WHAT TO WEAR TO A BLACK TIE AFFAIR

Along with the many office parties, dinners and other social activities during Christmas and the holiday season comes the stress of deciding what to wear. “Should I dress glitzy, formal, fun or relaxed?” Sound familiar? This leaves many of us wondering if we should have many different party outfits or whether we should wear one outfit for all occasions. Before making your choice, look to the invitation for clues to the kind of party; its location and the expectations of the host; then consider which of the following would be most appropriate:

Casual Gathering
Leave the jeans and Nike’s at home. Even an invitation to the most casual gathering during the holidays requires you to ‘make an effort’. For a festive casual look, dress in semi casual coordinated separates. For men, this means a nice pair of slacks with a shirt or sweater. Stylish pants or a skirt with a blouse or sweater are ideal for women at a casual holiday gathering and don’t forget to accessorize.

Cocktail Parties
Gentlemen a suit need not be boring. Add a little flare with a tie, cufflinks or another accessory that shows off your personal style. For the semi formal occasion, a little black dress is always a great stand by for women. But if traditional black isn’t your favourite, a cocktail dress in any colour silk pants with a glittery top, or a simple sheath dressed up with accessories, strappy high heels, and sparkly jewellery make great alternatives.

Formal Evening
“Black Tie”, means a tuxedo for men. Stay true to tradition with a regular cut Tuxedo worn with a bowtie and cummerbund, or add some personality with a waist coat and a solid black necktie or a bowtie. The dress shirt is always white, and don’t forget the dress socks and shoes. *Black Tie Optional? Tuxedo is optional, formality is not. If you cringe at the thought of wearing a tux, a dark suit preferably black with a white shirt and necktie is also appropriate for this occasion. Although a full length gown is never out of place at a black tie affair, women have many choices for a formal occasion, a fancy frock in any length or a dressy silk suit may also be good choices. Don’t forget the dressy accessories and high heels for more formality.
Holiday party dressing shouldn’t be stressful. By considering the type of party and its expectations you will be dressed appropriately with just the right amount of holiday cheer.

Kimberly Law AICI, CIP

Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)

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Founding Director of

Institute of Image Training & Testing International (IITTI)

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