When you get the invitation, the information is pretty straightforward. You know who the Mitzvah is celebrating, when and where it will take place, and how to RSVP. What might throw you a curve ball is the dress code. Luxe, no tux? Party Festive? What does it all mean?
We have enlisted the help of NYC-based stylist and fashion publicist Bianca Sultana to help us crack the code. Bianca reminds us that when in doubt, it is always appropriate to ask the host or hostess what works and what doesn’t. But to help us get a handle on the terms, here are Bianca’s definitions for some commonly confusing dress codes:
1. Luxe No Tux: Be bold with your choices! No need for the formalities of black tie, but don’t skimp on fashion! Women: Go for luxurious fabrics and embellishments in long or short. Men: Try a suit sans tie in a metallic thread, or a tuxedo jacket over a black chino.
2. Black Tie Optional: Wear it if you’ve got it! If you own a tux and floor-length gown, wear them. After all, there are few occasions so formal throughout the year. However, if you don’t own a tux, don’t sweat it! Men: A dark suit, collared shirt and tie ought to do. Women: While traditional Black Tie implies a floor length gown, Black Tie Optional is more forgiving and a knee-length frock is fine.
3. Party Festive: Fun and on-point with current trends, like sequin embellishments and full skirts. Party Festive can also leave room for themed dress. For example, for a “garden” Party Festive look, consider a large rimmed hat with a girly floral frock. For a “Valentine’s” Party Festive look, try a dress in pink or red, even embellished with lace or heart accents. Men: Khakis and a blazer are standard and traditional, but for a more daring look, try a colored chino with a sweater and tie. Even a fun sneaker can be dressed up with tailored pants and a vest. Women: Bold colors and accents like an embellished belt, floral touch or hint of sparkle are always festive!