Mrs. E. and I attended a fundraiser for Fetch-a Cure this past weekend. A good friend was being honoured as Pet Philanthropist of the Year and our hosts for the progressive dinner party were our very close friends. It was a fine evening, even if we did miss the trolley that was to take us to the dinner and had to hitch a ride with another gracious couple.
The only hitch in the event was the dress code for the evening which stipulated “Shaggy Chic.” As will happen, a number of people stumbled over what they read as “Shabby Chic” and that was that. There were jeans, blazers, canine motif ties (see mine above– keep clicking the photo, it will enlarge), liquid-y metallic leggings and knit dresses, as well as the usual party gear. I dressed down in brown shoes for evening and the hairy Harris Tweed number that had been made for my father. Surprisingly, I wasn’t too warm. Mrs. E. was resplendent in a large check glen plaid jacket with a faux fur collar. (My favourite casual look for the evening was a vivid orange Harris Tweed jacket worn over dark jeans and a dark blue open-necked shirt. Nice job Rick.)
That’s the danger of a creative dress code. It leaves us wondering.
For the holidays this year, be specific about what you wish your guests to wear. Tell me it’s casual and I will show up in trousers, a shirt and sweater. Semi-formal doesn’t exist anymore and used to mean a business suit. Now we call this business attire and you’re just as likely to see sportcoats and open-necked shirts. I suggest using “coat and tie” or “cocktail attire” which lets the women break out those wonderful cocktail rings and dresses if they’d like. “Festive” or “Holiday” dress may unleash a flood of reds, greens, velvet and satin as we celebrate in different ways. Caveat emptor.