One of our regular readers, DocP, suggested in passing that I might discuss the difference between daywear and eveningwear. Specifically, if one is invited to a daytime event, does one wear the same clothes one might wear in the evening?
Not if one wants to sail the High WASP Sea Of Appropriate. So let’s use the cheery device of women’s magazines, those perky do’s and don’t's. We will start with the Do’s, because it’s so much nicer to steer towards Yes than away from No.
Do’s For Daytime
- Minimal shine, in fabrics and in jewelry.
- No beading – on your clothes. For jewelry of course, it’s fine.
- Skin shown appropriate to the venue. Very little skin indoors, more outdoors is fine. They call them sundresses because you wear them in the sun.
- Black is not your default, although it’s not forbidden.
- If tight, not clingy. If clingy, not tight.
The Artsy Cousin wear might something like this to an early afternoon fundraiser, in a museum. Just make sure the words “Cocktail Attire” are nowhere in sight. The dress is jersey, by Ralph Lauren, but it’s not too tight, and has no sheen. My mother went to a wedding the other day dressed in fawn with turquoise beads, and black shoes. I was surprised at how well the colors worked.
And yes, the leather jacket will raise a few eyebrows, but she’ll give it to the coat check in the unlikely event she feels too uncomfortable. Being Artsy, she like to live on the adrenaline-charged edge.
Don’t's For Daytime
- No need to dress in furniture fabrics, i.e. chintz, florals, toile, madras.
- Don’t shy away from more sophisticated color pairings – no one prefers an entire room full of women in pastels and primaries.
- You don’t need to dress as your mother might, unless your mother has exquisite taste.
- Think respectful, but not all the way to sedate.
Thanks to DocP for the idea. May we all be safe from daytime beading shocks to the system.