I am helping my husband plan his 11th annual reunion weekend events for the high school he attended at his native Trinidad and Tobago. It’s two week aways and in addition to hustling with last minute preparations, I am also scrambling to decide what to wear.
We’ve gotten a few requests from those attending who are from abroad and are not familiar with what cocktail attire entails in the States.
Generally, cocktail parties are classified as semi-formal evening or late afternoon events. During them, guests enjoy cocktail beverages, wine, beer and soft drinks and nosh on appetizers. Some include light to lavish buffets or food stations.
Cocktail parties are also great for socializing and networking. Music, if played, is usually kept down and in the background so guests can hear each other speaking.
Since you never get another chance to make a first impression, you will want to dress dress to impress.
Women can experiment with different styles, colors and lengths of dresses. Since it’s usually attended by the professional crowd, it’s a good idea to not show too much skin.
Make up can be glam but not over the top and the same with the hair. Heels are preferable and a clutch and nice jewelry or other accessories will top off the look.
A popular color is black. It is slimming and safe and there is a variety of the LBD (little black dress) that can accommodate all body types and shapes.
For men, their clothing should be kept simple, but sharp looking. Fellahs, you will want to turn heads as you walk in the room so looking polished helps.
A crisp white dress shirt or other light trendy color with or without a tie in a up-to-date pattern or material works. A dressy sports coat will be in order, especially if you opt against wearing a tie.
Trousers or even khakis will do. Shoes should be lace-up or loafer style but polished and worn with dark socks to match…unless you are especially fashionable and trendy and can pull off other sock colors.
It can be a tricky thing determining what to wear for a cocktail party but it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
I think Co Co Chanel said that but if she didn’t she should have! ha!