City Social Magazine

JAN-FEB 2016

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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an otherwise conservative look. Cocktail attire has also been called funky cocktail, dress to kill, fun cocktail attire and simply fabulous. The rule for the next type of dress, dressy casual, is to mix a dressy element, like a beautiful, sexy blouse and with something casual, like jeans. Today, dressy shorts are another option. Simply pairing an amazing duo of fancy heels with a long and lean pair of jeans is always a perfect dressy casual look. One of my favorite looks is a great skirt, perhaps with beading or interesting pleats and detail, worn with a simple, fitted t-shirt or tank. A denim pencil skirt is also a current way to mix in a casual fabrication. Remember that jeans should not be too worn or casual; opt for a darker rinse and less fraying. The same goes for mixing extremely casual looks with dressier looks. No one wants to see running shorts worn with a paillette tank top. Dressy casual is also called smart casual, casual chic and simple and chic. Professional attire has many different rules now because of the varying attitudes and styles of corporations and smaller businesses. Some companies have a very relaxed attitude when it comes to professional dress while others are staunchly conservative. You have to be the judge; you know your colleagues. Wearing a suit for men and women is understood universally as "I'm professional" or "I'm a business person." Depending on your business, (are you an art dealer or a stock broker?) you should have a good idea of what styles and looks are inappropriate when mingling with your superiors, co-workers or clients. When the dress code is professional or suit and tie the typical thought is, of course, suits and ties for men and a pulled-together look for women. A fitted blouse with a flattering skirt, a pantsuit or skirt suit would all be excellent choices. This type of dress code never means be as sexy as possible. Professional dress is also called business casual, jacket requested, dark and chic, urban chic and city dress. Formal attire is broken down into several categories because it is more specific and requires much more thought and usually much more money. • Semi-formal is perhaps the trickiest of all the dress codes. It usually means that long dresses and tuxedos are not required. For example, a wedding that is after 6 p.m. would require a man to wear a dark suit and a lady to wear cocktail attire. • Black tie always means formal, no matter the variation. Men are expected to wear tuxedos and women should wear long dresses or more formal cocktail dresses. This is your chance to be glamorous, so you may as well do it right. Find a dress that is beautiful, flattering, comfortable, and accompany it with the perfect jewelry (not overdone) hair, nails and makeup. • Black tie optional only means that you have the option of wearing a tuxedo; you could wear a dark suit instead. However, this allows the guest to know that it is indeed a very formal event. For women, the dress is the same as black tie. This is also called black tie invited. • Creative black tie leaves room for trendy interpretations of formal wear. Perhaps a more modern tuxedo with a different color shirt and for the ladies a formal dress or separates but with a twist. • White tie (ultra formal) dictates that men wear full dress: a tuxedo with a white vest, white tie and shirt. Women should wear long, elegant gowns. For women, this is our opportunity to wear yards of gorgeous fabric and our most impressive jewelry (or to borrow the most impressive jewelry). No matter what the explanation is today, dress codes are constantly changing. In order to feel your most confident when running the social circuit, always choose attire that you feel comfortable in and don't be afraid to double check on the specifics of a dress code. Always remember that the interpretation of a dress code relies heavily on the geographical location (major city, small town, rural area, beach, mountains), time of year, type of event and type of host. Take into consideration that every social group has their own understanding of specific dress codes, and most of us who socialize do so with many different types of people. All of these factors should be enough for you to make a pretty educated guess as to how you are expected to dress. When in doubt, always go with your gut, or do what most women do: call all of your closest friends for a general consensus. Here are a few others that you may have seen…it goes on and on. • Come as You Are means super casual, anything goes (although doubt this means our (house cleaning clothes). • Fancy Ranch seems to be a dressed up version of country dressing. • Dressy Resort usually means long and flowing fabric, whites. • Weekend means casual but chic. Pullover sweater, jeans and flats. • Country Club Casual is casual but a bit more on the preppy or conservative side. • Whimsical usually has to do with a theme, hats, flowers in the hair or costumes. • Beach Attire means open-toed shoes and relaxed looks. • Garden Attire is a cue to wear shoes that won't sink into the grass. • Artsy Casual is casual but not conservative or boring. 33

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