Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

"No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation

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gellchom:

--- Quote from: kareng57 on January 16, 2013, 11:13:41 PM ---
--- Quote from: Mikayla on January 16, 2013, 10:08:20 PM ---
--- Quote from: gellchom on January 15, 2013, 01:35:02 PM ---
As for the other end of the question, "no ties," I think that Peaches's point about stating things in the negative is spot on here. "Ties not required" is much better.  Even if most people would figure that "no ties" means "ties not required," they wouldn't be 100% sure, and you can bet that if you wear a tie, there'd be at least one idiot telling you, "Hey, the invitation said no ties!"  (The conversation that would follow would resemble this string!)

--- End quote ---

I guess this is a minority opinion, but I completely agree with you and peaches on the negativity issue.  It reminds me of invites I get that say "adult reception only".   The word "only" hits me wrong because it sounds exclusionary but, more important, it's redundant!  "Adult reception to follow" says the same thing.

Anyway, I'd think there has to be a term among your region/age group/whatever that would work to describe this.  In my neck of the woods, this would be business casual.  And if I ever got something that said "no tie", I'd take that literally to mean don't wear a tie, not as "tie optional".  And that becomes a strange request.

--- End quote ---


While I definitely agree with you - OTOH I could understand (not condone, but understand) a HC using the term "adult reception only" if they know-their-audience, so-to-speak.  Some clueless folks really do need to be hit-over-the-head with stuff like this, in a manner of speaking.  They might interpret "adult reception" to mean "children optional".  The term only would get the message across more firmly.  Of course there are no guarantees - we all know parents who would interpret this as meaning "all children except their children"...

--- End quote ---

And I would find it kind of confusing, at least at first.  I admit that when I saw "adult reception only" I thought for a moment it meant that adults were only invited to the reception; children were invited to both the ceremony and the reception!  I figured it out quickly, and I'm sure all guests would.  I think it's an awkward wording; maybe they were trying to avoid the more syntactically natural "adults-only reception" because it sounds like it's rated X or something?   :)  But even if there aren't ultimately going to be any mistakes, you don't really want any of your guests' first impression to be, "Huh?  Oh, I get it."

Mikayla, I think you made an excellent point (bolded)!  There may not, at least not yet, be an etiquette-recognized term equivalent to "black tie" (although we know even that has regional variations).  But I bet you're right that in most cases there will be a term that you know that your invitees will understand.  Around here, it would be "dressy casual."  I don't like it, lots of us here don't like it, but there it is, and I think that if these hosts had used it, they'd have gotten what they were aiming for.  Perhaps a few people in ties, but not with a jacket, let alone a suit, and maybe even some denim, but only as part of a very appropriate, dressed-up-enough-for-a-nice-restaurant outfit.  But so what -- they would have gotten the look for their party that they want, and that's really as specific as they should be.  Other places, other terms would be commonly understood.

If there are a few people that you think need more guidance to understand something like "casual" not meaning sloppy T shirts and cutoffs, you can somehow get into a what-are-you-wearing conversation sometime if they live nearby, or for those who don't, perhaps an email to the effect of "Just as a heads-up -- I know the term "casual" varies so much by community; around here it means a step up from jeans, but no ties necessary." 

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?"

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