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What to wear and when?

Dress codes can be very confusing sometimes. And I’m not even talking about the cryptic ones.

The likes of ‘elegant casual’ or ‘chic’ are beyond me. What on earth do they mean? I spend the weeks leading up to almost any event confused and terrified.

Tonight for example I’ve been invited to a black tie event. Well, Henry was invited and I am his ‘plus one’. Black tie sounds innocent enough and it doesn’t cross his mind to wonder what he should wear.

He doesn’t know quite how lucky he is. He see’s black tie on an invitation and simply opens the cupboard and pulls out his dinner jacket. Done. Every man going will be wearing the same thing and nobody will bat an eyelid.

His only stress might be that he forgot to dry clean it after the last event so it may have a stain on it.

For me, and indeed for all women aside from those famous enough or rich enough to have someone dress them, it’s a minefield. And a minefield that usually ends with my wallet blowing up.

Can I wear trousers to a black tie event? Who knows? I have some velvet ones which I think look pretty smart but will the other attendees look at me like I’ve just turned up in the emperor’s new clothes? Will the people on the door block my path and tell me to go home and get changed?

I honestly have no idea. I have dresses but are they black tie? The only thing I know for sure is I probably shouldn’t wear a black tie!

I do understand that dress codes are needed sometimes. When meeting the Queen maybe. Or at a fancy dress party. But when fun is the order of the day, can’t we just tell everyone to be smart or be casual? Done. If that happened I would be a lot more relaxed, a lot richer and lose a lot less sleep.

I feel the same when I go on holiday. Like most people I like to look nice at supper time and if a hotel has a really snazzy fine dining restaurant or special night then I prefer to look my best and it’s actually quite fun.

Romantic Beach Dinner Baros dinner

But if a hotel bombards me with dress codes I generally don’t want to go there. I spend enough time having to look smart for work, the last thing I want is to worry about it during my down time. It’s important to me to be able to walk off the beach and sit down somewhere and have a drink or a spot of lunch without needing to go back to the room and pick out an outfit.

That, for me, is the ultimate holiday no no. I’d love to hear what your number one holiday no no is? And if you agree with me about dress codes let me know so I know I’m not the only one who prefers to pack more bikinis and less black dresses when heading overseas.

Right, I’m off shopping for a new black tie dress. Wish me luck!

Melissa. x

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