Every now and again those occasions crop up where we stare dumfounded at the invitation that’s just popped into our inbox, specifically at the absolute lack of information regarding the dreaded dress code!!!
Having read the invitation and panicked over the dress code, or lack thereof, we mentally deconstruct our well loved and well worn, overflowing wardrobes with a mental checklist which usually results in a resounding “no, no, no and NO!“
However, I truly believe that we overthink this lack of dress code, for fear of being “that girl” who rocks up to the ball in ripped jeans and knackered converse.
Well, you know what, I think I’d rather be “that girl” in a band tee and a leather jacket combination, ofc with knackered converse and ripped jeans to boot, than be the girl who goes a bit crackers and panic buys an all embellished, all lace cocktail dress that unfortunately isn’t warranted.
We’ve all seen it, those oh so glam and down right gorgeous outfits on the girls that panicked about what to wear when the invitation arrived sans dress code.
And rather than absolutely owning they’re oh so gorgeous get-ups, they stand, self conscious and a little bit awkward about how they completely over shot the mark when it came to their chosen looks.
This is SUCH a huge shame, why waste an outfit that once made you feel great? The answer is, you simply shouldn’t.
And whilst I TOTALLY think you should try and own whatever you decide to grace your body with that day; I’ve been there, haven’t we all!? It’s awkward af, you hate yourself for going overboard and you essentially want the ground to swallow you up whole.
So with that, I’ve learnt a few things along the way, a few tricks for nailing what to wear when they don’t tell you what to wear! A few tips that have taken me YEARS to suss out, tips that other people have recognised in me when I’ve failed to do so and a couple of things that I think could help some of you when that invite comes a knocking.
Less is More
Yeah I know, I can’t believe I’m saying this either, but honestly, when it comes to an event without a dress code, less really is more.
Opt for jeans, or a pair of trousers that make you feel great. And simply update your day-to-day slogan T-shirt for an off shoulder checked top in the must have millennial pink shade of the season ? The slight update of your top choice will instantly allow you to feel like a spruced up version of yourself without going overboard.
When I worked in an office set up, I’d love nothing more than championing a day-to-night get up. Those outfits that seamlessly take you from 9-5 and beyond thanks to a few strategically selected key pieces, usually in the form of accessories.
Throw on some statement earrings, the easiest, fastest and most purse friendly way to inject some formality to your look in a fun and on trend way, or perhaps it’s a heeled metallic boot that your two piece suit is missing? Pack your bag full of your failsafe accessories the night before and get boujie in the loos after work.
Now I’m by no means a prude, I’m purely talking through experience here.
This is definitely a personal thing so feel free to skip this point if you love showing a bit of skin (I’m v jel) But I have to say, the one thing that leaves me feeling uncomfortable at a do when I’ve completely winged my outfit is having too much skin on show.
Whether it’s a low cut top that’s dropping lower by the minute, a mini skirt that is slowly but surely disappearing up my bum or a cropped top that is more crop than top. I feel my most confident and most definitely my most sexy when I’m covered up in some of my fave pieces.
So go all androgynous in a sexy figure flattering suit, or biker chic in your most loved leather jacket, let the fellas teach you a thing or two (for a change?), trust me, it works.
Your favourite outfits are your favourites for a reason, they do something to you that other outfit combinations don’t, so don’t doubt them or your love for them.
When you don’t know what’s acceptable to wear, reach for your most favourite outfit combination, whether it’s right for the dress code or not you’ll feel confident regardless.
Sometimes there’s no opportunity to, but where possible I would highly suggest you pluck up the courage and simply ask the organiser, host or otherwise what they envisage the dress code being.
It’s something I’ve learnt to ALWAYS double check after one too many overdressing sagas, and the things it does for your confidence when you know you’ve nailed the dress code is bonkers!
So thats just one or two tips that I’ve tried and tested when it comes to combatting the “what the hell do I wear!?” panic when an invitation arrives without a dress code.
I hope you found this useful or perhaps you know someone who would, feel free to share and let me know in the comments below about your most embarrassing fashion faux pas, let’s reminisce together, we’ve all had em… Just check this video if you don’t believe me.