One of the most salient features of hosting a summer party unfolds as frustration at the dress code constraints. What does one mean by “festive attire”? I am not a piñata. Is “athletic chic” a real thing? Furthermore, does it mean we will be white water rafting but that Isabel Marant is absolutely mandatory?
Last week, in fact, I went to a party in Prospect Park. The e-vite came with those familiar, small, enigmatic block letters at bottom right. “Dress summer soiree.” According to my humble capabilities with the French language, “summer soiree” means summer party which does not translate to a mode of dress unless, of course, I was expected to appear dressed as a red Dixie cup. Or better–Simon de Beauvoir in white linen? I went as neither of those things and instead settled on white pants and a white blouse. That seems like the only outfitting concept immune to the futility of party dress codes. When I got there, though, there were black ties, long dresses, some jeans, some flip flops and so it had been confirmed: nobody else understood what the fuck “summer soiree” meant either.
This brings me to the above. In trying to figure out precisely how to dress for the various, nonsensical dress code regulations that may be thrown our way through the feeble duration of summer, why not completely shun the prospect of respecting your host and instead really, really make said host wonder why they thought calling the party “beach chic” in spite of its occurring on a concrete rooftop in Manhattan was all right.
While I wanted to act out each and every scene (see: clipping tree leaves into my hair for a “garden party,” wearing a bikini and sarong – or fin – to a “beach chic-yet-black tie” affair or perhaps toting Pride and Prejudice through a room while in denim cut-offs for one such “smart casual” event), it appears as though sometimes photoshop is far better at making at point so above you will find seven instances that require your most creative dressing capabilities and while I can certainly tell you precisely which looks match which codes, isn’t it more fun if we play the guessing game? I will say, (especially in the preliminary case of Anja Rubik), we are all about a good dichotomy.
Fine, spoiler alert, she’s dressed business casual. That’s right–you’re looking at le smoking, looking smoking, while paired with Duane Reade’s finest flip flops.
Now, between “semi-formal,” “black tie optional,” “festive,” “garden party,” “beach chic” and “The White Party,” ( – what if people took that constraint literally, huh? And came dressed as mimes? – ) where do the rest of these fall? Furthermore, did we leave any ridiculousness off? Share your woes, people. We’re a family.