Carnival and the official New Orleans party season is upon us! Although, when is there not a party in this town — with invitations to fantastic balls, soirees and galas overflowing your mailbox and inbox?
Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Nonetheless, if you live in the Tri-Parish area, I am most certain that you have the opportunity to attend more than a few festive shin-digs. ALG loves any opportunity to sparkle and shine. Fancy is what we do … it’s our thing! Unfortunately, when it comes down to deciphering the codes of proper party attire for all the Lark in the Park, Endymion Extravaganza and historic old world Mardi Gras balls, putting together a respectable and chic ensemble can cause quite a costume de conundrum.
The suggested attire on the bottom of a party invitation has become a cruel joke. There are numerous instances ALG gets a phone call where someone is requesting our assistance on deciphering the host’s creative genius verbiage for their upcoming get-together. We applaud imagination and a good party theme, but attire should be frankly stated. Most recent requests have been, “What is denim and diamonds cocktail?” (from a gentleman no less), or “What does ‘Dress in your best luau after 5 attire’ mean?” and “What should I wear to a ‘festive casual’ brunch?” The invites are getting so ridiculous we are unsure if one should fashion a costume or saddle up a horse in a grass skirt. With the help of iconic Emily Post and being in-the-know seasoned party goers, we hope we can alleviate the dress code debacle.
Keep it Classy
According to Emily Post’s Attire Guide, White Tie, which is synonymous with “costume de rigueur,” refers to a strict formal dress attire for men and women. This mode of dress will commonly be seen on invites to some of the oldest Mardi Gras krewe invitations, such as Rex, The Mistick Krewe of Comus and Proteus. For ladies, this means floor length evening gowns and white kid gloves (length determined by dress sleeve). For gentlemen, it means a white tie and black dress tailcoat, white piqué wing collar shirt, white vest and black patent shoes. When attending traditional balls, only the females in the court should have on white gowns. Attire must remain tasteful in the presence of the Queen.
Purchase a gown suitable for royalty at:
Town & Country
1514 St. Charles Ave.
8131 Hampson St.
Good Times and a Good Dry Cleaner
If you happen to score a ticket or an invite to a super-krewe fête like Bacchus Bash or the Endymion Extravaganza, gear up for an extraordinary celebration. The attire for the invite is Black Tie, which translates for women to floor length evening gowns, and men are required to wear black tuxedo jackets, matching trousers, black tie, black cummerbund, formal piqué white shirt and black patent shoes. These events vary greatly from the old world conservative balls in types of gowns you may see. At these events, there is no amount of sparkle and shine on a gown that might raise an eyebrow. Everything is in excess and over the top.
For balls such as these, we suggest you refrain from wearing your expensive shoes. We additionally advise you to be prepared that your dress will leave with an inch of “party gravy” along the hem. Call One Cleaners to come pick up and restore all your party attire.
5038 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie
Find your bling at:
Chatta Box Boutique
4114 Veterans Blvd., Metairie
5531 Magazine St.
Friday Night Lights
Quite possibly ALG’s favorite shindig of the year, is Lark in the Park, which occurs March 10. This year’s event will take place on Tad Gormley Field with unparalleled festivities, entertainment and cuisine. The attire for Lark in the Park’s 35th anniversary is Cocktail Attire. Cocktail dress is equivalent to the dress code term Semi-formal or Festive Attire. Cocktail attire is defined as cocktail dresses or dressy separates for women, and a dark business suit, dress shirt, tie and leather dress shoes for men. The event has been around for decades but has a youthful and whimsical vibe. Anyone can attend the gala, and the outfits on guests range from long conservative dresses to short sassy frocks, quite comparable to Lark’s patrons! This year, because of Lark’s location at Tad Gormley Stadium, ladies might face a bit of a shoe obstacle. ALG suggests a posh wedge, sleek flat or a product called SoleMates to protect your high-heels from slipping into the grass.
Field frocks can be found at:
Angelique (all locations)
7725 Maple St.
5421 Magazine St.
902 Harrison Ave.
Pilot and Powell
3901 Magazine St.
Tickets to Lark in the Park are available by calling (504) 483-9376 or online at friendsofcitypark.com.
Happy shopping and enjoy a great time this gala season!
–Aimée Gowland and Corrie Pellerin, ALG Style