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How to decipher the dress code.

In the past several years there is more new terminology about attire on invitations, such as beach chic, casual elegance, country club casual, relaxed chic, smart casual and now barn party attire.  I am sure there are many more we have all come across and the tried and true are still around, but even I can find the requested invitation attire a bit overwhelming when helping others dress for these events.  Our world is multi-cultural and we get to be a part of new events and partake of others' religions and customs.  This requires us to be culturally diverse and educate ourselves on appropriate fashion etiquette so we may be respectful.   I like to say we have to do our fashion homework. 

One place to start, is to simply ask the host for more detail about the event.  I will call, text, or email the bride, family, or event chairs -anyone who might be in a position to know more.  I will also google and find out some of the background if it is specific to a religion to better understand the why behind the attire.  I look at other events online and study how the audience or attendees are dressed, this what a good stylist offers.  We should never be heard saying…"I am going to wear this and if they don’t like it too bad.”  If we are replying yes to the event, we should dress appropriately for it.   It is an honor to be included in someone’s special day or joining a community in a special event.

So what if we can’t get a real feel for how everyone else is dressing or enough knowledge that we are comfortable making an informed decision.  Should we be overdressed or under dressed? 

Always err on the side of overdressed, because you can quickly take off some jewelry and become more appropriate.  I have even been known to take options in the car for my shoes and accessories and then watch others enter the event to know what to do.  Call me a little crazy, but it works.  Also when I am traveling to an event, which often happens, I always take options, because then I can talk with other guests and gauge what they will be wearing. 

I would love to hear about any event dressing terminology that you would like me to cover.

Elegant Al fresco?

Classy Pique-nique?

What others have you come across that have left you stumped?  I am happy to answer your questions and concerns. You should never throw caution to the wind and miss a great opportunity to revel in the splendor of a wonderful event.



 Read more from Jophiel President and founder Julie Eckert Clancy.


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