As you know last week The Atlas and I were invited to a very formal ‘black tie’ event.
The ‘black tie’ dress code was stipulated on the invite and on follow-up emails.
Bearing in mind this was an evening event, almost every man was in a tux and there were some very prominent New Zealanders attending…… what would you expect of the ladies?
I decided to go full length – because I love dressing up and as a mark of respect to the formality of the event.
I was surprised to see how many of the women decided to dress. I don’t want this post to sound at all judgmental of how people chose to dress rather it made me question whether New Zealanders in general have a similar understanding/interpretation of dress codes.
Now before you think I think ‘I’m all that and a serving of caviar’ – we go to a church where it is acceptable to come in boardies and jandals and I’ve never seen the ‘pastor’ in a suit. The Atlas usually likes to be a couple of levels more casual than anyone and I quite like to dress up for any occasion.
So to the women at this event. Of all the people with long hair I was the only one I saw with my hair up (I realise it is quiet fashionable to wear your hair down nowadays) in a style that was more than a ponytail or a plait.
Some women had gone for a cocktail/day at the races kind of look which I liked. Clearly they had ‘dressed-up’ for the event.
Very few women wore a full length dress or ensemble.
A lot of women looked like they had dressed for a wedding. Nice but not necessarily formal.
Quite a lot of women looked like they had come in work clothes. Smart yes, formal no.
There were also women in trousers.
So this is my question/s – is this variance in dress because:
a/ New Zealanders are super casual (even though they were with a man in a tux!) and they think nice black trousers and a shirt with a necklace is formal?
b/ people don’t have a concept of what a particular dress code requires?
c/ women would like to dress up but unlike a man who can hire a tux they don’t have a formal option to wear or hire?
d/ they could care less and want to feel comfortable even if everyone else is dressed up?
e/ this is a Christchurch thing and people in Auckland, Wellington, overseas would have been more formal??
f/ we don’t really do etiquette/ formal codes/ social expectations as a culture?
g/ I have ideas above my station when it comes to dressing up! 🙂 ?
h/ something else entirely??
I would have loved to really have a good stare at what people were wearing. Like I say I am curious about this anomaly rather than judging. It was a great evening and I’m sure every woman there had thought about what she was going to wear before she made her choice.
I personally felt thrilled in what I was wearing. It didn’t worry me that I was one of the most formally dressed people there. But I was glad I hadn’t gone for the backless sexy number.
What would you wear to a ‘Black Tie’ evening event??