Party Frocks



It occurs to me that we men have a limited choice of party-going “formal” wear: dinner jackets (which is actually semi-formal), daycoats, strollers, cutaways, tailcoats, cummerbund, waistcoat, wing collar, soft collar, pumps, oxfords… that’s about it. And you’re likely to live your whole life not seeing a man in anything other than a dinner jacket.

Women, on the other hand, have a whole range of clothing from which to choose. It used to be that cocktails called for a cocktail length dress (the famous LBD fit this purpose perfectly.) Evening events, at which the men were expected to wear black tie, called for an evening gown and wrap. That is no longer the case. Or so I gather from the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

I, for one, miss seeing women in evening gowns. They seemed to have gone out of fashion at all but the Academy Awards (which I’ve stopped watching.) The designers still produce them and we are a far cry from the encrusted 80’s numbers that may have done the gown in. (I also have a thing for those Oriental dresses with the stand-up collars, frogging and cap sleeves, but that’s another post.)

Do you wear an evening gown? Vintage? Couture? And do you wear it more than once? And for what sorts of occasions? Or, if not, what is your go-to party frock?

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