Women?s Edition Of Decoding Dress Codes


1ne Black tie (a.k.a. formal) ?

Upscale fetes can include luncheons, garden and dinner parties. When in doubt, reminisce old Hollywood glamour. Events such as these, ladies are expected to wear a floor-length evening gown with the option of detailed work on both garment and shoes ? think beading, sequin, and sparkle. Polished, elegant and sophisticated are three words to keep in mind during every stage of getting ready ? outfit, accessories, makeup, hair and attitude. Cocktail dresses can also be worn during this occasion. Rely on luxurious fabrics such as silk, velvet and satin and be wary of loud prints or patterns. While this is a wonderful time to raid your jewelry box and adorn you neck, ears, wrists with your most dramatic and precious jewels, avoid costume jewelry and opt for time-honoured classics such as diamonds. Do remember that accessories must be kept formal. Elegance is understated so if you have a piece of jewelry that is very striking, it is best to keep the rest of your jewelry simple. Finally, wear your hair in an up-do or partial up-do to complete your look and you are ready to rock the party.

2wo White tie (a.k.a. ultra-formal)

? The most formal and rare of all dress codes worn in the evening for royal or award ceremonies and balls. White tie, also known as ?full evening dress?, calls for ladies to wear a full-length formal evening dress. Shorter dresses are not acceptable, jewelry can be striking and tiaras can be worn. Hair must be styled in an up-do. Evening bags must be small and elegant, arms accessorised with long evening gloves and a smart cloak cover-up or wrap are usually part of the overall look.

3hree Cocktail (a.k.a. semi-formal, afterfive)

? One of my favourite dress-up codes, ladies have room for creative expression. Experiment and have fun with silhouettes and striking colours. From hair to toe nails be as experimental and daring as you wish, making sure you look less like a fancy dress party attendee and more like an elegant fashion forward belle by the end of your transformation. Cocktail dresses can be worn at varying lengths but your safest bet when going short is a modest hemline that hits two inches maximum above the knee. Creative dresses can be heavily beaded or very detailed to make an entrance. Alternatively for a low-key demeanour, opt for an LBD (little black dress) accessorised with jewelry to make the look dressier and less businessformal. It is also commonplace to wear dressy separates ? say a dressy skirt-top combo or brocade cigarette pants. Whichever attire you go for, fancy footwear is mandatory. The sparkler the better and the daintier the heel the more graceful you?ll look on the dance floor. Head over to Eyola?s Private Showroom in Lekki (Lagos) for head-turning one-of-a-kind cocktail and evening dresses.

4our Business formal (a.k.a. professional) ?

Whether a traditional skirt-suit or trouser-suit, the key to business-formal dressing is classical tailoring. Suits usually project an air of authority for, fancy footwear is mandatory. The sparkler the better and the daintier the heel the more graceful you?ll look on the dance floor. Head over to Eyola?s Private Showroom in Lekki (Lagos) for head turning one-of-a-kind cocktail and evening dresses.4ourBusiness formal (a.k.a. professional) ? whether a traditional skirt-suit or trouser ? -suit, the key to business-formal dressing is classical tailoring. Suits usually project an air of authority to project a professional and well-respected demeanour.

5ive Business casual (a.k.a. casual but office appropriate) ?

Certain days are declared dress down days in offices ? generally Fridays ? where business-casual clothing is often the code of dress. While you can express your personal style, this dress code still requires a professional appearance. Regardless of whether you a r e asked to look formal or informal, it is important to keep your look clean, ironed and business-appropriate. While formal occasions would best suit your standard skirt, trouser suit or tailored dress, casual occasions can be slightly less conservative. However, it is advised to wear formal business attire with some added accessories to make the look more personal. Despite being a more relaxed look, you still want to dress sharp and be taken seriously. With that said, opt for a plain dark-coloured pencil skirt or tailored trousers, coupled with an open collar shirt or silk T-shirt paired with a blazer jacket to guarantee office attire success. Hosiery is not required but can be worn if preferred. Avoid -Women?s Edition overdoing it with the makeup and although obvious to some, common pitfalls include wearing denim, spaghetti straps, exposing midriffs and plunging necklines. Blazer jackets are a wardrobe must-have; a truly transitional piece serving both casual business attire right through to casual chic and the perfect day to night coverup. Try your hand at designing your perfect blazer at www.femmederose. com. With a wide spectrum of styles, fabrics and trimmings to choose from, your blazer is handmade in London and delivered worldwide, including Nigeria.

6ix Wedding guest ?

Dress code etiquette for weddings can be quite fun. This is a time to really enjoy yourself while celebrating an important day for a friend or loved one. An elegant dress is often best in a luxurious fabric such as silk, satin or chiffon. Cardinal rule: save white for the bride and avoid an all-black ensemble. Look dressy in a suit or dress that is appropriate for the season and weather. Hats are optional but can sometimes add a glamorous touch to your chosen outfit. An exception to the rule is if you opt for Eyola Fashion House?s ?Semper Fidelis? bridal wear. Go against the grain with a wedding to remember by opting for a colourful wedding gown while guests wear white. Following in Queen Victoria?s footsteps of transforming wedding dresses and as a result setting the trend for white wedding gowns, Eyola Fashion House proposes the bride wears colour while guests strictly wear white. Check out Eyola?s Private Showroom for more unconventional wedding attire ideas for the bride ? from reception right through to the wedding day? and styles for the mother of the bride and wedding guests.

7ix Smart casual (a.k.a. dressy casual)

? Arguably the most confusing, casual dress codes are typically least likely to be mentioned on the invitation. Therefore, any invitation received without a dress code usually requires casual attire. Never translate smart-casual as loungewear or with an ?anything goes? attitude. It is deemed inappropriate to wear baggy slouchy attire ? think sweat pants, shorts, flip flops. One exception to the rule is jeans. Jeans can be worn so long as they are not covered in holes or rips. Opt for maxi dresses, summer dresses in floral prints and wedges for a perfect mix of comfort and dressy shoe. The appropriate way to dress for this category is comfortably but chic. Completely ignore the word ?casual? when selecting pieces from your wardrobe. Occupy your thoughts with the words ?chic? and ?relaxed?. Make sure for every item that seems underdressed you pair it with a dressy or statement piece. During times of uncertainty, it is always better to look overdressed than under-dressed. Being overdressed during such events will allow for an easy grab of the bestdressed crown.


Party etiquette ? RSVPs aren?t optional. RSVP is an acronym for a French term which translates to ?please reply?. RSVPs are essential for amassing an accurate head count requisite for party planning purposes. Therefore it is considered inconsiderate if you do not respond. Reply preferably within two days of receiving the invitation letting the host know whether or not you?ll be able to attend the event. Dress codes must be strictly adhered to. Show respect to your host and dress appropriately following any dress code request on the invitation. When in doubt, it is never inappropriate to directly ask the host to clarify the dress code. Alternatively, it is typically better to be overdressed rather than underdressed. Be punctual. I know it is a habit in Nigerian culture where it is believed that to make an entrance one must arrive late. The opposite is in fact true. Being late is a sign of discourtesy and lack of appreciation for the hard work and efforts of your host and oftentimes you miss out on the most entertaining events at the beginning of a party.


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