Author Topic: Cocktail Attire  (Read 2892 times)

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mbbored

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Cocktail Attire
« on: October 23, 2012, 12:15:43 AM »
I live in Northern California, where most of my social circle consists of grad students and the underemployed. Therefore, our parties tend towards beer and chips and/or potlucks while wearing jeans and t-shirts. However, a friend and I want the opportunity to trot out some of the fancy appetizer and drink recipes we've come across and pull out those fancy dresses hidden at the back of our closets, so we're planning a cocktail party. I say that by saying it's a "cocktail party" on our invitations, people will understand that they should dress up a little more than usual. She says that she would never pick up on that, therefore we should put a dress code on the invitation.

Opinions? Advice?

WillyNilly

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Re: Cocktail Attire
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 10:02:07 AM »
I think the attire should be mentioned on the invite (Cocktail Attire Requested), and the invite itself (even if an evite) should look more formal.

But also, I think the hostess and her closest friends should spread the word in conversation pre-party.

And I'll tell you, from my experience, my social crowd did this too - we did many years of chips in plastic bowls, salsa straight from the jar and drinks in red Solo cups and then started with some cocktail parties - the guys tend to still dress down, its only really the females who do the dressing up bit.  the guys will dress up a little - jeans with a button up shirt and leather shoes instead of sneakers, but no sports coats certainly not suits (well a few slick dressers will wear suits, but they are the guys who always dressed up more then the others).  YMMV of course, and its fun anyway, just putting my experience out there.  ;D
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 10:03:38 AM by WillyNilly »

Thipu1

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Re: Cocktail Attire
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 10:26:39 AM »
Since this sounds like a fairly close circle, spreading the word in conversation would seem the way to go. 

Dressing up a little more than usual is always fun. Well, it's probably more fun for the ladies than for the men. 

mbbored

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Re: Cocktail Attire
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 11:49:01 AM »
I think the attire should be mentioned on the invite (Cocktail Attire Requested), and the invite itself (even if an evite) should look more formal.

But also, I think the hostess and her closest friends should spread the word in conversation pre-party.

And I'll tell you, from my experience, my social crowd did this too - we did many years of chips in plastic bowls, salsa straight from the jar and drinks in red Solo cups and then started with some cocktail parties - the guys tend to still dress down, its only really the females who do the dressing up bit.  the guys will dress up a little - jeans with a button up shirt and leather shoes instead of sneakers, but no sports coats certainly not suits (well a few slick dressers will wear suits, but they are the guys who always dressed up more then the others).  YMMV of course, and its fun anyway, just putting my experience out there.  ;D

Thanks for the advice! We honestly don't care if people still want to show up in old jeans and sneakers, but we want to offer an opportunity to dress up for the women and men in our group who do enjoy looking nice and occasionally bemoan never having the opportunity to wear that blazer or sparkly dress.

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Cocktail Attire
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 03:27:00 PM »
Perhaps 'Coat and tie' on the invitation? Cali is much more informal than most parts of the country, so I don't  think you can assume. I'm from the East coast, and was stunned when I went to a West coast christening and some showed up in jean shorts and flip flops.

jpcher

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Re: Cocktail Attire
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2012, 06:35:07 PM »
I think the attire should be mentioned on the invite (Cocktail Attire Requested), and the invite itself (even if an evite) should look more formal.

I agree with the invite looking formal. The invite sets the tone of the party.

Since you don't care if people show up in jeans, instead of "Cocktail Attire Requested" maybe say "Suggested"

I don't think that you're wanting to alienate anybody that doesn't have a fancy dress/suit tucked away. It sounds like you're planning a wonderfully fun party. ;D



Like Thipu1 said . . . "spreading the word in conversation" that you're thinking of a more stylish party rather than the regular jeans/t-shirt party for those that might question attire "would seem the way to go."

mbbored

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Re: Cocktail Attire
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2012, 11:25:38 PM »
I think the attire should be mentioned on the invite (Cocktail Attire Requested), and the invite itself (even if an evite) should look more formal.

I agree with the invite looking formal. The invite sets the tone of the party.

Since you don't care if people show up in jeans, instead of "Cocktail Attire Requested" maybe say "Suggested"

I don't think that you're wanting to alienate anybody that doesn't have a fancy dress/suit tucked away. It sounds like you're planning a wonderfully fun party. ;D



Like Thipu1 said . . . "spreading the word in conversation" that you're thinking of a more stylish party rather than the regular jeans/t-shirt party for those that might question attire "would seem the way to go."

How about "Cocktail Attire Welcome"? That way those who want to dress up can and those who don't won't feel pressured not to?

jpcher

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Re: Cocktail Attire
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 06:13:27 PM »
"Cocktail Attire Welcome" . . . hmmm. I don't know about this and I can't exactly put my finger on why. Maybe because it sounds too weak(?) and it doesn't really push your idea of a more formal party?

I'm picturing looking at an invitation that states "Cocktail Attire Welcome" and wondering exactly what does that mean? "I can dress up if I want to, but I'm more comfortable in jeans, so why bother?"


"Suggested" or even, how about "Preferred?" gives a gentle nudge to your guests to make the effort to dress up, but it also doesn't say that they wouldn't be allowed in if they showed up more casual.


"Requested" or "Required" is a bit strong for your situation. It says that if you're not wearing proper attire you will be turned away.



Just my thoughts . . . I could be completely wrong on this thinking.

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Cocktail Attire
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 06:25:19 PM »
I think your best bet is to let people know about your dress code by word of mouth.  I like "Cocktail Attire Preferred" or "Cocktail Attire Requested," but at the same time I don't think either of those really lets people know that if they're comfortable in jeans and sneakers, that's fine, too.