Post # 1
We were invited by my husband’s employer to go to a charity event at the local kids’ science center in town. They are serving appetizers and cocktails, and it is definitely intended to be fun — Nerf gun fights, etc. It is also going to be freezing cold tonight (13 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about -10 Celsius).
I had originally planned to wear a sweater dress with leggings underneath. It’s a little dressier than pants and a blouse, but still warm — plus, easy to move around in for the fun activities planned tonight. Just to make sure I was dressing correctly, I emailed the coordinator what they intended for the attire and now I’m even more confused!
This was the reply: Cocktail attire & sneakers encouraged – “little black dress”…..fancy suit…..sparkly pants/top…..fun playful dress….nothing long, “wedding” or “ball gowny”.
To me, “little black dress” and “fun playful dress” are completely different. I would consider a thin cotton sundress a “fun playful dress?”
Help! What should I wear tonight?
Post # 3
@MrsEdamame: Wow, I’m not sure how cocktail attire goes with sneakers? Um, to me that invite says wear whatever the hell you damn well please, except ballgowns.
Post # 4
@jadlnc: Right?!? You see my dilemma! At first I thought I’ll just stick with the sweater dress, but I don’t want to do that if all of the other women show up in after 5 little black dresses!
Post # 5
@MrsEdamame: My guess would be basically anything goes??? Strange. I like knowing what I should wear. I am in the camp of thinking its better to be overdressed than under dresssed though.
Post # 6
Wintertime is “Gala Season” when a lot of Charities hold Fundraising Events (Cocktail Parties – Dinners – or Balls)
The majority of them are dress-up occasions… be that Cocktail Attire or Formal (Black Tie)
This event may be at at a Science Centre, but it certainly sounds like “it fits” the theme of the season… and Cocktail / Semi Formal Attire would be best
Sweater Dress & Leggings in my mind ain’t gonna cut it (altho to be sure you’ll probably see others besides yourself who don’t understand the dress code and come under-dressed for the occasion). My Rule of Tumb is always to aim for the Dress Code, and it is better to be over dressed than under.
Little Black Dress, or Dress Pants & Sparkly Top is what I’d be reaching for in my closet.
Hope this helps,
Post # 7
A LBD with some sneakers? Haha. It sounds like you can wear whatever you’re comfortable in as long as it’s not a long ball gown. Do you know any other ladies that are going, even if it’s just one? At least then you’ll have someone to buddy up with if you get it wrong! What’s your husband wearing?
Post # 8
I would do either a comfortable LBD or dress pants and sparkly top, both with a cute flat instead of a “sneaker”…
Post # 9
@MrsEdamame: coctail dress with nice flats.
Post # 10
The sneakers thing sure makes this hard!
I think you need to aim for legitimately cocktail attire, that you can also move around in.
Do you have boots/ankle boots that are both attractive and comfortable? If it were me, I’d be doing a silk top, formal but comfortable black pants, and ankle boots.
I think a cocktail dress and flats would also fit the bill. Of course flats can be less flattering with a dress than heels, but you can solve that by choosing a dress with a slightly fuller skirt (think 50’s silhouettes) that hits at the knee or a little below.
Very few women have the body type to feel really confident in an above-the-knee, form-fitting dress and flats I think. Most of my LBD’s really look best with heels.
A slightly fuller skirt with a longer length would also give you more freedom to move around without restriction and not worry about flashing anyone 🙂
Post # 11
@MrsEdamame: I’d wear a dress with ballet pumps, or flat boots or something. That invite IS confusing
Post # 12
@MrsEdamame: It sucks that your host was so unhelpful, a fancy suit and sneakers? Talk about conflicting! I agree with pps that a little black dress with some nice flats is probably the best choice. It’s formal enough that you won’t be embarassed if everyone else is in cocktail attire, but laid back enough that you’ll still be able to particiate in the activities.
Post # 13
I think your initial sweater dress will be fine. We host an annual fundraiser for my work and people show up in a nice pant suit to jeans and a ball cap. We kind of frown upon the jeans but meh. Nobody says anything. Most people wear what we term “California Casual”…whatever the heck that means.
Something comfy that looks nice. Sounds like you’ve already nailed it 🙂 Do you perhaps have a nicer looking coat to go over it?
Post # 14
Do you have a little black dress that you can wear some type of flat/tight with? Then throw a colored cardigan over it to make it a bit more “casual”?
That response is confusing! Dress and sneakers…um…what?!
Post # 15
I would definitely skip the sneakers and wear some cute flats or something practical. And I think a sweater dress and leggings would be fine.
Honestly, the visual I got from cocktail attire with sneakers was hideous.