So we want to know what “festive attire” means. This dress code is not as devilish Business Casual. It’s more of a pesky elf, preferring mischief to damage. Confusing but not confounding.
“Festive attire” means the following:
Imagine what you would have worn to an event – given by this host, in this venue, at this time of day, in this season. Now, add a flourish. Or two.
For example. If you’d wear a sedate shift to a late afternoon event,
…go sleeveless, go brighter, add a peplum.
If you’d unfestively wear a demure little black dress, like this,
substitute this. Full skirts, sheer panels, beading and ruffles are all festive. Perhaps it’s the suggestion of abundance, in both flesh and fabric, that makes it so.
If you’d wear jeans and a tee, still wear jeans, but with this tee.
Can you see the sparkle? Sequins are natively festive.
In the world of black tie, “festive attire” usually just means Men Wear Patterned Bow Ties. Women are already pretty festive, what with the long dresses, decolletage, and all. We can bring out the goofy family diamonds, or wear costume statement necklaces. Your call. I’d back away from battery-powered Christmas wreath brooches. The trick is to drive fancy to the silly side, but not over the edge.
Code words: ADD FLOURISH.
And now, let’s get back to summer, where festive means swimming pools, sauvignon blanc, and homemade ice cream. Maybe wild salmon with fruit salsa, if we’re lucky.
* If you’d like a better informed opinion on dress codes, here’s Vogue Magazine’s dress code options. Or we can ask the Privilege readers, who probably know best.