A Guide to Soirée Season

Seniors, Soirée is upon us, and, as the invitation states, it’s semi-formal attire. First and foremost, let’s define semi-formal attire. Now, in order to do so, I consulted a trusted source — Emily Post’s Etiquette, a reference concerning proper social conduct and manners, e.g. navigating social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and polite cell phone usage. I received Etiquette as a Sweet Sixteen gift from my mom and it’s been an invaluable source. I’ve consulted it when crafting thank-you notes and searching for a suitable interview ensemble, so if you don’t already own it, I’d recommend purchasing it. Here are Ms. Post’s thoughts on semi-formal attire:

“For Men: Dark Business Suit, Matching Vest (Optional), Dress Shirt, Conservative Tie, and Dressy Leather Shoes and Dark Dress Socks.”

“For Women: Short Afternoon or Cocktail Dress, Little Black Dress, Long Dressy Skirt and Top, or Dressy Separates.”

All things considered, this is Kenyon. I get it. I myself found this to be daunting — if I were a man, I would not be wearing a vest; that’s for sure. While I love a man in a suit (Jake Gyllenhaal is perfection, as is the tailoring. N.B. Gyllenhaal is wearing a Burberry tux but use the fit for inspiration), I understand the casual appeal. In order to keep it business casual, a wool blazer (it’s cold and toting around an overcoat is just another article of clothing to keep track of) in black, navy, or a pattern such as hounds tooth and a collared shirt in white or blue, two foolproof colors, should be worn. Be sure to remove the dust and lint from your blazer (Tip: for a lint roller in a pinch, wrap masking or duct tape around one hand like a mitt and brush over the shoulders lightly) and iron your shirt (if you hate to iron, Downy makes a Wrinkle-Release spray). Pair this with chinos in navy or dark khaki, should you choose to forgo the traditional suit route. Ties are where men can get creative (knit, skinny, silk, etc…) so be bold, it’s your call (growing up in D.C. area, I am partial to a man in a bowtie, just throwing that out there). Ms. Post recommends a leather dress shoe with a suit, but if casual’s your style, wear your best (clean) Converse or oxfords.

For my ladies, I’m all about the LBD. Simple. Classic. No fuss. Get creative with jewelry: layer bangles (cuffs and chain link are hot trends of the moment and for inexpensive jewelry, I’m all about Bauble Bar), wear a statement necklace (OB-Sessed with Fallon, use it as inspiration when searching Forever 21), or pile on the rings! I HEART knuckle rings but my nubs don’t have the patience for them, sad face. Accessories are the best way to spice up an outfit and as ASOS has been demonstrating for the past few months, a detachable collar can transform a dress, sweater, etc. into an entirely new piece. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns, i.e. floral and leopard, or color block (Hello, Pantone!) — Soirée is a great excuse to get trendy and drink free booze. Take advantage of it. If you’re looking to play up your facial features, a colored lip is always a good call. Two universal shades I have found flattering on everyone (tested on my gals back home and here at Kenyon): Revlon Moon Drops Hot Coral and Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Black Cherry, available at CVS and Walmart (Walmart does not carry Moon Drops, but CVS does). For tips on create the perfect colored lip and other beauty tutorials, the Beauty Department is one the best blogs. Period.

And for all those who plan their outfits around the weather, Weather.com is calling for a high of 56 and a low of 38. Can’t wait to see y’all at 8:00 p.m. on Friday in Old Side Peirce!

7 responses

  1. Pingback: Where’s it at? With SJW « The Thrill

  2. Pingback: Nominate Your Friends (or Yourself) for a Makeover « The Thrill

  3. Pingback: The Closing of Formal Season at Kenyon « The Thrill

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