Friday, January 7, 2011

Black Tie, Optional - BANNED

Black Tie, Optional

Attention: Wedding Planners
RE: Black Tie, Optional

Dear Sir or Madam,

The category “Black Tie, Optional” is not a valid dress code for weddings, engagement parties and anniversaries. It has been BANNED by the FIT, Nobel Committee and the Cotillion Society of America.

For all events, the following Dress Codes should be used:

Formal: White Tie
White tie or evening dress, is the Big Deal Dress Code. You are going to an Inauguration, or have won the Nobel Prize. (Your Mother is So Proud) According to Wikipedia (and who would argue with Wikipedia?)"The chief components for men are the dress coat, white bow tie and waistcoat, and starched shirt, while women wear a suitable dress for the occasion, such as a ball gown."

Semi-Formal: Black Tie
The Semi-Formal code has two components: Day or evening. For day wear, men should wear a black tail-less coat with formal trousers (Think JFK at his inauguration - and he also wore a Top Hat, because it was outside) After 6pm, the men wear black tie (commonly called a Tuxedo).Ladies would wear a short dress or cocktail dress.
A long dress is evening wear, and formal (White Tie, see above).

And then there is Casual. There are all kinds of casual, which is where a great many people get in trouble. My daughter called yesterday asking for advice. "What do you wear to a wedding that says the dress code is Black Tie, Optional?"
"There's No Such Thing," I told her, firmly. "It's either Black Tie, Semi-Formal, or it is Not!"
"I think they really mean Casual, but they also want to imply, no jeans."
"If they say Black Tie, optional, their guests could wear anything" I countered. Because there is no such thing." We decided that people who put that on invitations should be given difficult in-laws as their punishment. No wait, two sets of difficult in-laws.

Casual is situational. It can be kind of dressy but not, like Business Casual, or Playboy Mansion Casual, nighties and jammies encouraged, or couples Caribbean Resort Med Casual, which is clothing optional - the most casual of all. This is why we have Dress Codes. Imagine your horror if you go to an event in your nightie (because you thought it was Pajama Optional Dress Code)and everyone else is in Evening Gowns. Remember Bridget Jones in her Playboy Bunny costume at the party and you'll get the idea. Be kind to your guests. Say Formal, Semi-Formal, or Casual. They will thank you. Really.


sewing spots said...

So true!

Nancy K said...

Boy is this apropos for me! Did you read my post on what the hell to wear to my niece's wedding? The old standbys made it so much easier to know what to wear, didn't they? Informality is a pita.

beangirl said...

This is why I hate people. Seriously. This exact thing. You might be forgiven for being more grandiose and believing it's because people are cruel or violent or evil. But, no. It's this. Being too stupid to even follow the rules of common sense regarding the provision and application of simple and established dress codes.

Talk about "evil". I'm sure they'll have at least two sets of difficult in-laws. If there's any justice in the world.

cidell said...

True True True! I struggle with what to wear to weddings. I'm always underdressed. But, they provide no guidance!

Toby Wollin said...

My eldest daughter and son in law put 'business casual' on their wedding invitations, thinking people would understand - but no. We had people wearing everything from horrible(and I put the emphasis on 'horrid') tee shirts and blue jeans all the way up. We won't even discuss the people who felt uncomfortable enough that they showed up in black. My own sister showed up in a black pants suit. Mortified. And I do not look good in mortified, I can tell you that.Yes, it was an outdoor wedding in the afternoon in early October in a vineyard. We get it. But guests need a hand, you know?

AuntieAllyn said...

From my observation, it appears that many people don't understand what a "dress code" means. Even worse, they don't understand what RSVP means!!! As for me, I tend to overdress for most occasions.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I am an overdresser as well. I'd rather be the most fabulous looking person in the room than the most schlumpy.