Post # 1
In November I will be attending an event with my husband. It is a whole weekend dedicated to his fraternity chapter’s anniversary. On Saturday night we will having dinner and then there will be a band….the invite says black tie optional.
So my question is this: Would you wear a gown or a cocktail dress? My husband has decided to wear a tailored three piece suit that he owns (it’s dark grey and almost looks black) I don’t want to look over dressed compared to him. So what would you ladies do?
Post # 2
jenm2be: I think either is totally fine. I might opt for a long dress, but mostly because I love getting the chance to wear a long one.
I had this issue recently with a “black tie optional” wedding we attended. My husband wore a suit, and I wore a long dress. There were plenty of other people in long dresses – barely anyone in tuxedos. And the bridemaids were in short dresses – which I really thought defeated the purpose of a black tie optional wedding, but whatever….
Post # 3
- Wedding: February 2015 - Mount Hermon
Either. The length of a dress dictates the formality of a dress much less than it used to.
Post # 4
jenm2be: You can wear a long dress without it being a “gown”. I wouldnt wear a full on ballgown – but I have worn a dress that looks like a cocktail dress, just goes all the way to the floor. Overall though, I think that either option would be fine.
Post # 5
I personally don’t own any long formal gowns, and don’t have the extra money to buy one, so I’d go with a cocktail dress. I guess if money was no issue, I might buy one. I also think I look better in knee length, rather than floor length.
Post # 6
If he’s wearing a suit id go for the cocktail dress.
Post # 7
jenm2be: I’d wear an evening gown, but that’s because I have a dozen of them (I buy them cheap at thrift stores and tailor them) and never have any place to wear them!
Post # 8
If someone bothers to write “black tie optinional”, I would interpret this as a request to dress up (long gown). Now, that being said, if the person/event is important to me, I will usually honor the request and wear a long gown. If the person/event aren’t as important to me and I prioritize being more comfortable/casual, I will wear a cocktail dress. In this case, for your husband’s fraternity, I would go cocktail dress. If it was my best friends wedding, in contrast, I would honor her wishes and go long gown.
Post # 9
anonymouse1234: That is odd! What a weird thing to do. Thanks for your input 🙂
weatherbug: Yes, I totally agree! I guess by me saying gown what I really meant was what you described. I don’t want any beading or sequins…maybe just an understated floor length dress with great accessories. Thank you!
CHristine2809: I don’t mind splurging a bit for this but honestly the cocktail dresses I’ve found are just as much as the floor length dresses…crazy huh? I also like to show off my legs so that’s something to think about too!
MrsBuesleBee: That was my instinct as well. I think I may order/buy both and then end up returning whatever option I decide not to go with. Thank you!
SexyCatLady: I’m jealous! I would love to be creative enough to do that sort of thing…or to have all those extra dresses on hand 😉
jamb: Great point! Thank you.
Post # 10
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
Black tie optional usually means that the host would prefer you to wear black tie but isn’t making it mandatory (as in, they won’t throw you out because your husband isn’t wearing a tux and you’re not wearing a floor-length gown). I personally love getting dressed up and would relish the opportunity to wear a pretty floor-length gown! I’d suggest that your husband wears a black suit or tux. He may stick out a little in the grey. But then again, it is optional so it wouldn’t be bad if he wore the grey suit. It just depends on how much he cares what other people think. For you, I highly recommend Rent the Runway. You can get a great designer gown for way cheaper than buying a non-designer one.
Post # 11
Christy42213: I’ve been searching through Rent the Runway’s site. I love absolutely love them and have had used them multiple times! Thank you!
Post # 12
Since he’s not dressing in black tie attire, I wouldn’t either. Go with the cocktail dress. Alternately, he could wear a tux or even a black suit and you could wear the long one.