Dressing to please oneself should be a woman’s mantra. But sometimes, I think we forget about the importance of looking appropriate for social occasions. I’m not talking about looking conventional or playing it “safe,” but when special events are involved, women do need to have some idea of etiquette and how that meshes with their personal style. After all, whether it’s a dinner party or a gala, showing up properly dressed is a sign of respect to the evening's host or hostess.
Let’s face it: We’ve all been to parties where we’ve seen women dressed in any number of unfortunate ways: Underdressed to the point were they just look sloppy; wearing business attire (do they intend on running straight to their office when the evening is over?); inappropriately dressed for their age; or overdressed and bedazzled to within an inch of their life. If we’re all our own brands, then no matter how dated it sounds, knowing how to dress for a special occasion is a necessary talent - one most women need to brush up on.
For example, I’ve been invited to a winter wedding of a close friend. Although I used to procrastinate planning an outfit for this kind of event, I’ve learned that this can lead to major trouble (as in last minute alteration ERs or running out to buy something new to wear - always a big waste of money, as rarely is the item worn again). The invitation indicates cocktails, dinner and dancing; so I can do a dress or separates, but not a full-length gown (a cool maxi skirt, however, would work here).
For one-off events like this, a service like Rent The Runway is a great option, but I’ve chosen to work my wardrobe. So after ransacking my closet, I’ve decided on a vintage beaded sleeveless blouse in emerald green – it originally served as the underpinning to a brocade 1960 theatre suit belonging to my mother – paired with wide-leg pants and a fab shoe. Some minor repair work needs to be done on the blouse – plenty of time for that – but otherwise, I’m done with thinking about this event.
Simple, right? Dressing for an occasion doesn’t have to be complicated or about spending lots of money on a new frock, but it does mean taking some time to plan things out. Plan correctly and you’ll show up looking amazing.