Has a friend or family member ever invited you to a function and you have no idea what to wear or bring? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Social and fashion etiquette for guests, especially at social functions you don’t go to often can be difficult to understand.
You get invited to a wedding, you don’t want to upstage the bridal party or you get invited to a gender reveal party and aren’t sure if you’re supposed to bring the baby shower gift along with you… it’s all so much. If you’ve found yourself in similar circumstances, you’re in luck. Below are a few suggestions on how to look and act the part at common social functions.
It isn’t uncommon to get an invite to someone’s house for a special occasion. Try to determine what you’ll wear based on the invitation and purpose for the gathering. For example, if you’ve been invited to Christmas dinner at your favorite cousin’s house, you can be festive and comfy. Wearing something like a pair of nice skinny jeans, cute booties, and a holiday top would suffice.
If you were invited to a coworkers house for a professional function, on the other hand, you’d want to keep it business or business casual dressing instead in a dress and heels or slacks and a blazer with a decorative blouse. As a gift, for the first scenario, you could bring a dish or a bottle to share with family. The second scenario, you could also spring for a bottle, flowers for the lady of the house, or a gourmet gift basket.
When you get to your mid-twenties getting invites for weddings become more frequent. When dressing for a wedding, the idea is to fit in and not stand out. It’s the bride’s day and she and her bridal party should be the showstoppers.
If it’s an outdoor but elaborate wedding where the bride went all out and found sky lanterns for sale, silk linens for the table, expensive tents, and the whole nine yards you’ll want to dress formally, but comfortable for the season. An outdoor summer wedding, for instance, might warrant a floral summer dress with strappy sandals and a shawl in case it gets cold. An indoor winter wedding that is more low-key would be great for a floor-length black gown, a colorful clutch, and matching heels. As for the gift, you can basically take queues from the registry.
Were you aware that some couples actually have a party before the baby shower to celebrate the sex of their baby? Well if you get an invite for a gender reveal party, that’s exactly what it is. The gathering is a lot of fun. You’ll get to eat great food, partake in games, win prizes, and even see the grand reveal with gender reveal smoke bombs, cakes, and other surprises.
For this, you can dress casually cute as you would for a baby shower. You can spring for a nice dress and flats or you can go with a pair of skinny jeans, a nice top, and a pair of flats or boots. As for the gift, read the invite to determine what the bride and groom are in need of. If they don’t specify whether you need to bring a gift, try to purchase something small, meaningful, and gender-neutral since you won’t know the sex of the baby until after the party is over.
Kids Birthday Parties
Eventually, your friends get married, go on to have children, and those children have parties. If you’ve never been invited to a children’s birthday party before, trust that fashion should not be the main goal here. Most adults will be asked to pitch in on the festivities at some point and that could mean anything from manning the arts and crafts table to holding the pinata for the kids to hit. Dressing down in sneakers, a tee-shirt, and jeans are the best bet. What should you bring? While children tend to want cash and toys, parents often need clothes. So, you might purchase seasonal outfits and throw a few bucks in a card to appease everyone.
The older you get the more social gatherings you’ll get invited to. They’re all a blast to be apart of, but each requires a bit of thought when it comes to fashion and etiquette. Hopefully, the above advice has shed some light on what to wear and what to bring to each occasion. If you’re not sure, remember, the best way to gauge is to look at the theme of the event, the purpose, who invited you, and what you’ll be doing. This should all help to make sure that you look your best and more importantly, that those who invite you are appreciative of what you give.