Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

"No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation

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gellchom:
LOL -- today's mail includes an invitation for "Dinner and Festivities" with the notation, "Dress your best!"  The venue, evidently an event space of some kind, doesn't give me any clue, either; it may be recognizable to the people in their city, but we're across the country. 

That one is really baffling.  My best WHAT?  Can't mean my dressiest -- surely they don't want evening gowns.  Many people's best outfit is a business suit.  I doubt they mean that, either. 

But I may not need to decipher it, because there is a different hitch here: the hostess recently mentioned to me that this is a masquerade party.  (It's a reception for a bat mitzvah on Purim, a carnival-ish holiday.)  But the only clue as to that is a tiny mask glued to the reception card.  Maybe they changed their minds. 

I am going to have to email them to make sure before I pack.  Can you help me think of a way to word the question without it sounding critical of their wording?  The message I need to get across is (1) is it still a costume party, and (2) if not, what am I supposed to wear?  I suppose I could reverse my own suggestion above and say something like, "I've never seen that on an invitation in our city; can you give me an idea of the dressiness range of the party?" although maybe that sounds a bit snarky, too.  Suggestions?

I hope I get a clear answer.  This is another thing that comes up when people give confusing or no notations on invitations as to attire: people ask the hosts what they should wear, and they say, "Oh, just anything" or "Just be comfortable!  We just want you to have fun!!"  That gives me no guidance at all.  I'm not going to wear my comfortable pajamas or sweats.  After that, it's not like my dressier clothes are any scratchier or something than my more casual ones.  What makes guests comfortable is knowing that they are dressed appropriately.  Hosts need to give them guidance so that they do.

Hmmmmm:

--- Quote from: gellchom on January 17, 2013, 03:34:09 PM ---LOL -- today's mail includes an invitation for "Dinner and Festivities" with the notation, "Dress your best!"  The venue, evidently an event space of some kind, doesn't give me any clue, either; it may be recognizable to the people in their city, but we're across the country. 

That one is really baffling.  My best WHAT?  Can't mean my dressiest -- surely they don't want evening gowns.  Many people's best outfit is a business suit.  I doubt they mean that, either. 

But I may not need to decipher it, because there is a different hitch here: the hostess recently mentioned to me that this is a masquerade party.  (It's a reception for a bat mitzvah on Purim, a carnival-ish holiday.)  But the only clue as to that is a tiny mask glued to the reception card.  Maybe they changed their minds. 

I am going to have to email them to make sure before I pack.  Can you help me think of a way to word the question without it sounding critical of their wording?  The message I need to get across is (1) is it still a costume party, and (2) if not, what am I supposed to wear?  I suppose I could reverse my own suggestion above and say something like, "I've never seen that on an invitation in our city; can you give me an idea of the dressiness range of the party?" although maybe that sounds a bit snarky, too.  Suggestions?

I hope I get a clear answer.  This is another thing that comes up when people give confusing or no notations on invitations as to attire: people ask the hosts what they should wear, and they say, "Oh, just anything" or "Just be comfortable!  We just want you to have fun!!"  That gives me no guidance at all.  I'm not going to wear my comfortable pajamas or sweats.  After that, it's not like my dressier clothes are any scratchier or something than my more casual ones.  What makes guests comfortable is knowing that they are dressed appropriately.  Hosts need to give them guidance so that they do.

--- End quote ---

That is just wrong. I think I'd send an email and ask for clarification.  I might say something like.  We can't wait to see you guys, the event sounds like a lot of fun.  I just wanted to clarify dress.  What are YOU planning to wear?"

lowspark:
As far as the costume party question, I don't see anything wrong with a direct question since she mentioned that to you. "You had mentioned it was to be a costume party and I just wanted to verify that before I packed." You don't need to mention her wording on the invitation at all.

If it turns out not to be costume, then I'd probably pick out a particular outfit that you're thinking would fit the bill and describe it to the hostess and then ask if it's ok. Something like:
"I was thinking of wearing a knee length sleeveless red cotton dress with ballet slippers. Would that be ok or do I need to be more dressy?"

TootsNYC:
for "dress your best," I'd email and say, "what do you mean by 'best'?  'Evening gown' best, or 'cocktail dress' best? Or something else?"

then add, "Oh, is it still going to be a masquerade? Do you want full costumes, or simple masks?"

WillyNilly:
I think "dress your best" is perfectly clear.  Your best party dress.  No not necessarily a gown - those can be too formal and heavy and fragile to party in.  I think they are asking for best fun, festive, party dress (or awesome pants outfit if that's your style) - the outfit that makes you feel awesome, your best.  This is when you dress like a model in a fashion magazine spread.  A party dress.  If its on a Saturday night in NYC or Long Island, a fitted, slinky, sparkly gown would be common for this type of event, although just fancy cocktail dress would fit in perfectly.

And the fact, again that its a Bat Mitzvah, and that its on Purim, and that the invite was formal but playful with the mask, its clearly a time when your best LBD & statement accessory (sparkly clutch, huge cocktail ring, bold necklace, whatever) would fit the bill.

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