I’m feeling a little bit dusty today thanks to a girlfriend’s 40th birthday last night. On a Tuesday night. In the festive season.
Leading up to the event, was I worried about the fact the party was going to be on an island in the middle of a very swollen river? NO.
I was freaking out about the theme: white with sequins or sideburns. (She loves Elvis and looked fabulous, doing three costume changes throughout the evening, looking hotter in each.)
Why the freak out, you ask?
1. I do black WAY better than I do white.
2. Fancy dress scares the $#%#$Q@# out of me.
I know I’m not alone on this one. One of my readers, Paula, voiced her concern on a post about what to wear to office Christmas parties earlier this month:
“My husband’s work consistently throw themed dress Christmas parties. SOOO over it – would love to buy a cute frock for a nice cocktail party but no, every year its Austin Powers etc where the men wear something funny and the women end up looking like tramps.”
Oh, I so hear you, Paula.
I always worry that people won’t get dressed up. I always worry that they will. See, spending my clothing budget on a new frock or pair of shoes I can justify but spending on an outfit that will only be worn once, not so easy.
Oh, who am I kidding, the whole reason I break out in a cold sweat when faced with a fancy dress party invite can be dated back to 1973.
My first fancy dress party. My brother got to wear the “real” costume; me I got a home-made one that alluded to the fact that I like to talk A LOT.
So, if like me you suffered from some similar psychological damage, here are my tips for tackling a fancy dress invite:
1. Think about the person sending the invite. Are they likely to go all out with the theme? If, so, you will fit in better by going to some effort.
2. The level of effort depends on your comfort zone (you now know mine). I’m always SO impressed by the efforts of others. Especially those talented souls with sewing machines and Spotlight VIP cards.
3. Look in your wardrobe to see if you have something that vaguely fits the theme and then amp it up from there. For last night’s party I went with a heavily sequinned sass & bide t-shirt I bought earlier this year and added more bling to the whole ensemble. Cost me nothing but helped me to fit in.
4. Remember, that by avoiding the theme altogether, you may feel completely out of place. Not a nice feeling at the best of times, let alone at a party.
5. If in doubt, find the champagne quickly, wait for the lights to be turned down and unleash yourself on the dance floor.
So, what’s your take on themed parties? Do you get into the theme? Or, like me, prefer just to glam it up?