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Formal Dress 'Rules'

(23 Posts)
BuggersMuddle Sat 14-Jun-14 20:12:59

So I will be attending a formal event where the dress code is 'day dress (preferably with hat or fascinator), smart trouser suit or national dress'. Yes it's a royal whatsit and I'm not the focus, just attending with someone who is & it's not a garden party.

So I find myself wondering:

- Closed toe shoes obligatory, or are sandals okay?
- Sheer tights, obligatory? Or are bare legs (dress options are all below the knee) okay? Accepting that obligatory tights rules out sandals.
- If I turn up without a fascinator will I feel like a prize plum? I generally wear my hair down (long, curly), so an up-do and fascinator demands practice!

Any other no-nos or must dos?

I have two dresses to choose from. Both shift style but fitted / bit of stretch, both below the knee, one with 3/4 length sleeves and one sleeveless.

Waswondering Sat 14-Jun-14 20:25:21

I went to Buckingham Palace as a guest for an investiture. I didn't wear a fascinator (it lost out in the battle of solo dressing myself with strapless bra and dress! Long story I had an epic tantrum all alone, as my lovely dh was on photography duty with the lady of the day, who I successfully dressed! I might have stamped a foot as I flung the fascinator across the room, as the taxi arrived!). smile

I wore bare legs and very elegant open toed sling backs. I didn't notice other legs. I just remember the most wonderful, happy special day.

Have a lot of fun!

Waswondering Sat 14-Jun-14 20:26:53

(I had a lovely pedicure the day before!)

Georgethesecond Sat 14-Jun-14 20:29:11

You can get open toe tights to wear with open toe shoes.

VegasIsBest Sat 14-Jun-14 20:30:01

M & S do great tights you can wear with sandals.
If you look at garden party photos most of the women seem to wear some kind of hat.
Have fun!

BuggersMuddle Sat 14-Jun-14 20:39:15

Thanks Waswondering. It's an investiture. Am glad to hear open toes are okay. I had closed toe shoes and a terribly posh dress all planned until the recipient announced what he'd like to do afterwards and I don't want to be running back to the hotel to change shoes. I thought I could stash a pair in my bag, but apparently that would mean Giant Bag of Doom in our photos? It's actually a nice bag of doom, but a designer hobo bag is still a hobo bag.

I now have a quite posh dress in mind but...with a pair of Rieker wedge sandals also in navy. Umm, I'm only 33... but omg they are just so incredibly comfortable and he wants to walk about 10 miles after the event

I have a lovely pair of Gucci court shoes that I got on BrandAlley sale but I seriously think I'll piss of the person in question if I have a mumphy face when he wants to walk to Mayfair & back to the hotel.

Argh! I think it's 'look my best' or 'wear shoes my mother would wear but carry a clutch'.

Argh! I amway overthinking this. Mainly don't want to blend in and not offend the family member being honoured & not make it all about me, so I'm loathe to ask too much!

BuggersMuddle Sat 14-Jun-14 20:40:05

Waswondering Shellac mani / pedi booked. Can't usually justify it, so looking forward to a treat smile

BuggersMuddle Sat 14-Jun-14 20:41:40

See I always feel a bit daft in sandal tights because I am so pale. So therefore it is entirely obvious I am wearing them, always.

Waswondering Sat 14-Jun-14 21:08:56

Mum got tipped off that you can book a taxi to drive you all the way inside, so we did! It's rather exciting. Family friends travelled down and were waiting outside for when we came out. Mum was badgered by tourists for photos, as they thought she was important. It was brilliant.

The same taxi waited for us across the road at the entrance to Green Park to take us back to the lunch venue. It was a fabulous precious afternoon. I'm afraid I would be tempted to endure shoes, as it is a one off.

Did you know that you can buy a lapel badge in the colours of the award? For those occasions when it's discrete and the full medals are OTT. Should you be looking for a wee gift!

It was the best day ever. I may have wept a little too.

BranchingOut Sat 14-Jun-14 21:13:27

What is this mad plan to walk miles afterwards? Can you subtly quash that? Is there a cloakroom at BP where you could stash shoes?

Tip: pretty Polly tights go to very pale shades, forget M&S

Waswondering Sat 14-Jun-14 21:13:30

Oh. Beware the posh soap/hand cream on the ladies. It can fire at an angle. It was close.

I sat in the ballroom thinking, oh wow. Victoria, Elizabeth (x2), Diana, Kate were all brides in here ....

Waswondering Sat 14-Jun-14 21:16:38

Agree to transport to lunch venue. A surprise limo with champagne?

BuggersMuddle Sat 14-Jun-14 21:19:58

Branching I wish I could. MIL is one of the few people who look good in flats. I have feet like a duck.

I can totally take large, posh, Mui Mui hobo bag in pale blue. As long as no-one is peeved that I appear to have an overnight bag in the photos (or can I hide it, argh?).

FIL wears suits daily (as do I).

Waswondering Sat 14-Jun-14 21:22:27

Play the weather card! Wind, rain, snow whatever. Suggest transport so that finery remains fine, especially if blistering hot day. Fil doesn't want to glow, does he? wink

Waswondering Sat 14-Jun-14 21:23:17

For photos, you would have your bag back, but could have it out of shot. Photos are quite quick at the end.

MorelloKisses Sat 14-Jun-14 21:26:19

I would find a really small pair of flats (the smallest possible). E.g (but not these colours)

And then take them shopping with me of the smallest handbag that they and my lipped plus plastic to pay with will fit in.

I'd only wear them for the walk and just carry the heels for that part

TessTackle Sat 14-Jun-14 23:27:35

I was about to say roll up or fold up flats?

Nocomet Sun 15-Jun-14 01:33:18

I have a pair of absolutely minimal black patent leather to post free flip flops, that will go in a sensible handbag.

BuggersMuddle Sun 15-Jun-14 22:28:35

Ooh fold up flats. Hadn't thought about those. Yes - that looks like a plan worth investigating.

Or at least a good back up if following Waswondering 's suggestion doesn't go to plan wink

Waswondering Sun 15-Jun-14 22:29:57

Which one?! smile

Fold up flats sound ideal!

BuggersMuddle Sun 15-Jun-14 22:58:01

Well...we talked to them about the taxis, so we're going to do that in the morning, which will help.

Lunch is booked, but he's not a limo person, so going to go with the it's hot / wet / blustery option and hope for the best grin

My DM was so offended that I might go without a hat / fascinator that she turned up with three quite nice, plain ones this afternoon. I am very short, so anything remotely flying saucer like and I stand next to DP (6') and look like I'm emerging from a drain with the cover still on my head. DM not that much taller and same head size, so options offered all suitable.

I wouldn't mind a statement hat for a ladies day or something, but in this case I think simple is better.

Mum also nixed the comfy sandals for the event itself. My court shoes aren't awful though - I'll get some of those superfeet to stuff in the front which should help.

meditrina Sun 15-Jun-14 23:12:59

Most women will be in hats.

Yes there is a cloakroom and you can leave bags of any size in it.

No photographs permitted inside the Palace.

You can take as many as you like in the inner courtyard. No-one is going to nick your bag there, so you an out it down for pix (whether taken yourself or by the professional photographers there).

BuggersMuddle Sun 15-Jun-14 23:30:24

Good to know - thanks meditrina

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