Ever stood in front of an overstuffed closet, with a pile of discarded outfits on the bed and no clue whatsoever as to what you’re going to wear to the event you’re already late for? Well, know that you’re not alone. Not one woman alive has escaped this dilemma completely.
Of course, your indecision might be more serious if the discarded outfits involve any critical remarks from a spouse or a friend (along the lines of, “you’re not wearing that, are you?”). Other weighty factors include the importance of the celebration. Confusion’s sure to mount when you’re confronted with the company Christmas party, a New Year’s Eve out, or other “life marker” celebrations involving friends and family.
So far, a bridal shower might be the only life event not yet associated with a certain kind of attire. But isn’t it time for this change? After all, someone’s probably spent a lot of time planning the shower around the perfect theme, so why not coordinate your outfit to match?
For example, if you end up planning your friend’s bridal shower and she’s honeymooning in Hawaii, why not plan a luau theme and ask your guests to come attired in Hawaiian shirts and shifts, or even grass skirts? Or if your friend’s a surfer girl, why not prop up a cut-out surf board and clad yourself in a little neoprene or even a bleached-blond wig? As you can see, the possibilities are endless.
Of course, some showers are much more formal, and held at formal locations such as upscale restaurants and banquet halls. In that case, you’ll want to make the dress code clear to other guests. The best way to go about this is to use some popular verbiage that gets the point across in a few words.
If you’re throwing the shower at a super-luxury restaurant, indicate that the dress is “cocktail attire” on the invitation. This lets each invitee know that you’re having a black-tie affair, and what’s more, she’ll know to get that little black dress pressed and ready to go. Cocktail attire is appropriate for hotels and exclusive restaurants.
If the party’s held somewhere semi-formal, where dress is important but not quite black-tie, specify something like “evening resort attire.” This means something slightly more festive than the little black dress, such as a dress with some color or ruffles, or a nice skirt and blouse — keeping it all pretty conservative.
Having your party at the local country club? Dress is less formal — call it “resort attire” or “business casual.” Conservative skirts and even nice, tailored shorts are usually just fine, if they fit the season.
As you can see, bridal showers do involve important questions of fashion. If you’re the one hosting a shower, eliminate your guests’ guess work and tell them how to dress for the occasion. On the other hand, if you’re the guest yourself, be sure to ask about a dress code. Most often, the list of location will give you a clue, but if you don’t know the venue very well, just call the hostess to clear up any questions and prevent a fashion misfire.