Monday, July 27, 2009
Dinner parties are a fun and relaxed experience where you can try out that amazingly eclectic sequined top or the so-ugly-it’s-cute accessory. Friends are forgiving in a dinner party atmosphere and your conversation-piece outfit may be just what the party needed to make it one of the most fun and enjoyable events. You’ll also get an honest opinion before you make a debut appearance in public wearing the I’m-not-so-sure-about-this-one dress.
To be perfectly dressed every time, take your cues from the invitation to the party. Backyard bar-b-cues are less formal than a sit-down meal. A buffet is less formal than a cocktail party. Winter and fall parties are more formal than spring and summer get-togethers. Although black tie is instructional for the men, let it be a guide for you as well. You’ll want to show up in a cocktail dress.
When choosing your dress the rule of thumb is to be adventurous but classy. When you’re a guest in someone’s home you don’t want to show up in a micromini or a deep cut backless dress. Opt instead for a dress that hits at mid-thigh or knee-length. For a dinner or cocktail party, a sequined or solid dark colored number is always in good taste. For a less formal party, have fun and go for a graphic print or a bright, bold color with matching strappy sandals.
Well-designed, stylish trousers are another great choice for dinner parties. They can span the formality scale and be worn to any party that is beyond a pair of jeans or a sundress. For a formal gathering choose wide legged pants that have layers that flow. These are timeless and give you a very sophisticated and dreamy appearance. For parties that are a bit less formal you can wear a nicely cut pair of skinny pants. Never show up in jeans. Even with a nice top and heels, jeans say you don’t care.
When wearing pants or trousers it’s especially important to be well-dressed from the waist up. Sequined tops are always a great choice for the holidays and they dress up ordinary pants so that your outfit looks classy. Sequins also reflect light around your face and make you appear to have a brighter complexion. Any embellishment around the collar will accentuate your face and any jewelry you’re wearing.
Accessorizing with a conversation piece can be both beautiful and entertaining. A large vintage piece that really “makes the outfit” will give a guest who has a hard time starting a conversation something to talk about. If you found the piece at an interesting shop or if it has a family heritage, you’ve got a great story that can be a jumping-off point for an evening of lively conversation. Remember to keep accessories to a well-chosen minimum. Over accessorizing makes you look busy and pretentious not to mention unapproachable.