My advice is to relax. No one expects you to have the etiquette knowledge of a White House social secretary. I think it demonstrates wonderful good manners to feel comfortable enough in your own skin to telephone your hostess before the fete and ask for direc- ! tion when you are uncertain about | how to dress. It shows not your so- j cial lack but rather your commit-ment to being the best guest you can be in someone’s house.
“Black tie” is straightforward, at least. “Creative black tie” is somewhat less straighforward. (Sounds like an oxymoron. A “don’t” unless you are the hired Bozo.) And “black tie optional”? My translation of that would be: “If you wear a tuxedo or an evening gown you I will look like a desperate wannabe be- ‘ cause all the cool people will be wearing dark suits and cocktail dresses by designers like Raf Simons, and all that trendier-than-thou lot.”
Universally distressing is the ubiquitous “dress: festive,” talking fashion.
editor: Sam Singei