Leah: "I googled “special occasion dressing”, I found plenty of places I could shop, but nowhere that told me what special occasion was. I wanted to ask, isn’t knowing what is fitting for a special occasion important?"
Jan: "Yes. I will a lot of times ask if my client has the invitation. Is the dress code in writing?"
Julie: "If they don’t have it, I think it’s our job to dress them appropriately for what we know is casual cocktail, or black tie optional, or an outdoor ceremony. I think it’s our job to then go in the direction we know is appropriate. I would err to the nicer or dressier than to the more casual element. Because we know that we will see all kinds of attire at most events, we have to use our expertise."
Leah: "I often think the time of it is important too. If it’s a 4:30 in the afternoon function I treat it differently than an 8:00 pm evening function."
Jan: "I get a lot of, “because it’s called a barn reception”. People try to go in jeans and cowboy boots. Which a barn reception does not connotate."
Kate: "That’s very trendy right now – the barn venue, the farm to table feel."
Julie: "It’s just the venue, it has nothing to do with what the attire is. A venue can influence a style, say a black-tie, beach appropriate look versus black-tie, city look, but it doesn’t influence the level of attire."
Leah: "How does trendiness influence special occasion? Which in my mind always seems to be something that is classic. Otherwise you’d look dated at something. So then I guess the questions is how does a trend influence timelessness?"
Kate: "I think it does in the fact that, when I started here, we were seeing trend details in the everyday sportswear and then over the last year, I’ve seen more of these everyday trend details expressed in special occasion dressing than what was here a year ago."
Nancy: "I guess my question to you Leah is, you’re equating special occasion with timelessness. But I don’t truly feel all special occasion is timeless."
Leah: "Right, when I googled “special occasion dressing”, I got the whole gamut. I’ve not learned at all that what I’m looking at has longevity versus just a trend. I’ve not learned that one is better suited than the other for my need."
Nancy: "Trends do influence."
Julie: "I also think, when we’re talking the timelessness of dressing. It speaks to where we are in our own age. Something that I would have been able to wear – even if I was the exact same size – I can’t carry off the retro look now. We have to be careful. I do think some of the timelessness that we see repeated, maybe repeated in a beautiful floral pattern, it would be harder to carry it off now than before. Sometimes we can’t go there because we’ve done it, and sometimes because it’s a fabric that isn’t as becoming on a mature body as it is on a young body."
Kate: "Now I have a question. When you guys are talking timelessness, when you’re dressing a client for different events. Do you seek to have them look timeless if it’s their daughter’s wedding versus if they’re a guest at a gala?"
Jan: "I first of all seek to find them what looks good on their body. And it may not be something timeless it may not be the current trend. But it makes them look and feel their best."
Julie: "If we are looking our best, we do look current."
Nancy: "If full skirts are out and that is the best silhouette for you, you should still wear full skirts because you’re gonna rock it and look the absolute best you can look. If you have a beautiful shoulder line, show your shoulders. Play up your beautiful assets and you will look fashionable because you are playing up the asset you have to its fullest."
Julie: "What can totally make classic silhouettes current are the accessories. Look to the hem and fit details, keeping those little things current are a big part of taking something timeless and making it something current."
Dress codes aren’t stuffy and special occasions don’t have to be daunting. It’s a time to remember the celebrations of life and to cherish the opportunity to support, share love, and get dressed up. What you are asking of your guests through the dress code is going to be a reflection of the time and look of your wedding, or special event, for years to come. Appreciate that, because whether it is trending or classic, it will be defining.