Just like weddings, engagement parties come in all forms and sizes. Some parties are casual backyard bashes while others are formal black-tie events at a swanky hotel. No matter what the invitation says, it can still be really, really difficult to dress correctly for an engagement party! So here are some tips to help you nail down the look without going mad.
- Take cues
The style and wording of the engagement party invitation can give some major clues as to what to wear for the event. What time of day is the party? Think about what you would wear to a wedding at that time and dress slightly less formally. If the party is in the afternoon, a nice floral dress or slacks and a button down shirt are appropriate. Is the party in the evening? Wear something more formal. A nice sleek dress and heels for women and a suit coat and tie for men is always a great choice.
The venue of the party can also determine the dress code. Are you partying on a beach? A flowy dress or khakis is suitable. Are you having cocktails at a hotel or restaurant? Dress much more formally. If the party is held at a more relaxed setting like a house, casual attire is acceptable. If you are ever in doubt, ask others what they are wearing to the party!
- Never wear white
Just like weddings, white is a no-no for guests. Do not wear white out of respect for the bride-to-be who will most likely wear white in one way or another as she starts her journey as an engaged woman. Avoid anything that looks bridal which also includes champagne, cream and light pinks. You wouldn’t want a long-lost family member to mistake you for the bride-to-be, so wearing white is not worth the risk!
- Dress for the theme
Oftentimes, engagement parties are themed occasions that let the couple really show off their style. Themed parties are great because they usually have a built-in dress code! It is completely appropriate to dress up in a flapper dress if the theme is the Roaring Twenties. If it’s a Halloween party, a costume is welcome! Dressing in the style of the theme will be greatly appreciated by the couple and shows your enthusiasm for them and the party.
More often than not, the theme of the party is seasonal, so keep in mind the time of year it is and dress accordingly. If it is in the spring, a light floral dress is the way to go. In the summer, a nice sundress and hat to block the sun will keep you cool and looking appropriate. In the fall and winter, heavier fabrics and scarves and shawls will complete your look.
No matter the theme, venue, or time of the engagement party, don’t stress over what to wear! And if you are ever in doubt, ask around and show others what you plan to wear so you can make changes that won’t be last minute.