'Dinner Dance' - what type of dress?

(25 Posts)
LionsAreScary Sat 06-Nov-10 18:16:41

Have been invited to a 'Dinner dance' (posh venue). There isn't any indication as to the dress code on the invitation. So what do you think is the right thing to wear - Cocktail dress or swishy party dress or longer length ball type dress?

Any ideas / advice welcome!

hugebelly Sat 06-Nov-10 21:05:38

I think a cocktail dress is too short and would be better suited to a drinks party.

Perhaps a long evening dress and depending on the occasion, perhaps an evening gown.

What sort of people will be attending? What's the occasion?

LionsAreScary Sat 06-Nov-10 22:10:25

Thanks. Occasion is DH's work do - quite a smart, formal sort of company. People attending are mostly older, i.e. 30s 40s 50s rather than younger employees.

I'd feel more comfortable in a cocktail dress, and I have nice legs so it is worth showing them off (to draw attention away from my less appealing middle!), but I am thinking that maybe everyone else will be wearing long swishy affairs.

KatyMac Sat 06-Nov-10 22:12:33

For 'dinner' you are usually expected to have your shoulders covered, length is negotiable

WhatsWrongWithYou Sat 06-Nov-10 22:53:17

I'm liking this at the moment - but you should probably get your DH to ascertain whether frumpy long or cocktail length would be appropriate smile.

brimfull Sat 06-Nov-10 22:56:15

I don't think you'd have to have your shoulders covered-have never heard that rule before.
I think any eveningy type dress would do ,not ball gown type thing -way too ott.
Older types 30's 40's hmm

onimolap Sat 06-Nov-10 22:57:06

Ballerina length would be the safe option, but there seem to be absolutely none in the shops at the moment.

Is it black tie for men?

I'd probably go for cocktail, but swishy I YSWIM

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 06-Nov-10 22:58:29

As one in my (very late) 40's, I say longer than cocktail dress, but not full ballgown. Mid shin, or knee length would be OK, and not too much by way of naked shoulder/decolletage. You want to be able to dance (as in, waltz and so on) comfortably.

(And not raise the ire of the older women! Politics, it's all politics.grin)

UnrequitedSkink Sat 06-Nov-10 22:59:55

Odd that there's no ballerina length around given the whole Mad Men thing. Maybe it just hasn't hit us yet. I agree ballerina is v flattering, esp if you have a small waist. Sorry, have just realised my post was no use to you at all!

onimolap Sat 06-Nov-10 23:04:05

You should always have shoulders covered when you are sitting down to eat. If you want to wear a strapless for the dancing, try a dressy shrug for the eating part.

Not an exciting place to shop, but John Lewis had some 50s style dresses with wide boat necklines, nipped in waists and full skirts.

LionsAreScary Sat 06-Nov-10 23:27:54

Thanks all for replies.

Sorry for mentioning the 'older' thing... really didn't want to offend anyone, just to reply to the question of what sort of people will be there (i.e. not teenagers).

WhatsWrong - yes that is a lovely dress, and the type of thing I was thinking. I don't think that particular one would fit well over my expanded boobs though!! (Currently bfing.)

It doesn't state on the invitation whether it is black tie, which is why I'm a bit confused.

Thanks for advice to cover shoulders when eating - I'll definitely wear a shrug then (I have a couple already so no worries there). I wouldn't consider a strapless dress anyway due to big boobs issue.

I tried on a lovely dress today... will try to figure out how to link to it. It isn't very swishy though so I'm not sure I'd be able to dance much in it.

LionsAreScary Sat 06-Nov-10 23:31:20
LionsAreScary Sat 06-Nov-10 23:32:30

Not sure why that didn't work... it is the Berkeley Dress.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 06-Nov-10 23:47:44

Looks good to me, and shouldn't upset us oldies. grin

brimfull Sat 06-Nov-10 23:52:18

yup berkely dress is ideal

can't imagine there will be much waltzing these days
you'll all be dancing to the black eyed peas

LionsAreScary Sat 06-Nov-10 23:54:09

Thanks OLKN, glad you think so! I don't want to cause raised eyebrows from DH's bosses / their partners! But I am in my 30s and have had 3 kids so I don't think I'll have too much to show off anyway.

LionsAreScary Sat 06-Nov-10 23:57:05

ggirl - grin I don't think DH would manage a waltz so hope you're right! I'm chortling away at the thought of the black eyed peas too!

annebronte Sun 07-Nov-10 00:09:19

I don't think you should worry about the 'no shoulders' thing - hardly any lovely evening dresses have sleeves and I've rarely seen anyone bother about it. For dinner dances (work or just social) I wear knee length or full length dresses - always with shoulder straps and bare arms, not with sleeves (which I think look frumpy).

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 07-Nov-10 00:38:06

Never mind the waltz or the Black Eyed Peas, wait till you have to do the Charleston... Mind you, that dress would work. grin

woopsidaisy Sun 07-Nov-10 16:41:02

As your have breast feeding boobs you may want a peep at Bravissimo. They have a couple of long dresses at the minute.
here and here.

onimolap Sun 07-Nov-10 16:49:14

I think the "no shoulders" rule is being over-interpreted.

It doesn't mean that no part of your shoulder should be on show, simply that it shouldn't be totally naked. So strappy dresses are fine; it's only when totally strapless you need to add a something. In old-fashioned company, I'd also add a shrug or whatever if the straps were very flimsy/spaghetti.

LionsAreScary Sun 07-Nov-10 22:40:35

Thanks for additional comments. I didn't realise bravissimo did dresses actually, I thought it was just for underwear. I like the first dress.

SIL is now going to lend me a shrug she thinks will go, so if I don't need it when the time comes I can just take it off.

kateecass Mon 08-Nov-10 11:39:42

Just been to dinner dance on Fri evening and everyone apart from 2 (or perhaps a few more, I drank a lot of wine!!) were wearing full length dresses. Those other 2 dresses were 3/4 length and were actually gorgeous. One was strapless and black with thin horizontal white stripes the other strapless and black with red sash round middle. I had a quick google but can't find them. I'll try again.

I've never heard of the bare shoulders thing.

I was the bosses wife at the do and couldn't have cared what anyone was wearing I was to busy worrying what other people thought of me and trying not to say the wrong thing.

Get your DH to ask what the other ladies are wearing. My DH reported back to me most were wearing long dresses.

bettymoody Mon 08-Nov-10 11:40:26

DONT DONT DONT DONT
wear a LONG dress
i HATE them
and if everyone else in short youll feel a reet knob.
do short (ish)

bettymoody Mon 08-Nov-10 11:40:39

and DONT do a birdemaid type one

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