Q&A Wednesday: Cracking the Attire Code

by Mindy Lockard on February 24, 2009

magnif-glass1Many people ask me, “What is ManneroftheMonth.com and why should I subscribe?”

ManneroftheMonth.com is an affordable on-line magazine designed for those who are committed to gracious living. Each month we publish a new “Manner” which is seasonally appropriate and provides downloadable tools, resources and recommended reading to help the manner come alive. Aside from the information, our members also have the ablity to ask questions when ever, if ever they have them.  We love to receive their questions and take time to reseach so as to provide the most current and correct answer.  We all have situations where we question what to do or how teach the rules to our children.  ManneroftheMonth.com is here to assist you with the answers! 

This weeks blog Q&A Wednesday comes from one of our female members. It is a perfect example of how ManneroftheMonth.com works to help its members in everyday situations with real life questions…take a look!

Q: I have been invited to a large professional dinner party to celebrate a significant event. The dress code is “office chic.” Can you shed some light on this?

Answer: Absolutely, I can see where this is a bit confusing…Traditionally, noting the attire was supposed to give a clear understanding of what to wear. Unfortunately the more creative we become with the description, the less direction we provide our guests.

To desipher this attire code let’s start by breaking down the words.

Office attire: Speaks for itself, you know the dress code/climate of your office. If you are invited as a guest ask those working for the company, both men and women, for some insights.

“Chic” is the curve ball. Chic is defined by words such as fashionable, modish, trendy, smart (my favorite), and tasteful.

Cracking the Code: I believe this invitation is trying to communicate that although it’s a professional party they want to “mode” it up a bit. My suggestion would be to start with what you wear to work: leaving the cardigan or suit jacket at home, switch out your pumps for heels and pearls for beads, and let your hair down! Don’t, plunge your neckline or hike up your skirt–not that I think you would do this, just in case you get a whim– as flaunting what your mama gave you is neither professional nor chic!

My advice for any host or hostess is to save “clever” for the party’s theme, decorations and favors.  Do your guests a favor and keep your attire line straight forward and traditional.

We’d love to have you join Manner of the Month!

Current and Upcoming Manners:

  • February’s Manner: Dining In is available until March 15
  • March’s Manner: Tips for Travel–Looking into Lodging
  • April’s Manner: What to Wear? A simple guide to always know what’s appropriate from casual to white tie…

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Alesia Zorn 02.25.09 at 7:29 am

I’ve been a Manner of the Month subscriber for a year now. I enjoy the monthly manner and always learn something. I’ve also had occassion to request Mindy’s advice on guiding one of my clients through a sticky situation and she helped me immensely. I can’t recommend her services highly enough!

admin 02.25.09 at 8:42 am

Thank you so much Alesia! Working with you has been a true pleasure!

Michelle 02.28.09 at 8:29 am

Hello Mindy! My comment is actually a very important etiquette question for you. My 18 month old son, Grayson, has some developmental problems and now uses a special walker in order to get around. This “walker” definitely looks the medical part…. stainless steel, wheelchair type wheels , etc. We are now taking him out and about with his walker for more exercise, and the social interaction is astounding!! And NOT in a good way!! So could you address the CORRECT social behavior to seeing/meeting those with disabilities, and/or deformities? And also how to explain to our children, when in public, the proper way to handle this? This is what we were met with while simply walking in the mall: stares, pity looks, “what’s wrong with him anyway?”, “what is that thing for” (in weird, this must be from an alien voice), “I have never seen that before! What IS it?! ” , “Ahhh, that is just tooooo bad!”
Thank you Mindy, I see a need for this to be looked at further, and trust your advice!!
Michelle Bryant

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