Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Cocktail Attire

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mbbored:
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:
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

Thipu1:
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:

--- Quote from: WillyNilly 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

--- End quote ---

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:
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.

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