What to Wear on Reception Party

It’s time for the most important question of all: what to wear on reception party? We know you want to look good, but we also know that it can be hard to find something that’s both fresh and appropriate for this type of event. Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered! Let’s start with the basics: what kind of event is it? If it’s a cocktail party, then there are more options than if it’s a sit-down dinner. Cocktail parties are more casual and relaxed, which means that you can get away with less formal attire. However, if it’s a formal sit-down dinner, then you’ll need to be very careful about what you select. For instance, if there will be speeches or presentations during the dinner, consider dressing up in an outfit that won’t require too much movement (e.g., no miniskirts or high heels). Also make sure you pay attention to any dress code requirements listed on the invitation or website for the event itself so as not to offend anyone else who may attend with you!

Once you’ve determined what type of event this is going to be, take stock of your closet for items that would work well together—especially if they’re colors or patterns that have already As a wedding planner, I’m all about making your big day as stress-free as possible. And the best way to do that is with the right kind of party. A reception—the party after the wedding ceremony—is where you get to celebrate with all of your friends and family members who have traveled across the country or around the world to be there for you. It’s also where you get to meet some new people, which is why it’s important not to show up without knowing what’s appropriate to wear. Here are some tips on what to wear on reception party:

What to Wear on Reception Party

Intro

Reception parties are a great way to celebrate the end of a job, or to celebrate the beginning of something new. They’re also a great way to let your hair down and have a good time!

We all know that dressing for one is different than dressing for others, so how do you know what’s appropriate for your reception party? The first thing you want to consider is the dress code. If it’s formal, you probably don’t need any help from us—but if it’s casual, here are some tips on what to wear on reception party:

If it’s a summer wedding or party, consider wearing a sundress or skirt and blouse combo with heels or sandles (depending on where the event is being held). If it’s an evening event, consider going with a long sleeve maxi dress in pastel colors with nude accessories like shoes and jewelry. You can also mix up your jewelry by adding a few statement pieces like chandelier earrings or gold bangles.

Your reception is a celebration of the marriage between you and your partner. It’s a time to celebrate with all of the people who have been part of your lives for years, as well as all of the new people that you’ll be inviting into your lives from this point on.

It’s important to plan ahead when it comes to what you’ll wear to your reception party. You don’t want anything too formal—after all, this isn’t a wedding—but it’s also important not to look like you’ve just rolled out of bed either!

Below are some tips on what to wear on reception party:

  • Choose something that is flattering but comfortable
  • Don’t overdress or underdress (you don’t want anyone else to feel uncomfortable either)

A simple mid-tone suit in a lightweight wool will suit most wedding receptions, year round. It’s both formal enough for the occasion, and light enough to deal with the heat of the marquee or dance floor. If required, wear a tie, but consider a more interesting, bright or textured one – a knitted tie will always work.

Arguably even more confusing is figuring out what to wear to a wedding reception. If you’re only attending half the day, can you make half the effort? Of course not.

The only saving grace here is that because you’re avoiding all the pomp and ceremony, you can afford to have fun with your attire, as befits an upbeat, positive occasion. But, unless you’re also the entertainment, fun is not wacky. There needs a degree of sobriety in your outfit, even if it’s lacking from your behaviour by the end of the evening.

WEDDING RECEPTION STYLE TIPS
KNOW THE DRESS CODE
The invitation is likely to contain the all-important information that will help you decide what is appropriate to wear as a wedding reception guest. This may be specific – lounge suit, for example, or, unhelpfully vague – ‘party clothes’.

The latter might require some background research, such as asking someone closer to the groom for a more precise interpretation. “And if the invitation says a certain dress is ‘optional’, that usually means the bride and groom really want you to wear it,” says Christopher Modoo, formalwear expert and creative director of British tailoring brand Kit Blake. So do it, in other words.

ReissA subtle check can spice up an otherwise boring grey suit. Reiss

RESPECT THE HOSTS
A wedding reception is not an opportunity for style rebellion. Not, at least, unless it’s towards conservatism. Sure, if the hosts are sporting, say, some specific period style, you don’t need to feel obliged to fit in. It is only the reception after all, which is essentially just one big party.

That said, this is not the time to debut your new lime green two-piece and bedazzled velvet slippers (in hindsight, there’s probably never a time for that.) Tempting though it may be to dress like a Pitti peacock, never look like you’re trying to upstage the bride and groom.

CONSIDER CONTEXT
If you want to suit up, cream linen tailoring can make for solid wedding reception outfit. That is, if the wedding reception is being held on a beach. In the middle of the city? Not so much.

As well as the time of year and general dress code, the location of the wedding should play a big part in what you choose to wear. If it’s a country estate, feel free to dig out your glen check suit and trusty brogues. If the hip and happy couple have booked a converted industrial building for their reception, that’s a cue that you can lean more fashion with a modern take on tailoring.

Suit SupplyDressing down your tailoring is fine if the occasion calls for it. Suit Supply

EMBRACE THE FORMAL
“There is a temptation for men when attending a wedding reception to wear ‘fancy’ clothes they wouldn’t normally wear,” says Modoo. “You see men in loud, busy shirts, for example. And there’s always one guy in an electric blue suit. It’s a look that’s more suburban estate agent than refined wedding guest.” Dress up, for sure. But this isn’t Harry and Meghan’s big day – keep it toned down, unless the invitation says morning suits.

Sober, well-cut tailoring will always trump the flashy in terms of elegance. You’re not there to drain attention from the groom. And besides, if the wedding is casual enough, you can do something individual by ditching the tie and wearing an open-collar or grandad collar shirt.

WHAT TO WEAR TO A WEDDING RECEPTION – THREE LOOKS
ALL-OUT SHARP
ReissA waistcoat is a good option, and will ensure you’re smart with the jacket off. Reiss

Let’s start by saying that it can be acceptable to wear your work suit to a wedding reception, if it’s correctly tailored. A well-fitting suit can serve you well for a wide range of social occasions, especially if it’s in versatile navy or grey.

Where you can make a difference is with everything else. Wear a subtly striped shirt; a not-too-formal knitted tie; a smart wristwatch, and some polished Derbys. Ensure your tie knot is on point – complete with a small dimple – and make an effort with your grooming. If you want to jazz up your ‘regular’ suit, it’s the little things that will make a difference.

If the wedding reception is just the excuse you need to purchase a new suit, go for something you’ll get plenty of wear out of. Think lightly structured, single-breasted and patch pockets, which will allow you to wear the jacket on its own, separate from the trousers.

LAID BACK TAILORING
ReissGive a staple navy suit some life with an open-collar shirt. Reiss

As you’re not going to have to endure the more formal ceremonies of the day itself, you often won’t be required to go all out and wear a dress shirt and tie in the evening. So, while you still might choose to wear a suit, you can opt for a more laid back top half – a knitted polo or grandad collar shirt, perhaps.

This will transform the suit, and instantly give it a more comfortable, louche edge. It removes any ‘business’ connotations the suit might otherwise have – which is ideal if you’re not usually comfortable wearing one, or don’t want to look too stuffy.

An easy way to nail the dressed-down suit is to go tonal, that is, opt for a knit or shirt in a similar shade to that of the suit. It’s an unfussy way to wear tailoring, especially if you skip on the pocket square and go for dark brown or black shoes.

SMART SEPARATES
Mango ManNeutral separates work especially well for summer. Mango Man

One way to look smart yet still effortless is to wear separates. That is, a suit jacket with a mis-matching pair of trousers. There is a trick to it of course but worn well, there’s no easier way to look cool at a wedding reception.

Tailoring separates allow a degree of creativity that a regular suit doesn’t. You can get fancy with your fabric combinations – pair moleskin with corduroy, or brushed cotton with wool. Do the same with colours and patterns, although we’d advise on keeping things restrained there. Prince of Wales worn with pinstripes is a no-go.

Classic combinations include navy worn with lighter blue, or neutrals – think beige and brown. And because it’s a more dressed down take on tailoring, separates wear well with tees and knits, if you want to go down the even-more relaxed route.

KEY WEDDING RECEPTION PIECES
THE SUIT
A simple mid-tone suit in a lightweight wool will suit most wedding receptions, year round. It’s both formal enough for the occasion, and light enough to deal with the heat of the marquee or dance floor. If required, wear a tie, but consider a more interesting, bright or textured one – a knitted tie will always work. To give a lounge suit a more formal effect, try a contrast waistcoat in plain silver-grey.

THE SHIRT
White may be too much like office attire, so opt for a warmer, brighter shade without entering more extreme territory: sky blue, cream or pale pink will all lift your presentation, while also looking elegant. Make sure your shirt has a structured, stiff collar in order to make the most of your tie. Avoid shirts with extraneous detailing the likes of contrast buttonhole stitching or piping.

THE SHIRT ALTERNATIVES
If the reception is casual enough, you can ditch the traditional collared shirt wear something more comfortable and individual. A roll neck looks refined with a suit in winter, while an open collar-shirt pairs nicely with linen blends for summer weddings. T-shirts and knitted polos are more casual still, but they can work for the right event with the right styling.

The rule to abide for all of these options is to stick with plain neutral colours in tonal shades that chime with the suit.

THE SHOES
Unless your suit is very light in shade, black Oxfords or Derby shoes will work for most occasions, helping to bring the required air of formality. As with the groom, this is not the occasion to wear brand new shoes – unless you’re planning to stay in your seat throughout; nor are overtly casual shoes – boat shoes, driving shoes, even black ones – appropriate.

THE ACCESSORIES
For all that the watchword is ‘formality’, a wedding reception is also an opportunity for a degree of self-expression not always afforded by work. The happiness of the occasion can be reflected in taking pleasure in dressing up: a pocket square, tie-pin, pocket watch and chain, cuff-links and the like are all suitable. “This is an opportunity to wear the kind of accessory you don’t see every day,” says Modoo.

What to Wear on Red Carpet

Are you a fashionista? A Hollywood lover? Or maybe just a casual observer of the red carpet? No matter who you are, you’ve probably noticed that there’s something special about the people who grace it.

They’re like an entirely different species—one that seems to have been born with innate knowledge of how to look good. What is their secret? How do they manage to stay so chic, even in front of millions of people? Well, we’re here to give you some clues as to what goes on behind-the-scenes of red carpet dressing.

Whether it’s a premiere or an awards show, celebrities know that they have one shot to make an impression with their fashion choices—and they want everyone talking about them for all the right reasons. But there are many aspects of red carpet dressing that go beyond just picking out a nice outfit and getting dressed in the morning: from how long before the event starts you should start styling your hair and makeup (it’s not as simple as just “when you wake up”), to what kinds of accessories will complement your dress (it’s not always jewelry), and even how close you need to be standing next to someone else on stage when posing for pictures together (you’ll be surprised by how much more crowded it

Whether your name features on the invite of a premium event or you are playing the host yourself, a red carpet event is never easy. Preparing for the event and selecting a dress is an art in itself. There are dedicated designers and fashion houses who pander to the demands of celebrities attending such events.

You and I being men and women of work do not have access to such luxuries. But that does not mean that we are not entitled to having moments of our own. So, I bring to you the ten things that you should know about what it means to dress for a red carpet event.

Read the invite
Getting your dress right begins by identifying the event. A red carpet event is a special occasion but you still need to know how the night is going to proceed. Thankfully, this information can be gleaned from the invitation itself. In case it is an oral invite (which is rare), you can ask the host to specify. Amongst other things, this will help you settle on the comfort level for your dress.
Get a professional makeover
Your hefty investment in a dress, the carefully selected shoes, assorted jewelry, and a painstakingly planned evening—nothing is going to work if you don’t invest in your looks. A red carpet event means that all the eyes in the industry are going to be on you. Seek the help of a professional with your hair and makeup on the day of the event.
Investing in skincare
You certainly don’t want to look like you’ve just stepped out of rehab or a cave. Unless you are a celebrity, red carpet events don’t come along often so you would want to look your best. As you age, so does your skin. It loses its natural luster; a slight tan makes you look young and healthy. The sun’s UV rays can do more harm than good though! It is better to exfoliate and have a spray-on tan for getting that impeccable “young” look.

Poise and pose
There are going to be shutterbugs and you are going to get clicked a lot. If you are a woman, spending the night in high heels is going to be hard on your feet. If you are unseasoned in them, your feet are going to be in agony. You don’t want the pain to ruin your evening just a few hours in. Invest in a quality footpad that supports the soles of your feet and bears the majority of your weight.

Tact or tacky?
What are you going to go for? Red carpet events bring with them a load of pressure to cope with. You might feel compelled to go with something you are not comfortable with. The only aim is to look right, right? Actually, no, you don’t want that. You don’t want to come across as someone who you are not. If you are going to step outside your comfort zone, make sure it is memorable, not meme-able.
Modesty
What looks great in front of a mirror might not be the best, practically speaking. The message here is that even celebrities have double-sided tapes in their dresses to avoid any unfortunate incident. There is nothing wrong with being going little risqué but your dress should accommodate for the movement that you might be expected to make (dancing, moving around, sitting at a table, etc).

When in Rome…
The industry that you work in also dictates what you should be wearing. For example, a corporate event in the finance industry will see people dressed more sharply than at an event for creative people. Your position also commands certain attention; the higher you rank, the more you spend on your dress.

Dress according to the dress code
You need to keep in mind what kind of event you are going to attend. A cocktail event is different from a dinner party. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to wear the same outfit you wore at a formal event to a black-tie event. This rule goes for both men and women. You have your separate dresses laid out for separate occasions.
If you are not sure about what to wear, check the invite and then look online for some pointers. For situations like these, it is wise to always have a tuxedo, a jacket and a suit in your wardrobe. And its cocktail dress, evening gown and a full-length dress for women.

It is about you, not you versus everyone else
When you are out to buy a dress for your evening on the red carpet, do not go with a competitive mind. Shop for what suits your body type, not what everyone is going with. If you are not comfortable in an off-shoulder, then don’t wear it. The aim is to feel comfortable in what you are wearing.

Being prepared
Dressing for an important ceremony is about feeling your best. It doesn’t matter you are wearing a stellar dress if you can’t muster the confidence to carry it. The best way to go about it is to be prepared for any emergency that might come up. If you feel like you have something private to take care of, wait till everyone’s eyes are on the stage and you have no cameras pointing at you.
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