Dress up!

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With all the talk about Prince Harry’s and Meghan Markle’s upcoming wedding, we’re seeing images from other royal weddings and lots of photos of events that Kate, and now Meghan, are attending.

What I love about British society is that people know how to dress for the occasion. You’ll never see someone in jeans at the London Symphony. When the invitation says “black tie” everyone understands – and respects – the dress code.

Yes, it matters.

In the North American “me first” mentality, people feel the right to dress as they please, irrespective of any attire instructions. It’s pitiful.

When you dress down – less than the required attire – you are insulting the hosts and all the other guests. You are saying that your preferences are more important than the event itself. It’s very self-centered and selfish.

So the next time you are invited out, kindly mind the attire restrictions. When in doubt, it’s better to dress up than down. Show due respect for the hosts and the occasion.

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What to wear to:

  • The ballet, symphony or opera – cocktail attire is most appropriate. This means embellished dresses (short or long), metallic or sparkly shoes, evening bag.
  • Live theatre – business or business casual works well. This means blazers with trousers, skirt or a dress; blouse, cardigan and trousers or skirt; summery dress. Heels are always in style.
  • Sporting event – here’s where you can dress casually. This means team jersey and jeans.
  • Religious services – at church, temple or other house of faith, it’s important to dress up – after all, there’s a reason your nice clothes are called “Sunday best.” It’s really not appropriate to wear a sloppy t-shirt and yoga pants to church. Please.

It’s about respecting the occasion – and most importantly – yourself.

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