Parties and events are a ubiquity in almost every person’s life at some time or the other. As a part of living in a society, celebrating events can be a great excuse to bring all your friends and family together and have a great time overall.
However, if you receive an invitation to a party, there are still some social niceties and unspoken rules that you should follow in order to blend in and avoid attracting unnecessary and undeserved attention towards yourself. Clothing makes a large part of following this script. So no matter if you’re a fashionista who considers clothing to be a solid part of making good impressions on people, or you are the type of person who has a total of 3 drab-looking shirts, when you go to someone else’s party, it is advisable to blend in with the crowd, while still expressing yourself and personalising your wardrobe.
This is where the concept of dress code comes in. A dress code is an assumed category of clothing to which you can adhere, while still having the ability to personalise your wardrobe to your own taste.
Historically, dress codes have always been very clearly written out, and the variety of clothing one could get within those codes was very limited. However, over time, industrialisation and the technological advancement with fibres and dyes have made it very easy to produce a wide variety of garments in less time, increasing the choices available, especially in women’s clothing.
However, that has also resulted in different dress codes blending together and becoming one single spectrum. One such example of this is the oft interchangeable evening dress and party dress.
A party dress is the kind of dress that would fall under Cocktail attire. If your invite says Cocktail attire on the dress code, you can opt to wear a party dress. This would be the significantly dressier version of what you would wear on a night out with your friends at a club. Think darker colours, silks and silk-blends, and fashionable textures and designs. The classic little black dress will fall under this category. This type of dress can be well above the knees, and it is entirely your preference.
The party dress will be used for events where you can expect a dance party and a DJ, and a more casual approach towards the evening. Try to pair it with a single shade of metal, either gold or silver, according to your skin tone. If you’d like, you can experiment with white gold or rose gold jewellery as well. Shoes can be open-toed or close-toed, it depends on your choice.
The evening dress, on the other hand, is usually meant for a more formal event, such as a wedding, bar mitzvah or any similar event that may have more formal connotations. This is a far dressier version of a party dress, and can often be very long or include dressy evening separates.
Try to pair it with long earrings in a single shade of metal, gold or silver as we mentioned above. However, with the evening dress, avoid wearing open-toed heels or sandals. Pumps in a neutral colour, often known also as women’s dress shoes, that are well-coordinated with the rest of the outfit should work better.