Tips On Understanding Attire

Dodo Bar Or Amal Dress

Knowing what to wear to events can be extremely difficult. This may sound a little dramatic until you get an invitation and the attire reads “festive attire”, “country club casual”, or “black tie optional.”  Here is a great reference guide. These basic guidelines can be very helpful, but I also like to use context clues like setting, location, time of day, who is hosting and who is attending (does “context clues” make you have flashbacks to  elementary school like it does me?  -ha!).

Dodo Bar Or Amal Dress

For example, this weekend I am attending a blogger conference. The parties can be pretty posh (first context clue- host), and everyone is dressed to the nines (second context clue-guests). On Saturday evening, there is a “black tie optional” party. I immediately thought about wearing this dress since it’s long, but I knew it had to be the right location. For instance, this dress would work as “black tie optional” for an outdoor spring occasion, like an outdoor spring wedding, a party on the lawn of a home or country club, or a garden party. So I went to the invitation and googled the location and saw that the party was at an indoor museum/theater (third context clue- location/setting) at night (fourth context clue- time of day). Now, imagine this dress at night in a museum. Doesn’t really fit in, right? Technically this dress fits the “black tie optional” guidelines, but it might not be the right choice for this occasion based on the context clues.

Tuckernuck Earrings


Now, I have worn this to speak at a Spring Luncheon (context clue) that was held in an indoor ballroom hosted by a neighborhood women’s association (context clue). Since it was a spring ladies luncheon hosted by ladies, it felt right. But this dress would not look right in the same ballroom at night for a cocktail event hosted by an business organization. See what I mean?
Dodo Bar Or Amal Dress

If you are still lost, let me tell you something super cheesy I do that might help. Gather all your context clues and imagine yourself in the setting (location, time of day) with the people (hostess and guests). Imagine it like a movie you’ve seen. Now imagine you’re in the outfit in that room. Do you look or feel out of place? I know it’s cheesy, but it helps me. I hope it will help you, too.


Here’s another great example of how I choose accessories by mimicking what’s happening in my outfit (see Wednesday’s post).

Sometimes context clues can be even more helpful than your basic attire guidelines! I hope you feel more empowered when approaching the attire for your next event! Cheers!

Outfit Links: Dress – Dodo Bar Or Bag – Ottat/Myers Collective Earrings – Tuckernuck, similar HERE

Photos by: Traci Ling

Essentials for Easy Entertaining

Place Setting

I’m super excited for the upcoming extended weekend, and I plan to have some friends over at some point. When we entertain, it’s usually impromptu. It’s just how we roll, and I like it that way. But I’ve learned that since I like to entertain this way, I need to keep a few entertaining essentials on hand. Oh, and I like to keep it casual and fun. Not surprising. Ha!

I like to have a few fun placements and cocktail napkins on hand. They serve as my casual yet fun jumping off point. I just picked up these paper palm leaf placemats from Weidner & Hasou & Co. in Houston. They add the perfect pop of color, they look great with my trusty white plates and white caterer’s napkins, and they add paper to the spot where you need it most- the drink spot.

cocktail napkins

Here are a few of my recent cocktail napkin purchases. When I’m using my standard brown linen placemats, I’ll add these fun cocktail napkins. What I really love is the acrylic cocktail napkin holders I recently picked up. Now I keep cocktail napkins out all the time. Before I would stash them away because they looked unkempt on the counter.

plastic cups

My friend brought me these plastic number cups when she came over for dinner. What a great hostess gift! Not even two weeks later, we were hosting a dinner, and I found myself scrambling for cocktail cups when I remembered I had these! No need to carve your initials in the styrofoam, just remember your number! You can throw them in the dishwasher to get more than one use out of them. You can also find these at Weidner & Hasou & Co. in Houston.

hand towels

I can never get my stuff together enough to iron my hand towels. Plus, by the end of the night, the hand towel is sopping wet! #aintnobodygottimeforthat These hand towels are absorbent and big! You can get your hands really dry with just one! P.S. Once the guests leave, I hide them back in my drawer. My boys would go through these towels in a day. Ha!

photos by: Traci Ling

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