress, a jewel-tone mini dress, or a pastel dress will all work. Formal dresses may also be paired with a casual accessory.
You no longer have to dress up to go out for drinks; nowadays you may go casual with a bunch of pals over some appetizers and a glass of wine or champagne. Cocktail parties, on the other hand, tend to be more dressy-casual affairs, so a blouse with some unique embellishments and a dress or fitted slacks, along with heels or elegant flats, are safe bets. You should steer clear of textiles like chino, jersey and denim since they are too casual.
A Holiday party, family dinner, or “celebratory attire” gathering
You may go over the top with bling and color on these occasions. This means that nearly anything may be worn, as far as it’s appropriate for the event and place. Make a fashion statement with an eye-catching necklace or a pair of earrings with a mini dress. Colorful dresses, elegant jumpsuits or festive tops combined with stylish skirts and leggings are all great ways to wear it. Textured additions like feathers and tassels, lace and sequins and beading or bows are a bonus.
A daytime or informal outdoor wedding
If the weather is warm enough for an outdoor wedding, a flowing sundress, gorgeous mini dresses, or a beautiful shift dress are all good options. Lighter and brighter colors—and splashy patterns—often seem more acceptable in the workplace.
Avoid sequins and beading for day nuptials, which appear to be more informal. A knee-length cotton dress with strapless styling and open-toed shoes are more appropriate in warmer climates.