Formal Dinner Parties

Many people host formal dinner parties throughout the year for a variety of reasons. Some just enjoy breaking out the fine china while others do so to friends or family members or special occasions such as a wedding. Regardless of what has prompted the formal dinner party, you’ve been invited and now you have to figure out what to wear. Below are some general guidelines for you to follow.

Men

1.    Black Tie: This means you are to wear a formal tuxedo. Go to the “nine’s” when attending a black tie event. You should have the tux, vest, shirt, black tie, cummerbund, buttons, cuff links and matching shoes.

2.    Black Tie Optional: For these events, tuxedos are appropriate, but so are formal dark suits. When opting to wear a suit to a dinner like this, make sure it is a formal suit and you have a nice white collared shirt, tie (still required, doesn’t have to be black) and nice shoes.

3.    White Tie: White tie events are very rare, but they are still held from time to time. These dinner parties are extremely formal events. Make sure you wear a very formal suit, white tie, freshly pressed formal shirt, vest, cummerbund, cuff links and shiny shoes.

Women

1.    Black Tie: As these are very formal events you should wear a long flattering evening gown with nice matching high heels. You hair should look as if it has been professionally styled as well.

2.    Black Tie Optional: Women have a little more freedom at black tie optional dinner parties as formal cocktail dresses are appropriate. Cocktail dresses are those where the hemline is at the knee or a little above, make sure the dress is not too short though. High heels are also appropriate and your hair should still be fixed nicely.

3.    White Tie: Dress as you would for a black tie dinner party.

By Andrea K. Clark

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