Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!

Dressing for Dinner (and dates, and parties, and…)


At this time of the year, I feel like I’m being inundated with so many articles/blog posts/advertisements that pop up to tell me how I should dress for office parties/dinner with in-laws/New Year’s Eve parties. I also can’t help wondering how many people actually DO any (let alone all) of these things— it’s as if I’m being not-so-gently lectured: I should be going to more parties! And have the perfect outfit for every one of them! And this is where I start to feel not just socially inadequate, but also a distinctly “Bah, humbug” attitude coming on.

Well, help arrived this morning right into my e-mail box! This slideshow from Refinery29 is a holiday-wardrobe masterpiece, showcasing 30 dresses, each with a suggested wear-to scenario. I was just flipping through it and, instead of getting depressed, I couldn’t help fantasizing about living the kind of life that would require fabulous dresses for even half of these events! (Hey, it could happen— I have officially designated 2013 as My Year of Dreaming BIG!)

Here’s one of my favorites (both the dress and the party idea):

Dress for Gatsby-themed party

Dress for Gatsby-themed dance party, from J. Crew. (Click on the photo to go directly to this slide in Refinery29’s slideshow. Each slide includes the maker, price, and a link to the maker’s site.)

As you’ll see in the slideshow, a wide range of styles and prices is represented, so you’re sure to find something that inspires you! Do you have plans to attend any/some/all of these events over the holidays? Which one would you be the most likely to wear??

Author: Colormusing

I'm a writer, color palette creator, and designer of fashion, lingerie, graphics, knitwear patterns, and yarn.

7 thoughts on “Dressing for Dinner (and dates, and parties, and…)

  1. Could this be Downton Abbey modern? People act amazed at how denizens of past decades and centuries had specific dress codes for specific occasions and changed multiple times a day, but are we really that different? How much time do we spend fussing over what to wear, and how many people search for answers to “what is appropriate in X situation”? Is the only real difference that people used to break dress codes as a statement, and now they just don’t know what the rules are?
    P.S. The mere mention of Gatsby makes my heart go pitter-pat. I vote for the J. Crew!

    • You are so right— even though I don’t necessarily think of changing clothes consciously as “dressing for dinner” (or tea, traveling, work, receiving guests, or whatever), most days, I do change my clothes at least once: I have my coffee-and-papers outfit, work ensemble (even though my “commute” is up the stairs to my loft), then workout/taking a walk clothes. And that’s just the normal days! Add on other things I like such as going out dancing, meeting a friend for a drink, going to the cinema, etc., etc., and a single day could involve as many as 5 outfit changes— sound like the Crawley sisters at Downton Abbey?? I suppose the major difference today is that what we wear can’t really be held against us a social offense. (Or can it?) I think this topic really deserves its own post… Thanks for the insight, markhamcaerus, and I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone else thinks about this too!

  2. Love the Mango silk red gown – I think most people though dress more casually, even for parties during the holiday season, unless of course, you’re at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco!

    • I’m curious— what constitutes “casual” in Nice? (I know what people mean here in Portland when they use that word, but I suspect it’s different in France.) I like to dress up, but I also don’t want to look entirely inappropriate, so I try to balance the dressier bits with less formal pieces. For example, you know the grey sequinned skirt in my “Changing My Method” post? I wore that to that cocktail party with a simple, close-fitting long-sleeved black knit top, sparkly crystal necklace, semi-sheer black tights, and black-and-silver heels— so it was basically a pencil skirt and sweater, but the fabrics elevated it to something special. (Makes me think of the YSL quote I love: “What a woman needs is a straight skirt, a black turtleneck, and a man to love her.”)

      • Great quote! Dressy casual here is usually classic and a little sparkly for holidays, but not too over the top – I would say “elegantly casual” for parties and special occasions (black always works such as the LBD!)

    • By the way, that red gown would be really lovely with your coloring! : ) You ARE spending New Year’s Eve at the Hotel de Paris, n’est-ce pas?

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