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What the hell kind of dress code is "lounge suit", anyway, eh?

(24 Posts)
openerofjars Wed 01-Sep-10 22:39:29

My idea of an evening social event these days is putting on lippy when I go to pick up a takeaway. However, I have somehow managed to wangle tickets to an exhibition preview at the university I went to a squillion years ago.

I am taking my mum with me and neither if us have any idea what the invite means by "dress code: lounge suit". I am more worried than my mum as she has a,wardrobe full of smart suits that she used to wear to events when she was a head teacher, but I am much more likely to wear something that will a) stand out like a sore thumb because it is so obviously wrong and b) make me look like either a tired mum or an ageing student.

I have no idea how "lounge suit" translates to women's clothing and don't want to look foolish. I can't afford and don't have any time to go shopping so was going to wear a draped jersey dress with nice boots or sandals, depending on the weather. Would this suffice?

HuwEdwards Wed 01-Sep-10 22:41:05

cocktail dress?

openerofjars Wed 01-Sep-10 22:42:03

Also, I obviously want to avoid looking inappropriately slutty. Especially with my mum there. I am aiming not to embarrass either of us.

HuwEdwards Wed 01-Sep-10 22:42:41

oh go on, def go slutty!

MaryMotherOfCheeses Wed 01-Sep-10 22:43:08

Draped jersey dress sounds absolutely fine.

Lounge suit, in practice, just means a normal business suit for men. So normal "work wear" for women will be fine. A suit, or a nice dress if you have one.

openerofjars Wed 01-Sep-10 22:43:09

X-post. But (whispers) I don't have such a thing...<shame>

MollieO Wed 01-Sep-10 22:43:53

Cocktail dress, not long. I wouldn't wear boots.

TrillianAstra Wed 01-Sep-10 22:44:11

Lounge suit = a suit. Not dinner jacket, just suit. Ideally not pinstripe because that's a bit businessy, but of course not everyone has a vast array of suits.

For women, a skirt/top or dress. Less dressy than a cocktail dress, more like what you'd wear to a wedding IMO, so no spangles or shiny or slutty.

openerofjars Wed 01-Sep-10 22:44:55

I mean the cocktail dress, sorry. I own no structured clothing. X-post again.

And with the next post, I expect!

SkylineDrifter Wed 01-Sep-10 22:45:42

The dress you're talking about sounds fine. Cocktail dress would be a little over-dressed I think for this kind of occasion. If it's during the day, a skirt or trouser suit would also be suitable. If it's evening, smart (perhaps linen) trousers with a dressy top and heels.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Wed 01-Sep-10 22:46:18

No, not a cocktail dress. That would be black tie.

TrillianAstra Wed 01-Sep-10 22:47:47

MMoC - don't you find black tie annoying? Because it ranges from cocktail dress to full-on ball dress with no real distinction other than your instinct about what kind of event you feel it might be?

MaryMotherOfCheeses Wed 01-Sep-10 22:51:50

Gawd yes.

IME there's a direct correlation between the number of black tie dos you go to and the length of your frock. Those who have ot do it on a regular basis wear short and those for whom it's a novelty wear long. (that's not being sniffy about long, I get very bored of corporate dos where no one can really be bothered)

Hermya321 Wed 01-Sep-10 22:56:24

When I saw the thread title, I had an image of a bunch of people discussing art dressed in these.

openerofjars Wed 01-Sep-10 22:56:51

Blimey. All this is way out of my league. I work in education and our work events are always in the afternoon and in a pub. I haven't been to anything black tie since I was 20 and am in scruffy awe at you glamorous people.

openerofjars Wed 01-Sep-10 22:58:56

Pmsl at velour, though.

Thanks, all: draped jersey with heels it is. I knew you'd have the answers.

TrillianAstra Wed 01-Sep-10 23:05:20

Draped jersey with heels will be lovely.

Last black tie do I went to I deemed a shorter-dress event but wore a long dress because part of it was outside and I wanted to wear (pdeal-pusher-length) leggings underneath my dress to keep warm.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Wed 01-Sep-10 23:10:04

Draped frock will be just grand.

LOL TA at wearing leggings under your frock grin

I've had the same short black frock for three years now. i really can't drag it out again but can't face buying something new until the Jan sales.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Wed 01-Sep-10 23:10:46

Apols for repetition of "frock". i do wish they had "edit" on here....

TrillianAstra Wed 01-Sep-10 23:11:41

I like the word 'frock', doesn't get used enough grin

batsforlashes Thu 02-Sep-10 09:33:29

I think it is cocktail for women and business suit for me. We attended a very cool wedding in the Hamptons a few years ago and the dress code was Black Tie or Lounge Suit. I remember having to ask at the time as had not come across it before.

rey Thu 02-Sep-10 09:41:22

As it's not the Queens garden party I honestly would not worry yourself. In my experience.... (and I did worry each time at the beginning and spend money on a suit/very nice dress) ...for women (and men) it really means no jeans, nothing casual eg not t-shirts, nothing with logos. So plain trousers are okay and I've seen people smarten them up wit a matching jacket, but I would still stick to skirt and blouse or dress as they are easier to pass off as smart/dressy. Your accessories eg handbag/necklace can dress up your outfit enough if you are still worried but what you have in mind sounds good especially if you are comfortable.

hippohead Thu 02-Sep-10 10:50:29

Hi there I work in the menswear trade and to us 'lounge suit' is a mans suit. As in an 'ordinary suit'- its a term used to distinguish this type of suit from an evening suit (aka black tie), morning suit (aka wedding wear), sports jacket (aka jacket and trousers).

I hope that makes sense!!

So, I think its their way of saying they want men to wear suits (nice of them to give no direction for the ladies)! If I were you and your mum I would wear something smartish- the type of thing that would be along similar lines of smartness as a man's suit.

Hope you have a lovely time.

notyummy Thu 02-Sep-10 10:57:14

Lots of good advice on here. Unfortunately it is traditional on formal invites to put Lounge Suit/Black tie etc, leaving ladies to dither.

Have been to loads of military functions where the penalties for getting it wrong can be being asked to leave. (Have seen it happen - and been asked to tell a lady to leave, so not making it up!)

I don't think you will need to worry about this - draped jersey and heels just the ticket.

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